Did you know that Kauai is known as the Garden Island for its gorgeous green tropical landscape? A few of these gorgeous falls are easy to get to, and others take a bit of effort to experience. So here is our picks for the top 5 Waterfalls of Kauai.

Opaekaa Falls

Opaekaa means, “rolling shrimp”. Supposedly the stream was full of shrimp and so they named the sparkling waterfalls after them. This site is easily accessible and requires no hiking. There are many photo ops from this location, as well as from across the street where you will see views of the Wailua River Valley. Families with children all ages would enjoy Opaekaa Falls as the views can be seen from a short walk from the parking area.

Hanakapiai Falls

By far the most difficult to get to! It is a 2-mile hike on Hanakapiai Trail. This is a very popular excursion on the island so we suggest going early in the morning. For the first 2 miles you will be mesmerized with spectacular views of the Na Pali Coast. It is an additional 2 miles upstream to the falls. The trail can be rough in spots, but the 300+ foot waterfall at the end is worth the exhaustion and effort. This experience is not recommended for small children due to the terrain and difficulty of the hike. Perfect couple or friend excursion!

Waipoo Falls

An 800-foot waterfall in Waimea Canyon. You can see the falls along Highway 550, the road that takes you up to the museum and park. Pretty incredible pictures can be taken of the canyon from the Waipoo Falls Trail hike, a 3.2-mile roundtrip hike. This easy and highly rated hike will take you through rain forests and canyon ending at the top of the waterfall in a Awaawapuhi Ginger lined stream. The trail is considered easy or moderate, which makes it kid and family friendly!

Secret Falls or Uluwehi Falls

Secret Falls, named Uluwehi Falls, but known to locals and visitors as Secret Falls, are an extremely popular adventure. The trail requires water transport to get there. You can travel via kayak or canoe. There are lots of companies to rent from! The hike up to the falls on the trail is extremely muddy and slippery. It is suggested that you either going barefoot or sport sandals. It takes about 45 minutes each way. The is a great family friendly adventure for children that don’t mind paddling up the river and getting a little dirty on the trail. Not recommended for children ages 5 and under.

Wailua Falls

A double layered waterfall, is located just north of Lihue and is the most easily accessible on Kauai. You may recognize these falls as they were used in the opening credits of the 80’s hit show, Fantasy Island. This excursion is definitely recommended for families with small children because there is no hiking involved. The views are just a short walk from the parking lot.