Waimea Canyon Tour

Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific

Waimea Canyon Tour waterfall in the canyon

The canyon as seen from above

Waimea Canyon Tour overlook

Looking out and down into the colorful chasm

Waimea Canyon Tour nene the Hawaii state bird

Nene, the Hawaii state bird, enjoying the canyon view

Waimea Canyon Tour fern tree

Native ferns and koa forests line the canyon rim

Waimea Canyon Tour Koloa Tree Tunnel

The famous Koloa Tree Tunnel

Waimea Canyon Tour blowhope neat Poipu

Visit the Spouting Horn, an ocean blowhole near Poipu

Waimea Canyon Tour Oapaekaa overlook

Stop at the Opaekaa Falls overlook

Waimea Canyon Tour Wailua River

Looking down onto the Wailua River, your next destination

Waimea Canyon Tour Fern Grotto cruise

Fern Grotto cruise is a two mile journey up the Wailua River

Waimea Canyon Tour view of sleeping giant

Sleeping Giant Mountain looms over the river

Waimea Canyon Tour Smith's musicians

Musicians entertain with legends and songs of old Hawaii

Waimea Canyon Tour Fern Grott

The grotto's name comes from ferns that grow above its roof

Waimea Canyon Tour hula dancer

Hula dancer in the lush natural setting of the park

COVID-19 UPDATE: Waimea Canyon Tours are currently suspended until the mandatory quarantine for mainland visitors is lifted. There is no firm date yet for resuming this tour.
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Kauai’s lush tropical setting features beautiful rainforests, breathtaking ocean-side cliffs, and sparkling sand beaches. In stark contrast to Kauai’s lushness is Waimea Canyon State Park. Thousands of years of volcanic activity, earthquakes, and erosion have created a dramatic variation in the landscape. Waimea Canyon tour features “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, and offers one of the best views of the remote western coast of Kauai. The 3500 foot deep canyon’s beauty and size is awe-inspiring. Waterfalls plunging from distant valleys, azure blue skies, glowing red rocks, and brilliant green foliage combine for a study in color and contrast. The canyon rim is home to unique native tree ferns and koa forests, with temperatures noticeably cooler than at sea level.

Historical and cultural spots provide a touch of romance to the tour. There are the remains of the early 19th-century Russian Fort, Fort Elizabeth, and Old Koloa Town, an old plantation town now known for its shopping and dining. Drive through the famous Koloa Tree Tunnel, and stop to visit the Spouting Horn, an ocean blowhole that also makes a roaring sound reminiscent of a raging dragon.

On the eastern side of the island you’ll drive past the now-defunct Coco Palms resort grounds, and up to the Opaekaa Falls overlook where a short walk will lead you to a view down into the Wailua River Valley. The historic waterway, which is Hawaii’s only navigable river, leads to Fern Grotto, one of Kauai’s signature attractions. The Fern Grotto is only accessible by boat and provides sightseers an up-close view of the fern-lined cave and nearby waterfall. Local musicians and hula dancers will entertain with songs and dance of old Hawaii while on board the boat, and in the romantic setting of the Fern Grotto.

General Information
Schedule: Daily

Duration: approximately 8 hours

Pickup:  Hotel or cruise ship dock pickup is included in the price of this tour for most resort areas in Poipu, Lihue, Nawiliwili Harbor and Kapaa. Guests staying in other parts of the island need to drive to a central meeting point for the start of the tour.

Lunch: A stop is made where lunch is available for purchase.

Restrictions: Children under the age of 4 must be seated on an adult’s lap or purchase a child’s admission.

What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes and be sure to bring a light jacket as temperatures at the canyon are considerably cooler.

Note:  Infant / Child Rates: Infants 3 and under are free in a lap. If you would like a seat for an infant, you will be charged the child rate. If you desire a seat for an infant, register them as a child instead of an infant.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours before the start of the event.

waimea canyon
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific
waimea canyon overlook
Beautiful views of Waimea Canyon

CCruise Ship Iconruise Ship Passengers

A variation of this tour that includes pickup at the dock is available for cruise ship passengers arriving at Nawiliwili Harbor. Pride of America passengers can do this Waimea Canyon / Fern Grotto Tour but it must be split into two parts with the Waimea Canyon portion done on DAY 1 (Thursday) and the Fern Grotto cruise done on the morning of DAY 2 (Friday).


Other cruise ship passengers MAY be able to do this tour depending on your ship’s arrival and departure times. Call us to check at 1.808.876.7777.


Activity Tips

Kevin Ditamore – Owner / Manager

Waimea Canyon is a must-see site on the island of Kauai … it is a bit out of the way though, as it is located on the far west side of the island miles from any resort hotels. It’s a bit of a white knuckle drive on a winding mountain road … consider sitting back and enjoying the scenery while your experienced driver / guide takes you there. The drive up to the Waimea Canyon overlook skirts the rim of the canyon and these tour vehicles sit much higher off the ground than a passenger car. You’ll actually see more while riding on this tour than you will out the window of a rental car. One thing you will be struck by on this tour … the number of wild chickens running around everywhere you go on the island of Kauai. Please consider taking one back home with you as a souvenir at the conclusion of your vacation! Ha ha. Due to rockfall hazards, the State of Hawaii no longer allows visitors to go beyond the Fern Grotto viewing platform. Entering the grotto itself is not permitted, but the entire grotto can be seen from the viewing platform. It is a scenic and historic rocky overhang; not a cave that warrants exploration. You aren’t really missing out on anything by not being able to enter the grotto. For those who enjoy biking, you might also consider the Waimea Canyon to the Coast downhill bike tour.