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The Most Breathtaking Kauai Waterfalls…And How to See Them

Hawaii has some of the most beautiful waterfalls on the planet, and Kauai waterfalls are no exception.

In fact, Kauai waterfalls are some of the best that can be seen, anywhere.

Some are easier to get to than others, so this list covers all of the must-see waterfalls, and how to see them:

Waipo’o Falls

This 800-foot cascading waterfall in the heart of Waimea can be seen from several different locations along the road.

And you can also glimpse some great views from hikes. For instance, the Waipoo Falls Cliff Trail Hike will take you all the way to the top of the waterfall, giving you a beautiful vista view.

Opaekaa Falls

Opaekaa Falls is one of Kauai’s most accessible waterfalls…and its most beautiful. These 151-foot falls are easily viewable via a highway overlook parking lot off Highway 580.

You’ll be treated with a brilliant view of some of the filming locations of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park! Be warned that the trails to the waterfalls are dangerous and have been closed, but you can still enjoy the spectacular view from afar. You can also see the temple of Poli’ahu Heiau nearby.

It’s recommended to go in the middle of the day, when the sunlight is brightest.

Wailua Falls

These double-tiered, 173-foot falls are pretty close to Opaekaa Falls, located North of Lihue and at the south end of the Wailua River. Take the Highway 583 exit and follow the signs to get to the falls.

Like Opaekaa, there are trails leading to the falls, but they are dangerous and highly advised against. The falls are best seen from the lookouts.

If you go early in the day and the conditions are right, there’s a strong chance you’ll get to see a rainbow.

Hanakapiai Falls

These majestic, 300-foot falls are only accessible by a rather difficult hike. To get to them, take the Kalalu trail, which leads to Hanakapi’ai beach after 2 miles, then keep going. It’s another 2 miles to Hanakapiai falls.

The trail has a 786-foot elevation gain, and is often wet and slippery. But it’s doable, and if you’re an experienced, healthy hiker, the trip is well worth it.

The private falls are the perfect reward for the end of a long hike, and you’ll be happy you did it.

Uluwehi Falls (AKA Secret Falls)

This set of falls gets its nickname because accessing it requires you to paddle up a river, and take a short rainforest walk. Getting there does require owning or renting a kayak, but if you’ve got that and a sense of adventure, the waterfall is pretty easy to get to.

Simply take a calm 45 minute kayak ride up the river, and after a short 20 minute walk, you’re there! The beautiful 100-foot falls are well worth the effort.


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