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Outfitters Kauai

OUTFITTERS KAUAI

Kauai's longest zipline.

OUR NEW FLYLINE ZIPLINE IS OVER 4000’ LONG!

Outfitters Kauai

Kauai's longest zipline, outfitters kauai kayaking tours, stretch out your smiling muscles on a beautiful river kayaking trip, outfitters kauai excursions.

Tour iconic Kauai jungle along a sparkling stream!

Outfitters Kauai Adventures

Hashtags can’t capture the beauty of our adventures!

Choose Your Outfitters Kauai Excursion!

Kauai kayak tours, kauai zipline tours, explore the secret valleys & hidden waterfalls of kauai, kauai’s most trusted river kayaking & ziplining tours since 1988.

We’re stoked to share our Kauai adventures with you… in the most spectacular and exclusive settings!  Join us to kayak and hike in State Parks and Nat’l Wildlife Refuges.  Ride amazing and thrilling ziplines over scenes so beautiful they were featured in blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Our friendly guides work hard to ensure you have the most fun, exciting adventure you’ve ever been on.  They’ll share local knowledge with you…from natural history and folklore to their fave restaurants and food trucks- every time! We LOVE what we do, and the excitement is obvious.

Stretch out your smiling muscles and choose your adventure- get off the beaten path!

Check out all the FUN we're having at Outfitters Kauai RIGHT NOW!

a group of people trail walking

Ryker was our guide and he was great! Taught us what to do and was very knowledgeable. This is a super fun experience for 2 people or a group! Well worth the cost!

The flyline zipline was amazing. My wife was afraid at first but the guides were amazing and made us feel safe. Cayman did an amazing job. He was very engaging. The other 2 guides were amazing as well. Great history telling of the ranch. Very informative. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Great job guys 👏

It was a nice day. Ryker, the guide, made the trip complete. He was funny, knows a lot of the nature and was a real host. The trip was nice, swimming at the waterfall was great. Just a fantastic day.

We had the BEST ziplining experience with this Outfitters. The ranch was gorgeous!!! Keegan was knowledgeable and shared so much of the history of Kipu Ranch with us. We did the Adrenaline Tour and had a blast! Would definitely recommend.

We experienced a beautiful, peaceful, and informative Hidden Valley Falls kayak adventure with our amazing guide Sarah! I'll be requesting her tours the next time we visit Kauai. She was so much fun to have as a lead, very informative, funny, and kind. Thank you, Sarah! Outfitters Kauai is well organized and professional, with every detail of the trip nailed down to a tee. Mahalo!

Great looong ride, time to look around. Both hosts, Riker and Sareh, were great. The “Superman” rig was a little scary during prep and take off, but really felt like flying on the ride. Now I wish Iʻd done a longer tour!

We were on a cruise and this was by far the best excursion we had the whole 10 days. Even if not on a cruise would be an awesome day. We did five zip lines, the last of which was unreal. Then a chance to cool off in a bamboo pool with zip line and jumping in. We had a great meal at the end. Everyone agreed we would come here again.

Fun kayak activity. Well organized, well led and unusual stops (Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark shooting locations).

Amazing experience! Mitch was a great guide with lots of local knowledge! Our family of five enjoyed the kayaking followed by hiking to a waterfall. The pace was relaxed and enjoyable. Would definitely repeat this adventure!

Definitely worth it! We did the Kipu Safari and My kids haven't stopped talking about how dope it was! The guides were very knowledgeable and fun. At no point during the adventure did I feel like there was anything to worry about. My kids range from 10-15yrs old so it's hard to find something that they all get excited about doing, but this definitely checked all their boxes! If Kayaking, zip lining and swimming at private spots sounds like a great time, this is the tour for you!

This was our 8th zip tour with you and today was the best. Mahalo Kaman and Ben for your amazing hospitality and storytelling. Until next time y'all!

My husband and I experienced Outfitters Kauai over 10 years ago and today we were able to bring our 2 boys to the same adventure. It was amazing now as it was back then. Our guides were knowledgable, fun and always put safety first. Our guide Cannon was great! Thank you for another incredible experience!

Looking Forward To 2024 paddle Season!

Napali Kayak

Na Pali Kayak

Kayak tours, rentals & na pali camping in kauai, hawaii, na pali kayak season is april 15th - october 15th, selected by national geographic™ as the second best adventure in the nation in 2000 and the first best weekend adventure in the nation in 2009.

  • Most popular

Napali Day Trip – Hā’ena

This 17-mile paddle traverses the spectacular northwest coast of Kauai.

Napali Day Trip – Polihale

This is a Private Trip for groups of 6 or more.

Private Tour in Na Pali

Do you want to get out of the group? Maybe you have your own? Napali Kayak offers the only private-guided tours on the Na Pali Coast. Perfect for Honeymooners – challenge your relationship!

Na Pali Coast Camping

This trip is one for the adventurous and daring explorers who like a challenge. Camp in the remote regions along the impressive beaches of Kauai and then go for a spectacular paddle the next day.

Customer Feedback

three friends jumping

This excursion was the HIGHLIGHT of our whole trip! Seriously a 'Bucket List" experience! We went to Kauai to specifically kayak this coast line. Annie...Where do I begin? She was the MOST positive, engaging, charismatic host. She truly had our best interest at heart. She was encouraging and compassionate, however she also let us know if we needed to be paired with others, she would over-ride our 'plan' but since we all worked well together, everyone just had the BEST DAY EVER!!

david and eric clevin

A huge mahalo to the group at Napali Kayak! We had a blast but more so gained an experience full of memories and feelings that will last a lifetime. This was such an adventure. The intense challenge was part of the 5 stars for us. We thought the staff did a tremendous job setting us up for expectations and performance out there in the open ocean. Annie's serious pep talk and dire warnings fired me up like I was going into battle, and I guess we sort of did battle our way through the most beautiful coastline in the world.

kelsea D

The whole crew at Napali Kayak are great, they are super friendly even bright and early before a long day on the water. I was lucky enough to have Captain Annie take us on the epic journey down the remarkable Napali Coast. he jewel of the trip of course was Kalalau, aka garden of eden. The most beautiful place i have ever seen. Fully in love and absolutely would paddle with this company again! Very professional, caring and amazing staff!!!!

Paddling through the water near the Na Pali Coast

We did the 17miles kayak day trip and it was worth every cent we spent! Annie and Nick were great guides, taking care of everything and assuring that we had a good time. It is a pretty long day out and be prepared for a sometimes uncomfortable seating position and some waves. But if you make use of the little breaks in between to stretch your legs and jump into the water, you'll be fine! And even if getting back into the kayak seems impossible to do, it is in fact not that hard. It was a great day and the coolest way to see the napali coast, and dolphins, and beautiful beaches! Highly recommended!

The adventure of a lifetime begins at the end of the road.

Napali Kayak invites you to join us for a sea-kayaking adventure along the emerald cliffs of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.

We use the highest quality sit-on-top tour kayaks with rudders, Werner paddles and cozy seat backs. Most importantly, we specialize in fun! We also have the North Shore’s highest quality, lowest priced kayak rentals.

napali-kayak-map-work-1

KAUAI.com

Kauai Kayak Tours

Kayak Tours on Kaua i are a popular way to explore the Wailua River and Secret Falls , the Hanalei River and estuary  and the Huleia . Explore the Napali Coast during the summer months for a open ocean kayak adventure. Unlike the other Hawaiian islands Kauai has many rivers and jungle lined estuaries to explore. There are three main rivers that you are able to kayak and explore on Kauai. It is advisable to book well in advance as this is one of the most popular tours on Kauai.

