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Waimea Canyon Tour & Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto

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Enjoy a day filled with the beauty, legends, and saga of the, "Garden Isle!"


On this Kauai you will enjoy a day filled with the lush beauty, legends and saga of Hawaii's "Garden Isle." Journey to the majestic Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain called, "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

Over 10 miles long, and almost 4,000 feet deep this marvel was formed by erosion and the catastrophic collapse of the volcano that created Kauai. You will see Spouting Horn and the south coast Poipu Resorts, Koloa Sugar Mill, Queen Victoria's profile and Nawiliwili Harbor.

Your journey continues with a cruise along Wailua River to the famed Fern Grotto. See the cascading Opaeka'a Falls, the birth stones, and Coco Palms featured in the famous Elvis Presley movie, Blue Hawaii.

Itinerary / Activity Schedule

  • View beautiful Waimea Canyon and Hanapepe Valley

  • See the Spouting Horn blowhole at Poipu on the beautiful south shore of Kaua'i

  • View historic old Koloa the birth place of sugar in Hawaii

  • Queen Victoria's profile Nawiliwili Harbor, Coco Palms Grove, the birth stones and beautiful Opaeka'a Falls

  • Cruise the Wailua River and view the Fern Grotto (fare included)


  • Guide

  • Wailua River Cruise Admission
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Waimea Canyon Tour & Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto

Duration: 9:30 - 12 hour(s)
Available: Daily
Pick-up: Available
Inclusions: Guide / Wailua River Cruise Admission

The trip to Waimea Canyon was made so much better because of our tour guide, Kevin, and his narration / history of Kauai. The canyon itself rivals Grand Canyon in beauty. The trip across the island to Wailua was also full of history and Kevin made it fun; lots of movie trivia and fun facts. The river cruise was entertaining and the Fern Grotto is breathtaking. We were also lucky enough to see a baby wild pig while walking back to the riverboat. This is one tour well worth the time and money.


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  • 07:00

    Pick-up from Kauai Hotels

  • Waimea Canyon

    Often referred to as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is over 10 miles long and as deep as 3,000 ft. The canyon provides visitors with breathtaking views and gorgeous vistas.

  • Spouting Horn Blowhole at Poipu

    Located in Koloa, the rough waves on Poipu's coast erode the lava rocks, creating natural blowholes that shoot up water as waves hit the shore.

  • Opaeka'a Falls

    This spectacular 151-ft waterfall flows year round and offers a stunning photo opportunity of the falls as well as the surrounding Wailua River Valley.

  • Wailua River Cruise to the Fern Grotto

    End your day's adventure with a relaxing cruise down Wailua River (fare included), the only navigable river in Hawaii. This 40-minute trip takes you to the lovely Fern Grotto, a popular destination which forms a natural amphitheater along the river.

  • 18:00

    Drop-off at Kauai Hotels

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  • Children 2 years old and under can participate as a lap child.

  • Wheelchair Accessibility: A transfer vehicle equipped with a lift is available with prior notification of at least two weeks. Please indicate during booking to secure arrangements. All island stops and facilities visited are wheelchair accessible.

  • This activity is wheelchair accessible.

  • Children of all ages can participate in this activity.

Required Items to Bring & Attire
  • Comfortable clothing

  • Hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Camera

  • Sunscreen

Additional Note(s)
  • Dress warmly due to air conditioning.

  • The tour/activity schedule is subject to change.

  • The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.

  • The activity provider does not assume any responsibility for your valuables and/or personal belongings.

  • Gratuity is not included in the price.

  • Meals are not included in the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the lunch stop and what kinds of foods are available for purchase?

A one-hour, no-host lunch stop will be held in Poipu Shopping Center or in Waimea, depending on the tour driver's discretion. The lunch location is subject to change.

How many people are there in a tour group?

Average group sizes will vary from day to day, but this tour has a maximum of 25 people per tour and utilizes a comfortable Premier Mini-Coach for transportation around Kauai.

