With steep emerald cliffs, lush valleys, and remote cascading waterfalls, the Na Pali Coast is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful regions, and no visit to Kauai is complete without a visit to this magical coastline. There are only three ways to explore the Na Pali Coast—by air, by sea, and on foot—and each offers its own unique perspective.
For the most comprehensive view of the Na Pali Coast, take a helicopter or flightseeing tour from Lihue or Princeville that will take you over top sights like Waimea Canyon and the Manawaiopuna Falls. For a closer look, opt for a guided kayaking trip along the dramatic Na Pali cliffs or choose a boat tour that includes a snorkeling or sailing adventure or a sunset dinner cruises.You can also hike the Kalalau Trail, which traverses 11 miles (17 kilometers) and provides access to remote beaches and hidden sea caves. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Na Pali Coast is a must-visit for first time visitors to Kauai.
- Bring a rain jacket for boat and kayak tours and for hikes as it rains often on the Na Pali Coast.
- Permits are required to hike the Kalalau Trail.
- Some helicopter and boat tours are wheelchair accessible; inquire in advance.
The Na Pali Coast stretches for 16 miles (26 kilometers) along Kauai’s northwest shore. No roads lead into the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, and much of the coast is inaccessible due its extremely rugged terrain and sheer cliffs. To reach the trailhead for the Kalalau Trail, follow highway 560 to the end of the road, just past Ha’ena State Park. When to Get There
Kauai’s weather is stable all year round, which makes it an excellent destination anytime of the year. The best time to hike the Kalalau Trail is during the dry season, which lasts from May through October. Winter is whale watching season, making it a great time for boat tours. Hiking the Kalalau (Na Pali Coast) Trail
The Na Pali coastline is only accessible by foot via the Kalalau Trail. Backpackers typically take 3 days or more to make this incredibly scenic 22-mile (34-kilometer) round-trip journey. The trail traverses steep cliffs, requires several river crossings, and is very strenuous in spots. Day hikers can venture to Hanakapi’ai Falls, but permits are required to hike past the falls, even if you don’t plan to camp.