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“Fantastic Day Kayaking” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kayak Hanalei

Kayak Hanalei
5-5070 A KUHIO HWY, Hanalei, Kauai, HI 96714
+1 808-826-1881
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are a Hawaiian Family owned and operated company specializing in Kayak tours, kayak rentals, surf/SUP lessons, & surf/SUP rentals.
Auburn, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Day Kayaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

A great day kayaking in the river and in the bay. Our family went Aug 31st, 2012 and it was awesome. None of us had ever gone kayaking before. Our guides were Kamvu and Kavika and they made us feel comfortable, plus they were very entertaining. In the river we learned how to kayak and learned about Kauai. When we went into the bay it was beautiful. We spotted a turtle right away while kayaking. When we kayaked to Hidden Beach they put on a nice spread for lunch. While snorkeling there we saw a lot of colorful fish and snorkeled with a turtle. After spending two weeks in Kauai it was great to swim with a turtle. It was a great way to end our vacation. My 15 year old and 12 year old enjoyed a great day, too. I would definitely suggest Kayak Hanalei on your next trip to Kauai. They have great dry bags for our cameras and iphones, they were very professional, fun and helpful.

Visited August 2012
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Edison, New Jersey
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice, but not beginner friendly or family friendly.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

The program is well laid out - van takes you to the launch point at the mouth of the river, and you kayak up the river a bit and back, and then into the ocean around a headland to a "secluded" bay (it was mobbed when we got there) for snorkeling. However, the guides don't wait for the group before talking, so you miss most of what they are saying unless you happen to be next to them. MAIN problem - my daughter was swimming in the ocean, and snorkeling, for the first time. I'm a beginner too. After saying that he was going to help us beginners, the guide had us put on our equipment, swim out, and then abandoned us. I ended up yelling for help with my daughter clutching me and crying. He then had one of the other young teenage CUSTOMERS tow us around on a line. The boy did not speak to us, so the snorkeling experience was marginal at best. I have been snorkeling with other guides, and this was pathetic. Similarly for the kayaking - the ocean was a bit difficult for us beginners, and we were pretty much on our own. I'm sure they would have helped us if we toppled, but we felt very helpless because we couldn't hear the instructions and warnings.

In summary - go if you're a confident deep water snorkeler/kayaker and you just want someone to organize a trip for you.

Another thing - we booked the trip just 16 hours in advance, and then my younger child (9) got slight sun stroke the next morning and couldn't go, and my husband had to stay with her. They could not accommodate us the following day (our last), and cited their 48-hour cancellation policy (which they had informed us about) and charged us the full fee for all four of us - even though only 2 went. Not very family friendly - even if it was technically correct.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Fun and not too strenuous”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We did the tour where we kayaked in the Hanalei River in the morning and then kayaked to the ocean and went snorkeling in the afternoon. The kayaks were sit-ons (not my favorite but they had backings so it was more comfortable). The tour guides knew that some people in our large group (not with us, but on the same tour) were novice kayakers and didn't take us very far down the river. That was gorgeous. Ocean kayaking was much harder since you have to deal with waves, but we didn't have to go very far until we were on this little private beach. The snorkel gear was fine, although I had a little trouble telling my brain to trust the mask and breathing through a tube and NOT holding my breath underwater (opposite of how people learn to swim!). We saw lots of fish, and my dad saw two Moray eels! Take a disposable underwater camera with you. The tour guides took some people much farther out from the beach area to go see lobsters (I think) but we didn't have to go with them. I stayed in the shallow part and was satisfied. They served us lunch after that on the beach. It was smaller than I expected which was disappointing since we were starving having done all that physical exercise, but they did offer some of us seconds on the small sandwiches which was great. I'd recommend this, and you don't have to have any kayaking skill- they will teach you the basics.

