In ancient times Wailua Falls was associated with warriors leaping from the top of the falls, almost 200 feet in height, to prove their undying fearlessness. Today the waterfalls along the Wailua River are a major draw for tourists visiting Kauai for their striking beauty and fascinating history. From the Wailua Falls Bridge some of the best views of the dual cascading waterfall and a series of smaller waterfalls can be seen. Wailua is one of the most easily accessed waterfall sites on Kauai and also exceptionally beautiful.
Wailua Falls is located in one of Kauai's "micro-climates" which receives several hundred inches of rain per year. Rainfall is an important factor in getting the best views from Wailua Falls Bridge so try to visit sometime around a rainfall. The beauty of the varying climates is while it may be raining near the falls inside the rainforest ecosystem, the weather remains gorgeous in other areas of the island.
In the morning hours Wailua Falls in Kauai are often the most spectacular, as the water glistens magnificently in the early morning sunshine, so head out early if possible. Once you've taken in the view of the falls the more adventurous can hike down the steep, and slippery, embankment to the pool at the bottom where there are commanding views of Wailua Falls. Head up to Wailua Falls Bridge where another cascading waterfall runs just underneath. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes or sport sandals with good traction on the sole for steadiness and balance while hiking in the valley.
Wailua Falls in Kauai is situated northwest of Hanamaulo along Highway 583. It's found at the southern end of the river. When visiting the falls, one of the other fun things to do is a trip upriver to Fern Grotto. The journey up the historic river takes under an hour and is not something you want to miss. When visiting the Fern Grotto Wailua Falls visitors can take one of the flat bottom boats that depart every thirty minutes from the south end of river. There are many Kauai tours operating out of this area for a fairly low cost.
Wailua River is the only river where boating activities can be enjoyed so it can become fairly busy. Waterskiing is popular along the route as it's the only river where its possible. You can opt in for a complete tour of the area or go it alone. If you choose to navigate the route on your own via kayak it's very straightforward with easy, gentle currents. You can save a few dollars and travel at your own pace but be sure not to miss the ancient detailed carvings etched in stone at the river mouth. Rentals can be found before you cross Wailua Falls Bridge. Tours give detailed history about the Fern Grotto Wailua Falls and the surrounding area so if that's important to you consider a guided tour.
On the way to Fern Grotto Wailua Falls manages to escape your mind as breathtaking panorama becomes the scene-stealer along the route. Make sure to have your camera ready as the lush rainforest along the river and mesmerizing glimpses of Mount Waialeale dominate the landscape. The clouds hovering around the mountain create a stunning vision. The Fern Grotto is a massive lava rock laden with tropical ferns creating a vivid green backdrop. As you approach the grotto you'll be serenaded by locals playing traditional Hawaiian music and singing, much like a customary Kauai Luau.
The grotto acts as a genuine amphitheater and the acoustics are amazing. Once you arrive at the dock the Fern Grotto is accessible by hiking a paved route to the lava rock. Enter the cave, covered in a heavy blanket of ferns, and enjoy the cool mist from the nearby waterfall. The grotto is an extremely popular spot for Kauai weddings for its magnificent natural beauty. Once reserved only for Hawaiian royalty, the last fifty years have seen millions of tourists visit Wailua Falls in Kauai and the colorful Fern Grotto.
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