Book A Kauai Kayak Tour 1-800-652-8248

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Wailua Secret Falls Kayak Hike Adventure

kayaking tours kauai

Kauai Waterfall Kayak and Hike

kayaking tours kauai

Hidden Valley Falls Kayak and Hike

kayaking tours kauai

Napali Coast Ocean Kayak Tour

kayaking tours kauai

Kipu Zipline Hike Safari

Kayak tour faq’s, do you need to be in good shape for the kayaking tour.

  • Participants should be comfortable paddling around 4 miles (60-90 minutes) and hiking 1.5 miles.
  • Participants should be in good physical condition, with no back, knee, or ankle injuries or recent surgeries.
  • Ages 5 and up

Do tours operate rain or shine?

Yes, unless extreme inclement weather necessitates rescheduling.

What to Bring:

  • Comfortable footwear suitable for water activities (hiking boots, sandals, water shoes)?
  • Comfortable clothing and a swimsuit underneath?
  • Essential items include a towel, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and rain gear.
  • Don’t forget to carry an extra water bottle and consider leaving spare clothes in the van.
  • Bring your camera and your sense of adventure!

Are they single or double-seated kayaks?

The kayaks are double-seated ride on top.

The most popular Kauai Kayak Tour is along the Wailua River. This guided tour to Uluwehi Falls more commonly referred to as Secret Falls. The most popular tour up the Wailua River will be led by a professional guide who will share the history of the area as you hike to Secret Falls for a swim and lunch. The starting point for the Kauai kayak tour will be at the mouth of the Wailua River.  The calm waters and lush surroundings are a fun way for visitors of all ages.

The Hidden Valley kayak and hike is along the Hule’ia River in Nawiliwili. This tour will take you past the Menehune Fish Ponds, a spectacular venue for bird-watching.  The Hule’ia is the location of many Hollywood movies including Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Arc.

On the North Shore kayak up the Hanalei River Valley, an established wildlife refuge protecting the endangered Koloa (Hawaiian duck), Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian stilt, and the Hawaiian hoary bat. Hanalei Wildlife Refuge is encircled by waterfall-draped mountains and beautiful taro fields grown by local farmers, a practice that stretches back more than 1,200 years in the valley.

For the adventurous traveler, Na Pali Ocean Kayak Expedition t ops the list and is considered the “Mount Everest of Kayak Trips” and should be booked well in advance.

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Kayak Wailua

KAYAK WAILUA

Wailua river kayaking, hiking, & swimming tours in kapa'a, hawaii, guided wailua river kayak tour.

Enjoy a nice balance between kayaking, hiking, and swimming under a waterfall. This tour is twice as nice and with a discounted price!

  • Tags All skill levels
  • User All ages welcome

WHAT TO EXPECT

Explore Polynesia’s only navigable stream on our fully equipped, stable, comfortable, and quality single, double, and triple kayaks.  On your kayak adventure, you meander 2 miles upstream, where you first pass an old Hawaiian Village. Secure your kayak at an island in the north fork and continue your expedition on foot through the pristine canyons and tropical rainforest of the Wailua River Valley interior to Uluwehi Waterfalls.

No previous experience is necessary. There is usually little or no current occurring. Paddling upstream can actually be easier than downstream as you are assisted by a gentle tradewind blowing mauka (inland) toward the mountains.

Join us for the best-valued activity on one of Kauai’s top attractions. Over a five-hour period, you paddle the placid warm waters of Wailua, hike through a lush rainforest, and swim at a beautiful waterfall. Our family-run business keeps your family in mind with top-quality equipment at affordable prices.

Kayak Wailua By Scott Mario

Wailua means spirit. The area where Kayak Wailua is located was once known as Wailua Nui Hoana (Great Sacred Wailua).

OVER 3,100 FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ON TRIPADVISOR

kayaking tours kauai

The falls were magical, refreshing, and beautiful. We particularly appreciated the off-site parking, the comfortable kayak backrests, and the no-frills (i.e. bring your own) lunch approach. This was an excellent value and great way to appreciate an aspect of the island we hadn't previously seen.

This was the best hike/kayak trip that I have ever attended. Our guide Terada was amazing in showing us everything and explaining everything to us. It was my birthday and she truly made it so much fun. She was also extremely helpful with my entire group during the entire trip. I would recommend her to anyone that comes to this island. Again, this adventure and Terada were both amazing. I definitely plan on doing this again.

This was a memorable day. We had a great guide, who was really knowledgable about the area and fun as well. It's an easy paddle, followed by a pretty long walk with muddy sections, so bring shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Truly spectacular, and one of the highlights of our trip.

Dan was our very knowledgeable guide and was extremely helpful. He talked about the area history and gave us some interesting information regarding native species, damage from the hurricane and other details. He ensured that we all had a walking stick and made sure we were all safe on the trail. You can tell Dan really cares for the land and its wildlife. I would highly recommend Dan and Kayak Wailua.

We aren't experienced kayakers, but you do not have to be. The kayak was easy and relaxing. The hike had a few slippery places and if you have to watch out or your might twist your ankle. If you have walking issues don't do the hike.

Great company. Owners are very nice and worked with us. Facility and kayaks are in great shape. Definitely recommend and will book again!

This was one of the best experiences we’ve had during our week on Kauai. The hike to the falls was challenging but well worth the effort. Our guide, Lisa, did a great job. She was extremely knowledgeable and it was evident that the safety of her guests was her top priority. We’ll recommend this trip to all our friends.

Kauai Travel Blog

Best Kayaking Tours In Kauai (2024)

Posted on Last updated: December 27, 2023

Home » Activities » Best Kayaking Tours In Kauai (2024)

Best Kayaking Tours In Kauai (2024)

Kauai is one of the largest islands in Hawaii and is famous for its rugged landscapes, vast green mountains, and epic coastline featuring wonderful beaches ideal for kayaking. 

Often referred to as the Garden Isle due to the amount of rainforest here, you’ll find plenty of things to do on this gorgeous island. This includes visiting Waimea Canyon State Park and searching for marine life at Poipu Beach Park.

One experience you don’t want to miss out on is a kayaking tour, as this offers a fantastic way to explore the island and get panoramic sights right from the ocean. 

Each tour offers something unique as there are many kayaking tour companies around the island. 

Where To Go Kayaking In Kauai

Kauai is a kayaking hotspot and there are plenty of awesome places for you to explore. Before we take a look at the tour options, let’s dive into the best areas to go kayaking in Kauai first. 

Kayak Wailua River

Being the largest navigable river on the island makes the Wailua River a great spot for water activities. At 20 miles long, it takes you through one of a kind jungles and past impressive waterfalls so it offers a lot of scenery. The water here is typically pretty calm, and you don’t have to worry about rapids.

The Na Pali Coast is around 17 miles long and is one of the island’s most sacred and visited spots. Compared to the Wailua River, it can be quite demanding making it more suitable if you’re looking for an adventure and consider yourself a more advanced kayaker.  Along the way, you’ll be treated to striking cliff faces, sea caves, and pristine beaches. You can find it on the northwest side of Kauai. 

If you’re a fan of birdwatching and wildlife enthusiast, then Huleia River may be the perfect kayaking spot for you. The Huleia River runs through the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge which gives visitors a great chance of seeing rare birds along the way. The waters are relatively calm too so kayaking won’t require too much physical effort.

kayak hanalei river

The Hanalei River offers the chance to kayak into the sea and head inland. Typically, you start from the pier in Hanalei Bay and then head upstream if you want to explore this part of Kauai. It’s another incredibly scenic area, so you’ll want to take your time and appreciate the views.

