The 5 Must See Waterfalls in Kauai

The 5 Must See Waterfalls of Kauai

Known as the Garden Island for its lush 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 is our top 5!

Waipoo Falls

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 roundtrip hike, which is located just off the highway between mile markers 14 and 15. While you will not see the falls up close in their splendor, this easy and popular hike will take you through rain forests and canyon rims ending at the top of the waterfall in a Awaawapuhi Ginger lined stream. The trail is considered easy/moderate, and is kid friendly for children that enjoy a great adventure outdoors and is part of the Waimea Canyon State Park.

Waipoo Falls in Kauai
Waipoo Falls Waimea Canyon

Hanakapiai Falls

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. For the first 2 miles you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Na Pali Coast as you traverse on switchbacks along the coastline.

Once you arrive at Hanakapiai Beach, it is an additional 2 miles upstream to the falls. The trail can be rough in spots, but the 300+ foot waterfall at the end of the tramp is definitely worth the adventure. This experience is not recommended for small children due to the terrain and difficulty of the hike.

Hanakapaiai Falls in Kauai
Hanakapaiai Falls

Wailua 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.

You may recognize the prestige of these falls as they were used in the opening credits of the 80’s hit show, Fantasy Island. This adventure is definitely recommended for families with small children as there is no hiking involved. The views are just a short walk from the parking lot. Believe it or not you’re going to still run into a Rooster or two way up here! But where are you not going to find one, even going to see Kauai Waterfalls.

Wailua Falls Kauai
Wailua Falls

Kauai Secret Falls

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 trailhead 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 trailhead, 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. The is a great family friendly adventure for children that don’t mind paddling up the river and getting a little dirty on the trail.

Secret Falls Wailua Kauai
Secret Falls Wailua

Opaekaa Falls

Opaekaa means, “rolling shrimp” Supposedly the stream was full of shrimp and so they aptly named the dazzling waterfalls after them. Like Wailua Falls, this majestic site is easily accessible and requires no hiking. Simply turn up Kuamoo Road (580) from highway 56 and travel up the hill to the lookout that is located adjacent to the parking lot on the right hand side. There are many photo ops from this location, as well as from across the street where you are treated with views of the Wailua River Valley. Families with children all ages would enjoy Opaekaa Falls as the views can be seen from a brief walk from the parking area.

Opaekaa Falls in Kauai
Opaekaa Falls

So pack up the car, choose your destination and you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the Garden Island.

Interested in a hiking tour to see these and other great hikes around Kauai?  Check out http://hikingtourskauai.com/ Looking for more activities? Check out our Blog / Articles on Things to Do.

Don’t forget that our Poipu Vacation Rental is located on the most southern part of the Island but is relatively centrally located when you are going to do a tour of the Kauai Water Falls.

Vacation Home Rental Verses Hotel Room – Which To Choose?

Vacation Rental VS Hotel

You have booked your tickets for a flight to the Garden Island and now you need to find a place to stay. Vacation rental or hotel room? The choice is easy. My wife and I have traveled extensively over the last few years and we have found renting a vacation rental home far outweighs staying at a hotel. Here is why.

After a busy day out visiting a new destination it is wonderful to be able to come “home” to a private place.

We have found that Days tend to be a bit longer when one is on vacation. We are usually busy walking, hiking, touring, trying to see as much as we can and after many hours we are ready to relax, even if it is in the middle of the afternoon. Who wants to go back to a hotel room with just a bed a and a TV in it? When we book a vacation rental property, especially a nice one, going back to it at the end of an excursion is a welcome relief.

There is a kitchen, a living room and perhaps even a pool.Our Poipu Vacation Rental When the weather is not cooperating (it happens, especially in tropical environments) we have a home in which to do indoor activities we like to do most (read, yoga, play games, or enjoy the view).

Eating out is great but three times a day?

When we are on vacation the last thing my wife or I want to do is cook every meal. If we stay at a hotel, however, there is no option we have to go out for every single meal. When staying at a vacation rental we are able to cook up a breakfast while still wearing night clothes. Poipu Vacation Rental, Manualoha 601 KitchenWe can pack a lunch and take it with us to the beach or where ever we decide to go. And, after a long day of hiking we can whip up something easy to eat rather than wait for a table at a restaurant.

When we want someone else to cook, we can hire a chef to come to the house or go to the restaurant of our choosing. This flexibility means less stress and more relaxation.

Most resort hotels have fabulous pool areas but they come with a price.

There are no doubts that most resort hotels have fabulous pools. Unfortunately though you must share those pools with many other people, including other people’s children. No offense against children but they can be loud, and you really can’t do much about it. If we rent a vacation rental with a pool it is all mine to enjoy.

Which leads us now to is privacy.

