Some vacations are all about sipping Mai Tais’ on the sand, spending days in a lazy half-drunk stupor with the latest bestseller clutched in your hands and gorging yourself on fresh lobster.

Other vacations are about throwing yourself headfirst off of towering cliffs, plunging into shimmering pools, tumbling down green cloaked mountains, flying through the air, picking up speed with paralyzing fear and the surge of adrenaline buzzing through your veins.

No we aren’t talking about watching the season finale of The Walking Dead. We are talking about activities in Kauai that are designed for travelers with a death wish.

Hawaii is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise; the perfect spot for those who want to feel the fear and do it anyway. In ancient Rome they wrestled lions, in Spain they run down cramped streets to avoid being gouged by bull’s horns, in Florida they wrestle alligators, and, in Kauai, they jump off cliffs, surf fifty foot waves and fly over deep cut canyons.

For those who want to choke on their heart in their throat, these Kauai activities and tours are sure to make you sweat.

Sunset Zip…Because Who Doesn’t Want to Step off a Platform in Pitch Black?

Ziplining during sunset

Sure, why wouldn’t you hurl yourself off a precarious platform perched high above a yawning canyon? Why wouldn’t you have faith in a thin harness and cable that could almost be mistaken for a clothes line? And, why wouldn’t you want to fly at 35 MPH above a 200-foot drop in the dark?

This is one of those top 10 activities in Kauai, in that it takes something standard and makes it extraordinary. Zip lining is always awesome, but zip lining as the sun smudges and smears on the horizon, with views of Mt. Waialeale takes it a whole new level.

The experience takes a little over 3 hours, so, by time you are standing elated on your last platform, thanking all the gods old and new that you didn’t plunge to your death, the stars are razored across the midnight blue sky, the haunting melody of the monkeys is echoing through the trees and the moon is fat and round. Check out this awesome account of sunset zip lining.

Kayaking Na Pali Coast…Because Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Hammered by the Raging Sea?

This is no lazy meandering journey across crystal clear waters flanked by jeweled mountains. Nor is it an activity where a whale will fan its tail in the distance and you will soak up the pure serenity of being. This is a journey of 16 miles, strength and a fearless heart.

The Na Pali coast is wild and remote and often hammered by raging seas. You will pass under gargantuan cliffs that rise and fall, mile high waterfalls that plummet into the sea and past frolicking dolphins who are more likely to survive the surf than you are.

Na Pali is called the Mount Everest of the kayaking world.  For those who are ready to face the demands of Mother Nature, this will be the best thing you have ever done.

Cliff Jumping Kipu Falls…Because Who Wouldn’t Want Rope Burns and Fractures?

Kipu Falls in Kauai

Kipu Falls is not unlike the sirens in Homer’s Odyssey. Its beauty calls to you; soft shimmering lagoon-like waters, the white froth of the waterfall, hanging vines and the lush tropical scent of the jungle. Yet, this place has a deadly side, and, like the sirens, it can tempt you to a tempestuous place.

In the past 5 years, 5 visitors have perished in the pretty falls, many of whom took the leap of faith from the cliff and failed to make the swim to shore. Aside from this, there has been rope burns, fractures and even someone left paralyzed.

We don’t advise that anyone goes here with a light mind and a reckless heart. Entry into the swimming hole is by rope swing only and it seems that tour guides are increasingly trying to steer tourists away from the deadly and dangerous adventure in Kauai. For more information on tourist falls at this spot, check out the check.

Mountain Tubing…Because Who Wouldn’t Want to be Stuck in a Rubber Ring in Rapids?

If the idea of sitting in a rubber ring and being flung around the island of Kauai sounds like something more enticing than a bad hangover, you need to try mountain tubing. Float through canals, tumble through caves and fall down flumes in this exhilarating journey perched on a blown up circle of rubber.

On this adventure, you start with a 4X4 drive through the sugarcane-coated countryside, listening to tall tales before being handed a flashlight and literally sent down river. This is one of those awesome fun fueled activities on Kauai Island that you can do whether you are seven or seventy, there’s nothing like being inspired by watching wrinkly grandmas and grandpas rushing down the river holding onto their dentures.

Riding Giants…Because Who Wouldn’t Want a Moving Mountain of Whitewater Coming at Them?

If you want to feel like Charles Atlas with the weight of the world crushing down upon you, wait until winter comes, bringing with it big wave surfing on the shores of Kauai. Unless you are a fully bonafide big wave surfer (and we don’t mean someone who simply parades around in board shorts, come the summer, to look cool), then simply turn up to watch.

These monstrous moving mountains can be heard crashing throughout the winter months and sitting on shore and watching local surfers paddle out, like tiny ants, into the eye of the storm is something worth savoring. You can catch all of the action over at Kings Reef, Cannons, or Kauai’s pipeline.

We feel it’s also time to say a huge fat kudos to those guys on the jet skis who tow the surfers in. Like yeah, big wave surfing is awesome, but your board floats and is made to ride waves. Imagine hitting that shizz with the risk of a 400 pound tanked up Jet Ski falling on your head! Gnarly is not the word. For the best in big wave surfing check out the link.

So, for those who want to leave the island of Kauai in one piece, then perhaps these knee-knocking sports aren’t for you. Best stick to the sun loungers at cocktail hour and let the young and the reckless take a chunk out of the world.

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