There’s also the Kalihiwai River found on the north shore of Kauai island. It offers calm paddling conditions without any fast currents. This makes it a family-friendly place and also a good paddle boarding spot if you’re more into that. 

Best Kauai Kayaking Tours

1. outfitters kauai hidden valley falls kayak adventure.

Outfitters Kauai undeniably runs some of the best kayaking tours in Kauai and the Hidden Valley Falls Kayak adventure is one of the top choices. You walk around for 1.5 miles before kayaking for 60-90 minutes, along with some swimming in between.

This popular hiking and kayaking tour takes you through Huleia National Wildlife Refuge. You can witness epic landscapes like a gorgeous waterfall, spot some unique birds, and paddle within one of the filming spots for Jurassic Park! 

It’s an easier alternative compared to the other tour listed down below as you won’t need to paddle back against the wind. Instead, you take a motorized canoe back to the starting point. 

It’s the only tour in Hawaii that offers this easy option. Families with young children or older travelers (and anyone really) will find it quite suitable, assuming you can handle the hike.

2. Kayak Kauai Hanalei Blue Lagoon Paddle & Snorkel

If you want to add snorkeling to your itinerary, consider the Blue Lagoon Paddle & Snorkel by Kayak Kauai. In addition to kayaking, you get to spend around 4 hours birdwatching and snorkeling for a great all-rounded experience. 

This family-friendly tour allows children over the age of 5 to participate as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. The whole family can enjoy the beauty of the Hanalei River and Bay as a group! 

Not only can you spot amazing creatures like sea turtles and dolphins on this tour, but you’ll also get a glimpse of Makana Mountain. You also make a stop by Hanalei Bay beach.

One thing that we like about this kayak tour is that the knowledgeable guides teach visitors a little about the history and traditions of Kauai. 

3. Napali Kayak

napali kayak

If you prefer to go sea kayaking, you’ll want to book with this tour company. Napali Kayak offers one and two day trips that allow you to paddle alongside the Na Pali coastline and see some of the deep valleys and waterfalls. 

Participants need to be at least 14 years old for their day trips, and you’ll need to be fit enough to kayak for around 10-17 miles. Each tour varies by length so choose the most suitable one. 

No matter what you decide, you’re treated to breathtaking views and might even spot some of Hawaii’s amazing marine life, like turtles and seals.

If you’re after an exhilarating experience, National Geographic once voted these tours to as the best adventures in the nation! 

This is a challenging excursion, so while it may not be the best choice for families, it’s perfect for adventurous singles or couples looking for some thrills. You can read about my full experience kayaking the Na Pali coast with them .

4. Ali’i Kayaks

Secret Falls Kauai

Ali’i Kayaks takes visitors on a trip to explore Secret Falls with their kayaking and hiking tour. 

It lasts 5 hours and those aged 5+ can participate as long as they can keep up with the physical demands of navigating the Wailua River and hiking the trail. Luckily you can rely on an experienced and helpful guide to lead the way and keep you safe. 

It consists of a 2-mile moderate hike, stream crossings, and a 4-mile kayaking trip. However, it’s not too challenging as first-time kayakers are welcome to try. 

You paddle along the Wailua River and the trek takes you to the beautiful Uluwehi Falls, also known as Secret Falls. It’s one of the most famous waterfall spots on Kauai. 

5. Outfitters Kauai Wailua Waterfall Kayak Tour

Wailua Falls Drone Photo

Outfitters Kauaui is another tour offered by Outfitters Kauai. This tour is suitable for all ages aside from children under 5. However, it requires relatively good fitness levels as you’ll need to walk for two miles first. 

Afterward, you’ll kayak for around 60-90 minutes, and get to visit Wailua Waterfall. Being one of the most impressive waterfalls on the island, it’s one of the most unique attractions in all of Hawaii. 

The scenery in the area is beautiful but be prepared to get muddy and wet, as the rainforest climate here means plenty of rain showers. So bring some proper clothing and good hiking shoes for this experience. 

Lunch and drinks are included throughout the day with the tour, and there are usually two options available to choose from, either in the very early morning or close to the afternoon. Times do vary by season. We also included them in our list of Kauai zipline tours . 

6. Kayak Wailua

The guided tour along the Wailua River lasts around 5 hours and is available for everyone. It’s also suitable for all skill levels, so you don’t need any previous kayaking experience which is always a bonus for complete beginners.

On this kayak tour, you get to hike some of Kauai’s hiking trails and swim below a beautiful waterfall in Secret Falls. Depending on the group or person you’re bringing along, you can choose from single, double, or triple kayaks in case you want to stay together. 

Kayak Wailua offers six starting times so there is flexibility when it comes to planning out your day. These times range from 8 am to 1 pm, and you must check in at least 20 minutes early. 

You can also get to learn all about the local history and legends as you paddle upstream. Based on our own experience, the Wailau River has still waters and wonderful views, making it an ideal place to visit. 

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Hawaii Adventure Center

KAYAK KAUAI

Take your Hawaiian adventure into your own hands as you paddle our rivers or out on the sea with a Kauaʻi kayak tour! Take in up-close and unforgettable views of the Napali Coast, discover our waterfalls, or paddle the Wailua River on one of our kayak excursions with Hawaii Adventure Center. We also offer hike and kayak combo tours to see the best of Kauai on land and on the water.

  • North Shore
  • Hour Glass 4.5 Hours
  • Map Marker Kauai

The Morning Bay Explorer Tour | Kayak Hanalei

Experience the Feeling of Old Hawaii with a Guided Hanalei River and bay kayak tours with Kayak Hanalei.

Secret Falls Kayak & Hike | Ali’i Kayaks

This is an easy-going Hawaiʻian Style paddle on a Class Zero river combined with a moderate hike through a rainforest.

Secret Falls Tour | Ancient River Kayak

Discover the Wailua River’s most popular tour. Paddle the majestic Wailua River, which is the only navigable river in Hawaiʻi.

Secret Falls Tour | Kauai Kayak Adventures

Paddle past Kamokila Village, where the opening scene from the movie, “Outbreak,” was filmed. It is also a cultural village depicting the Hawaiian civilization back in the 17th century.

Secret Falls Tour | Rainbow Kayak Tours

Paddle the majestic Wailua River, home to the first Hawaiians over 1500 years ago. Kayak, hike, and eat lunch ‘Hawaiian style.’

  • Hour Glass 3.5 Hours

The Afternoon Bay Explorer Tour | Kayak Hanalei

  • Hour Glass 4 Hours

Hidden Valley Falls Kayak & Hike | Outfitters Kauai

You will enjoy Kayaking up Hule’ia River, hiking to a waterfall and eating lunch on this full day of adventure.

Wailua Waterfall Kayak & Hike Tour | Outfitters Kauai

Paddle the Wailua River, once home to royalty and you will see why. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and get a workout.

Kayak Hanalei | Kayak, Surf, SUP Headquarters

Kayak Hanalei is your one-stop headquarters for kayak rentals, kayak tours and beach gear rentals. Our Hawaiian family have been providing unforgettable experiences to locals and tourist alike for over a decade. Experience the feeling of old Hawaii!

Kayak hanalei - kauai's kayak headquarters, your adventure starts here, kayak hanalei.

We are your one-stop headquarters for kayak rentals, kayak tours, SUP rentals and beach gear rentals. Our Hawaiian family have been providing unforgettable experiences to locals and visitors alike for over a decade. Experience the feeling of old Hawaii!