Can we bring our own lunch and have a picnic?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own lunch. However, please do not eat or leave trash on the bus.

What stops are included on this tour?

Highlights Include: Waimea Canyon, Wailua River & the Fern Grotto, Koloa Sugar Mill, Queen Victoria's Profile, Southern Coast Poipu Resorts, Coco Palms Grove, Birth Stone, Opaekaa Falls and Spouting Horn.

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The trip to Waimea Canyon was made so much better because of our tour guide, Kevin, and his narration / history of Kauai. The cany...on itself rivals Grand Canyon in beauty. The trip across the island to Wailua was also full of history and Kevin made it fun; lots of movie trivia and fun facts. The river cruise was entertaining and the Fern Grotto is breathtaking. We were also lucky enough to see a baby wild pig while walking back to the riverboat. This is one tour well worth the time and money. more


Outstanding tour and we had a really great guide. I highly recommend. We were island hopping and this was a perfect tour.


We were amazed by the beautiful view at the Waimea Canyon.
I'm not sure what it is about the fern grotto, it is a pl...
ace you have to see if you come to Kauai. It's not as breathtaking as other sights in Hawaii, but still it is moving in it's own way.
The tour guide was great and we got to see and hear about a myriad of things along the way that you wouldn't appreciate if you didn't have a guide. They know the places to stop and see, and the ones to pass by.
We would recommend this tour for anyone coming to Kauai.


Our tour guide Sam was very knowledgeable about Kauai. He added personal insights in not being a native but a resident for 30 year...s. He was also funny and helpful to all passengers. I would recommend him and his company to anyone wanting a good time. more

Richard Bradford

We liked the attention to detail from the pick up at our resort to the background knowledge during the driving portion. We had ple...nty of time to get out of the bus to stretch and take pictures. We seemed to be able to see and do more due to a smaller bus. This tour, like most, is depended on clear and non rainy weather; check ahead to pick a good weather day for this adventure. To combine both parts is a full day; we were picked up at 7am delivered back at 6pm. I would strongly recommend these stops as a "must see". You could drive up and down the canyon, but you would miss a lot of sights and information. The boat ride is also something not to be missed. more

John and Nadine

Lovely tour with Aunty behind the wheel. The day passed quickly with a reasonable lunch (we bought our own) at Joe's on the course.

Aunty's humor and knowledge made the day memorable. Thoroughly enjoyed the stops at the Fern Grotto and Wiamea canyon.


I had a great time on this tour. We only stayed for two days so it was good that we did this tour on our first day to learn about... the island. We just went back to the sights and beyond on the next day to explore more on our own. Kauai is such an beautiful, mellow, country island. People were very nice, and you can still feel that old Hawaiian way of living. I loved the Fern Grotto. The little dancing and singing on the boat was fun.


Mr. Anonymous

The bus took us all over the island and we got to see everything up close. I was thankful I did not have to do any driving and co...uld enjoy the scenery. Everything was so beautiful. I came away thinking Kauai was my favorite island. It was worth every penny I paid and I think the best of all the circle island tours. I took one Circle Island Tour on each island and Kauai was the best. The guide was very informative and I learned things about Kauai that I otherwise would not have known being out on my own. The only thing I would suggest is to plan on being really tired the next day, and just to relax the next day because you do and see so much that it tires you out. more

Kauai Fan

We had a very nice trip on the Waimea Canyon and Wailua River tour. We only had one day in Kauai and I think this was the way to d...o it. We made several stops, the bus was comfortable and the driver very informative. Would definately recommend this tour. more

Mr. Anonymous

I and my husband enjoyed a lot. Our guide has very much knowledge about Kauai, and Hawaii's history, too. Even the tour was, we never got bored!
That was our First trip to Kauai, and we didn't know where should we go. But this tour gave me so much experience in Kauai.
If you go to Kauai First time, you should join this tour!

