Located on a peaceful bend in the Wailua River opposite Opaeka`a Falls, Kamokila Hawaiian Village Kauai is a faithful recreation of a traditional Hawaiian village on the site of an ancient settlement. Experience traditional life on your next Kauai vacation in a preserved natural environment at this Kauai point of interest, much as it was centuries ago, and enjoy scenic guided tours by canoe or outrigger down the Wailua River to incredible destinations like Secret Falls, Fern Grotto, and the popular Swimming Hole.
Lovingly reconstructed in the 1990’s, the village is a snapshot of a day in the life of native Hawaiians upon their arrival to these shores in the early centuries of the current era. This site was a preferred residence for Kaua‘i’s last king, Kaumuali`i, and was where he would assemble his war canoes to defend the island. Visitors can take self-guided tours of thatched huts and structures that include residences, a birthing hut, a hula hale, a canoe storage hut, the chief’s assembly, and a doctor’s residence. The village spans 4 acres along the banks of the river and is adorned with lush jungle, native plants, and exotic fruit trees introduced by the Polynesian settlers. The center square plays hosts to cultural demonstrations of traditional games, spear throwing, and Hawaiian bowling. Open daily 9am-5pm, admission is $5.
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The highlight of any visit to Kamokila Hawaiian Village Kauai is a canoe trip up the Wailua River, Hawai‘i’s largest and only navigable waterway. Rent your own kayak or canoe or join a guided tour and explore this wild tropical paradise. The boats are launched from an adjacent access point, so no hauling is required. Be sure to slap on the mosquito repellent (and be prepared to get wet, you are in one of the rainiest spots on Earth) and then take in a fascinating tour program from your friendly and knowledgeable guide, or plot your own course to mysterious Kauai points of interest like the Fern Grotto where the forks of the river converge, or the hidden Secret Falls. Stop by the Swimming Hole to take a dip in the cool waters of the Wailua River that is fed by the 400+ inches of rainfall that grace the slopes of Mt. Waialeale towering above you.
A wonderful journey back in time and an exciting day trip on the river are the perfect recipe for a day of family fun. Be sure to bring towels, a picnic lunch, and hiking or boating shoes as the trails around the village and the river destinations can be quite muddy. Snacks, souvenirs, bug spray, and sunscreen are available for purchase at the village’s small shop.
If you want to add Secret Falls, also known as Uluwehi Falls, as an activity on your Kauai itinerary, beginning your journey from Kamokila Hawaiian Village considerably shortens the distance of paddling required. From Kamokila Hawaiian Village, it is just a short paddle upriver to reach the landing area when you’ll pull your kayak or canoe up onto the shore and begin your trek toward the falls. Despite the name, Secret Falls no longer much of a secret. With several tour operators leading groups to view this cascade, as well as information about the falls published in several Kauai guidebooks, you will likely be sharing the waterway and trail with other travelers. However, don’t let this deter you from experiencing these beautiful falls!
Once you’ve exited your kayak, expect about a half-hour trek on land to reach the waterfall. Despite very little elevation gain, the excessive mud can add considerable difficulty to this hike. Be prepared to get wet and muddy, as there is also a river crossing that must be tackled, although the rope in place assists considerably in maneuvering your way across the river. Due to dangerous flash floods that occur frequently on Kauai, be sure to only attempt this journey when there has not been excessive rain. Once you stand at the base of this dramatic waterfall, it will have been well worth the effort. Pack a picnic lunch to be enjoyed at the falls and take a dip in the cold water at its base before making the return journey. Though the return kayak journey heads downstream, strong headwinds from the ocean often make this portion the most difficult. Stay close to the riverbanks and take your time if this proves to be the case on your adventure!
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Click here to browse some of our Kauai vacation rentals that will put you in close proximity for enjoying some time spent at Kamokila Hawaiian Village and Secret Falls. At Ahh! Aloha, we have Kauai vacation rentals situated across the island’s north, east, and south shores near many of the Kauai points of interest. In particular, our Kauai vacation villas situated at Banyan Harbor, Pono Kai, Lae Nani, Kauai Beach Resort, Islander on the Beach, and Kaha Lani are all along Kauai’s east coast just a short drive from Kamokila Hawaiian Village. Most of our vacation rentals offer full kitchens, breezy living areas, and outdoor lanai’s. Come explore and relax on Kauai’s coconut coast! Make your booking here!