Your Adventure Starts Here

Kayak Hanalei Kayak Rental

Kayak Tours

Give the gift of adventure, self-guided kayak rental route map.

Ocean kayak Route - Kayak Hanalei

Ocean Route

30 minutes downstream. 45 minute return upstream. Roundtrip of no more than 1.5 hours. If wind and ocean conditions permit, you are able to paddle in the ocean alongside the Hanalei pier. Families enjoy this route as you can dock your equipment on the beach, swim, and enjoy the day at the beach.

Wildlife Refuge Kayak Route - Kayak Hanalei

Wildlife Refuge Route

1.5 hours upstream. 1 hour return downstream. Roundtrip of no more than 2.5 hours. Turn around point is 2 miles upstream in the refuge where the current gets strong and the water is too shallow to continue further.

Self-guided Kayak Tour Route

Kayak Hanalei Tour & Rental Prices

Book your hanalei bay kayak and snorkel tour.

Our Hawaiian family takes great pride in sharing Hanalei’s rich history and culture with you. Our ocean-river combo tour will take you to a hidden beach. Learn to snorkel in the clear blue Pacific amongst our abundant marine life. Or simply eat lunch, “talk story” and relax on the beach.

From   $135

Kayak Rentals

1PM Special: $40

1PM Special: $60

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Rentals

1PM Special: $45

Beach Gear Rentals

  • Visa, Mastercard or Discover required for all rentals.
  • NO RESERVATIONS FOR RENTALS. ALL Rentals are first come first served & provided from 8am – 3:45pm daily.

Mahalo for your understanding!

Hanalei is our home…

For three decades, our ‘ohana (family) has enjoyed sharing aloha and mana‘o (knowledge) with Kauai visitors and kama‘aina . We specialize in kayak rentals, kayak tours and SUP rentals.

Kayak Hanalei TripAdvisor Awards

For three decades, our ‘ohana (family) has enjoyed sharing aloha and mana‘o (knowledge) with Kauai visitors and kama‘aina. We specialize in kayak rentals, kayak tours and SUP rentals.

What facilities do you have on property? || Do you take reservations? || Where can we paddle? || What is the minimum age? || Are life jackets required? We Have Answers To The Most Asked Questions Below

What facilities do you have on property, what types of equipment do you have and what are the weight limits.

We offer single & double/tandem sit on top kayaks. We also offer standup paddle boards (SUPS) ranging in size from 9’6-12’. Weight limits: Single 250lbs, Double 500 lbs (250lbs per seat), SUPs <300 lbs (made for 1 person or 2 people if 1 participant is less than 75 lbs).

Where can we paddle?

What is the minimum age.

The minimum age for a rental is 3 years old and child must be able to sit in their own seat. We do not allow children to sit on laps. Minimum age to join our kayak tour is 5 years old.

All minors require an adult to accompany them on the river. Minimum age to paddle a single kayak is 12 years of age.

Are life jackets required?

Life jackets (PFDs) are required for all participants. Lifejackets are included with all rentals.

What are your rates?

Do you take reservations, can we request single kayaks on the tour, can we paddle down the napali and store our car or luggage at your facility, can we take the equipment on our car.

All equipment departs from our private dock.

Can we rent snorkel gear and snorkel in Hanalei Bay?

Can i launch my own personal equipment off your dock, can we switch our equipment once used and come and go throughout the day.

Each rental is for use of that specific piece of equipment, no switch outs or refunds once used. All rentals are a one time single use departure. Kayak Hanalei does not offer in and out services or holds of equipment. Once equipment is returned the rental is complete.

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Sunday-Friday (Closed Saturday)

8am-5:30pm Last Rental: 3:45 pm

Office Closed for Lunch 11:30 am-12 pm

Open ALL holidays except Thanksgiving Day!

Kayak Tours & Rentals - 888-508-9948

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Hanalei River & Bay Kayak Tours

The morning bay explorer tour - $149, the afternoon bay explorer tour - $135.

  •  This is the only river and ocean kayak combo available in Kauai. Experience the feeling of old Hawaii. Our completely personalized and narrated tours of the beautiful Hanalei River, the only river on Kaua’i where no commercial motorized boats are allowed, and Hanalei Bay, the largest natural bay on Kaua’i, all begin at our quaint shop in Hanalei Town. Learn about Kauai’s rich history, legends, and folklore from your friendly and knowledgeable guide. Visit the home of the Hawaiian green sea turtle and snorkel amongst the beautiful reefs exploring the abundant marine life, followed by a relaxing lunch on a secluded beach. No kayaking experience required for these tours. All snorkel gear (corrective lenses available upon request), waterproof bags and delicious deli style lunch provided. 

The afternoon tour is similar to the morning tour. It's a little cheaper as lunch is not included and runs about one hour shorter. You still get the experience of kayaking the river and bay of Hanalei.

Important Information

What to bring.

  • Footwear not required but participants may wear water shoes
  • Swimsuit or clothing that can get wet
  • Towel and a dry change of clothing
  • Hat/Sunglasses (recommended but not required)
  • Bottle of water

Restrictions

  • 250lbs weight limit per seat. Those outside the 250 pound limit are not able to participate.
  • Participants must be in good physical condition and able to get in and out of their kayak on their own. This activity is not recommended for those with back, hip, or knee problems.
  • Women up to 7 months of pregnancy may participate

Cancellation Policy

  • Groups of 1-5 guests: 48-hour cancellation or change policy
  • Groups of 6-9 guests: 72-hour cancellation or change policy
  • Groups of 10-14 guests: one-week cancellation or change policy with a one-week prepayment paid in full
  • Groups of 15 or more guests/Private Tour Buy Outs: two-week cancellation or change policy with a two-week prepayment paid in full

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Duke's Kayak Adventures

  • Guided Kayak Tours
  • Secret Falls Kayaking
  • River Kayaking

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kayaking tours kauai

Welcome to Duke's Kayak Adventures

The Best Kayak Tours in Kapaʻa, HI

Welcome to Duke's Kayak Adventures , your premier provider of fun and affordable kayak tours in Kapaʻa, HI . We are a family-owned and operated kayak tour agency that specializes in providing kayak adventure s. We offer gorgeous attractions and kayaking activities with expert guides to ensure that your family and friends can enjoy an outing that they will never forget. We are committed to staying on schedule and within budget, and we provide the best kayak s and services in the area to keep our customers satisfied.

There are a few kayak tours on Wailua river companies to choose from. However, what makes a great experience for the customers is new quality equipment, fantastic customer service, the most knowledgeable and fun guides, proximity to the river, and good time slots for the tours. And we got it all. We are well on our way to becoming the most professional, quality, and nice kayak tour company on Kauai.

We offer the following:

  • Kayak Rental s

We offer waterfall kayaking and more to provide a unique experience in the most beautiful places in Kapaʻa for an affordable price. Our goal is to ensure our crew is attentive to the client's every need and 100% satisfied with their experience. In addition, we are committed to creating lifelong friends and clients by offering an unparalleled experience with expert guidance. So for more information about our services, contact us at Duke's Kayak Adventures today!

Reasons to Choose Us

  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Family-Owned and Operated Business
  • Professional Tour Guides
  • Top-Quality Services Offered

Locations Served

Kayak Kaua‘i

  • Rental Gear
  • Hanalei Garden Surf Cottage
  • Hanalei Rainbow House
  • Gift Certificates
  • Directions + Hours

Po’ipu | Open Sea – Whale, Turtle & Dolphin Watch – Snorkel by Sea Kayak

BOOK THIS TOUR

Po’ipu | Open Sea – Whale, Turtle & Dolphin Watch – Snorkel by Sea Kayak 

October – april.

