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Waimea Canyon Tours

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Waimea Canyon
A geological kaleidoscope of reds and browns, Kauai’s impressive Waimea Canyon—at 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) long, one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide, and 3,600 feet (1,097 meters) deep—is Hawaii’s version of the Grand Canyon. In fact, some say Mark Twain was the first to lend it its nickname: the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Stop on its winding rim road for views of a far-below river, sheer drop-offs, spectacular views, excellent hiking, and waterfall-lined crevasses, all just a short way away from the Garden Isle’s legendary Na Pali Coast.

The Basics
The canyon, within the purview of the free-to-access Waimea Canyon State Park, is best seen on a tour, which allows you to gaze over the cliff edges without having to also navigate a vehicle along the winding, canyon-hugging route. Take a 4WD tour on Kauai’s backroads and past popular attractions like quaint Koloa Town, the Spouting Horn blowhole, the artsy town of Hanapepe, and the old Russian Fort before skirting the canyon. Or follow the Wailua River—coupling boat or kayak rides to the jungle of Fern Grotto—with a journey west for comparatively dry river views. Most Waimea Canyon tours continue to Kauai’s northern coast, stopping at Kokee State Park and the Kalalau Overlook for sweeping views of the undulating Na Pali Coast.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Waimea Canyon itself is dry and dusty, but the Na Pali Coast can be foggy and wet. Be prepared and dress in layers for whatever the weather may bring.
  • Although the canyon trails aren’t generally wheelchair accessible, the many lookout points are.
  • For experienced hikers, longer treks—including guided multi-day hut-to-hut hikes—are an option. Trail maps and additional information are available in the Kokee Museum and Visitor Center north of the canyon.
  • There are no gas stations and only one restaurant along Waimea Canyon Drive—a route that, depending on how many stops you make, could take all day. Choose a tour that includes lunch or snacks, or pack food.
 
How to Get There
Access Waimea Canyon along scenic, in-and-out Waimea Canyon Drive (Highway 550) in southwestern Kauai. There are several lookout points and trailheads along the route. You can access the road from coastal Highway 50 in the town of Waimea, or from farther west at Kekaha, via Kokee Road. On the return journey be sure to look for glimpses of distant Niihau, the Forbidden Island.
 
When to Get There
It’s best to head to Waimea Canyon early in the day (before 10am) or in the late afternoon (after 3pm), when the fog that regularly rolls off the sea is less likely to obscure views along the route. Very early morning and at sunset, the canyon’s colors come alive and make for great photographs.
 
Stops Along the Waimea Canyon
There are dozens of pull-offs along Waimea Canyon Drive, but don’t miss sights like the Waimea Canyon Lookout at mile marker 10 or Waipio Falls, best seen from a small lookout around mile marker 13, opposite a picnic area with restrooms and water fountains. The Iliau Nature Loop is a flat and easy (though dusty) trail with signage on local birds and plants, as well as some great canyon views; look for it just before mile marker 9. The restaurant at Kokee State Park, north of the canyon, serves local-style meals—try the loco moco, a hearty Hawaiian dish of white rice, a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy.


Address: Waimea Canyon Drive, Waimea 96796, USA
Admission: Free
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28 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Cultural Tours

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Waimea Canyon and Kauai South Side Tour

We will hit every spot on the way that just can't be missed. Highlights of this tour includes the Menehune Fish Pond, the Kauai Coffee Plantation, Waimea Canyon, the Kalalau Valley Lookout, Spouting Horn, and Poipu Beach. Listen to some historical tales about the island, take photos at all the best spots, and take some walks in some of the most beautiful natural places on the planet. Stop at a market or restaurant of your choice for lunch or picnic. Change the itinerary anyway you like. Customize your tour to include an activity should you choose. Cooler and cold water are provided.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
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USD495.00
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  • 6 to 7 hours

