- Why hire a guide?
Kauaʻi offers myriad hikes to choose from, whether you’re a beginner hiker or a veteran backpacker (or choose one of our driving tours!). We offer tours that are off the beaten track — ones that you might not know about otherwise. We can take you to stunning vistas, pristine beaches, cold running streams, and so much more!
How do you know which trail to choose? Will you be safe? Will the hike be too easy or too hard? Will it be crowded? Do you have all the equipment you need? Will you get lost?
We don’t want you to worry while you’re on vacation! Leave it to the expert guidance found only at Kaua’i Hiking Tours — we will keep you safe, on the trail, and prepared with the appropriate equipment. Our guides know Kaua’i intimately and are trained to handle first aid and other safety concerns common on local trails. Beyond that, our guides will enrich your experience by teaching you about local history, flora & fauna — and, of course, by picking the perfect trail for your private group. It’s our job and passion to make sure you have the best possible experience while on Kaua’i!
- Why should I choose Kaua'i Hiking Tours?
Of all the major Hawaiian Islands, Kaua’i scores the highest for hiking. That means you have a ton of great options, and likely, not enough time to explore…
We know there are many adventure tour companies to choose from on Kaua’i, but most don’t specialize in hiking. Here at Kaua’i Hiking Tours, that’s what we do–we hike! Our guides are local hiking phenoms, scouring the island in their free time to find the best hikes for you. We study up on our local history, nature, and wildlife, and we make sure our safety certifications are up to date. We’re one of the only hiking companies on Kaua’i that is a member of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau and permitted by both the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and State of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to lead tours on state land; and transport passengers in our vehicles. That means we are safe, always prepared, and take our work seriously. Relax, you’re on vacation. Leave the planning to us!
- What makes Kaua'i Hiking Tours unique?
Ever an “island conscious” company, we keep in mind how our actions now will affect Kaua’i’s precious natural and cultural resources for years to come. We are one of only three Kaua’i tour companies certified as a “Sustainable Tour Operator” through the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association’s stringent certification process. For more information please visit: www.HawaiiEcotourism.org
In addition to donating time and money to the various local causes we believe in, we do our best to share indigenous knowledge that’s been passed down through generations. On some of our tours, we will have the privilege to meet with trusted “kūpuna” (ancestor, or [honored] elder), as they generously share stories and forgotten wisdom. On all of our tours, we will learn about the diverse array of native and non-native species that call “The Garden Isle” home. Most of our tours will also include the option of sampling at least one of the wild foods growing in abundance along Kauaʻi’s roads and trails. We hope through these efforts you will also connect deeply with Kauaʻi, and develop the desire to “mālama ka ‘aina” (love and care for the land).
- What types of tours do you offer?
Not just hiking – in addition to day hikes (from beginner-advanced), we also offer several types of “hands-on” cultural tours, picturesque driving tours, all-inclusive multi-day tours, and other island adventure activities tours. Thereʻs something for everyone, from those who want to pack on the miles, to those that prefer a more laid-back experience, without missing out on any of the “epicness.”
Tours range in length from 2 – 10+ hours (or more, if you’re looking for an overnight tour). Tour times are from pick-up to drop-off. Most hiking tours include a driving tour and driving tours include the option to take a short hike. For more information, check out our Tours page.
- What's the difference between private and group tours?
The majority of our tours are Private Tours, custom designed for you and your group only. When you schedule a private tour, we work with you to make sure your tour is personalized to best fit your needs. The cost is the same for 1-4 people. There is an additional per person cost for groups larger than 4.
Kauaʻi Hiking Tours prides itself as an alternative to generic group tours. Group Tour options are available by special request, at a reduced per person rate, to those interested in saving money and/or making new friends on their tour. The cost of the tour will be divided by the number of people signed up. If 4 or more people are signed up we will offer a standard per person price.
We occasionally post group tour requests on the Kauaʻi Hiking Tours Public Schedule Calendar for individuals and couples looking for other private parties interested in the same tour on the same day. Please note that if the other party suddenly cancels, your trip may be canceled too. Please contact us directly to inquire about single traveler discounts we occasionally offer.
- What do your tours cost? Is a tip required?