Offered: Tuesday + Thursday + Saturday

Check-In: 7:00 a.m. 

kayaking tours kauai

During the winter the  South coast becomes a favorite for sea kayakers. You’ll paddle the same canoe paths of old taken by early Polynesians and whaling captains.

We will begin the day’s journey on the Golden Coast of Kaua’i at Po’ipu and paddle west along the rugged and scenic shoreline that is home to the Spouting Horn , the remote  Lawai Valley , the unusual  Nomilo Pond , and the cove of  Wahi’awa .

Winter is the season for  *Humpback Whales and often the highlight of the voyage. After their long journey from Alaska each year, these gentle giants delight themselves in the warm Hawaiian waters for a season of birthing and frolicking.

Delight yourself likewise, as these whales breach before you, or more likely spot Spinning dolphins ,  Flying fish , and  Green sea turtles . With luck, we sometimes see the endangered Monk Seal  in the water or a sunny beach. Bird watch for  Boobies, Frigate , and Tropicbirds  from your cockpit.

kayaking tours kauai

Get wet and snorkel off one of Kauai’s finest shores, where the sea and bird life compliments a day of splendid paddling.

At day’s end, we will have you back to your hotel or back to our shop late afternoon.

*Humpback Whales begin to grace our waters around early November. Even when we don’t spot and paddle with these graceful Leviathans,  the tour is panoramic, challenging,  rewarding and memorable open ocean paddle.

  5 person minimum opens a tour

—Check-In Wailua River Marina: 7:00 a.m.

—Shuttle to Koloa Landing (Po’ipu)

—Tour staged in South shore area 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

—Lunch of Deli made Sandwiches, tropical juices and sparkling water

—Shuttle back to Wailua River Marina: 2:30 p.m.

  *Times are variable, i.e., longer or shorter and subject to the vagaries of group and weather dynamics.

Rating & Physical Requirements:

kayaking tours kauai

A challenging adventure recommended for the more active couples a bit hardier families and others.

This tour can be a workout. Participants should be comfortable in the water, in good physical condition, and not prone to seasickness. This paddle involves about three to four hours of intermittent paddling.

Weight Limit Rule of Thumb: 

When & Where:

October through April — Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday

Weather  Permitting:  unstable winter weather can cause periodic postponements, we recommend reserving up to a week in advance and early during your stay on Kaua’i.

Check in at 7:00 a.m. at our Wailua Marina Shop.

Our Guide to client ratio:

One guide to seven clients.

  • –Guide(s) CPR, 1st Aid, and Water Safety Certified
  • –Personal Flotation Devices ( life preservers)
  • –Sit on top, two person kayaks with foot pedal and rudders
  • –Backrests
  • –Water resistant bags
  • –Snorkeling equipment
  • –Lunch of Deli made Turkey, Ham, Vegetarian or PBJ
  • –Variety  Hawaiian style tropical juices + sparkling water
  • We encourage clients to bring their own water and/or purchases our KK Logo aluminum water bottles and  fill up with chilled purified water

Guide(s) carry:

  • –VHF Radio
  • –Emergency Position Indicating Radio beacon (EPIRB)
  • –Flares
  • –First Aid Kit
  • –Sea Rescue device

What To Bring:

  • –Sun protection
  • –Water
  • –Waterproof camera
  • –Light long sleeve shirt
  • –Bathing suit
  • –Footwear (aqua socks or tennis shoes)
  • –Towel and change of clothes

kayaking tours kauai

Reserve Po'ipu | Open Sea - Whale, Turtle & Dolphin Watch - Snorkel by Sea Kayak:

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Cancellation/Rescheduling Policy

Kayak Kauai observes a firm 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations within 24 hours will receive no refund;(All Na Pali Coast kayaking tours or GROUPS of 6 or more require a 48 hour cancellation notice). Cancellations made by Kayak Kauai due to inclement weather conditions are 100% refundable.

Travel Insurance

Safety is no accident and on every tour we pay special attention to this fact. That said, travel insurance is not a bad idea, especially if a “dark cloud” decides to follow you. Find a company that offers medical, security evacuation and rescue services in the event of a medical or security emergency.

Related Kauai Activities

Na Pali Coast | Traditional - Ha'ena to Polihale - by Sea Kayak

Alii Kayaks & Watersports

Embark on a Memorable Adventure: Guided Kayak Tours , Expertly Led Excursions, and Much More Leave the Hassle of Car-Topping Behind!

Guided kayak tours, secret falls kayak / hike tour, online special $115 per person.

Take an eco-adventure Kayak/Hike with Alii Kayaks and see a Secret Waterfall! Your guided Kayak Adventure starts with a 2 mile paddle upstream through the scenic valley of the Wailua River. After securing your kayaks on the shores of the North Fork, your moderate 2 mile hike begins. Wade through multiple streams, a lush rainforest and traverse over muddy trails all the while learning about local flora and fauna from one of our friendly and knowledgeable guides. Your hiking trek concludes with the beautiful 120′ Uluwehi Falls, a.k.a. Secret Falls. A definite rock solid adventure!

Wailua Kayak Tours

Kayaking Kauai: Paddling the Garden Island of Hawaii

T he island of Kauai is the only place in the gorgeous state of Hawaii that has navigable rivers besides the Wailuku River in Hilo on the Big Island . In open water, a paddle along the rugged and lush background provides the perfect setting for a day at sea. Turtles, dolphins, and whales may swim alongside you. On land, you have more activities than you can fit on a vacation but having a truly Hawaiian experience may make you want to move here. Kayaking around Kauai is a unique adventure and something to be added to your Kauai vacation!

In this guide to kayaking around Kauai, keep in mind that the rivers and bays can also be wonderful places for stand up paddling (SUP). We’ve even seen people SUP surf on the eastern shore, so have fun with it! If we didn’t include your favorite spot for kayaking on Kauai, please leave a comment or send us a note . We’re always happy to share from others too!

Safety Note: the Island of Kauai is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are remarkably strong and unpredictable currents. Only experienced kayakers with the appropriate sea kayak and safety gear should be paddling in the open water. When in doubt, sit it out!

Check out our 5 Day Kauai Itinerary here!

Easy Kayaking Spots in Kauai

With so many activities on the Island of Kauai geared toward tourists, there are tons of spaces to experience a leisure paddle. Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate kayaker you won’t have any issues finding a place to paddle on an island full of lush rainforest and beautiful beaches. While the paddling in Hawaii may look similar to kayaking in South Florida , the reefs and rivers are VERY different and extra beautiful in their own ways.

Anahola Beach Park 

Anahola Beach Park is another gorgeous spot for kayaking in Kauai. The park is located on the east side of the island and offers beautiful views of the ocean. With a reef protecting the bay this is a great place to explore calm waters and jump in for a snorkel. Paddling will allow you to explore the hidden coves and surrounding beaches. There are also several hiking trails nearby if you want to explore the area further.

Where to launch: Anahola Beach Park Anahola, HI 96703 (there are several beach parking areas to launch from)

Huleia River in Lihue (Nawiliwili)

Huleia River is an off-the-beaten-path just outside the Huleia Wildlife Refuge. Located on the island’s eastern portion it’s a popular route for paddlers wanting to experience the natural beauty of Hawaii on the water. Birdwatchers will enjoy the Menehune Fish ponds, a haven for exotic birds.