Helicopter Tours

Kauai ECO Adventure Helicopter Tour

To fully appreciate the beauty of Hawaii’s ‘Garden Isle,’ take to the skies above Kauai on a helicopter tour in a new Eurocopter Eco-Star. Soar over the island’s diverse terrain, from rain-soaked Mt. Waialeale and the waterfalls of Waiapuna to the dry red ravine of Waimea Canyon and the breathtaking emerald spires of the Na Pali Coast. A two-way radio to communicate with the pilot and expansive viewing glass add to the unforgettable flight.
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  • 50 minutes
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USD289.00
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  • 50 minutes

Air Tours

Entire Kauai Island Air Tour

Soar over the entire Garden Island for unforgettable views on this air tour of Kauai. From aboard an aircraft designed for sightseeing, soak up breathtaking views of natural attractions like Waimea Canyon, Opaekaa Falls, the rugged Na Pa Coast, and Mt Waialeale — the wettest spot on earth. Your experienced pilot will provide informative narration during the thrilling 70-minute flight.
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes
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USD145.00
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes

Ports of Call Tours

Kauai Shore Excursion: 55-minute Helicopter Adventure Flight

See the natural wonders of Kauai from the air on this 45- to 55-minute helicopter flight from Lihue. Sights include Waimea Canyon (known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Park Falls), Na Pali Coast State Park, the Hanalei Valley waterfalls, and more. Cruise port pickup and drop-off provided from Nawiliwili Harbor. Select a departure time when booking.
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  • 55 minutes
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  • 55 minutes

Full-day Tours

Kauai Waimea Canyon and Wailua River

Discover the stunning beauty and fascinating history of Kauai on this full-day tour of the island’s natural attractions. See the breathtaking expanse of Waimea Canyon and float through tropical paradise with a Wailua River cruise. Relax in a comfortable air-conditioned coach as your local guide narrates the passing sites and shares tales from Kauai’s rich history. Keep your camera ready for many vista points and photos stops along the way!
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  • 10 hours
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  • 10 hours

Helicopter Tours

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Kauai Discovery Helicopter Tour

This will be an unforgettable experience like no other. See Kauai and all its beauty, soaring high in the sky in a state-of-the-art EC130 helicopter.
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  • 25 minutes
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  • 25 minutes

Nature & Wildlife

Kauai: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto Kauai

Discover some of the Garden Isle’s most enchanting landscapes and cultural attractions on a full-day Kauai sightseeing tour by coach. Peer into the majestic, multicolored expanse of Waimea Canyon, be surrounded by the lush tropical paradise of the Fern Grotto and learn about sacred Hawaiian legends on a cruise down the Wailua River. See many of the island’s south shore highlights along the way, including old Koloa Town, the Spouting Horn natural blowhole, Captain Cook’s Landing and Coco Palms Grove.
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  • 9 hours
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  • 9 hours

Air Tours

Discover Kauai (departs from Princeville)

On the "Garden Isle" of Kauai, there's so much that's hard or impossible to reach from the ground, but up in the air, you can see for yourself why this is one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the Pacific. Take this helicopter tour from Princeville for the chance to look down on Hanapepe Valley, Waimea Canyon, Manawaiopuna Falls (aka Jurassic Park Falls), Hanalei Bay, the Na Pali Coast, and other natural sights.
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  • 45 minutes
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  • 45 minutes

Air Tours

Kauai Deluxe Sightseeing Flight

Choose 1 passenger when booking to see your pricing options on this bird’s-eye view of Kauai’s spectacular scenery with a deluxe air tour! Marvel at natural wonders like the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay and tropical waterfalls. Soar over the Garden Island in an aircraft specially designed for sightseeing as your pilot provides narration through high-tech headsets during the 1-hour flight.
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  • 1 hour 5 minutes
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USD140.00
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  • 1 hour 5 minutes

Helicopter Tours

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Kauai Explorer Helicopter Tour

