Top 5 Waterfalls to Visit on the Kauai Island

Kauai Waterfalls

Top 5 Waterfalls to Visit on the Kauai Island

The Kauai Island in Hawaii is home to a diverse collection of geology. From deep canyons to high cliffs, lush rainforests, legendary coastlines, and magnificent waterfalls, Kauai is a dream destination.

After all, it’s not known as the Garden Island for nothing! Countless waterfalls dot well-traversed locations while others hide among secluded passageways. No matter if it takes an easy hike or a helicopter ride, each waterfall is worth experiencing for yourself.

Take a look at our top 5 listing of must-see waterfalls in Kauai.

1. Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is a double-tiered waterfall located near the Kalepa Mountain Forest Reserve. It boasts a 100-foot drop to a pool of water below. Luckily enough, this display of Mother Nature requires NO hiking.

It is the most popular and most easily accessed waterfall on Kauai. Once you reach the parking lot for the falls, it’s only a short walk to reach the viewing area. If you don’t visit any other waterfall on the island, this one is a must-see.

2. Hanakapiai Falls

Compared to Wailua Falls, the Hanakapiai Falls waterfall is incredibly difficult to reach. However, the reward is well worth the journey. Lace-up those hiking boots and get ready for a journey. It’s about a 4-mile walk (round trip) over different terrain that can be quite muddy.

Hike through bamboo forests and true jungle topography, and you’ll eventually reach a 300-foot vertical drop cascading with stunning water. If trekking solo isn’t your thing, then you can also hire a guided tour to help navigate the landscape.

3. Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Falls)

Manawaiopuna Falls is only accessible by helicopter since it is on private land in an inaccessible area. This fall gets the name “Jurassic Falls” because it was featured in the film Jurassic Park. Trust us; this fall is even more magnificent in person. The entire waterfall is about 400-feet tall, surrounded by lush greenery and steep cliffs on all sides. A beautiful pool sits at the bottom that you can walk around (if on a suitable tour).

4. Secret Falls

The technical name for this waterfall on Kauai is Uluwehi Falls. However, everyone calls it Secret Falls. This must-see waterfall is located on the east side of Kauai, and you’ll need to take a boat or helicopter to reach the trailhead for the falls. Once landing at the trailhead, it’s a somewhat challenging hike up to the main event.

The trek is mostly muddy, so prepare to get dirty. We recommend going barefoot or wearing water shoes- no hiking boots. The best part is being able to swim in the beautiful pool of water at the end of your journey.

5. Kipu Falls

Kipu Falls is mesmerizing, but not for the faint of heart. Only fit and fearless experienced hikers should attempt to visit this waterfall. It is located upstream of the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge and is a local favorite for swimming.

This fall is quite powerful and breaks off into several individual streams, making it alluring. While you can catch excellent views of Kipu Falls from the bottom, we suggest hanging out in the pool at the top.