The Best Adventures and Tours on Kauai

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.

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.

Here’s a brief overview of how the tours compare to each other.

IMAGETOURDETAILS

  • Tour Duration: 50 Minutes
  • Highlight: Birds Eye View of Kauai
  • Price: $$$$
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  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Highlight: National Geographic’s Favorite Place to Photograph
  • Price: $$$
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  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Highlight: Zip Through Lush Jungles
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Highlight: Breathtaking Views of the Mahaleha Mountain Range
  • Price: $$$
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  • Tour Duration: 8 Hours
  • Highlight: Visit Famous Movie Locations
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 7 Hours
  • Highlight: Visit the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Highlight: Explore the Wailua River
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 1 Hour
  • Highlight: Shooting Range located in one of the most Beautiful Places on Earth
  • Price: $$$
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  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Highlight: Explore untouched lands of Kauai
  • Price: $$
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Top Kauai Tours For Those Who Want Some Adventure

1. Kauai Helicopter Eco Adventure

blue hawaiian eco adventure view

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 on Kauai. 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 spectacular 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 on the island’s favorite landmark: 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.

Pros

Most affordable helicopter tour

Most affordable helicopter tour

Views of Hanapepe Valley, Mana Waiapuna Waterfalls, Waimea Canyon (Kauai)

Flown over the Na Pali Coast

Floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows (amazing on the perfect sunset)

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)

Cons

Doors off not available option

Live recording costs additional ($25 to $40)

2. 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, one of Hawaii’s favorite attractions.

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. The island’s finest!

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.

Pros

4 hour excursion

Two available departure times

Enjoy majestic views of the Napali Coast, with a dramatic departure from Hanalei Bay

Fresh traditional locally made lunch provided

Soft drinks and bottled water included

All snorkeling equipment and instruction is included

We commonly see dolphins, sea turtles, and tons of tropical fish exclusive to Kauai

No smoking on tour

Tour is barefoot – no shoes, flip flops

Cons

Children must be at least 6 years old for snorkel tours and 5 years old for non-snorkel tours

No expectant mothers

All tour routes and snorkel destinations are subject to change or may re-route due to weather and sea conditions

3. 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 of this garden island.

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

5-hour zipline tour, you’ll zoom over streams and fields more lush and pristine than you could ever imagine. Finish off at the end of a fern grotto. 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 to jump on the line.

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.

Pros

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

Tons of fun in the sun

Cons

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.

4. 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 a truly unforgettable journey. At $139, the price of this tour is unbeatable!

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

Pros

3 hour horseback ride

Breathtaking views of the Mahaleha mountain range

Views of 80 acre tropical garden

Meander through exotic natural growth and a variety of indigenous ferns, including wild orchids, hibiscus, and ferns

Trails alongside Pohakuhonu stream

Enjoy the rushing Pookaele stream

Island picnic lunch included

Take a dip in the mountain pool in Silver Falls

Strawberry and Blueberry Guava (in season)

Special accommodations for children 6 and younger are available

Riders age 7 years and older are welcome

Cons

Strawberry and Blueberry Guava are seasonal

Maximum weight is 300lbs

5. 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:

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.

Pros

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

Cons

Not available on Sundays (maybe check out a luau instead?)

Additional cost for pick up from Princeville area

6. 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.

Pros

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

Cons

Locations/Routes may be modified due to National Park and State Park advisories.

Lunch is an additional cost during the tour

7. 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.

Pros

5 hour tour

Picnic lunch and beverages provided

Scenic kayak tour

Rainforest hike to cascading waterfall

Rest on the beaches

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

Cons

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

8. 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.

Pros

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

Cons

Closed on Sundays

9. 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.

Pros

3 hour tour

13 – 15 miles of off road trails

Ability to explore untouched lands of Kauai

Explore famous movie sites, inactive volcanic craters, a cane haul tunnel, and the shores of Waita (largest inland body of water on Kauai)

Includes souvenir bandana

Light refreshments provided

Shirts, shorts, goggles and helmets are provided

Minimum age of 5 years to be a passenger

Can be a solo driver with valid driver’s license and minimum age of 18

Can be 16 or 17 years of age with valid driver’s license to drive but must be accompanied by an adult passenger with valid driver’s license

Safety course orientation provided

First Aid and CPR certified guides and chasers.

Available daily

Cons

Will get wet and dirty

Participants who have major neck or back problems, are pregnant, have extreme allergies to dust or pollen or have had recent surgeries within the last 3 months will not be allowed to participate

Maximum weight per person is 320lbs.

No refund if you choose to wear your own clothes

A Kauai Tour Will Make Your Amazing Trip Even More Memorable

Ensure that your visit to Kauai is one that you’ll be talking about for years to come with one of these in-depth island experiences.

Check out the luau page.

Whether by land, air, or sea, there’s bound to be a couple Kauai tours that wet your appetite. With so much to do and so much to see, we’re sure you can find one to fit your traveling needs!

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