Known as the "Garden Isle," Kauai is home to some of the wettest places on earth. Take a helicopter tour over the island’s lush, yet rugged landscape, including locations featured in feature films such as "Jurassic Park". Fly over Waimea Canyon—which Mark Twain dubbed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific"—the Bali Hai Cliffs, the North Shore, Mount Makana, and more on this fantastic aerial island tour.
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  • 50 minutes
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  • 50 minutes

Kid Friendly Tours & Activities

Kauai Waimea Canyon Experience

Experience the natural splendor of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon on this guided tour. Learn about the fascinating geologic history of the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific,’ and stop at several vista points along the way for great photos. Visit the historic island town of Hanapepe and see highlights of the southern coast, including the Koloa Sugar Mill, Spouting Horn blowhole and the luxurious beach resorts of Poipu.
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  • 6 hours
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USD90.09
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  • 6 hours

Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

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Waimea Canyon downhill bike ride

We share some of the most intimate history and legends about Kaua'i in a personal way, stopping at the most iconic and secret lookouts covering three state parks, we venture in a bucket list type coasting downhill bike ride, we make it down to the breeze of the Pacific just on time to witnessing beautiful sunset over the forbidden island.
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  • 4 hours
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USD109.95
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  • 4 hours

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Waimea Canyon Tour

Experience the best of Kauai on a full-day private tour through the island’s scenic landscape, highlights and historic landmarks. Sample locally-grown beans at the Kauai Coffee Company, and visit old-fashioned Hanapepe; see the last Russian outpost on Hawaii, follow the footsteps of Captain Cook and take in stunning views of Waimea Canyon. Feel the mist off Waipo’o Falls, watch the Spouting Horn lava tube erupt with towering surf and watch for sea turtles in a sheltered cove before finishing your tour with a visit to stunning Wailua Falls. *Price displayed is based on a party of four to six passengers
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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  • 7 to 8 hours

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Kauai Jeep Tours

Explore the rugged paradise of Kauai on a private, 5-hour Jeep tour. Venture off the beaten path to experience stunning beaches, cascading waterfalls and fantastic mountain vistas, including from the rim of the majestic Waimea Canyon. See the Spouting Horn blowhole, swim at Poipu Beach, and opt for a picnic lunch on the beach. A friendly local driver and guide can customize the itinerary to suit your preferences for an unforgettable island adventure.
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  • 5 hours
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USD159.00
From  
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  • 5 hours

Day Trips

Oahu to Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto

Jet set from Oahu to Kauai and spend the day getting to know another island. Leave the driving and logistics to your guide and relax in air-conditioned comfort as you see Kauai’s sights like the Waimea canyon, Coco Palms Grove, and the Fern Grotto. See an ancient Eucalyptus forest, tropical waterfall and learn about Hawaiian culture with a hula performance.
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  • 9 hours
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USD485.00
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  • 9 hours

Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill

Take an exciting downhill ride from Waimea Canyon on this Kauai mountain bike tour! After riding in a van to the rim of the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific,’ hop on a bike and cruise down 12 miles (19 km) of paved trail while taking in views of the magnificent lava rock landscape. Cycle through beautiful Koke’e State Park and end your ride at the island’s coast, stopping for plenty of photo ops along the way.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes

Ports of Call Tours

Kauai Shore Excursion: Journey to Waimea Canyon

While in port in Kauai, take a half-day tour to Waimea Canyon, known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific'.  In stark contrast to Kauai’s lushness is Waimea Canyon State Park. The canyon offers one of the best views of the island's western coast.  Ddrive through Hawaii’s first sugarcane plantation and to the town of Waimea, made famous by Captain Cook hundreds of years ago. Before concluding your tour back at your original departure point, stop to see the water fly high at Po’ipu’s Spouting Horn on the island's southern side.
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  • 5 hours
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USD69.00
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USD69.00
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  • 5 hours

