Hawaii Kayaking Destinations

By Masako Yamahiro

Kayaking Hawaii is often as serene as a solitary paddle trip along a tranquil river or as wild as a rough ocean adventure. Well-known kayaking destinations can be found on Kauai, Maui and Molokai. Many of the most beautiful areas in Hawaii are really difficult to access via land but kayaking gives paddlers immediate access to appreciate and enjoy natural beauty.

Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with a river suited for kayaking. Wailua River on the eastern side of the island is often a popular destination. The right side of the river is reserved for kayaking.

Wailua River Valley used to be reserved for royalty. It's still considered sacred and special by many. The river is normally gentle with little current.

Lavish tropical foliage, beautiful exotic blossoming flowers, ancient ruins, sacred waterfalls, old Hawaiian villages, beautiful canyons and rain forests are a percentage of the picturesque beauty kayakers can easily experience. Several tour companies operate in the region. Single, double, and triple kayaks are available for rent. The Secret Falls and Fern Grotto are popular Hawaii kayaking destinations.

Occasionally usage of a number of areas (such as the grotto) is restricted there is however a lot more to see that kayakers aren't left with time on their hands.

Maui kayaking tours include beginner tours, Makena tours and Honolua Bay tours. Kayak surfing tours are available and at least one tour company welcomes physically challenged kayakers.

Kayaking Makena Landing gives paddlers the chance to see turtles, eels, octopus, reef sharks, tropical fish and often whales or dolphins.

The remote and exquisite Pali Sea Cliff area features rugged shoreline, sharp sea cliffs and beautiful coral reefs. Hawaiian green sea turtles are a highlight of kayaking Makena Bay.

Honolua Bay is a marine reserve. The coral reef teems with fish. Kayaking here does require paddling into moderately strong trade winds.

Kayaking Hawaii's Molokini Crater allows kayakers to access areas powerboats can get to. Some of the island's most breathtaking sea life is said to be found here.

Molokai is best reserved for experienced kayakers. Ocean swells and rough waves make paddling too difficult and dangerous for beginners. The island's undeveloped north shore may be paddled from east to west but kayakers rarely paddle the return route. Ten mile-per-hour winds make the trip a rough one.

Kayaking Hawaii's Kona coast gives paddlers the opportunity to explore Kealakekua Bay, Keahou, Ho'okena, Honaunau and Kailua.

Kealakekua Bay is the most protected deep water bay and is designated a Marine Life Conservation District. The Bay was the home of many Hawaiian Chiefs and is where Captain Cook landed. A Captain Cook monument stands there today. Across the bay, kayakers will find pristine reefs where over 250 species of fish have been identified. Glass kayaks can be rented in Kona, making kayaking Hawaii a truly amazing and different experience.

Keahuou Bay, birthplace of Kamehameha the great, boasts calm waters. Kayakers paddling along the south cliffs will pass sea caves. One of the sea caves can often be entered by kayak, making for a unique Hawaiian kayaking experience.

Kayaking Hawaii can be a tranquil experience or an adrenalin rush. From tropical waterfalls to rushing rapids, from sea caves to historical ruins, paddlers can choose the perfect kayak trip.

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