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Wailua River
Wailua River

Wailua River

star-5
522 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
Awesome tour
Lisa_D, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Good walking / water shoes a must. Trail and rocks are slippery. Kayaking was smooth but you can fight wind going back making it tough.
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
Experience, fun, and so beautiful
S_Hansen, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Great day!! The paddle was nice, the hike was easier than I had expected, and the waterfall felt aaaaaaamazing. We were with a couple that had gone on this same trip the day before, and loved it so much they did it again.
star-5
Lots of fun!
Nicole, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Lots of fun! We enjoyed that everyone could go at their own pace. The waterfall was beautiful but a little bit busy.
star-5
Must do in Kauai
Alex_H, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
The waterfall was amazing. The kayaking and hike was not too much. The whole family enjoyed. Our guide Ty was great.
star-5
Beautiful all the way
Paul_G, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Beautiful! The kayaking to and from is a workout. The hike is mostly on uneven ground. Then you do it again!
star-5
Great safe trip!
Timothy_M, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
The great guide service by Dustin and the beautiful scenery that we experienced while kayaking and hiking
star-5
Great adventure
Andie_T, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
So much fun. Kayaking was great. Our guide was very informative. The hike to the waterfall was amazing but warning if you are not too fit it may be a problem. Also good hiking/water shoes is a must.
star-5
Such a great trip !
AnnMarie_C, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
Kayaking was great. Scenery is beautiful . Hike was really interesting , learning about the plants and trees and how they made the trail . The waterfall was gorgeous. Lunch was also really good . Our guide Tyler was great !
star-5
Awesome Experience
Tammy_G, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
The guide was excellent. Be aware that the hike can be a little difficult but it was awesome! It was worth it to get to the falls. We would highly recommend
star-5
Awesome!
Ritesh_D, Jul 2021
Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike Adventure
It was a great excursion and Logan was awesome! Definitely have some good shoe wear. The Kayaking was nice but does require some effort. Waterfalls was great. Overall would recommend this excursion

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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