We Break Down the Best Kauai Tours to Book in 2019

Ryan, Senior Traveler

Kauai is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Known as the “Garden Isle” because of the rich tropical rainforest that covers a large portion of the land, there is a reason almost 80,000 visitors per month visit this paradise island. With spectacular views, exotic plants and animals, and a deep cultural history, there are thousands of unique adventures waiting for you.

A Kauai tour gives you an opportunity to experience the island on a deeper level than simply visiting. Whether you book only one or pack your schedule full of them, there are many different Kauai tours available that will please everyone in your family.

So what thrills are waiting for you? We’ve compiled a list of the best Kauai tours out there.

Kauai Helicopter Eco Adventure

  • Hanapepe Valley, Mana Waiapuna, Olokele Canyon, Waimea Canyon, Bali Hai Cliffsm and more beautiful sights
  • Free Transportation
  • 50-55 Minutes Flight Time
  • Tour Narration by Certified Tour Guides
  • DVD/Blue-Ray/USB Stick Recording of the Tour (Optional)
  • Additional: Fuel Surcharge at $53.80

Napali Snorkel Adventure

  • Lava Tubes & Sea Caves Views
  • NaPali Coast Close Up
  • 3 Hour Tour
  • Kauai Cookies & Chips
  • Soft Drinks/Island Juices/Water
  • Dry Bags Included

Tropical Trails Adventure

  • Picnic & Swim Tour
  • Horseback Ride & Trails alongside Kohakuhonu stream
  • 3 Hour Tour
  • Island Picnic Lunch
  • Juice & Strawberry & Blueberry Guava (in season)
  • Max. Weight 300 lbs

Waterfall Zipline Adventure

  • Hali'i Falls View
  • 7 Ziplines
  • 5 Hour Tour
  • Snacks & Lunch
  • Cold Beverage
  • Weight Range 100-250 lbs

Kauai – Hawaii Movie Tour

  • Famous Movie Locations Tour
  • Views on Waterfalls, Bays, and Valleys
  • Hotel Pickups (Tour Available Monday-Saturday)
  • Lunch (Vegan & Gluten-free menu available)
  • Minimum 4 Passengers
  • Child (4-11) at $54.5; Children under 4 FREE

Koloa Plantation Tour

  • Guided Tours
  • Ocean Side of Private Property View
  • 3 Hour Tour
  • Juice/Water
  • Souvernir Bandana, Poncho, and other equipment included
  • Weight Limit: 320 lbs per passenger

Waimea Canyon Tour

  • View on Kauai's Western Coast
  • Moderate Walking
  • Hotel Pickups at 7.45am/Return at 3pm
  • Stops at Spouting Horn, Waimea Canyon, Hanapepe Valley Lockout
  • Food/Drinks - N/A
  • Child (4-11) at $58

Experienced Clay Shooters

  • 5 Covered Stands for Shooting
  • 25 Shells; Clays; Trapper
  • 1 Hour Tour
  • Gun Rental (equipment included)
  • Food/Drinks - N/A
  • Different Shooting Options Available

Wailua River Kayak Tour

  • Kayaking, Paddling, Hiking
  • "Local" Guides - Learn about Hawaiian History, Flora & Fauna
  • 4.5 - 5 Hour Tour
  • Deli style Lunch/Chips, Cookies, Pineapple
  • Bottled Water
  • Physically Challenging

Top Kauai Tours For Those Who Want Some Adventure


Kauai Helicopter Eco Adventure:


Are you an adrenaline junkie?

Do you love the feeling of your heart pumping in your chest as you embark on a daredevil ride?

If so, we’ve got just the tour for you.

Spend 55 minutes racing through the skies in an Airbus Eco-Star Helicopter, the most advanced helicopter tour available to consumers. This tour of Kauai will leave you speechless and give you a bird’s eye perspective of the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands!

You’ll see a number of remarkable sights, including the Hanapepe Valley, “Jurassic Park Falls”, Waimea Canyon, and the Na Pali Coast. These views have captivated the imaginations of people for hundreds of years, serving as the inspiration for movies like Lilo and Stitch and providing the backdrop for blockbusters like Jurassic Park.

Weather-permitting, you might have the opportunity to experience the thrill of a lifetime: hovering over the heart of an ancient volcano! Mt. Waialeale, the heart of a dormant volcano, is also the wettest place on the planet with over 400 inches of rain per year. As you zoom through the crater you will see 3,000 foot waterfalls cascading over crater walls that can reach up to 5,000 feet in height. There is no view like it anywhere else in the world, and a helicopter tour allows you a full 360-degree look at this incredible natural landmark.

