5 Best Places to Kayak in Kauai

Known as the Garden Island, Kauai is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and kayaking is a unique way to experience it. With clear blue waters and lush landscapes, Kauai offers some of the most beautiful water views you can ask for.

Kauai is the oldest and northernmost of the main Hawaiian Islands. Kauai is unique, from its dramatic cliffs and waterfalls to its pristine beaches and lush rainforests. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience all that Kauai offers.

Whether a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there are plenty of beautiful places to paddle in Kauai. This blog post shares all the information you need to start kayaking Kauai.

Wailua River

The first place on our list is the Wailua River. This river is located on the east side of Kauai and is one of the most popular kayaking spots on the island. The river winds through lush rainforests and offers gorgeous views of the nearby mountains.

The Wailua River flows 20 miles from Mount Waialeale, which averages 450 inches of rain per year, and it’s the longest river in Kauai.

The peaceful Wailua River meanders through spectacular waterfalls and lush jungle areas on the island’s eastern side. Kaui is home to the only navigable rivers in the state, and the Wailua River is the largest.

The river is a popular kayaking spot, and for good reason. Its dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife make it a unique place to paddle.

The south fork of the Wailua River is home to several exciting attractions, including the Fern Grotto.

This natural limestone cave is located near the river’s headwaters and is a popular tourist destination. The grotto is decorated with ferns and other plants, and it’s a beautiful place to take a break from paddling.

Hanalei Bay

If you’re looking for an exciting kayaking experience, Hanalei Bay is the place for you. Located on the north shore of Kauai, Hanalei Bay offers an excellent combination of river and sea kayaking.

The bay is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful views of the mountains.

In addition to kayaking, Hanalei Bay is a great place to paddleboard and swim. With its beautiful sandy beaches and gentle waves, it’s no wonder this beach has become a favorite spot for locals and visitors.

With its dramatic cliffs and lush landscape, Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful places on Kauai.

You can take the Ocean Route or the Wildlife Refuge Route. Both are great choices for beginner kayakers and offer beautiful views.

Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali Coast is one of Kauai’s most popular kayaking destinations. This rugged coastline offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the island. Movies like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean have been filmed here.

With steep cliffs and stunning waterfalls, the Na Pali Coast is a must-paddle for any kayaker visiting Kauai.

The Na Pali Coast is a 17-mile stretch from Haena Beach to Polihale State Park. In addition, the coastline is a popular destination for hikers, with many trails to explore.

If you’re looking for an adventure, kayaking the Na Pali Coast is perfect. This beautiful coastline offers some of the most dramatic scenery on Kauai.

The surf can be rough on the Na Pali Coast, so you must be aware of the conditions before you head out.

Hule’ia River

The Hule’ia River is another excellent choice for kayakers looking for a river adventure. This river is located on the southeast side of Kauai and offers a beautiful, peaceful paddling experience.

You can also hike through a fern-draped valley to remote pools and waterfalls on beautiful jungle trekking trails.

The Hule’ia River is an excellent place for beginner kayakers, offering some of the most beautiful scenery on Kauai. With its lush rainforest and rushing waterfalls, the Hule’ia River is a must-see for any Kauai paddler.

Kalihiwai River

The Kalihiwai River is a beautiful, undeveloped river located on the north shore of Kauai. This serene river offers kayakers a chance to explore some of the most remote areas on the island.

Kalihiwai Falls is a popular spot on the Kalihiwai River and is worth the trip. Unfortunately, the falls sit on private property and are only accessible with a guided tour group.

Kalihiwai Road leads to this secluded gem of a river paddle, which may be accessed via Kalihiwai Road. Expect to see views of ferns, palm trees, and monkeypods as you paddle through the rainforest.

The Kalihiwai River is an excellent place for beginner kayakers, offering some of the most beautiful scenery on Kauai. With its dense vegetation and abundant wildlife, the Kalihiwai River is a fantastic spot to paddle.

Check out more information about Hawaii, including the best time to visit.

Kayak Rentals in Kauai


Kauai is a paradise for kayakers. With its captivating scenery and abundant wildlife, there’s no better place to paddle than Kauai. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there are plenty of kayaking options on Kauai.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Kauai today and experience the beauty of this unique island from the seat of a kayak.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.