We offer a wide range of custom tours with prices that range in cost from $60 – $195/person. Most private tours are priced per group of 4; however there is no minimum amount of people required for these tours.
Private groups with more than 4 people are charged an additional per person fee equal to, or less than, the per person price for that tour. We offer individual traveler discounts and/or will group you with other solo travelers when possible.
Tipping is encouraged, but not required. If you enjoyed your tour, say thank you to your guide with a tip. A customary tip for adventure tour guides is 15-20%.
- Can you accommodate large private groups?
Yes, we offer large group tours! We understand how much pressure there can be to satisfy everyone, which is why we’re here to help you out. Perhaps you’re visiting the island with young children and grandparents, or there may be several families who all want to do a hike together. We can put together a hike that suits your group, and we can provide multiple hiking guides, if necessary.
- Do you offer multi-day tours?
Yes, we offer multi-day tours! If you are interested in booking a multi-day tour, please contact us, and we will send you a listing of options and prices.
- Is transportation provided?
Yes, in most cases transportation is provided. On some occasions we will arrange for you to meet your guide at the trailhead. We can accommodate up to 4 people in most of our SUV-style vehicles, 14 in our Ford E-350 XLT van.
- Where do we meet before the tour?
We meet at the trailhead or at a centralized location between where you are staying and where the tour will be. A Motor Carrier Certificate is required by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to transport passengers on public roads. Our certificate number is 3611-C and it is approved for both the 1 – 7 and 8 – 25 passenger classifications.
- What equipment will I need?
Equipment needs depend on the tour you book. Within 24 hours of purchasing your hike, a trip-specific list of recommended equipment, aka “gear list,” will be included in your confirmation email. If you don’t have something on the gear list, don’t worry! Let your guide know, we will find a way to make it work (we have a stockpile of “lender gear”).
Your guide will carry a well-stocked first aid kit, extra sunscreen, extra water, and bug spray, and hike specific safety equipment as needed. Please keep in mind that the weather on Kaua’i is localized and changes often. Additionally, the temperature is generally about 15 degrees colder in Kōkeʻe and Waimea Canyon State Park(s) than on the coast. For this reason, we request that you heed the gear list and do your best to prepare accordingly. Check out our How To Dress For Success On Your Next Hike blog post for more information about preparing for your trip in terms of clothing and footwear.
An audio explanation of “vital island hiking gear list” can be found at the 34:24 point of Aloha Kaua’i Vaca5tion – Kaua’i Talk Podcast – Episode #31.
If you’re booking a multi-day or overnight backpacking tour, we offer equipment rentals at an additional cost (included in the multi-day/overnight tour pricing package, which we will provide by request via email).
- What about food? Is it provided? What should I pack? Is there somewhere we can stop?
Every tour is different in this regard. Our shorter tours will be done before noon, so you will just need to pack water and some snacks. Typically we do not provide food due to the variety of unique dietary needs and food preferences. However, all of our tours include tasty snacks and/or seasonal local fruit. Our vehicles will have extra drinking water and coolers for guests to use. For most of our hikes, you will also have the option of pre-ordering “grindz” (food [Hawaiian pidgin English]) to go from an “ono” (delicious, tasty) local establishment. For hikes to Waimea Canyon & Koke’e State Park(s) you can call ahead and order food & drink to go from Little Fish Coffee (opens @ 6:30 am M – F, 8 am Weekends) in historic Hanapepe Town: click here for their menu & phone number.
Note: A custom catered meal can be arranged for an additional fee.
- What happens if the weather is bad?
Tours operate rain or shine, except in the most extreme cases. Keep in mind that just because it’s raining at your hotel doesn’t mean it’ll be raining on your tour or vice-versa. The good news, it usually doesn’t last long. Rain is the reason the garden isle is so lush, it provides more dynamic picture taking opportunities and blesses us with an ample supply of rainbows! If your tour is in jeopardy of being cancelled, we will contact you as soon as possible. If we decide to cancel your tour, you will have the option to reschedule for another day or be given a full refund.
- What's the cancellation policy?
You may cancel up until 5 days before your tour starts. No cancellations, changes or refunds can be made within 5 days of your tour, but we will attempt to reschedule you if possible. Cancellations more than 5 days before the tour start date are subject to a 10% service charge.