Because weather conditions can shape tour routes, your experience will be 100% unique to you and your travel group. You’ll glide over natural and historic landmarks, from Olokele Canyon to Pearl Harbor, giving you an uncommon view of some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With pilots who are State of Hawaii certified tour guides, you’ll leave your tour with a new appreciation of the incredible island.

At $215 per person, this trip is well worth every penny and will satisfy thrill seekers of all types. To learn more about the Kauai Helicopter Eco Adventure, visit this link here, or you can compare it to other Kauai helicopter tours.
  • Most affordable helicopter tour
  • Views of Hanapepe Valley, Mana Waiapuna Waterfalls, Waimea Canyon
  • Flown over the Na Pali Coast
  • Floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows
  • Tour narration by pilots who are State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides
  • Live recording of flight – can purchase after flight (DVD or Blu Ray or USB stick)
  • Doors off not available option
  • Live recording costs additional ($25 to $40)

Napali Snorkel Adventure


If jetting through the air isn’t your cup of tea, the Afternoon Napali Adventure is sure to be the adrenaline adventure for you! On this Kauai tour, you’ll explore the Na Pali coast by sea.

This tour gives you the opportunity to explore the world-famous coastline up close and personal. The Na Pali coast, only accessible by hiking, helicopter, or boat tour, is an awe-inspiring landscape that many visitors to Kauai never get to see. With lofty cliffs dotted with magnificent waterfalls and valleys, it’s no wonder why this area is one of National Geographic’s favorite places to photograph!

After making your way to the inflatable raft and going through safety precautions, you will forge your way into the Hanalei Bay to see the remarkable natural landscape. Once there, you’ll investigate millennia-old caves and hideaways, carved out by the sea and lava from volcanic eruptions. Out on the water you’ll have the ability to marvel at the outstanding sea cliffs and will truly get a feel for just how large they are!

“From start to finish this was an easy, fun, inspirational and informative experience.” – Leslie L. talking about the Afternoon Napali Adventure

At 4 hours and $199, this tour will give you an unforgettable afternoon in Kauai for an affordable price. As this TripAdvisor reviewer noted, the teams that lead these adventures are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the water conditions and the cliffs themselves, so you will be in good hands the entire time.

To learn more about the Afternoon Na Pali Adventure, visit the booking site here.  Or, you can compare this tour to the other Napali Coast tours.


Waterfall Zipline Adventure

When you think of Hawaii, one of the first things that comes to mind is images of beautiful waterfalls cascading over rocky ledges into beautiful pools at the bottom.

If this is the type of view you want to see, then the Waterfall Zipline Adventure is exactly what you have been dreaming about.

A 5-hour zipline tour, you’ll zoom over streams and fields more lush and pristine than you could ever imagine. From the air you will see beautiful green fields and smell the intoxicating scent of the eucalyptus forests as you glide past them. This private land, located in the heart of the island, has never been open to the public, creating an exclusive experience for your party.

The crowning jewel though comes at the end of the zipline adventure when you can take a short hike to the Hali’i Falls. The multi-tiered waterfall is responsible for the extreme abundance around the area. Hali’i, which translates to “to cover or spread like a blanket” is indicative of the natural wonder of the waterfall, which creates a layer of warmth and cultivates a pristine landscape.
Even if you have previously experienced a zipline adventure, this unique tour of Kauai will be an adventure like no other. For $169 you get 5 hours with professional guides in a private natural landscape! Just remember to wear knee length shorts, capri pants, or long pants and closed-toed, secure, covered shoes such as tennis shoes or hiking boots, and be sure to pack a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, bug repellant, and water shoes along for a waterfall swim afterwards!

To learn more about the Waterfall Zipline Adventure, click here.

  • 5 hour zipline tour
  • Short hike to the Hali’i Falls
  • 7 ziplines
  • Exploration of private plantation lands
  • Take a dip in the multi-tiered waterfall
  • Helmets and harnesses provided
  • Snacks included
  • Lunch provided
  • Cold beverage provided
  • Women in first trimester pregnancy may participate with written physician approval
  • Must Weigh between 100-250 pounds.
  • Minimum age of 12 to participate
  • Children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Kauai Tours for those who love the outdoors

If you are less of an adrenaline junkie but still want to experience Kauai on a deeper level, there are plenty of tours available for you! Get out and explore the richness of this island with one of these six options.


Tropical Trails Adventure

If you’re interested in exploring Kauai in a more relaxed manner, a horseback ride is the perfect way. Experience the flora and fauna up-close as you roam through the interior of the island at a leisurely pace.

