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4 Must See Waterfalls In Kauai

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Kauai, the northernmost major Hawaiian island is nicknamed the Garden Island. With plenty of rainfall, the island is lush, green, and home to some beautiful waterfalls. Whether you are vacationing in Kauai or taking a travel healthcare contract, checking out some of the beautiful waterfalls on the island are a must do! Here are my must see waterfalls in Kauai.

’Opaeka’a Falls

'Opaeka'a Falls
‘Opaeka’a Falls

Opaeka’a Falls offers convenient accessibility by car and stands out as one of the most easily reachable waterfalls among the featured options. Situated on the eastern side of the island, reaching the picturesque viewpoint entails a simple 2-mile drive along Route 580. The viewpoint provides ample parking facilities and even includes restroom amenities, making it a family-friendly destination.

Intriguingly, ‘Opaeka’a, derived from the Hawaiian language, translates to “rolling shrimp.” The name is attributed to the abundance of shrimp residing in the stream, adding a fascinating historical element to this splendid natural attraction.

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is also accessible by car, although it is a bit more windy of a drive than ‘Opaeka’a Falls. To access Wailua Falls, you traverse about miles on a windy, narrow road. The falls are located at the end of the road, where there is limited parking. I’ve been there twice, and both times, there was a traffic parking jam as people tried to get a parking space. Once you find parking, there is a railing where you can stand and observe the beautiful falls.

Be patient and prepared for the parking congestion on this one.

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls

Waipo’o Falls

Waipo’o Falls is located in the stunning Waimea Canyon! Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a must see in Kauai. Waipo’o Falls is viewable from multiple scenic lookouts on canyon road in Waimea. This waterfall is a further drive than the first two on this list. It is more than a ten mile drive through windy roads on route 550 in Waimea Canyon. This drive can easily take 30-45 minutes and is often rainy and cloudy.

You can view Waipo’o falls from a marked scenic viewpoint with parking and bathrooms. This scenic viewpoint has wonderful views, not only of the falls, but of the whole canyon. You can also pull over at several spots on the canyon road to see Waipo’o Falls from different angles.

For the adventurous, there is a hike to take you to the falls. More information on the hike here: All Trails.

Waipo'o Falls
Waipo’o Falls

Secret Falls

Secret Falls
People swimming in Secret Falls

Secret Falls lives up to its name, offering a truly hidden gem amidst the lush landscapes of Kauai. To embark on this adventure, you’ll start by kayaking along the serene Wailua River to reach the trailhead. From there, a 1.5-mile hike unfolds, guiding you through breathtaking scenery to reveal the captivating waterfall. It’s an excursion that demands both physical endurance and a spirited sense of adventure.

Ensure you don comfortable water-friendly shoes that dry quickly since you’ll be navigating shallow streams during the hike. Dressing in older attire is advisable, as the trail often gets quite muddy.

For a hassle-free experience, numerous companies offer kayak and hiking tours to Secret Falls. Personally, I had an exceptional experience with Kayak Kauai and wholeheartedly recommend them. Our knowledgeable guide, Doc, not only shared the area’s rich history but also pointed out unique flora along the way. Kayak Kauai even provides a bagged lunch, water bottles, and a dry bag for your belongings. Opting for a guided tour is an excellent way to relish the beauty of Secret Falls without the stress of going it alone.

Conclusions on Must See Waterfalls in Kauai

Given the rainfall and landscape in Kauai, there is no shortage of beautiful waterfalls to see and explore. Whether you want to see vistas from the road, or explore more hidden spots, there are plenty of options for you.

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