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Wailua River
Wailua River

Wailua River

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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Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
star-4.5
$125.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Loved it!!
The kayaking, hike and waterfall were all amazing. The tour guide Tyler was friendly and very knowledgeable about the history and plants around the area! Great trip!!
Meredith_S, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Kauai

star-5
Very informative
Lori_C, Oct 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Micheal was amazing and full of information. We weren’t sure we’d make it to the falls because of so much rain that morning but Micheal was determined and checked the safety of crossing the stream and gave us a heads up. Our group was amazing so everybody was up for it.
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
Incredible experience....
Kelly_H, Oct 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
Incredible experience. Our guide Brian was extremely helpful, funny and informative. Highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Extraordinary
Maria_T, Oct 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
The tour guide, Joaquin, had excellent knowledge of the plant life and historical facts of the area. It was very refreshing to interact with a Spanish speaking guide. Mahalo.
star-5
Good trip
Daria_K, Oct 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Jay is a great guy … very knowledgeable in Hawaiian traditions and history. He was patient and kind .
star-5
Duke kayaking
Pamela_V, Oct 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
Rob, was the best guide I have had on any excursions.. He was very mindful of the entire group…………… Done
star-5
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
Beautiful hike and kayak trip.
Sarah_M, Oct 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
The trip was beautiful and our guide Rob was very friendly, and had some great info about the plants along the trail. The hike had some challenging areas, but wasn't too difficult. Worth it to see the waterfall. Had a great time. Bring good shoes.
star-4
A good day!
Vici_B, Oct 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Our guide mike was wonderful. The hike was rigorous but broken up with his fun talks about local plants and history.
star-5
Great Time
Racine_B, Sep 2021
Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour
We had Rob as our guide through the beautiful kayaking and hiking tour. We couldn't have asked for a more accommodating and kind guide through this experience! Would highly recommend.
star-5
The Magical Experience
Amanda_C, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Amazing tour and great guide! It was everything we expected and such a magical waterfall! If you want to see Hawaii in the raw, take this tour.
star-5
Amazing experience
Josh_A, Sep 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
One of the best kayaking experiences we’ve had! Our tour guide Gerrick was amazing! He was very accommodating of everyone in the group and was very informative of the flora and fauna in the area. The waterfall is beautiful!

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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