Kauai Lover

We enjoyed a day with Davin our driver through Waimea Canyon, the spouting horn, and the fern grotto. There was so much more than... just those stops and our driver not only navigated expertly with the large bus he was driving but also provided an informed narrative of our surroundings. We also enjoyed the lunch at the golf course we stopped and the scenery of such a beautiful area. While our stops were quick, we were able to do some shopping and purchased some wonderful souvenirs. Would suggest Veltra tours to anyone! more

Steve & Kathy

We went as a family and enjoyed every moment and the Tour Guide Craig was very friendly and knowledgeable. Positive things about t...he Tour are: 1. the time it went quickly especially with the interesting sights as Waimea Cyn and Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto Tour. 2. The lunch was a good time to relax and enjoy a good meal with friends or family. 3. Sightseeing-and able to shop and stretch. Negative things about the Tour are 1. getting to boat on time- Fern Grotto Tour so we could get better seats for photo taking, their was another group of people there already. Negative things about the Tour 2. There was one store we stopped at in beginning of Tour and we did not feel welcomed. The owner was following us everywhere so we left out of there back to the bus also the refreshments where horrible. The only interesting fact at that store was a $4,000 beaded necklace. Overall, we enjoyed the day and recommend. more


I enjoyed the guide. She was the best. The boat trip was perfect. What a beautiful romantic trip


Mario was an excellent driver and tour guide. We got to see so much of Kauai on this day-long tour. He gave us many hints beyond t...he tour if what to see, etc. We too the tour the first day we arrived. The information we gained helped orient us on our first trip to the Garden Island. Wonderful sites and LOTS of stops, well spaced and paced. We enjoyed the 24 passenger van and all the participants too. more


Most beautiful sites on the island of Kauai. Must do tour! I loved all the stops we stopped at I couldn't stop taking! The spouting horn was my favorite! more

Bridgett Zelasko

Excellent tour. Our guide (Juan) gave us an unforgettable day. Not only was the scenery spectacular but Juan also managed to pass... on the story of the Hawaiian people and Kauai as experienced by himself through his life growing up on the island. Juan is to be commended and the tour highly recommended. We also took other tours operated by Polynesian Adventure Tours and they were also of a very high standard. more


Was an excellent day well spent. Juan was an exceptional guide providing interesting insight. Timing was superb and food was excep...tional. Well worth the money.Juan made it so, more

Sue and Ted.........

Outstanding day made all the better by our tour guide "Jack". He was a long-time resident of Kauai and knew all the det...ails of where we were going plus sites along the way. He's a "keeper" for sure. more

Thomas Hamilton

Our guide, Jack, having been raised in Hawaii was extremely knowledgeable about the history and local factoids. He even had a few ...good jokes. He kept us engaged and interested for the entire day. Everyone else we came into contact with regarding this tour was also very professional and nice

Overall I would recommend this as a great way to get introduced to Kauai

Marco S

My friend and I had a great time. Jack was a great tour guide and was very informative and very entertaining .




We took the Waimea Canyon and Wailua River Cruise tour and what an experience. Our driver and tour guide, Juan, was amazing. His k...nowledge of the history of the island of Kauai together with his own experiences growing up on the Garden Isle really made the day beyond interesting. From the time we boarded the tour bus until the end of the day, Juan's personality, knowledge and wit made every minute enjoyable. We highly recommend this tour AND Juan to all who may consider it. more

A & S Kidd

We had a great time! Juan, our tour guide, was fabulous! What a wonderful time. Everyone on the bus was entertained as well as a good time. We were exhausted by the end of the day and it was worth it!
Highly recommended. Everyone in your party will get to be a sightseer and have a driver to do the work!

