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29 Apr 2024
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Kauai, aptly named the Garden Isle, is a paradise of lush landscapes and stunning natural beauty. This makes it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Among its most enchanting attractions are the Kauai waterfalls—spectacular cascades that are accessible through a variety of scenic hikes. Here are 7 must-see beautiful waterfalls in Kauai that offer both adventure and tranquility, perfect for a day trip from your Kauai Vacation Rentals home base.

1. Wailua Falls

Easily one of the most accessible waterfalls in Kauai, Wailua Falls is a dramatic, 173-foot double-tiered cascade that plunges into a deep, picturesque pool. Located just north of Lihue in the Wailua River State Park, this waterfall was fam

ously featured in the opening credits of the television show Fantasy Island.

Access is straightforward, with a parking lot directly adjacent to the viewpoint, making it a perfect stop for families or those who prefer minimal hiking. Early morning visits are recommended for a chance to see rainbows forming in the mist.

2. Opaeka’a Falls

Another gem on the east side of island is Opaekaa Falls. This 151-foot waterfall is easily viewed from a well-maintained lookout. The falls flow year-round, tumbling into a hidden pool below. To get there, drive along Route 580 and follow the signs to the viewpoint. The area offers ample parking and restroom facilities, and informative placards provide historical context, making it an educational stop as well as a scenic one.

3. Waipo’o Falls

For those venturing into Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waipoo Falls is a stunning highlight. This 800-foot

waterfall is best viewed from various lookout points along Waimea Canyon Drive, with the Waipo’o Falls Lookout offering the most direct view. For a more immersive experience, consider the moderately challenging Waipo’o Falls Trail, a 3.6-mile round trip hike that offers up-close views of the upper cascades and panoramic vistas of the canyon.

4. Hanakapiai Falls

Nearby the Hanakapiai Beach, this breathtaking waterfall is the reward for a strenuous hike along the Na Pali Coast. The trail to Hanakapiai Falls branches off from the famous Kalalau Trail, beginning at Ke’e Beach. The 4-mile round-trip hike is rugged and often slippery but offers incredible views of the coastline and a lush valley. The falls drop about 300 feet into a striking, clear pool, ideal for a refreshing swim after your hike.

5. Uluwehi Falls (Secret Falls)

For a true adventure, reaching Uluwehi Falls involves a kayak trip up the Wailua River followed by a 1.5-mile hike through a

tropical forest. The journey to this 100-foot waterfall is part of the appeal, providing a mix of paddling and trekking that appeals to active travelers. Consider booking a guided tour to enhance the experience with historical insights and local knowledge.

6. Ho’opi’i Falls

Located near Kapa’a, Ho’opi’i Falls offers a more off-the-beaten-path experience. The hike to the falls is about 2 miles round trip through lush vegetation, leading to two charming cascades. The trail can be slippery and muddy but is well worth the effort for those looking for a less crowded spot to enjoy Kauai’s natural beauty.

7. Mount Waialeale - Wall of Tears

While not as accessible as the other waterfalls, the Wall of Tears on Mount Waialeale is a breathtaking sight for those who choose

to view it via helicopter. This area, one of the wettest places on earth, features dozens of waterfalls streaming down the mountain face, creating a stunning visual spectacle that is best appreciated from the air. Consider a helicopter tour while in Kauai to see the splendor of this incredible scene.

Planning Your Visit

When planning waterfall hikes in Kauai, it's essential to consider the weather, as trails can become muddy and slippery after rain. Always wear appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water, and respect the natural environment. Check local conditions before heading out and consider the physical fitness of your group.

Staying in one of the luxurious Kauai Vacation Rentals provides the perfect base to explore these natural wonders. Whether you’re seeking a cozy condo or a spacious home, you’ll find accommodations ideally situated to access the best outdoor activities Kauai has to offer.

For more information or to book your stay, browse the variety of vacation rentals we offer or call our concierge service at 808-245-8841. Discover the majestic waterfalls of Kauai and create memories that will last a lifetime!