Kauai is a dream destination for those seeking tropical tranquility. With miles and miles of gorgeous white-sand beaches and lush verdant landscapes, Kauai offers a more intimate and relaxed experience than all the other Hawaiian islands combined.
Today Kauai’s rural history gives way to wild natural beauty, from misting waterfalls to towering sea cliffs and secret beaches. One thing’s for sure, after a visit to the Garden Island you’ll never be the same again. Check out this list of the top outdoor sightseeing tours on Kauai!
#1 – Cruise the Napali Coast
Featured in countless films, the iconic Napali Coast is the must-see sight on Kauai. Lucky for you, there are plenty of different ways for you to see it. The most popular by far is on a boat cruise. Check out Makana Charters which will escort you along the coast. Enjoy heart-stopping views of these verdant sea cliffs as well as stopping off at the coast’s best secluded snorkeling spots.
#2 – Take a guided tour of Waimea Canyon & Koke’e State Park
The Waimea Canyon has been called this Grand Canyon of the Pacific, but anyone who’s been there knows this comparison doesn’t do Kauai’s most popular lookout justice. These 3,000-foot tall cliffs are mottled in deep greens and earthy browns, punctuated by arresting splashes of red stone. Get the most out of your visit on this private guided tour which includes a guided exploration of nearby Koke’e State Park as well as stop-offs at artsy Hanapepe Town and must-see Waipo’o Falls. These guides will help you find the best lookout points as well as teach you about the history of Kauai.
#3 – See Kauai from the sky
To this day, a lot of Kauai is only accessible by air or by sea. That’s why a helicopter tour is the best and most exciting way to see the island. In a helicopter, you can pack a bunch of Kauai must-see sights into one hour—which would otherwise take you several days of hiking (and probably as many blisters!). Get the best view of the Napali Coast and the Waimea Canyon as well as seeing Manawaiopuna Falls of Jurassic Park fame, where no man and no dinosaur has walked for ages.
Join Our Facebook Group!
Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? We created the Hijinks Hawaii Facebook Group to provide support and guidance on Hawaii tours, activities, and adventures. Whether you’re an experienced Hawaii traveler, a local with insight to share, or a first-time visitor to the islands, you’ll find advice, special offers, and a community of passionate people ready to help. Join us now!
#4 – Hike the Kuilau Ridge Trail to Mount Wai’ale’ale
See for yourself why Mount Wai’ale’ale is one of the wettest places on earth. This is a moderately easy 3-mile hike that showcases Kauai’s unique vegetation, as well as panoramic views of the Makaleha Mountains. Check out this guided tour to make the most of the trek—see the often-photographed rainbow eucalyptus trees, discover unique flowering orchids, and take a dip in a refreshing mountain stream.
#5 – Explore secluded Kipu Ranch by ATV
This working cattle ranch is a must-see on the island, and only Kipu Ranch Adventures is permitted to operate tours here. Now a private ranch, Kipu used to belong to the Hawaiian monarchy—and once you see it you’ll know why. This fun ATV tour covers a large section of the ranch, offering up plenty of the beautiful pastoral views Kauai is known for. You’ll also see the Hule’ia River and Kipu Kai Beach, one of Kauai’s most famous, and several Hollywood filming locations.
#6 – Hike the Napali Coast Trail
If you’re an avid hiker, you can’t leave Kauai without hiking the Kalalau Trail along the Napali coast. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in all the world, spanning 11 miles of rugged coastline with breathtaking views through the coast’s verdant ridges down to the ocean. And while the first two miles of this trail are fairly accessible, the following 9 are for experienced hikers only. Consider doing this tour with a guide—not only will they help you safely navigate the trail, they’ll also be able to tell you stories about the ancient Hawaiians who used these paths hundreds of years ago. Check out Kauai Hiking Tours for a guided hike experience.
#7 – Explore the taro fields of Hanalei Bay
Historically, Kauai has always been an agricultural center. Take a step back in time and explore Kauai’s agrarian history at the Ho’opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill, Hawaii’s only remaining rice mill, located in the beautifully lush Hanalei Valley. Purchased by the Haraguchi family in 1924, the rice mill operated into the 1960s. Today it is an agricultural museum located on an operating taro farm and is a unique way to see Hanalei’s taro fields up close.
Looking for other great experiences in Hawaii?
Join Our Facebook Group!
We created the Hijinks Hawaii Facebook Group to provide help, support, and guidance on Hawaii tours, activities, and adventures. Whether you’re an experienced Hawaii traveler, a local with insight to share, or a first-time visitor to the islands, you’ll find advice, special offers, and a community of passionate people ready to help. Join us now!