Spend 3 hours strolling through the rainforests where you will witness a full spectrum of natural colors, from vibrant red and orange hibiscus flowers to dark green leafy ferns. As you travel trails alongside the Pohakuhonu and Pookaele streams, you’ll be able to hear and smell the natural landscape and see the naturally-growing orchids that populate the scenery.

This tour passes through Silver Falls Ranch and offers a variety of activities on this land. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the harvesting season you will sample juicy strawberry and blueberry guavas fresh from the fields. You will also be able to pause for a swim in the Ranch’s pristine mountain pool, a welcome break from the saddle.

The staff is extraordinarily accommodating and wants to ensure that everyone has an amazing adventure. As one TripAdvisor user recounted, the guides went out of their way to give their elderly mother the experience of a lifetime.

With breathtaking views of the Mahaleha mountain range and lunch included, this Kauai tour makes any vacation to the island truly unforgettable. At $139, the price of this tour is unbeatable!

To learn more about hopping in the saddle, click here.


Kauai – Hawaii Movie Tour

Are you a movie buff that has always been fascinated by the jungle scenery?

Kauai has long been one of the top locations in the world for film production because of its stunning scenery. On this tour you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the most famous filming locations!

Travel across the island in a comfortable minibus equipped with movie screens to view clips of the movies that were filmed in these famous locations. You’ll make several stops along the way, including:

  • Opaekaa Falls Lookout, the location of Donovan’s Reef, Robin Crusoe, USN, and Seven Women from Hell.
  • Wailua Falls, the location for Fantasy Island, Dragonfly, Castaway Cowboy, The Amazing Race, and Tropic Thunder.
  • Hanamaulu Bay, another location for Donovan’s Reef in addition to Pagan Love Song, Six Days and Seven Nights, and Voodoo Island.
  • Hanalei Valley, the site for Uncommon Valor.
  • Hanalei Pier, home for Miss Sadie Thompson, Wackiest Ship In The Army, South Pacific, Beachhead and Acapulco Gold.
  • Kapa`a Town, one of several Jurassic Park filming locations.
  • Moloaa Beach, featured in Gilligan’s Island and Castaway Cowboy.

In some of these locations you will have the opportunity to get off the bus and explore the cinematic beauty of the scenery. As you gaze out over the valleys, beaches, and jungles, you’ll experience first-hand what your favorite actors and directors saw while they were creating cinematic masterpieces.

You’ll completely understand why Kauai is the perfect place to film!

At $119 and 8 hours long, this tour is exciting for all members of the family! It’s the perfect way to see a large part of Kauai.

To learn more about seeing the original director’s cut, click here.

  • 8 hour guided tour
  • Lunch at Wahoo’s Seafood Grill & Bar
  • Vegetarian and gluten free options available with 48 hours notice
  • Air conditioned vehicles
  • Children under the age of 4 are free but must be seated on an adult’s lap
  • Available Monday through Saturday
  • Transportation included with additional fees with pickup from Princeville area
  • Stops at Wailua Falls, Hanama’ulu Bay, Coco Palms, Opaeka’a Falls Lookout, Kapa’a Town, Aliomani, Moloa’a Beach, and Kilauea Lighthouse Overlook
  • Only tour stopping at Coco Palms
  • Sights of well known movies including Lilo & Stitch, Donovan’s Reef, Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii, The Amazing Race, Jurassic Park, and Tropic Thunder to name a few
  • Movie clips shown during the tour
  • Not available on Sundays
  • Additional cost for pick up from Princeville area

Waimea Canyon Tour

The Waimea Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Kauai, and for good reason!

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, this 10-mile long and 3,000 foot deep Canyon will take your breath away. Millions of years of erosion have created a painter’s paradise. As the light dances off the twists and turns of the rocks, an enormous spectrum of colors is produced.

While the canyon is one of the main focuses of the tour it is by no means the only place you will visit. Other stops include, but are not limited to, a mountain range that forms the profile of Queen Victoria’s face, the last Russian fort in the Hawaiian Islands, and a lookout over a historic valley!

With a knowledgeable tour guide to tell you about the history of the region, you’ll walk away with more insight about the culturally significant landmarks than if you had visited them alone. The story of Kauai is one that runs deep, and by visiting the most famous landmarks you will be able to fully understand the heritage of the island.

Plan a full day for this tour: you’ll be leaving the meeting point at 7:45 in the morning and returning at 3:00 in the afternoon! This means it’s a great way to spend the day exploring, but still gives you adequate time to relax on the beach after!

