Top Most Breathtaking Waterfalls to See in Kauai
Known as the Garden Island for its tropical landscape, Kauai is also home to countless waterfalls that complement other spectacular sites around the island including Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. A few of these gorgeous falls are easy to get to, and others take a bit of effort to experience. Here are the top most breathtaking waterfalls in Kauai:
By far the most difficult to get to, the Hanakapiai Falls hike is impressive. After driving to the end of the road on Highway 56, park in the lot fronting Kee Beach and head out on the 2-mile Hanakapiai Trail. This is a very popular trek on the island so we suggest going early in the morning. Once you arrive at Hanakapiai Beach, it is an additional 2 miles upstream to the falls.
You can leave your hiking boots behind for this breathtaking display of Mother Nature. Wailua Falls, a double-tiered waterfall, is located just north of Lihue and is the most easily accessible on Kauai. Head north from Lihue on Highway 56 and take a left on Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. After traveling uphill for approximately 3 miles, the road ends at the parking lot of the falls. This adventure is definitely recommended for families with small children as there is no hiking involved.
Named Uluwehi Falls, but known to locals and visitors as Secret Falls, are an extremely popular adventure on the east side of the Garden Island. The trail head to the falls is located up the Wailua River and requires water transport to get there. You can travel via kayak or canoe and there are several companies in the area that you can rent from, or you can always book a guided adventure.
Once you land your boat at the entrance to the trail head, you hike up to the falls on a trail that can be extremely muddy and slippery. Hiking boots are not recommended. We suggest either going barefoot, using sport sandals or tabis. If you travel at a relaxed pace, it takes about 45 minutes each way.
Waipoo Falls is a glorious 800-foot waterfall in Waimea Canyon. You can see the falls from various lookout points along Highway 550, the road that takes you up to the museum and park. You can also snap magnificent pictures of the canyon from the Waipoo Falls Trail hike, a 3.2-mile round trip hike, which is located just off the highway between mile markers 14 and 15.