The famous Na Pali Coast on Kauai is a sight you can't miss, especially by sea. The amount of water activities to enjoy is endless.
Literally translated as ‘the cliffs’, the NaPali Coast is a 15-mile long stretch of rugged cliffs, lush green pinnacles, plunging valleys, impressive waterfalls, and awe-inspiring sea caves. Together, these elements form some of the most dramatic and iconic scenery in the entire world; however, these sights make the area relatively inaccessible by land.
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Of all the major Hawaiian Islands, Kauai boasts the most protected reef ecosystems. Snorkeling is the perfect way to observe hundreds of species of colorful tropical fish, many of which can be found nowhere else in the world. The wide variety of marine life in this area is truly spectacular, and the opportunity to share the waters with so many remarkable creatures is an experience you’ll never forget.
Sunset Sails and Tours
If you haven’t seen a Kauai sunset, we recommend hitting the water for the best possible sunset experience. Relax and feel the breeze and watch the colors meld as the sun appears to sink into the ocean; it’s truly splendid. You may choose to enjoy a sunset dinner cruise or maybe even a sunset cocktail cruise- and don’t forget to raise your glass in honor of Kauai’s beauty.
Paddling is perhaps the most intimate way to explore the sea caves, shower in the waterfalls, and maybe even stop on land to take a hike- all at your own pace. Each paddle stroke gets brings you more in touch with the magic of the NaPali Coast. Share the waters with dolphins, sea turtles, and perhaps even the elusive Hawaiian monk seal, if you’re lucky. If you choose, stop and rest on a secluded beach and have a snack before continuing on your adventure.
Whale Watching Tours
If you have the opportunity to visit during the winter months (December-April), consider reserving a spot on a humpback whale watching tour. These majestic creatures migrate thousands of miles to Kauai’s warm ocean waters to breed, calve, and nurse their young. They are naturally inquisitive and often approach vessels, giving you a wonderful opportunity to see them up close. Best of all, they can be seen exhibiting common behaviors such as breaching, blowing, and slapping their tails- they put on a truly amazing show that’s not to be missed.
The old adage says that ‘getting there is half the fun’, and this is certainly true when your adventure starts off in an ocean raft. These rigid-hull inflatable boats with outboard motors vary in size and speed and offer more limited seating than the catamaran tours. Expect the ride to be fast and exciting, and make sure to wear your swimsuit, as you’ll likely get wet. The adrenaline rush continues as you reach your destination and snorkel, and/or visit the sea caves and waterfalls. After the activities of your choice, you have the thrilling ride back to look forward to- hold on tight!
Marine Life Tours
Be prepared to be wowed by the abundant sea life along the NaPali Coast. The coral reef systems play host to colorful angelfish, parrotfish, butterfly fish, as well as manta rays, moray eels, and more. You may also spot the Hawaiian green sea turtle, spinner and other species of dolphins, sperm whales, orcas, and, of course, the humpback whales. You might even get a glimpse the nocturnal white tip reef sharks, which can be spotted sleeping in the caves in the reef.
Whether you choose to jump in and swim and snorkel with the marine life, or enjoy the sights from the boat, the NaPali Coast has the perfect water activity for you.