Kauai Island Sea Activities

There are nearly as many activities to enjoy at sea in Kauai as there are on land.  In fact, there may be more.  Here is a partial list of things to keep you happily busy on your vacation in paradise.

Ocean Tours

The most popular destination for ocean tours on Kauai is the NaPali Coast, with it’s steep cliffs, secluded beaches and mysterious valleys.  The tours boats range from zodiak rafts to 63′ catamarans and sailboats.  Depending on time of year, you can go for a morning snorkel trip, a whale watching tour or a romantic sunset sail.  The NaPali Coast is really something to see, well worth the trip. Most tour operators depart from Port Allen in Ele ele, with only a few leaving from the North Shore.  If your goal is to see the NaPali Coast, departing from Hanalei has some great advantages since you are much closer to the coast there than from down at Port Allen.  

If you are prone to seasickness, be sure to take Dramamine before you go, and taking it the night before as well is also recommended by many people.  Some boats do not have bathroom facilities, though most have a very small toilet area. If having such facilities is important to you, make sure you check on that prior to booking.


Kayaking isn’t exclusively an ocean activity, since it’s always done on water, but we’ve put it in this section.  There are lots of great kayaking opportunities on Kauai, from gliding through rain forests to making your way along the beautiful coastline.  Kauai has four navigable rivers, and of these, Wailua river is the most popular.  Tours where you kayak up a river and then hike to the falls are very popular. Information is available at Kayaks & gear rental locations.

  • Kayak Kauai –  1-808-826-9844

  • Pedal n Paddle –  1-808-826-9069


Snorkeling is one of my favorite activities on Kauai.  I love seeing the underwater world.  There are lots of great beaches to snorkel at, or you can book ocean tours that take you out to less accessible areas.  I like snorkeling from the beach.  That way, if I’m tired of the water and want to be back on solid land, I can lounge on the beach at my leisure, whereas if you’re on a tour, you may be snorkeling off the side of the boat and there may not be solid land to stand on nearby and you’re on someone else’s schedule.

Different beaches are good for snorkeling at different times.  Kauai’s north shore beaches are usually best in the summer and south shore is better in the winter.  Obviously, regardless of the time of year, calm seas are best and safest for snorkeling. Seek out a location that is calm with plenty of coral but with easy access to the water without endangering the coral. And never stand on the coral.  It might look like a rock to you, but colonies that have taken decades to develop and can be wiped out in an instant.

Some of my favorite snorkeling places are Ke’e Beach, Tunnels and the beach at Lawai/Beach House.  I usually find Ke’e to be consistently the most snorkelable, but the variety of fish is great other places. 

Everyone has their favorite place.  What will be yours?


For those who love to surf and those who want to learn how, Kauai is a great place to be.  Hanalei Bay is famous for its excellent waves.  While I must admit that I don’t indulge in this popular pastime, I hear that learning isn’t as hard as most people think.  And there are several good teachers on the island.  So if you’re wanting to take up a new hobby (or passion) consider giving it a try.


Many divers love Kauai, and with the fabulous underwater world that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands, its not a wonder. There are a number of dive companies serving the island, and several popular dive spots, whether your on the North Shore (Tunnels, for example) or the South (Fishbowl is another example).  The Dive Hawaii website can offer some helpful information about dive sites on Kauai, as well as suggest a dive company.  Their website is: http://hawaiiscubadiving.

Whale Watching

We went with friends to Kauai who just couldn’t understand what the big deal was about whales.  Why would we want to sit around and look for whales?  What was the big deal?  That was until we spotted some from the Kileaua Lighthouse.  We ended up standing there for hours, mesmerized as we watch these amazing creatures surface on the water.

Whales are only around the island from about December through April, here to mate and give birth (a baby whale with its mother is really a site to see).  The rest of the year they are feeding in Alaska.  If you are visiting Kauai in the winter months, see about taking a Whale Watching Tour.   Check with Kauai activity brokers for options.

Deep Sea & Big Game Fishing

Since Kauai is out in the middle of the pacific ocean and is surrounded by extremely deep waters on all sides, it is somewhat of a magnet for deep sea and big game sport fish.  Sport fishing charters are available for those interested in catching blue marlins, yellowfin tuna and more.  The seas are often pretty rough, so if you are inclined toward sea sickness, be sure to take Dramamine the night before and then again before you leave on your trip. 

Be advised that in Hawaii, the fish belongs to the captain regardless of who caught it; many will keep it although some will share. If you’d like to mount your catch, Deep Sea Fishing Kauai is an excellent choice:

Deep Sea Fishing Kauai offers 4, 6, 8 and 10 hour fishing charters.

Experience the ultimate Hawaiian adventure aboard our custom 31 ft Bertram Sportfisher. A performance hull aggressively powered with twin 260Bt Cummins diesel engines, a custom fighting chair and top of the line Shimano Tiagra Reels tended by an experienced crew are provided to help you get it done.

Feel the raw power of AHI (yellowfin TUNA) or the elegance of a sailfish ripping the water. You’ll want the Mount after the fight so let us take a minute to get the measurements. MAHI, ONO, AHI, MARLIN. It’s all good!

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