Cheryl M

Our guide , Jacque Cousteau, (Jack Custer) was great! He was so knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy sharing with us. My grandson and... I learned a lot and had fun. My only complaint was having to drive from Waimea Plantation Cottages to the Sheraton to meet the tour, while Princeville guests WERE picked up. When I signed up for the tour online, it said we would be picked up. The day before, I got a call saying we would have to get ourselves to the Sheraton. more

Cynthia Leas

The bus went with broke down when we were at Waimea canyon that gave us more time to spend at the beautiful Waimea canyon at the e...xpense of missing the lunch. In spite of this we enjoyed every bit of it. The guide/driver did a nice job of keeping us engaged all the time. more


Our tour guide was Jonna. She was friendly,,knowledgeable of Hawaiian history and folklore. She drove safely while she shared abo...ut the sights we visited. Her sense of humor and kindness was evident as she inquired about how each of us was doing. My husband and I finished our tour having learned about Kaua'i and the sights. We loved our tour and will recommend to friends to make time for this tour!

Vikki M.

We were in Awe when we saw Waimea Canyon, most unforgettable sight so far and for the record we have seen Grand Canyon as well. th...e tour package itself is great, our driver is awesome forgot his name already ( sorry) he makes sure that each and everyone needs are met. Love the fact that we were picked up right in front of our hotel. I just wished tho that the Fern Grotto is as nice as in the pictureExtra treat that we also enjoy is the short hula performance... more

Evangelista, N

A more detailed itinerary would be helpful. For those staying in princeville, it is a 2 hour ride to Waimea canyon. The time at th...e canyon lookout point is 20 minutes. The fern grotto is another hour's ride. Boat ride and music were great, but hike and visit to fern grotto from boat was 20-30 minutes. Though there a couple of other small stops, you have to understand most of 11 hours is riding in a mini-bus. Driver was great and preferred small bus to large one. more


The Waimea Canyon & Fern Grotto tour is a signature tour when visiting Kauai! Polynesian tours does a good job of connecting with the core highlights of this most remarkable experience. Truly a memorable experience. more

Steve M

The tour itself was very informative and the weather great. I enjoyed the island very much.

Mr. Anonymous

If you want to get a feel of the island, this is a great tour, although it made a really long day and would not be recommended for... children. The bus driver, Auntie Alicia, is what really made it work. The pickup time was different than on the confirmation and lunch differed from what was posted; but Auntie Alicia's knowledge and cheeriness made up for those discrepancies. more


Overall the tour is good but there is a lot that you see as you pass by... not as many stops as I would have liked. I think I wou...ld have preferred two half day trips over one whole day, it turns into a long day. The tour guide was enthusiastic and personable. Also, note that the tour only covers the south half of the island. more


The tour is a bit rushed as expected because of all the area covered. However, you get to see a lot, but for a small amount of Waimea Canyon is most definitely the highlight of the tour. The river trip and fern grotto weren't too exciting. The tour is a good way to get an overview if you just have one day on the island (like we did). more


This is a great tour if you want to see the island and learn about the culture. This was our first trip to Kauai, so we took the ...all day tour (11 hours from the time we were picked up.) Very long day but it was EXCELLENT and well worth it. more

Mr. Anonymous

Our tour guide was incredible!! he knew the history of the island, and we so enjoyed his humor!!! Fern Grotto needs to grow more n...ot much to see there? more

Laurie Richardson

The tour was great and the guide had a lot of knowledge about Kauai. I was pleased to see how much of the south shore was covered... in the tour. I wish they would have gone to the two other lookout points on the canyon before turning back but otherwise the stops were great. The river cruise was a little disappointing and the fern grotto, even though beautiful, wasn't worth the time spent getting there. If I had to do it again, I would just do the tour. more


If you don't have a car or don't want to drive this is a great way to see the sights. Comfortible transportation and the... bus driver was very nice and informative. Long day for us, 11 hours, because we were picked up in Princeville, better if picked up from Lihue or Poipu. No lunch is provided however they stop at a golf course in Poipu to eat in their restaurant, so prepare for that additional expense. Was a little disappointed with Fern Grotto, we've seen much nicer areas in the botanical gardens. Boat ride was fun! Might be too long a day for young children and teenagers, for us it would have been better to drive ourselves. more


An enjoyable lazy trip down the river to a beautiful waterfall. Great Hawaiian entertainment too. Need to give the dancers more to dance. more


saw a lot and learn a lot on the tour. A beautiful tour!