Ports of Call Tours

Kauai Shore Excursion: Waimea Canyon and River

Spend a delightful day exploring the natural and cultural wonders of Kauai on this shore excursion featuring the magnificent Waimea Canyon. Hike to the summit of this ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ for spectacular views, and see many attractions along Kauai’s southern coast, including the Spouting Horn natural blowhole and historic Old Koloa Town. Cruise down the sacred Wailua River and soak up the serene beauty of Fern Grotto and Opaekaa Falls.
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  • 9 hours
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USD129.00
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USD129.00
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  • 9 hours

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Tour: Kauai Sightseeing Adventure

Make the most of your time on Kauai with a private tour tailored to suit your interests. Select from an East and North Shore itinerary or a tour of the island’s West and South Shores. Your private guide takes you to numerous local highlights, including charming towns, the best beaches, secluded waterfalls, and other natural attractions.
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  • 6 hours
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USD269.80
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  • 6 hours

Air Tours

Kauai Pali Mist Air Tour

Enjoy personalized attention and privacy for you and your partner on this flight tour over Kauai Pali. With just your party and a pilot, you'll get commentary tailored to your interests and plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Take in panoramic aerial views over the cliffs, sea, waterfalls, and forested hills, as well as excellent photo ops.
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  • 1 hour 5 minutes
From  
USD155.00
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USD155.00
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  • 1 hour 5 minutes

Air Tours

Vintage Biplane Tour of Kauai

Soar over Kauai aboard a vintage biplane for unmatched aerial views of the Garden Island! On a 70-minute flight, get a bird’s-eye perspective on Kauai’s diverse topography and amazing natural attractions. Fly above the Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay, Mt Waialeale, cascading waterfalls, white sandy beaches and more while your expert pilot provides narration on the island’s history and geography.
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes
From  
USD525.00
From  
USD525.00
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes

Nature & Wildlife

Kauai: Waimea Canyon Tour

Experience the majesty of ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ on this full-day tour of the Waimea Canyon and highlights of Kauai’s southern shore. Peer into the cavernous red expanse from the best vantage points, and learn how the canyon was formed by thousands of years of erosion. Along the way, see other natural and cultural attractions including the Spouting Horn blowhole, Waimea Town, the Hanapepe Valley Lookout, Fort Elizabeth and old Koloa Town.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
From  
USD79.00
From  
USD79.00
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes

Cultural Tours

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Da Westside Explorer

Da Westside Explorer is a feast to the eyes and an opportunity for guest to immerse in the Hawaiian culture with a live narration about the history, legends, geology, and the natural environment of our islands. Guest will be able to take the day off from driving to truly enjoy the sights of the two most beautiful state parks on Kauai in the comfort of an air condition van with large viewing windows. All tours are conducted by the owner making it a very special experience with someone who loves what they do for a living and takes care of every guest needs to detail.Small groups of up to 13 people max will provide each guest with a personalized and intimate experience. On this tour you will visit iconic lookouts and places off the beaten path. You will enjoy a delicious and locally sourced lunch at a cozy mountain lodge. There will be many food options to choose from, and an open bar available.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
From  
USD152.00
From  
USD152.00
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes

Cultural Tours

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Kauai full-island bundle - GPS Driving tour app

Our app is an audio tour guide that works like magic! Using your GPS location, the app will play audio automatically as we guide you to the best spots around the island while telling you fun stories about each location.‍♂️ Skip the tour bus & explore Kauai at your own pace for a fraction of the cost with the best self-guided audio GPS tours for Hawaii! Rated the #1 best GPS tour app for Hawaii with over 6,000+ raving reviews and 200,000+ downloads. Why you need it:✅ You don't need service because you can download the tours & use them offline✅ Much cheaper than a tour bus at only $19.99 for a full-island tour✅ Save time planning your trip because we have the best stops lined up✅ Freedom to stop and go as you please, unlike a tour bus where you are confined to the pre-determined route (no fun!)✅ Hear cool and fun stories along the way (and some corny joke's that might make you laugh)
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  • 4 days
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USD19.99
From  
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  • 4 days


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