Visited July 2012
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Kayak Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

Great equipment, friendly owners (Dave and Goldie), and fun guides (Kamua and Harry). You can trust these people, they are locals and know their stuff. But most of all they ensure you are safe and have fun. When you snorkel, follow Harry and Kamua out to the reef, they will show you things you won't see on most trips. They will bring a float with them in case you need a breather. Never had a snorkel trip like this ever, and have done a lot. After the snorkeling their rendition of " Somewhere over the Rainbow" is one you will never forget. And the flower made from a palm leaf by Koloa (?) is amazing. If you are a beginner, don't worry, you are in good hands. Have done this trip twice and looking forward to doing it again. The staff makes it great

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brownsburg, Indiana
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fun and adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

My Wife and I were visiting Hawaii for our 7th anniversary. I have lived on Oahu twice while in the service spending six years on Oahu and visiting four of the major islands, Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui. So since this was her first time and has always been her dream vacation I wanted to plan the trip around her interests. One of the items she wanted to do was kayaking. So after reviewing many of the options on trip advisor and other sites I decided upon Kayak Hanalei. One thing I liked was their family owned business, and the video on their website made me comfortable with booking through them. We had nine nights in the islands and were visiting Kauai for our last four nights. We booked the trip on Monday, June 11, which was our anniversary. We went out on the 8:00 to 12:00 excursion. We met up with our fellow adventures at the Ching Yung Shopping Center location of Kayak Hanalei. Goldie, owner with her husband Capt. Dave, met us there and gave us instructions on how to pack up our gear. My wife and I had our own snorkeling mask and tubes so we were fitted for fins. Once everyone was fitted for gear and had their items packed in the waterproof bags provided to us, they loaded up in the van, driven by guide Kamua, to be driven down to the Kayaks. We decided to drive since we had a rental car. Once at the kayaks we were introduced to our other guide, Harry, and given instructions on how to paddle and what to do and not to do. We then loaded onto the kayaks and began the trip up the river. There were eight kayaks in our group. My wife and I were the first ones launched so we got to move out ahead of the pack while the others were launched. Once all of the kayaks were in the water Kamua and Harry grouped us up and gave us a brief on some of the aspects of the river and the scenery we were looking at including history and language. We then proceeded up river to our turn around point. The river was very scenic and calm and we passed other individuals kayaking on their own or paddling paddle boards, a very serene picture. We were able to use our cameras to get some good shots and Harry came over and took our picture for us as well. Once we got back towards the bay we were given instructions on how to move into the bay and what route to take. Again, once we were all out into the calmer part we were gathered up and given further safety instructions for the move through Hanalei By towards, Hideaways beach where would snorkel. Also, while we were waiting, a couple of sea turtles dropped by for a quick visit which everyone enjoyed. The weather had been nice during our stay but the winds had produced some swells with waves a little larger than normal for this time of year. Harry towed one kayak across the bay since the occupants were older and needed some extra assistance. Once at hideaways we beached the kayaks and were then given fish guides and a lesson on the various fish we would see while snorkeling. After that, Harry and Kamua took those folks who wanted to go into the deeper parts of the reef out and those of us who didn’t snorkeled closer to shore enjoying the water closer to the beach. My wife went with the more adventurous group and I stayed closer but was still able to see many of the colorful fish in the reef including the famous Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. Once everyone had a good amount of snorkeling, we were brought back to the Kayaks for lunch. We had fresh fruit, turkey sandwiches, chips and drinks I went for my favorite the Guava Nectar. After lunch, Harry and Kamua played Ukuleles for us and “talked story.” I even got to discuss the fine art of Emu building and cooking the Pig with Kamua and Harry since I wanted to try and recreate a luau when I returned home. I also body surfed for a little bit prior to loading back up on the Kayaks and heading in. The trip in was easy and once in we turned in our gear and said goodbye. It was a great day, my wife was thrilled and I was more than happy having been able to fulfill one of her dream vacation wishes. Big thanks to Harry, Kamua, Goldie, and the others at Kayak Hanalei for a very memorable and fun experience. I highly recommend them to others wishing to take in kayaking during their trip to Kauai.

Visited June 2012
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