View of Honopu Beach from a helicopter

3 Ways to Sightsee Around the Na Pali Coast

If you’re on your way to Kauai, make the Nā Pali coast a must-see stop on your itinerary. Known for its exquisite beauty, the coast occupies 17 miles on the North Shore. Waterfalls, sparkling waters, looming cliffs, and rugged peaks lend the area its distinctive character, making it a beautiful spot to take photographs and make memories. From taking a helicopter tour to exploring by sea, here are some fun ways to check out the coast.

How to Explore the Na Pali Coast

1. Land

The beauty of exploring the coast by land is that you can stop and soak up the scenery as often as you wish. A popular option is to walk the Kalalau Trail, on which you’ll enjoy an 11-mile trek beginning from Ke’e Beach.

Make your way through valleys, walk by cliffs, and enjoy the spectacular views leading you to Kalalau Valley. If you aren’t up to such a lengthy journey, partake in a hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls for a shorter—though no less exquisite—trip on foot.

2. Air

Taking a helicopter tour is a popular way to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Nā Pali coast from the best possible vantage point. There’s no other way to truly appreciate the depth, rich colors, and dramatic textures that lend the coast its unique appeal.

Only from afar can you take in the wonders of Wailua Falls and witness the beauty of every square mile along the path. Explore hikers’ paths that might be too tricky to travel on foot and appreciate the vastness of lush vegetation that seems to blanket the ground below.

3. Sea

In addition to a helicopter tour, you can also access the coast by sea. Go on a motorized tour of the water if you’re up to a bit of snorkeling and want to enjoy the wonders of undersea life in Hawaii. You may also have the chance to see some archaeological sites during your tour.

If you’re particularly keen to flex your muscles, enjoy a kayak trip and a good workout at the same time. You’ll paddle through sea caves and get up close and personal with the imposing cliffs that lend the Nā Pali coast its quintessential beauty.