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  • Address: Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Kauai ATTRACTIONS See all

Niihau Tours

Nicknamed the "Forbidden Isle" because private ownership has restricted access to outsiders for more than 150 years, Niihau is an enclave of Hawaiian culture not found elsewhere. In 1864, the seafaring Sinclair/Robinson family from New Zealand (via Scotland) bought the island from King Kamehameha for $10,000 and a promise to protect its existing residents both physically and culturally. It persists undeveloped—without roads, a hospital, central electricity, or plumbing. Nearly 200 isolated residents live off the land and communicate almost exclusively in Hawaiian.

Visible as a tall, blocky shadow from the western shores of Kauai, Niihau elicits dreams of seeing the island stuck in time. However, many of those dreamers have been turned away, reportedly including Mick Jagger and several heads of state. For decades, outsiders have had to settle for its namesake exports—coveted lei crafted from tiny endemic seashells, as well as ranched lamb and beef.

Now, snorkeling charters aboard large, sturdy catamarans also make the 17-mile trip across the Kaulakahi Channel from Kauai, showing visitors the whales and dolphins that frequent the area seasonally. Unable to land, the catamarans bob offshore, sharing the beauty of Niihau’s pristine reef unspoiled by on-land development.

Practical Info

Full-day Niihau snorkeling (and sometimes scuba) charters depart from Port Allen’s small boat harbor just south of Hanapepe town. Most also incorporate a scenic tour of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. Note that sea conditions in the channel crossing can sometimes be rough.

Tours & Tickets

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Na Pali and Ni'ihau The Forbidden Island Kauai Snorkel Cruise, Kauai, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Na Pali and Ni'ihau The Forbidden Island Kauai Snorkel Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 53 Reviews

Sail past the soaring Na Pali sea cliffs on this 7-hour snorkeling adventure, and discover the secrets of the "Forbidden Island" when cruising the ...  Read more

Location: Eleele, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $229.34
Niihau and Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel Cruise with Optional Scuba, Kauai, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Niihau and Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel Cruise with Optional Scuba

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Lose yourself and find your adventure while snorkeling the warm, turquoise waters off the "Forbidden Island" of Niihau. Departing from Port Allen on ...  Read more

Location: Eleele, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $224.68
Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill, Kauai, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 41 Reviews

This fun and exciting Kauai biking tour is a cruise through Koke'e State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park. You'll be Kauai mountain biking from the rim of the ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $113.54
Na Pali Sunset Dinner or Morning Continental Breakfast Cruise and Snorkel, Kauai, Bike & Mountain ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Na Pali Sunset Dinner or Morning Continental Breakfast Cruise and Snorkel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

In summer June thru early September, take an evening Snorkel Sunset Cruise to the spectacular Na Pali coast aboard a luxury catamaran for a sail that features ...  Read more

Location: Eleele, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $160.22
Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn, Kauai, Night ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 26 Reviews

A private tour of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon provides closer views of nearby waterfalls than bigger coach tours can access. You'll enjoy great photo ops of Waipo'o ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.20

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