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Na Pali Coast Waterfalls To Visit

Hanakoa Waterfall Next To a Na Pali Coast Sea Arch

Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is world-renowned for its breathtaking beauty, towering cliffs, and stunning waterfalls. If you’re planning a trip to Kauai, visiting the Na Pali Coast should be at the top of your list. With so many waterfalls to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best Na Pali Coast waterfalls that will make your trip to Kauai unforgettable.

Kauai is Full of Wonderous Waterfalls

Kauai has the prettiest and most diverse waters in all of Hawaii. The number of waterfalls is abundant. The North Shore and the 17 miles of the Na Pali Coastline specifically are home to so many of these wonderful waterfalls. Each individual waterfall has special characteristics and holds its own story.

Although, most of them are difficult to get to because of the dense jungle and beach bluffs. Luckily with Na Pali Riders, you can see many of the Na Pali Coast’s famous waterfalls. Not only will you experience the falls, but along the tour, there will be opportunities to snorkel and visit sea caves that are unique to the Na Pali coast!

When you take a tour with us here at Na Pali Riders, you’ll get the best view of Kauai’s seaweed-colored cliffs and their sharp edges that point to the clouds, casting a shadow over the Pacific ocean. Nestled against those cliffs are waterfalls, jungle, valleys, and some of Kauai’s most beautiful beaches, such as Hanakapiai beach, Milolii beach, Nualolo Kai, and Polihale beach.

Hanakapiai Falls

Hanakapiai Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls on the Na Pali Coast, and for a good reason. The 300-foot waterfall is located at the end of a strenuous 8-mile round-trip hike, which takes you through lush forests and streams. The hike can be challenging, but the reward is well worth it. The waterfall cascades down into a pool that is perfect for swimming and cooling off after a long hike. Give yourself more than a few hours to complete the entirety of the hike – and plan for some time to take in the amazing views!

Pay attention to the many mountain apple trees and small bamboo forests you will encounter along the way. The trail crosses the stream several times, so be careful of the water’s movement. Bring rain gear because rain can happen often, and carry drinking water since it’s not safe to drink water from the stream without sterilizing it.

How long does the hike to Hanakapiai Falls take?

You should plan for the entirety of the hike to take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on your hiking speed, weather, and trail conditions.

Waiahuakua Falls

This waterfall happens to be particularly unique. It flourishes inside of a cave, not to be confused with the Pirate’s Cave waterfall. That waterfall grazes the entrance. Waiahuakua pours through a hole in the cave’s ceiling from the Valley, thousands of feet above. Waiahuakua loosely translates to God’s Water Alter.

Due to weather patterns and conditions, these falls aren’t always accessible during rafting tours. It’s also been called the “double door falls” due to its double entrances. As the cave opens up, you get a glimpse of the water falling from thousands of feet high.


This waterfall comes from the valley along the well-known Awa‘awapuhi trail. The waterfall lies on the west end of Koke‘e State Park. Allegedly Paul Mitchel found the Awaawapuhi ginger root that’s a common ingredient in hair products. It’s the narrowest and deepest of the Na Pali Coast’s isolated cliffside valleys.

There are different explanations for the name of the valley. Some people think it’s because of the valley’s wavy shape, while others believe it’s because of the wild ginger that grows there. The wild ginger, known as ‘awapuhi, has pretty flowers and was used for many things like food, fiber, and shampoo.

Learn more about Awa‘awapuhi and it’s vast valley!

Pirates Cave Waterfall

The Na Pali coastline is packed with nature’s creations. One of those amazing creations is the sea caves. There are many, but the most impressive among them all is the Pirates Cave, the largest sea cave along the Na Pali Coastline.

When you enter the Pirates Cave, you’ll be greeted by its waterfall that pours directly over the heart of the cave’s entryway. Inside, the cave is naturally painted with moss and white calcium streaks from natural freshwater springs, creating a brilliant ambiance.

This waterfall is extremely hard to access. Hiking to it is not even an option. Most boats can’t fit through the entrance safely either, but Na Pali Riders can take you there on their state-of-the-art Zodiac rafts.

How were the Na Pali Coast sea caves and waterfalls formed?

The sea caves on the Na Pali Coast were formed through the process of erosion, where the relentless pounding of ocean waves against the cliffs gradually carved out openings in the rock. Over time, the waves widened and deepened these openings, creating intricate cave systems and waterfalls that are now a popular tourist attraction in the area. Some of the caves also feature stunning natural rock formations that are hard to find anywhere else in Hawaii!

Visit the Na Pali Coast!

The Na Pali Coast is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the world. From the challenging hikes to the easily accessible waterfalls, there is something for everyone on the Na Pali Coast. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual traveler, visiting these waterfalls should be at the top of your list when visiting Kauai. So pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the beauty of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast waterfalls.

Book A Na Pali Coast Caves & Waterfalls Tour!

Na Pali Riders have been offering raft tours of the Na Pali Coast since 1997. Their entire team has in-depth experience with Kauai’s remote areas. We at Na Pali Riders will give you a personalized adventure and make sure your tour is memorable for you, your friends, and your family. Book a tour with us today – the coast is calling your name!

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