With a navigable river running through the beautiful Garden Isle, kayaking on a river or sea kayaking is a fun and exciting adventure to take while on your Princeville vacation. Wailua River on the east side of the island is the only navigable river in the state of Hawaii. Whether you decide to take a kayak tour, or rent kayaks and head out on your own, you are sure to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. Navigating the river that over 1500 Hawaiian’s paddled 1500 years ago is a fun and memorable experience.
Wailua River is 20 miles long and is formed by the confluence of the North and South forks that eventually meet with the Pacific Ocean. Beginning by Mount Wai’ale’ale is the North Fork which flows 12.2 miles east until it meets up with the South Fork, which is formed by several streams meeting together southwest of Hanamaulu and flows 8.1 miles east and over Wailua Falls to meet with the North Fork. Wailua Falls are a breathtaking 172 feet with two drops. Traditionally, Hawaiian men would jump the falls to show their manhood. Now, it is illegal to go over the falls, but you can swim at the bottom as long as you stay away from the falls due to their strong and dangerous current.
When you take a kayak, remember to wear shoes that can get wet, bring sunscreen, towels and bottled water. The Wailua River presents tons of opportunities to take pictures so remember your camera. Memories you capture from kayaking Wailua will remain with you long after your Princeville vacation. Kayaking the river is not too strenuous, but you want to make sure you are in good physical condition without any back problems, as kayaking can exacerbate back pain. Tours are a fun and effective way to get the most out of your kayak experience. Most guides will talk about the history of the river and point out great photo opportunities.
Fern Grotto is a popular spot about 2 miles up the Wailua River and is only accessible by boat or kayak. The grotto is a cave covered with lush ferns that flourish in the wet climate. You can take a cruise to get to the grotto as well. Smith’s Kauai offers a Fern Grotto Cruise as well as a combo with their garden luau. We profiled their luau in our blog. You can visit their site for more information.
Popular kayak tours include Kayak Wailua which provides a kayak, hiking, and swimming tour! Their tour length is approximately four and a half hours and includes easy, flat water paddling, a mostly level 2 mile round trip hike, and a swim at Secret Falls. You will be guided by an experienced and knowledgeable guide. All equipment is included and the online price is $50 each including tax. With rave reviews on trip advisor, Kayak Wailua offers a quick departure and fun experience at an unbeatable price.
Raibow Kayak Tours is also highly recommended by trip advisor and provides all equipment, including dry bags, for a fun kayak and hike to Secret Falls. Your tour will be approximately four and a half hours and includes a picnic lunch with your choice of sandwich and pineapple, chips a cookie and bottled water.
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