Adventure along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast

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If you’re on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, don’t miss the adventure along Kauai’s Na Pali coast. I know you’ve seen it, even if you’ve never been to Kauai. Photos of the jagged coastline appear in almost every travel article about this scenic Hawaiian island.

It’s one of our favorite boomer adventures in Hawaii.

Rugged green cliffs point to the sky along Kaui's Na Pali Coast.
You’ll see these beautiful cliffs on a catamaran adventure along the Na Pali coast.

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So, what’s the best way for to experience Kauai’s wilder side? If you’re not a die-hard backpacker, book an excursion on Kauai Sea Tours‘ “Lucky Lady” catamaran that cruises the Na Pali Coast. 

The scenery alone, with majestic green clad mountains jutting into the sea, is worth the boat ride. But there’s so much more to the adventure.

Isolated beach as seen from the water on a catamaran cruise to the Na Pali cliffs.
On the way to the Na Pali cliffs, the catamaran passes by isolated beaches begging to be explored.

Leaving Port Alan, in Eleele on Kauai’s west coast at 7 a.m., enjoy a breakfast of pastries and coffee as the catamaran slips by sugar cane plantations and remote beaches. While the Captain tells stories about the area’s history and culture, spinner dolphins gather at the bow in an unofficial escort to Na Pali’s jagged cliffs, sea caves and hanging valleys.

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An indentation in the green Na Pali Cliffs as seen from the ocean.
Soon the sea cliffs of the Na Pali coast appear.

Later, after you’ve had your fill of photographing the jagged coastline, the captain returns to a calmer area of the coast for snorkeling, one of our favorite active travel adventures, followed by a lunch of deli sandwiches, pasta, cookies and mai tais.

A boat ventures into a sea cave on the Na Pali coast of Kauai.
Exploring sea caves is part of the fun.

When Alan and I took this half-day excursion, the waters became rough on our return to port offering thrills to beat any water park ride. The bow of the catamaran would rise up the crest of a wave and then smack back into the sea with a thud that included a huge splash of water.

Yes, we got wet. Luckily, we didn’t experience any seasickness, but there were others who did and the Lucky Lady crew took very good care of them.

If you’re prone to seasickness always bring sea bands or motion sickness pills on water excursions.

Be sure to book a morning sail. Waters can be rough at any time but are more likely to happen in the afternoon. If ocean conditions are unsafe, the trip will be cancelled and this is an adventure that you don’t want to miss.

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Start your research at our Hawaii Travel Planning Resources page.

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The jagged Nap Pali Coast as seen from the blue Pacific Ocean. You'll see this view on a catamaran adventure in Kauai.

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