Where to launch: Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor Nawiliwili, HI 96766  

Wailua River in Kapa’a

The opportunity to float past the thick rainforests of Kauai creates a memorable experience. The Wailua River is the island’s longest river starting at Mount Waialeale. The calm waters provide a great paddle for beginner kayakers and take you to the 100-foot Uluwehi Falls.  Paddling Magazine created a detailed post on your options in Wailua River.

The most popular attraction on the Wailua River is Fern Grotto, a natural lave rock formation that has hanging ferns and lush tropical foliage, watered and cooled by the nearby waterfall. If you kayak here, don’t be surprised if there are tons of tourists as it is a tourist attraction that can be easily accessed by a short boat trip. If you’re staying at the Kauai Shores Hotel or anywhere in Kapa’a, this is easy to get to!

Where to launch

  • Wailua River Marina 3-5971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746
  • Wailua State Park Boat Ramp 161 Wailua Rd, Kapaʻa, HI 96746  

Experienced Kayak Spots on Kauai

The Na Pali Coast and South Shore are your best options if you are looking for a challenging open sea paddle. The weather and surf conditions can change quickly and can prove difficult for even the most season paddlers, especially on the long one-day Na Pali Coast trip. Treat kayaking Kauai on the open water as a dangerous paddling area even when it looks wonderfully calm. Similar to kayaking in the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound , there are strong currents and the proper gear, both proper boat and safety gear, is necessary.

Poipu Beach, South Shore

Poipu Beach is filled with marine life such as turtles. Kauai’s South Shore is a contrast in terms of weather, giving drier conditions on land. A paddle through Poipu Beach allows exploration of sea caves and a dramatic perspective of the cliffs facing the Pacific Ocean. Continue east from Poipu for a long sea kayak trip to Ezra’s Beach at the Makauwahi Cave Preserve. It’s amazing!

Where to launch:

  • Poipu Beach Park , Koloa, HI
  • Shipwrech Beach at Ainako Street Parking, Koloa, HI just past the Grand Hyatt

Lawai Bay, South Shore

Lawai Bay is a small inlet just west of the Allerton Gardens and has great waters for swimming but getting there can prove challenging. The area is home to mostly private property and the best access seems to be by a paddle. Launching from Kukuiʻula Harbor Beach a mile away you’ll be facing open sea. Check surf and weather conditions if you are going out for a paddle. 

To the west of the cove if you launch from the Small Boat Harbor is the Spouting Horn and to the east heads towards Lawai Beach.

Where to launch: Kukuiʻula Harbor Beach Koloa, HI 96756  

Na Pali Coast

The Napali Coast State Wilderness Park is on the northwest side of Kauai. Known for its dramatic sea cliffs, steep, narrow valleys, and cascading waterfalls this area is rugged. Exploring the 17-mile coast is no easy feat but is considered one of the most rewarding kayak experiences in the entire state of Hawaii. We’ve also explored on foot, hiking the Kalalau Trail and doing a doors-off helicopter tour around Kauai .

Expect sea sickness, large waves, and difficult wind conditions, and be prepared for a rough 12-14 hour day of intermittent paddling if you’re looking to navigate a solid portion of the Na Pali Coast. You’re go-to outfitter will likely be Napali Kayak Tours as it’s not recommended to tackle this paddling journey around Kauai on your own. 

Where to launch: Napali Kayak Tours OR 5-5075 Kuhio Hwy , Hanalei, HI 96714  

Kipu Kai Beach

Kipu Kai Beach is a large cove on the southeastern coast of Kauai. Tucked in between two ridges that drop straight into the ocean, access is all cut off by land. Most folks explore by private helicopter tours but those willing to paddle out, they’ll have a remote, sandy, Hawaiian paradise all to themselves. 

Where to launch: Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbo r Nawiliwili, HI 96766

State Park Kayaking Spots in Kauai

Kauai also known as the Garden Island has a rich biodiversity. Nature lovers and outdoor recreationists will have a large playground for their next adventure. The state park system is well developed and does a fantastic job protecting the rare beauty of Kauai.

Nu’alolo Kai State Park

Once a fishing village Nu’alolo Kai is now a state park. Nu’alolo Kai State Park is one of the most scenic coastlines in the state and is surrounded by a large barrier reef, perfect for water enthusiasts. The catch to getting here… You’ll have to paddle the Na Pali Coast which can be a challenging 2-3 hour paddle.  Once here you’ll enjoy archeological sites, native monk seals (they’re mean, do NOT approach) and breathtaking scenery.

Polihale State Park 

Polihale State Park is located on the west side of Kauai and is perfect for a paddle. The park offers stunning views of the ocean, as well as the nearby mountains. The park receives much fewer visitors than others and is a bit remote. Adventurers will be rewarded with a beach characterized by large sand dunes and the dramatic background of rugged green scenery. For a paddle in the area check out Napali Kayak .  

Haena State Park 

Haena State Park is tucked away on the north shore of Kauai. Also, known as the “end of the road,” this remote park provides tons of adventure with beaches, trails, and sea caves. This trip can be combined with the long-grueling Na Pali Coast trail (the Kalalau Trail as mentioned above) should you wish for the ultimate challenge. You MUST have reservations for accessing Haena State Park on land. MAKE RESERVATIONS HERE

If you want to paddle into Haena State Park, you can launch from Haena Beach Park and head west. Going around the points is a challenging paddle and you need to keep safety in mind AT ALL TIMES. PS: parking at Haena Beach Park can be difficult if you’re not there first thing in the morning.

Where to launch: Haena Beach Park HI-560, Kapaʻa, HI 96746  

Hanalei Bay, Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

Kayaking in Hanalei Bay is a must-do while in Kauai. The bay is located on the north shore of the island and is well known for its beauty. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and coastline as they paddle around the bay. There are also several beaches to explore and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. Check out local outfitter Kayak Hanalei for detailed information on the area. 

Where to launch: Kayak Hanalei or 5-5070A, Kuhio Hwy , Hanalei, HI 96714  

Recommended Kayaking Tours in Kauai

Combining a hike to Uluwehi Falls with a paddle through the Wailua River Valley gives the perfect introduction to the incredibly lush Hawaiian landscape. Book a combo kayaking / hiking tour here ! 

For those wanting to explore the underwater world of Kapa’a, the Hanalei River Paddle Tour is the perfect combination for paddlers. After paddling down the Hanalei River you’ll end up in the Bay Reef Lagoon surrounded by sea turtles and tropical fish. Book a combo kayaking / snorkeling tour in Hanalei Bay here ! 

When to Visit Kauai

The most recommended time to visit Kauai is in the fall and spring when the weather is most pleasant and the state isn’t completely packed with tourists. The rainy season generally runs from November to March, with January being the wettest.

Summer events in Kauai include the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration, the Kauai Marathon, and Kauai Mokihana Festival. But really, is there ever a bad time to find yourself on Kauai? Especially if you’re going to be kayaking and exploring the mountains, Kauai is always amazing.

Need to Know for Visiting Kauai

With so much to do you really need a week or two on the island. It’s best to rent a car and do so well in advance. Eat local, the food scene is great. Be sure to be safe and swim on beaches with lifeguards, the water conditions can be rough. If you’re going to do any of the challenging, open sea kayaking, get a reputable outfitter. We recommend a few above. Most importantly, get out there and take the opportunity to paddle this beautiful state.

We love talking about Hawaii and sharing all of our experiences. If you have any questions about visiting Kauai , Maui, Oahu , Molokai or the Big Island , please let us know. By the end of 2023 we’ll have been to them all and are happy to share. Leave a comment or send us a note if you need any help planning an amazing adventure!