The only place private at a hotel is your room, even then housekeeping comes by each day and prompts you to feel the need to be out of their way. When we rent a vacation rental home we am assured of privacy. Often times the homes are in residential areas where the only people you might run into are the neighbors out walking their pets.

Owners of vacation rental properties generally take pride in their home.

Our Poipu Vacation Rental Kauai Living roomOur experience is that vacation rental property owners want you to have a wonderful stay at their home. They are usually good about communicating and answering your questions prior to your stay. Most make sure to have books and brochures full of local information about the area and suggestions as to where to eat, shop or explore available in the home.

Their local knowledge is especially valuable, if they live full time in the area.

A Vacation rental home will most times be less expensive than hotels.

If you have a large family or group that would require more than one hotel room, a vacation rental may save you money in the long run. When booking a home we always ask what the total amount will be, including rent, cleaning, taxes, or other related costs to the rental. A quote is always given along with payment requirements so there are no unexpected fees.

Often we have booked a hotel room only to find out after arriving that there are Resort Fees & other charges tacked on to the bill. Many hotels charge for parking now on top of the room charges. We also take into account other rentals we might have to pay for such as bikes, tennis rackets, snorkeling gear, boogie boards or an ice chest. Our vacation rental and many others, will provide these at no charge. All of these expenses need to be taken into account when you decide where to stay.

The Exception

Poipu Kai Resort Tennis Club

Vacation rentals are not always the way to go though, if we need a room for only one night. If we plan to stay for three or more nights, we will check for a vacation rental home in the area before booking anything else. We try to book directly with the owner. That way we can also save on any service or or booking fee a manager or booking company may charge.

Now, we know these things, not just because we have traveled a lot, but because we own a vacation rental on Kauai, Hawaii. The photos above & below in the gallery have been taken of our home or of the surrounding areas of Manualoha at Poipu Kai. Every vacation rental that we have stayed in has helped to make us very aware of what is important to a traveler. That is what allows us to be able to exceed most traveler’s needs and expectations.

Manualoha 601 Bedroom, Poipu Beach Vacation Rental Kauai in the Poipu Kai Resort

We truly believe you will feel more rested and have a better experience at a vacation rental home especially if it is ours.

 

You can read more of our blogs about Kauai, the Poipu Area or Vacation Rentals look for the Category List on the right side of this page. You can also click on these links if you are looking for more information about our Vacation Rental in Kauai or to see when its available to book for your next trip to Kauai.

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Manualoha Condo 601 is available for selected dates.

Waimea Canyon State Park

“The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”

Waimea Canyon Kauai Canyon of the Pacific– The nickname of the Waimea Canyon. It is a large canyon, about ten miles long and up to 3,600 feet deep. It is located on the western side of Kauaʻi in the Hawaiian Islands of the United States. Waimea is Hawaiian for “reddish water”, a reference to the erosion of the canyon’s red soil.[1] The canyon was formed by a deep incision of the Waimea River arising from the extreme rainfall on the island’s central peak, Mount Waiʻaleʻale, among the wettest places on earth.

The State Park encompasses 1,866 acres (7.5 km2) and is a popular tourist attraction on the island. It provides a wilderness area with numerous hiking trails. It can be accessed from Waimea on Hawaiʻi state road 550, which is 18 miles long and leads up to Koke’e State Park. The island of Niihau, only a short distance west of Kauai at that point, can be clearly seen from the highway.

There are challenging hiking and hunting trails wind through the canyon. Two lookouts, the Puu ka Pele and Puu hinahina, have parking and provide breathtaking views.

There are two trails that go through the area one is; Iliau Nature Loop and the other is; Kukui Trail. The Iliau Nature Loop is located at the start of the Kukui Trail, this is a short roadside loop trail on the western edge of Waimea Canyon. Native upland scrub vegetation plants are identified. The trail also affords excellent vistas of Waimea and Waialae Canyons. It is an excellent nature trail. The Kkuui Trail starts along Highway 550, about 0.75 miles beyond the 8-Mile Marker. Kukui Trail is a scenic trail down the west side of Waimea Canyon. It makes a 2,000 ft. elevation drop to the canyon floor ending at the Wiliwili Camp site administered by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Park Activities: Fishing, Hunting, Hiking

Park Amenities: ADA Accessible, Picnic Pavilion, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Walking Path No Drinking Water is available.
Prohibited Activities: No Motorized Vehicles / ATV Riding, No Alcoholic Beverages, No Rock Climbing, No Commercial Activities, No Animals or Pets, No Camping, No Smoking.

Location: Waimea Canyon Dr., Uninc, Kauai County, Hawaii.

For additional information & activities that serve Waimea Canyon State Park visit:
https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/