Kauai is often referred to as the Garden Island, a tribute to its lush, tropical environment, and what is a garden without a few stunning waterfalls? Luckily, Kauai is bursting with waterfalls, but we’d like to argue that these six are the best. Some of these falls are easily accessible by car, while others require a bit more effort to view.

#1. Hanakapiai Falls

Image by: Paul Bica/Flickr

Image by: Paul Bica/Flickr

Situated on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, this beautiful waterfall is accessible via a strenuous day hike that will take you two miles along the Na Pali Coast to Hanakapiai Beach, and then another two miles upstream to the falls. Your reward for completing the journey: a gorgeous 300-foot waterfall.


#2. Waipoo Falls

Image by: Kanaka Menehune/Flickr

Image by: Kanaka Menehune/Flickr

Located in the heart of the Waimea Canyon, this 700-foot waterfall only flows during the rainy season, but I still think it’s too gorgeous to pass up. It is viewable from various lookout points along Highway 550.


#3. Uluwehi Falls

Image by: Keltron/Flickr

Image by: Keltron/Flickr

Known to locals and visitors as Secret Falls, this is a popular day adventure on Kauai’s east side. The trailhead is located up the Wailua River, so you will need to either book a guided tour or rent kayaks or canoes. Once you reach the trailhead, it is a muddy – and often slippery – 45-minute hike to the falls, but it is worth every second. And the journey is half the fun, right?


#4. Wailua Falls

Image by: Donna S/Flickr

Image by: Donna S/Flickr

Though this waterfall boasts a modest 80-foot peak, it features a unique two-stream plunge. Plus, there’s no need to work for the view; visitors can drive right up to the top of the waterfall, making this the perfect Kauai waterfall to check out if you have little ones, or you’re simply short on time.


#5. Opaekaa Falls

Image by: Frank Hamm/Flickr

Image by: Frank Hamm/Flickr

Located just north of Wailua Falls, Opaekaa is another Kauai waterfall that you can simply drive to. The falls are modest in height, but after periods of heavy rain, the flow is simply remarkable. Opaekaa translates to “rolling shrimp” in Hawaiian, supposedly named because the stream was full of shrimp at one point.


#6. Manawaipuna Falls

Image by: Julian Fong/Flickr

Image by: Julian Fong/Flickr

Now, I’ll be frank with you – you can’t actually see this waterfall unless you take a helicopter tour of the island – but it made this list for the simple fact that it is one of Hawaii’s most famous waterfalls. After all, it did make an appearance in one of the Jurassic Park movies, which is pretty cool.


Which of these six Kauai waterfalls is your favorite?

Megan Shute
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Megan Shute is a freelance journalist and editor currently residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from Minnesota, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Hawaiian sunsets.