You could absolutely spend your entire honeymoon on Kauai happily lazing in the sun poolside with a mai tai in hand. But if you’re into outdoor action, Kauai is a great place to get up close and personal with cascading waterfalls, lush jungle, scenic mountains, colorful underwater life and more.
Independent travelers who prefer to explore at their own pace can certainly make a go of it by themselves. Plenty of guidebooks give tips on the best hiking trails and snorkeling sites, plus where to rent kayaks and mountain bikes. (Check out my favorable review of Kauai Trailblazer; link below.)
But there are some obvious benefits to paying for guided tours:
- Outfitters have permission to lead groups where individuals can’t trespass
- It’s impossible to access some areas of the island without the help of professionals, for example helicopter tours bring you up close and personal with hidden waterfalls and snorkeling trips take you to the hard-to-reach Na Pali coast.
- Guides are fun! These folks often keep you in stitches with silly jokes. They’re also local residents who can teach you so much about Kauai’s history, not to mention locals’ favorites for where to eat and drink.
- Sure, hanging out just the two of you is fabulous, but on guided group tours you’ll have fun getting to know other vacationing couples on your honeymoon.
Consider these guided trips:
Tubing in the Backcountry
This tubing tour down old irrigation ditches on a former sugar-cane plantation is truly an “only in Kauai” adventure. You’re driven through Kauai’s lush wildernes in a funky, Swiss army vehicle called a Pinzgauer, stopping at scenic sights along the way. At the put-in, you’ll hop on a giant innertube to begin your float along the gently flowing waters. You’ll marvel at the mossy banks and wide ditches that immigrant laborers dug by hand in the late 1800s. Don’t forget to switch on your headlamp when you make your way through six pitch-black tunnels (you’re sporting helmets and rubber gloves for protection, too). The 45-minute tube ride ends with a short drive to a picnic lunch at a swimming hole.
Safari Jungle Trek
Don’t know if you want to kayak, hike or take a zipline ride? Combine all three adventures and more with the Kipu Falls Safari Jungle Trek. You’ll paddle about two miles upstream in an open-cockpit, two-seated kayak. Hike through a tropical forest with an incredibly knowledgeable guide (bring mosquito repellent!). Hop on a rope swing to fling yourself into a swimming hole. Ride a tractor-pulled wagon across a working ranch. And ride a zipline across a tropical stream to the tune of 35 miles an hour. Lunch is a delicious deli sandwich, pasta salad, drink and brownie.
Private Horseback Ride
The experienced folks at Princeville Ranch, in north Kauai, can take you and your new spouse on a personalized horseback ride across ranching pastures with magnificent views of ocean and mountains. Whether you’re brand-new to riding or an experienced equestrian, the ride will be tailored just for you. It includes a waterfall swim and a picnic lunch.
Dozens more activities and adventures abound on Kauai: catamaran snorkeling expeditions, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing lessons and helicopter tours. Learn more at the link below. Have fun!