Na Pali Kayak Trip in Kauai
If you are in Kauai during the months of July or August then you must take the Na Pali Kayak Trip. These are the only months when conditions are ok for the trip to take place. Ke’e Beach to Polihale Beach is the general trip and it is about 16 miles long. There is so much to sea on the Na Pali Kayak trip that you just can’t miss it.
What You Will See
You will see innumerable waterfalls, in fact you might even want to try and keep track of them to see just how many there are. You will also pass many different caves, beautiful water, turtles, flying fish, dolphins, and a beauty you never imagined. If you want the added experience you might consider camping on the beaches at night. This will certainly add to your experience.
How to Get Started
You may want to take a guided tour or if you are an experienced kayaker you may do the trip on your own. If you choose to take a guided tour you will see the Na Pali coast in all its glory however it will be at a faster pace than if you were to take the trip on your own and it is usually completed in one day. The guides are typically experienced and can get you through the tour as safely as possible. Keep in mind that doing the tour in one day is physically challenging and requires fast paddling. You probably won’t be able to camp, either, if you choose to see the Na Pali coast with a guide.
On the other hand, if you choose to kayak the coast on your own you can take your time and see the coast at your leisure. The drawback here is that you don’t have an expert to guide you in correct paddling motions or to help in case of a problem. In order to decide what is the best option for you then you need to evaluate your skills as well as experience with kayaking and ocean currents.
Another option for you might be the private tours offered by Kauai Kayak. They will send a guide with you and as long as you show you are competent they will leave you at Kalalau Beach. You can camp there as long as you have a permit and continue the trip on your own. If you aren’t competent then you can arrange for a longer guided trip or simply turn back at that point.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are a lot of things you should keep in mind when considering a paddle down the Na Pali Coast. First and foremost you need to learn all you possibly can about kayaking and Hawaii. You must be sure you know how to load and paddle correctly or you could wind up in some dangerous situations. Remember, you will need to take food with you so think this through ahead of time. Camping permits are required on the Na Pali coast as well as kayak landing stamps. So, make sure you have these before planning your trip. It also can get really sunny out on the water so you will need chapstick, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and other essentials. If you have a tendency to get seasick then Dramamine is a must. The non-drowsy kind would be preferable for your trip.
Don’t simply drink the water without treating it. You will need water treatment pills unless you choose to use the fresh water available at various beaches along the way. You can find this fresh water at Ke’e, Hanakali’ai, Kalalau, Honopu, Miloli’i and Polihale.
Keep in mind that someone should know your whereabouts and your anticipated return schedule. This will assist in a search and rescue should that become necessary. Also, check ocean conditions before you go. Most of the time between June and August the wind and the current will push you along, but this is not always the case. Check before you go to ensure the best trip possible.
Remember as well that the earlier you get started during the day the more likely you are to have smooth seas and easy paddling.
You will also need an extra car or someone waiting for you when you arrive. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get back unless you paddle back against the current and the wind and this is not a good idea.
The trip can be long and tiring but the sights you see along the way will certainly give you the motivation to keep on going. It is simply amazing to see what Mother Nature has accomplished along the Na Pali coast. The waterfalls, caves, cliffs, and the like are like none other. You won’t see sights like this anywhere else. Make sure before you plan your kayak trip down the Na Pali coast that you have considered everything. You will need food and water, some basic essentials, and at the very least sunscreen. As long as you know what to expect and plan for it then your Na Pali trip should be wonderful.