The Hawaiian island of Kauai is one of the region’s most popular kayaking destinations, with one particular stretch of water – the Wailua River – being the major draw for many.
Stretching for 20 miles, the river, which is fed by two majestic waterfalls, ‘Opaeka’a and Wailua, each within the boundaries of the Wailua River State Park, attracts huge numbers of kayak enthusiasts every year. If you’re coming to Kauai and would like to try your hand at kayaking, there are a wide number of companies offering kayak rentals as well as guided kayak tours, both on the river itself and in other enticing spots on the island. Here are three such companies that we’d recommend.
Bring Me A Kayak
A locally owned and operated company serving Kauai and several other islands throughout Hawaii, Bring Me a Kayak offer kayak rentals configurable for one or two people as well as guided kayak tours on the Wailua River. For rentals, they provide same-day delivery and will attach your kayak to your car, with roof racks, rolling cars and straps included at no added cost, plus lifejackets and dry bags. For added convenience, they offer same-day delivery and free delivery and pick-up, and if the wind, waves, or water are deemed unsafe at the time of your rental, then you can cancel for a full refund.
Alii Kayaks, LLC
A full-service guided kayak tour operator located on the Wailua River, Alii Kayaks specialise in trips to the majestic Uluwehi Falls – aka the “Secret Falls”. With all equipment, including kayak rental, backrests, personal flotation devices and paddles inclusive of the tour price, guests can benefit from a fully hassle-free service, with no need to transport your bulky rentals or hunt for parking at the State Park. Guides will set up all your equipment before you arrive and stay with you every step of the way. The tour itself is an easy-going Hawaiian Style kayak paddle on the river combined with a moderate hike through a rain forest, and is normally completed in around 5 hours.
Wailua Kayak Adventures
Also family run, Wailua Kayak Adventures have been offering rentals and tours on the Wailua River for more than 25 years. Operating just two tours per day to ensure quality not quantity, for their morning tour at 7am they are invariably the first on the water. For rentals, they specialise in “Load and Go” adventuring, inviting customers to come to the shop and have their gear loaded on their vehicle before helping familiarise you with a map of the waterways and sending you on your way. Double and single kayaks come fully equipped with high back seats, adjustable paddles, backpack-style dry bags and soft racks. If you have small children, additional seats can be added in the double kayaks at no extra cost.