Summer Activities in Kauai, HI
These guys are a riot — and they’re not hard on the eyes either. The guides on Captain Andy’s Sail and Snorkel Tour obviously enjoy their jobs: Their humor crests greater than any waves — and those can get pretty big, too. We’re not talking stupid, must-be-drinking-to-even-smirk puns, just good, clean fun. And the tours are educational, without going overboard. The 55-foot catamarans are the most comfortable and versatile way to see the Na Pali Coast. Snag the front trampolines for a wet and bouncy ride, perch above it all on the non-skid cabin roof, or hang out in the back. Dolphins love to play around the bow, so keep your (preferably waterproof) camera handy. Snorkel with parrotfish, butterflyfish, green sea turtles and even reef sharks. Like everything on this tour, the snorkel equipment is top-notch. Then kick back with wine or beer and a great deli lunch buffet.
If you haven’t gotten down and dirty for a while, Kauai ATV’s the place to do it. The four-hour tour takes you on a 22-mile, round-trip tour to a waterfall, but that’s only half the fun. The real thrill comes from the pride of conquering a steep, muddy incline or blasting through a creek. Prepare to emerge from your two- or four-person mud bug looking like a mud-wrestling champion. You can’t help but let loose when mud starts flying. And the best part: You’re wearing Kauai ATV’s clothing, so you don’t have to deal with laundry. Along the way, you’ll pass an old sugar mill, drive through a half-mile lava tunnel (Kauai’s only drivable tunnel) and motor through lush, green jungle. Eat lunch at a swimming hole, which happens to have an amazing double-tiered waterfall flowing from its source. Then, it’s time to play in the mud again.
Oh, yeah: This is Jane zippin’ through the jungle in style. The guides do all the work. You just hang loose and enjoy the canopy view. It takes about four hours to glide through Princeville Ranch’s nine zip lines and jump off a 10-foot cliff into a pool. They also serve lunch at the swimming hole. Start with a 170-foot-long flight, then graduate to 460 feet. Each zip line pumps up your adrenaline level a little higher. It’s hard to believe, but the views keep improving too. The entire way, you’ll fly comfortably and safely, high over lush treetops and streams. Mountains and open ranch fields accent already stunning views, so bring your camera (they provide a backpack). Test your balance — and your propensity for vertigo — on the sparsely stringed suspension bridge. On each zip, hone your cannonball skills, because you’ll need them for the 1,200 foot King Kong finale.
Row, walk, play: Kayak Kaua’i’s journey to Sacred Falls is fit for body, mind and soul. The 2-mile paddle firms up your biceps and triceps, while the tranquil Wailua River and surrounding greenery nourishes your spirit. Never kayaked? No worries. Guides teach the most effective paddling method, and they design the tour for all ages, so they’ll slow down or pick up the speed depending on need. Kayak Kaua’i is the only company that provides river kayaks, with deep seating to comfortably stretch your legs (and keep your booty dry), and rudders for easier steering. Wear water shoes for the 1-mile hike through the jungle, because you’ll cross a stream (holding a safety rope) and may encounter mud. Along the way, you’ll learn about local lore and stunning foliage until violá: the wide 100+foot falls tumble, as you enjoy a delicious lunch and cool off in the natural pools.
Stand-up paddling has it all. It’s a killer workout, only you don’t feel like you’re dying, because the river surroundings lull you into tranquility.
If you can ride a bike, you can stand-up paddle. Assume a wide stance in the middle of the board, and dig your paddle in. You’ll notice your triceps, core muscles and maybe even your legs engage. But the palm trees, flowering bushes, birds, turtles, fish and backdrop waterfalls are the primary features that will capture your attention. From Kayak Kaua’i in Hanalei, you can either head up the river or out to the ocean. Up river, you’ll duck under the one-lane bridge and glide through narrower canals until the current picks up and provides a great workout before you turn around and basically drift home. Or head to the ocean and play in small waves. Either way, you’ll leave with greater balance.