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Wailua River
Wailua River

Wailua River

star-5
914 Reviews
Highway 56, Wailua, Hawaii, 96746

The Basics

The best way to soak in the natural beauty of the Wailua River is from the water itself, and there are several options to do so. Many travelers paddle the waters by kayak; these trips often include a short hike to a waterfall for swimming. It’s also possible to explore by stand-up paddleboard or outrigger canoe. More comprehensive island tours sometimes include an open-air boat trip along the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, a spectacular lava rock cave surrounded by draping ferns. Those traveling by car can follow the north side of the river along Kuamoo Road (Highway 580).

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Recent reviews from experiences in Kauai

star-5
Great day adventure
Jillian, May 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
If you question if magic is real, this waterfall might just make you a believer. It was a really unique and mystical adventure only made more fascinating by our tour guide Jay. People of all ages were able to complete the trip. Would recommend water shoes, a swim suit and towel/change of clothes. A waterproof pack is provided to keep your things dry. A great amount of care is taken to ensure your enjoyment and safety are taken care of.
star-5
Memorable trip
Matthew_L, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
The kayaking was super easy and fun for my wife and I. The hike was short but took you through the dense jungle which was really awesome. The waterfall itself was incredible and one of the best sights we saw while in Kauai. What made it better was our awesome tour guide as well. We would highly recommend this excursion!
star-5
Don’t miss out
William_H, Sep 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
Alfredo was awesome. Great experience Definitely recommend to everyone. Definitely worth the money Don’t hesitate it’s well worth it
star-5
Fantastic!! Both my...
Brenda_S, Sep 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
Fantastic!! Both my husband and I loved it! Alfredo was a great guide - very informative, high energy and fun. You could feel that he loves what he does. The waterfall was simply beautiful. The hike was not strenuous at all but very slippery on parts of the trail and when crossing water. Wear solid shoes. Some members of our group wore water shoes and fell/slipped multiple times. The kayak back was a little harder because we kayaked against the wind. Overall it is so worth taking this tour!
star-5
You need to do this!
Anonymous, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
It felt like a movie set. The river, the jungle hike and the water fall were all breathtaking. Our guide, Mike, was very knowledgeable, friendly and kind. I could not recommend this tour more. It was the best part of our week's stay on Kauai.
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Wailua Kayak and Hike
Douglas_P, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
The 2 mile kayak trip was a nice way to see the back country. The 1.2 mile hike on along the Wailua River was beautiful. The trail was very well maintained but it was pretty busy.
star-5
Amazing experience!
Cathy_M, Sep 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
Amazing experience!! Our guide Rob was fantastic!! He was attractive to the needs of everyone in our group, entertaining and a wealth of knowledge about the plants we encountered and about the river and falls. Will definitely do this again!
star-5
Joaquin was great!
Kaitlyn_S, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Joaquin made our excursion so memorable! Lots of great facts, perfect amount of kayaking and hiking. The waterfall was a little busy with all the other companies there too, but that was to be expected. Highly recommend!
star-5
Awesome time!
Gina_G, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Such a fun time! Our tour guide was great. The hike is not for beginners, but so worth it. Recommend!!
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Exemptional
NicoleSarai_C, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Excellent guided tour, beautiful waterfall. Easy hike, little mud but super worth it. They give you enough time to enjoy the water fall.
star-5
Great time that I always remember!
Brian, Aug 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
How great the guide was in taking care of us on the tour! He take care of us but gave us space as we needed it!
star-5
Magical
Lauri_J, Aug 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Our guide was Po. He sang and blew into a conch shell before asking permission to enter the river and also the waterfall thanking the gods for allowing us to be there. It was beautiful, spiritual and an Exhilarating experience. This was definitely a highlight of our vacation. PS you need to be fit in order to enjoy this hike, it is tough and we loved every minute of it.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Wailua River offers outdoor recreation for a broad range of travelers.

  • Don’t forget to bring along sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat, as not all portions of the river are shaded.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.

  • All state park facilities are ADA accessible.

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How to Get There

The Wailua River enters the ocean on the island’s east coast, near the settlement of Wailua. Most visitors get to the river as part of a guided tour with included transportation from Kauai hotels.

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When to Get There

The best time for outdoor adventure in Kauai is in fall (September to November) and spring (April to June) when the weather is at its best. Expect frequent showers during the winter peak season (December to March).

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Cultural Significance of the Wailua River

The Wailua River is more than just a natural wonder. To ancient Hawaiians, it was considered one of the most sacred places on Kauai. At one time, seven differentheiau (temples) dotted its shores. Visitors can learn more at the Wailua Complex of Heiau, a National Historic Landmark and former hub of chiefly power.

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