Kayaking to Hidden Valley Falls!

When booking this cruise and hearing it would be stopping in Kauai, I had one objective: kayak through the rainforest. There are many different ways to make this happen, but for the ease of not having to worry about anything, we decided to book an excursion through the cruise ship. There are several excursions that offer kayaking, but we chose the Hidden Valley Falls Kayak excursion because it promised to take us to some of the filming locations for the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and we love that movie!

After exiting the cruise ship, there was a van waiting for us at the port, which took us to the river where we would be kayaking.


Here we received a quick kayaking tutorial, and the guides provided us with water bottles and dry sacks to protect our stuff from getting wet. Life jackets were optional, thank goodness. I hate being forced to wear those things. I didn’t spend my childhood summers taking swim lessons and competitive swimming for nothing!

For this adventure (and most kayaking excursions I go on) I wore quick dry shorts, a bathing suit, and solid water sandals with good tread. I think it is kind of gross to sit in a rented kayak wearing only a swim suit, but you WILL get wet while kayaking, thus the quick dry shorts. Sandals like the ones I wore (or any other type of water shoes) are a good choice because flip flops can be too slippery and can cause you to lose your footing while entering or exiting the kayak. Plus they could fall off and drift away down river, which would be sad. So save your flip flops!! Wear appropriate shoes.


With my dad and youngest sister, ready to set off on their first kayaking adventure!


Climbing into the kayaks. And goodness was the water cold!!


My sister/kayak companion for the day. It is an interesting experience kayaking with someone who has not only never kayaked before, but who is also afraid of the water and can’t really swim. Good news though- she survived! And had fun.




Out on the river! The current was swift- I definitely recommend life jackets for anyone who is not a strong swimmer. If you even have doubts about whether or not you should use a life jacket, use the life jacket. We had to paddle up stream, which was very challenging. Good workout though!





There it is… the site of the rope swing scene in Indiana Jones! (From the very beginning of the movie, when he is being chased by the tribe who can’t aim a blow dart pipe to save their lives. Seriously… how can so many of them miss Indiana Jones at such close proximity??)



We beached the kayaks here, and then continued onward to Hidden Valley Falls on foot (another reason for the sandals with good tread).





I loved seeing all the vines hanging from the trees!





Rainforest chickens! I don’t think this will ever stop being funny to me.


The magnificent Hidden Valley Falls! Underwhelming would be an understatement. But the whole area was pretty cool, and the pool at the bottom was very large and deep. So deep, we were able to try out a rope swing!


The air was cool, and the water was colder. Thus the unsure look on my face. Out of a group of maybe 15 of us, only 2 were bold enough to brave the chilly temperatures and try out the rope.


Getting a quick mini lesson from the tour guide…


And away I go!!


It may have been a bit of a fail, and I certainly did not get very much air, but it sure was fun trying!



The only bummer was having to walk back to the shore completely soggy.


For the journey back to the starting point, they picked us up in a motorboat and towed the kayaks back. And also gave us snacks, which is always a plus.



The guides pointed out this cave up in the cliffs-


It served as an ancient tomb, and because of how large the coffin is and the challenging location, it is still up there, completely intact, today.


This tour was a lot of fun, and gave us a good variety of experiences within the same trip. Kayaking, hiking, and rope swings…by the end of the day, I felt like a pretty bad ass adventurer! A little like (dare I say it?)… Indiana Jones??

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