Tours of the Napali Coast: A Beautiful Landscape Awaits

The Garden Isle is widely known for its rolling mountain scapes and lush jungle interior that attract adventurous travelers to its magnificent shores to soar in between the endless lofty rock faces, valleys, and thundering waterfalls.

However on the Northern coast of Kauai, there lies the impossibly huge and majestic Na Pali coastline, an unbroken formation of sheer cliffs shimmering under the sun and towering over the Pacific Ocean that make for a truly awe-inspiring experience of a lifetime.

One of the most exciting and impressive tours you can do on the whole island is embarking on a Napali Coast tour – either a half or full day adventures that’ll see you speeding over the waves on Kauai boat tours, silhouetted by the massive cliff formations with the chance to snorkel with sea turtles or spinner dolphins, explore lava tubes, caves, and learn the history of the Hawaiians that once made these imposing sea walls their home.

Na Pali Coast Tours
view of the Na Pali Coast

Perfect for photographers, the Na Pali Coast is one of National Geographic’s favorite places to shoot and when the cliffs, valleys, and caves first come into view you’ll see why. With many available, it can be tricky to book the right Napali Coast tour depending on what you like to do, so we thought we’d do what we do best and fill you in on the best catamaran tours you can go on when it comes to Kauai’s unforgettable Na Pali Coast.

5 Tours on the Nā Pali Coast That You Must Try

Here’s a brief overview of how these safe and fun cruises compare to each other.

IMAGE CRUISE DETAILS

  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Highlight: Fresh locally made lunch
  • Price: $$
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  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Highlight: Continental breakfast and buffet lunch
  • Price: $$
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  • Length: 3.5 hrs
  • Highlight: Dinner & Pupu’s provided
  • Price: $
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  • Length: 2 Hours
  • Highlight: Incredible photo opportunities
  • Price: $$
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  • Length: 4 Hours
  • Highlight: Tour is customizable
  • Price: $$
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1. Na Pali Snorkel Adventure

two girls swimming in the Na Pali Coast

Departing from Hanalei Bay and Port Allen on Kauai’s North Shore, you’ll be taken on a journey by catamaran along the beaches of Hanalei Bay and regaled with the history of Hawaiian explorers that settled there. As with the majority of tour operators, your safety is paramount, so dependent on weather and sea conditions, you’ll also get the opportunity to explore the extensive, beautiful network of sea caves and lava tubes housed within the cliffs.

This makes this Napali Coast tours perfect for groups or individuals who want the chance to get up close and personal with the cliffs and discover the foundations that the stunning island was formed on.

For the thrill seekers amongst you, you’ll be pleased to know that your experience will be taking place aboard Adventurer II Rafts; fiberglass inflatable vessels that are designed for high speed to give a sense of adventure like no other as you ride through the waves under the towering cliffs.

The tour also includes snacks and beverages to keep you going throughout the 4-hour duration of your coastal adventure. Owing to its quality and popularity, this tour is liable to fill up a few days in advance so be warned!

Pros

4 hour Na Pali coastal adventure departing from Hanalei Bay and Port Allen

Adventurer II Rafts; fiberglass inflatable vessels

Explore the extensive, breathtaking network of sea caves and lava tubes housed within the cliffs

Fresh locally made lunch

Soft drinks and bottled water provided

All snorkeling equipment and instruction are included

We commonly see dolphins, sea turtles, and tons of tropical fish on this tour

Cons

Not recommended for non-swimmers

Whale watching season is from November through March

Children must be at least 6 years old for snorkel tours

2. Ni’ihau & Napali Super Tour

view of na pali coast wilderness park

This is the ultimate Na Pali Coast tour for those who want the full Kauai coastal experience and spend the entire day soaking in the fun and culture. With only a modest hike in price in comparison to the other shorter tours, you’ll be treated to a 7-hour adventure not only including a thrilling boat ride past the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, but also the opportunity to visit the “Forbidden Island” of Ni’ihau and the Lehua Crater and Sea Caves.

This is one of the only Kauai boat tours to offer access to all these sites whilst still including the journey past the famous cliffs of Na Pali, so if you want to see as much as the Na Pali coast has to offer then this ride is for you.

After taking in the sights of the towering coastline, you’ll be taken to the island of Ni’ihau, off-limits to regular visitors and home to some of the clearest, most pristine waters of Kauai and all the Hawaiian Islands due to the small amount of rain that falls there throughout the year.

After snorkeling in this magical ocean where you’ll have the opportunity to play alongside sea turtles, Hawaiian spinner dolphins, and tropical fish, you’ll be treated to a delicious deli lunch menu. The food and refreshments offering on this tour is near unbeatable when you also take into account the continental breakfast you’re treated to in the morning and the free drinks (beer and wine) that’s on offer after taking a dip in Ni’ihau.

If legendary sea craters, snorkeling in startlingly clear water with an abundance of marine life and marveling at a coastal wonder of the world sound like your kind of adventure, then don’t hesitate – book this unforgettable trip now.