You should also be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will have the opportunity to get off the bus and walk around at some of Kauai’s most famous locations.

At $72 for 7 hours of fun the Waimea Canyon Tour is one of the best Kauai tours that money can buy. To learn more about the experience, click here.
  • 7 hour excursion
  • Knowledgeable guides provide history and culture about the island of Kauai
  • Stops include: Queen Victoria’s Profile, Koloa town, Spouting Horn, russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, Waimea Canyon, and Hanapepe Valley Lookout to name a few
  • Pick up from select hotels locations throughout the island
  • Stop for lunch (purchased on your own at time of stop)
  • Air conditioned bus
  • Children ages 0 – 3 are free and must sit on your lap
  • Available daily
  • Locations/Routes may be modified due to National Park and State Park advisories.
  • Lunch is an additional cost during the tour

Wailua River Kayak Tour

See the Hawaii that the original Hawaiians inhabited 1500 years ago with the Wailua River Kayak tour. Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian Island, and this tour gives you the chance to experience the lives of the first people who lived here long ago. As you paddle along this ancient river, your guide will recount both the factual stories and legendary tales of the first settlers. You will eventually reach the Kamokila Village, a replica village located in a traditionally sacred fishing and farming area.

This tour isn’t just by boat though! As you continue paddling you will eventually reach the trailhead for the Secret Falls. At this point you’ll embark on a two mile hike to see the gorgeous waterfalls that many TripAdvisor reviewers stated was their favorite part. A word of warning though: the hike can be somewhat strenuous depending on the weather! Come prepared with shoes that can handle water and mud. For $85 you will get a 5-hour tour, kayak safety preparation, and a deli lunch to take with you! To learn more about this experience, click here.
  • 5 hour tour
  • Picnic lunch and beverages provided
  • Scenic kayak tour
  • Rainforest hike to cascading waterfall
  • Appropriate for persons ages 5 to 75
  • 60 – 90 minutes of paddling (~ 4 miles)
  • Hiking trail is about 1.5 miles
  • Includes kayak and paddles, all equipment and accessories, and dry storage & dry bags
  • Tours occur rain or shine
  • May be cancelled or rescheduled due to extreme inclement weather
  • Cannot accept bookings for women who will be 20 weeks pregnant or more on the date of the tour

Experienced Clay Shooters

If you have experience with shooting and want a chance to show off your skills, this Kauai adventure is the option for you!

With 5 covered stands to shoot from, this shooting range offers a variety of spaces for target practice. For one hour you’ll have access to this shooting range, located in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Visitors can rent either a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun, or a semi-automatic 20 gauge shotgun. You also have the choice between a Benelli, Beretta, or Browning gun!

There is a variety of shooting options for any type of shooter: the “Speed Loader” option allows you to test your skills with 25 shells, the “Half Cocked” option gives you access to 50 shells, the “Smokin’ Gun” gives you 75, and the “Locked & Loaded” maxes out at 100 shells. With this highly customizable experience you’ll be able to challenge yourself in numerous ways!

The $60 fee covers the clays, eye protection, gun rental, ear protection, and a shooter vest/belt. This Kauai experience is intended for those who already have experience shooting, though there are other options for beginner marksmen.

To learn more about clay shooting options, visit the site here.

  • 1 hour activity
  • Professional safety and shooting instruction provided
  • Choice of 12 or 20 gauge shotgun
  • Variety of shooting options for beginners to experienced
  • Includes the clays, eye protection, gun rental, ear protection, and a shooter vest/belt
  • 5 stand sporting clay course
  • Optional nighttime course
  • Closed on Sundays

Koloa Plantation Tour

Do you want a Kauai tour that takes you off the beaten path?

Why not go for an ATV tour then?

Spend 3 hours exploring 13-15 miles of off-road trails where you’ll pass through natural flora and fauna and see stunning mountain views. This tour passes through an ocean-side private property that is closed to the public, giving you exclusive access to the historic sugarcane plantation.

This Kauai tour will take you to famous movie sites, inactive volcanic craters, a cane haul tunnel, and the shores of Waita, the largest inland body of water on Kauai.

Your ATV adventure is both safe and fun. As this TripAdvisor reviewer noted, your tour guides will constantly check to make sure that everyone in the group is having fun and is safe!

This $242.00 tour is the most expensive one on this list, but we assure you it is well worth it! The memories you will make are priceless, and you’ll even walk away with a souvenir bandana as a keepsake for your trip! The price also includes light refreshments and a poncho to protect you from the elements.

To learn more about this exhilarating ATV tour, visit the site here.