Kayaking Kauai is an awesome experience to add to your Hawaii vacation. With navigable rivers, bays and epic sea kayaking, we've pick spots for beginners and experienced kayakers visiting Kauai.

Luau Ka Hikina

kayaking tours kauai

Top ways to experience Luau Ka Hikina and nearby attractions

kayaking tours kauai

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Luau Ka Hikina - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

They said her husband drowned snorkeling, but she saw him walk to shore. What happened?

kayaking tours kauai

A Michigan woman and her family are suing a Maui resort , the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau after her husband died while snorkeling . She doesn’t believe it was a drowning. 

Patricia and Ray Johnson, along with four friends, arrived at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui on the evening of Feb. 23, 2022, with plans to visit multiple islands over several weeks. This was the couple’s sixth time in Hawaii, and they had snorkeled the Hawaiian waters many times in the past, Patricia told USA TODAY. 

On the morning of Feb. 25, some of the travelers, including Ray, went snorkeling around Wailea Beach, which fronts the resort, while Patricia opted to walk a trail that overlooks the beach. “I looked out, and I saw my husband and my friends or people out there,” she told USA TODAY. “I’m waving at him, and it hits me.” Patricia saw what looked like other snorkelers helping Ray. 

She hurried down to the beach, but “things deteriorated quickly.” At first, Ray had his head above water and was returning to the beach, but then the 64-year-old fell onto his back with his head “snapped back at one point” and had to be pulled in. “I knew he was gone,” she said. 9-1-1 was called, but medical professionals failed to resuscitate Ray. 

The autopsy report called Ray’s death an accidental drowning, which Patricia doesn’t believe. 

Learn more: Best travel insurance

“I was watching him come in, how could he be drowning?” According to her friends who were snorkeling with him, Ray was talking and also diving down under the water. At one point, he came up and said, “You gotta help me, I’m having trouble breathing,” and that’s when he decided to head back to shore. “I don’t think when people are drowning in a conditional manner, you’re going to be conversing,” she said.

What to do in Hawaii? Locals weigh in on if these popular spots are worth the hype

By a landslide, the leading cause of death for Hawaii tourists is drowning. And of ocean drownings for residents and visitors, the majority occur when snorkeling. While the ocean is powerful and unpredictable, some advocates, including the Johnsons, are trying to bring attention to a lesser-known medical condition that specifically poses risks to snorkelers and hasn’t gotten much attention over the years: Rapid Onset Pulmonary Edema (ROPE). 

The Johnson family believes ROPE is the real cause of Ray’s death, and the lawsuit alleges that Hawaii travel entities have failed to educate the public on ROPE, resulting in “an important public health concern,” according to the complaint filed in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit in the State of Hawaii in February 2024. The case should begin the fact-discovery process this week.

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and Fairmont Kea Lani declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

“I would like to see warnings out there,” Patricia told USA TODAY. “I truly believe my husband would still be here if we’d been warned.” 

How is snorkeling dangerous?

Breathing through a snorkel tube is similar to pinching your nose and breathing in through your mouth. The resistance is immediate. ROPE occurs when the negative pressure on the lungs ends up sucking bodily fluids out of the capillaries and into the airways, according to Dr. Raj Dasgupta , a California-based pulmonologist. 

“That snorkel resistance to airflow,” he said. “They want to breathe in but they have to breathe through that straw.”

Once fluid is in the lungs, it becomes difficult to breathe and people can experience hypoxia, or a lack of sufficient oxygen. “You slowly become weak then into a loss of consciousness,” Dasgupta said. Underlying health conditions such as heart and lung disease also increase someone’s predisposed risk for ROPE, he said.

If a person begins to feel shortness of breath, they may panic, causing more exertion, which can be life-threatening if they’re already suffering from a lack of oxygen, Dasgupta said. 

Drowning by ROPE is “fundamentally different” than typical drowning when people are aspirating water or submerged and often showing signs of distress, the complaint said.

A lack of public awareness

In October 2017, after California woman – and avid swimmer and snorkeler – Nancy Peacock died while snorkeling in calm waters off the coast of Hawaii Island in a full-face mask and no signs of struggle, the Hawaii State Department created the Snorkeling Safety Sub-Committee to “address public concern about snorkel-related drownings.”

In a Snorkeling Safety Study led by the sub-committee, 50 different snorkels were tested, and the experts examined nonfatal and fatal drownings. The interim report released in July 2020 concluded that “ROPE-induced hypoxia is a factor in fatal and nonfatal snorkel drownings.” The study also had a survey conducted at Oahu’s most popular snorkeling spot, Hanauma Bay, but only 36 participants – mostly locals – were interviewed due to the islands being closed to travel during the pandemic. 

The high altitude from air travel impacting someone’s lungs may be a contributing factor, but there wasn’t enough evidence in the study to confirm this. Since getting to Hawaii requires at least a five-hour flight, it’s possible that fatigue and stress from flying could play a role in someone’s risk of drowning by ROPE. 

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority funded the study to “develop appropriate safety messages.” However, as of April 2024, there have not been any public-facing messages on any of the official Hawaii tourism websites. Information cards have been passed out to most Kauai and Oahu tour boat operators, the subcommittee said. Although the study is preliminary and not robust in terms of participants and even calls for further investigation, it is the only one to explore ROPE in snorkelers so far.

“Why aren’t we in Hawaii letting people know?” said Jay Stuemke, an Oahu-based attorney who filed the complaint on the Johnsons’ behalf. “Pamphlets in rooms, apps, websites, in-room videos, all types of mechanisms to warn people. It’s an easy enough thing to do. We believe had they done that, Ray would still be alive today as well as many other people.” 

Snorkeling safety tips

◾ Always snorkel with a buddy, and if you can’t swim, don’t snorkel.

◾ Choose a snorkel with a wide opening and no constrictions in the mouthpiece.

◾ Learn to use the snorkel device before venturing out into water that’s too deep to stand in.

◾ If you feel shortness of breath, stay calm, remove the snorkel and get out of the water immediately, Dasgupta said.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .

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COMMENTS

  1. Best Kauai Tours from Kayak Kauai

    Kayak Kauai observes a firm 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations within 24 hours will receive no refund;(All Na Pali Coast kayaking tours or GROUPS of 6 or more require a 48 cancellation notice). Cancellations made by Kayak Kauai due to inclement weather conditions are 100% refundable.

  2. Kauai Kayak Rentals and Tours

    BROWSE THE TOURS. KAYAK KAUAI WAS FEATURED ON THE COVER OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE MAGAZINE! The 2000 issue: "The Adventure 100 - America's Best". Toll Free: 1-888-596-3853. Phone: (808) 826-9844 :: Fax: (866) 748-1272. 3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Bldg 3, Kapaa, HI 96746 :: Google Map.

  3. Kauai Kayak Tours Book Now!

    Kauai Kayak Tours with Alii Kayaks. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with Alii Kayaks' Wailua River Kayak and Hiking Tour, and let us be your gateway to the mystical Valley of Royalty. Picture this: you, gliding on the serene waters of the Wailua River, surrounded by the lush, untouched beauty of Kauai. But this journey is more than just ...

  4. Kauai Ocean Kayaking Tour with Kayak Kauai

    Guided and Outfitted sea kayak summer camping tours of 2 to 8 day duration. Kayak Kauai observes a firm 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations within 24 hours will receive no refund; (All Na Pali Coast kayaking tours or GROUPS of 6 or more require a 48 cancellation notice). Cancellations made by Kayak Kauai due to inclement weather ...