Pros

7 hour tour on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai

Opportunity to visit the “Forbidden Island” of Ni’ihau and the Lehua Crater and Sea Caves

All snorkeling equipment and instruction are included

Continental breakfast and buffet lunch provided

Free beverages all day (water and soft drinks)

Beer and wine served after snorkeling

Cons

Non-swimmers are not allowed in the ocean on this tour

Seasonal humpback whales (Between November and March)

Children must be at least 6 years old for snorkel tours

3. Napali Sunset Dinner Boat Tour

Na Pali Coast boat tour

It wouldn’t be a Na Pali Coast tour without a trip to see it awash in the gorgeous colors of a Hawaiian sunset. This Na Pali Coast Tour offers you the opportunity to do exactly that, aboard a luxury catamaran. Prepare for spectacular views, world class food and drink and an unforgettable trip.

Clocking in at around 4 and a half hours, the cruise ferries you past the Napali coastline, letting you take in the sights at a leisurely pace and in a peaceful setting in comparison to the faster speedboats. With a champagne toast at sunset and a traditional Hawaiian dinner of Kalua pork and island fish, you’ll be hard pressed not to leave this Kauai tour with both a sense of wonder at the towering cliffs and a warm glow from the characteristically laidback Polynesian way of seeing them.

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll even have the chance to see whales in the winter!

Pros

3.5 hour boat tour

See the Na Pali Coast, amazing marine life

Dinner & Pupu’s provided

Beverages provided including Beer, Wine, Mai Tai’s, Margaritas, Champagne, Water, Assorted Soft Drinks and Island Juices

The chance to see humpback whales (in season November – March)

Sunset champagne toast

Cons

No smoking on tour

No expectant mothers

4. Napali Sunset Sightseeing Boat Tour

view of the na pali coast from the boat

If you’re after a Na Pali Coast sunset experience with a little more exploring thrown in than the dinner cruise then this is the tour for you. Coming in at a medium price range for this selection of tours, you’ll traverse the Napali cliffs on this trip, going past towering mountains and waterfalls that drop into the sea beside you with incredible photo opportunities along the entire route.

The evening sunset makes the experience all the more magical, the beautiful orange rays silhouetting the majestic rock formations and turning the ocean gold, making this one of our favorite Kauai boat tours.

You’ll also have the chance to visit and explore the Kalalau beach and its valley, the ancient ancestral home to a vast number of Hawaiian settlers. This isn’t your typical dinner cruise, it’s more of an adventure cruise where you get the chance to take in the amazing sights as well as explore and enjoy dinner on the boat – so comfortable clothes are preferable!

Over the course of this two hour journey you’ll have your fill of excellent food, gorgeous vistas and one memorable Kauai sunset. This is truly one of Kauai’s most memorable cruises.

Pros

2 hour boat tours up the Na Pali Coast

Incredible photo opportunities along the entire route

Views of Kauai’s ancient sea caves, cascading waterfalls, majestic cliffs, and the Na Pali Coast

Cons

Maximum weight for passengers is 350 lbs.

No expectant mothers

Children must be a minimum of 5 years of age

5. Na Pali Coast Snorkel Adventure North Shore

girl snorkling off of the Na Pali Coast

Our last Kauai tour is an experience that offers you all the sightseeing wonders of the Na Pali Coast alongside yet another exclusive opportunity to ride across an area restricted to most other visitors and vessels. Unlike the other excursions, this tour is also customizable and has a choice of departure time.

Leave in the morning or afternoon depending on which snorkel tour you opt for and choose how long you want to snorkel for to squeeze in fishing in Kekaha or Hanalei! After taking in the sights of the Napali Coast, you’ll make your way to Nualolo Kai, a protected reef that glimmers under the sun and teems with exotic marine life and the snorkeling opportunity of a lifetime. If you’re looking for adventures, this incredibly fun Napali snorkel excursion is one of the best Kauai tours around.

With the operator providing all the necessary snorkeling gear and on hand for professional help, the offer really is hard to pass up. It’s got to be mentioned that this is in addition to exploring the Na Pali coastline in detail, with the opportunity to visit its network of magical sea caves dependent on conditions.

This makes this Napali coast tour perfect for snorkeling enthusiasts who also want an in depth visit to the main attraction. Alongside refreshments and a delicious deli sandwich provided over the course of the day, the tour outdoes itself in the variety and quality of activities and service that can be expected.

Pros

4 hour tour along the Na Pali Coast

Tour is customizable and has a choice of departure time

Choose how long you want to snorkel for to squeeze in fishing in Kekaha or Hanalei

All snorkeling equipment and instruction are included

Foam noodles to float with provided

Light lunch provided

Bottled water, soft drinks, and juices provided

Cons

Maximum weight for passengers is 350 lbs.

No expectant mothers

Children must be a minimum of 5 years of age

Which Na Pali Tour is Right for You?

So there you have it, if it wasn’t enough to simply visit the awe-inspiring Na Pali coastline whose beauty has done everything from leave visitors speechless, to inspiring Hollywood directors to film there – you can now choose to the boat cruises that is designed for your personal sense of adventure.

Whether you want a Napali coast tour that’s back dropped by a Kauai sunset reflecting off the ocean, amazing waterfalls, or you want to get a spot of snorkeling in to swim with dolphins, the fun tours we’ve picked are exemplary in their quality and their value for money. Like we said, finding the best tours the Hawaiian Islands have to offer is what we’re best at and after checking one of these out, you’ll see why.

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