  5. Kauai Kayak Tours

    We've been taking Kauai visitors on awesome kayak tours since 1988- we're Kauai's most experienced and best equipped tour guide service. Join us to kayak and hike in State Parks and Nat'l Wildlife Refuges. Hike through scenic locations so beautiful they were featured in blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and ...

  6. THE TOP 10 Kauai Kayak Tours (w/Prices)

    The best Kayaking Tours in Kauai according to Viator travelers are: Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour on Kauai. Secret Falls Kayak Hike in Kauai. Half-Day Raft and Snorkel Adventure to Na Pali. Entire Kauai Airplane Tour - ALL WINDOW SEATS.

  7. Outfitters Kauai

    Kauai's Most Trusted River Kayaking & Ziplining Tours Since 1988! We're stoked to share our Kauai adventures with you… in the most spectacular and exclusive settings! Join us to kayak and hike in State Parks and Nat'l Wildlife Refuges. Ride amazing and thrilling ziplines over scenes so beautiful they were featured in blockbuster movies ...

  8. Kayak Tours Kauai

    Kayak & Waterfall Hike. This paddle up the Wailua River is our most popular kayak tour. The 5-hour adventure include river kayak, jungle hiking, and a waterfall swim! Total paddle distance is about 4 miles roundtrip and is done on two-person kayaks. The hiking portion is about 2 miles roundtrip and will include a stream crossing and some muddy ...

  9. Kauai Kayak Tours: Sea & River Kayaking on Kauai

    Kayaking on Kauaʻi. Kauaʻi is home to the only navigable rivers in Hawaiʻi, so kayaking is an integral part of a unique Kauaʻi vacation. Relax and take in the exquisite scenery as you paddle down the Wailua River. This popular river for kayaking weaves by lush, jungle landscapes along with island's East Side.

  10. Napali Kayak

    We use the highest quality sit-on-top tour kayaks with rudders, Werner paddles and cozy seat backs. Most importantly, we specialize in fun! We also have the North Shore's highest quality, lowest priced kayak rentals. Napali Kayak offers kayak rental, guided kayak tours along the emerald cliffs, and camping trips in Kauai.

  11. Wailua River Kayaking & Stand Up Paddling

    Kayak Kauai observes a firm 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations within 24 hours will receive no refund;(All Na Pali Coast kayaking tours or GROUPS of 6 or more require a 48 cancellation notice). Cancellations made by Kayak Kauai due to inclement weather conditions are 100% refundable.

  12. Kauai Kayak Tours

    Kayak Tours on Kauai are a popular way to explore the Wailua River and Secret Falls, the Hanalei River and estuary and the Huleia .Explore the Napali Coast during the summer months for a open ocean kayak adventure. Unlike the other Hawaiian islands Kauai has many rivers and jungle lined estuaries to explore. There are three main rivers that you are able to kayak and explore on Kauai.

  13. Kayak Wailua

    Explore Polynesia's only navigable stream on our fully equipped, stable, comfortable, and quality single, double, and triple kayaks. On your kayak adventure, you meander 2 miles upstream, where you first pass an old Hawaiian Village. Secure your kayak at an island in the north fork and continue your expedition on foot through the pristine canyons and tropical rainforest of the Wailua River ...

  14. Kayaking adventure on Kauai

    Kayaking adventure on Kauai - Duke's Kayak Adventures. Aloha and welcome to the most professionally-run and fun kayaking adventure on Kauai. Take an unforgettable journey with us paddling along the majestic Wailua river valley.

  15. Best Kayaking Tours In Kauai (2024)

    Best Kauai Kayaking Tours. 1. Outfitters Kauai Hidden Valley Falls Kayak Adventure. Outfitters Kauai undeniably runs some of the best kayaking tours in Kauai and the Hidden Valley Falls Kayak adventure is one of the top choices. You walk around for 1.5 miles before kayaking for 60-90 minutes, along with some swimming in between.

  16. Kauaʻi Kayak Tours

    KAYAK KAUAI. Take your Hawaiian adventure into your own hands as you paddle our rivers or out on the sea with a Kauaʻi kayak tour! Take in up-close and unforgettable views of the Napali Coast, discover our waterfalls, or paddle the Wailua River on one of our kayak excursions with Hawaii Adventure Center. We also offer hike and kayak combo ...

  17. THE 10 BEST Kauai Kayaking & Canoeing

    Our experienced guides are well versed…. 4. Wailua River Kayak and Sacred Fall Hike (Includes lunch) Experience Kauai's sacred Wailua River by land and by water on this combo hiking and kayaking tour that's easy enough even…. 5. Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour on Kauai.

  18. Kayak Hanalei

    Book Your Hanalei Bay Kayak and Snorkel Tour! Our Hawaiian family takes great pride in sharing Hanalei's rich history and culture with you. Our ocean-river combo tour will take you to a hidden beach. Learn to snorkel in the clear blue Pacific amongst our abundant marine life. Or simply eat lunch, "talk story" and relax on the beach.

  19. Hanalei River Kayak

    The Afternoon Bay Explorer Tour - $135. This is the only river and ocean kayak combo available in Kauai. Experience the feeling of old Hawaii. Our completely personalized and narrated tours of the beautiful Hanalei River, the only river on Kaua'i where no commercial motorized boats are allowed, and Hanalei Bay, the largest natural bay on Kaua ...

  20. Secret Falls Kayak Tour

    5-hour. Location. Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii. Special Instructions. Tour times: 7:00 AM/12:30 PM, Mon-Fri. Closed weekends. Must be comfortable paddling 4 miles (60-90 min) Ability to hike 1.5 miles required. Expect slippery and muddy trails. Participants should be in good physical condition, without recent or surgeries.

  21. Duke's Kayak Adventures is a Kayak Tour Agency in Kapaʻa, HI 96746

    River Kayaking. Duke's Kayak Adventures. 4-361 Kuhio Hwy Ste 106 Kapaa, HI 96746. Business Hours. Monday. 7AM - 8PM.

  22. Whale, Turtle & Dolphin Watch

    Kayak Kauai observes a firm 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations within 24 hours will receive no refund;(All Na Pali Coast kayaking tours or GROUPS of 6 or more require a 48 hour cancellation notice). Cancellations made by Kayak Kauai due to inclement weather conditions are 100% refundable.

  23. Wailua River Kayak Adventures in Kapaa, HI

    Secret Falls Kayak / Hike Tour Online Special $115 per person . Take an eco-adventure Kayak/Hike with Alii Kayaks and see a Secret Waterfall! Your guided Kayak Adventure starts with a 2 mile paddle upstream through the scenic valley of the Wailua River. After securing your kayaks on the shores of the North Fork, your moderate 2 mile hike begins.

  24. Kayaking Kauai: Paddling the Garden Island of Hawaii

    HI-560, Kapaʻa, HI 96746. Kayaking in Hanalei Bay is a must-do while in Kauai. The bay is located on the north shore of the island and is well known for its beauty. Visitors can enjoy stunning ...

  25. Luau Ka Hikina

    Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour on Kauai. 363. Recommended. 93% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher. Swimming. from . $125.00. per adult. ... Kayaking Tours. from . $126.21. per adult. LIKELY TO SELL OUT* Private Waimea Canyon Tour. 74. Recommended.

  26. Family sues Hawaii resort after tourist died suddenly snorkeling

    Kathleen Wong. USA TODAY. A Michigan woman and her family are suing a Maui resort, the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau after her husband died while ...