The operator and all the crew was super nice , really enjoy the show , but I am kind of feel bad because most of people doesn'...;t know how to tips ...hopefully in the future most tourist need to know how to take care the performance and the tour guide more

Richard Kwang

The Canyon was beautiful. The river cruise was very relaxing and enjoyable. All in all it was very nice. The road up to the Canyon... reminded me of going to Kings Canyon in California. Very interesting! more

Betty Latiolais

Tour guide was great. Could have used more time at the canyon and blow hole.

Lawrence Phillips

Our guide - Rosario - was well informed and jovial. As there were only 7 of us on the trip Rosario was able to spend more time sho...wing us interesting points on the island. The Canyon itself was beautiful although the River Cruise was a bit naff more

Rita & Alan

Jack was a great tour guide and the day passed very quickly with jokes, historical information, and a beautiful cruise to the Fern... Grotto. The singers were beautiful in sentiment and voice, showing us the beauty of the Hawaiian culture . I recommend this as it is a great way to be engulfed in culture and see most of the island , including great picture spots. more


The Waimea Canyon was beautiful! However, I feel I could have done this activity on my own. We spent most of our day picking up pe...ople from hotels and I felt I could have used that time exploring more of the canyon. more


We enjoyed the tour, however it was distracting to have the driver singing over the music video and playlist. No one in our gro...up enjoyed that at all and would have rather heard local commentary, island history, or just the recorded artist's voice.
The canyon scenery, boat ride, and fern grotto were beautiful and amazing.


Fern grotto was a lovely trip down the river ending up at fern grotto was like a rain forest the whole experience was great the pe...ople were very knowledgeable and the boat cruise ack they sang all the way back and taught us to hula which was interesting more

Colin & Jo

We loved the sights. The Waimea Canyon was stunning as was the fern grotto. What was wrong with this tour was the more than 6 ho...urs travelling in the bus to see two sights which took less than 20 minutes each to see. Great tour if you enjoy seeing the hawaiian country side from a bus. more


The Guide for the Waimea Canyon tour was excellent. Very informative and enjoyable! The Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto was a... total waste of time. The "entertainment" was very, very poor. Back in Florida, a local restaurant has entertainment far superior. Would definitely recommend the Waimea Canyon tour. Would Never have Anything to do with the Wailua river cruise to Fern Grotto with the laughable entertainment. Not interesting or professional enough to keep even the attention of children. more


It was okay. The driver liked to talk about himself too much.


Not bad until the driver left us at the last stop. Think one could tell that 2 of a group of 8 were not in the van. At least it wa...s only mile or so walk to hotel. more


The Fern Grotto was a guided tour, which I did not realize when we signed up. The boat ride up the river was nice. The guide poi...nted out various places along the river. Your time is very limited at the Grotto. The guides there rush you along to the site, explain the grotto, sing, and then you are rushed out. I wanted to explore the trail a bit and take photos so that was disappointing.



Great tour as far as it went. The river cruise to Fern Grotto was cancelled due to high river levels. When people asked the about reimbursement for the cancelled cruise, he responded with some thing like, "You can phone the company and ask for a partial reimbursement, but don't get your hopes up if it doesn't happen." I think it indicates that the driver just wasn't properly informed about how to deal with the situation, Great driver otherwise, and full of lots of info. It would have been fun to talk with him in an informal setting. more

Bruce Cariker

The Waimea Canyon was the highlight of this tour. The Wailua River and Fern Grotto were decent too (more time there luckily).
On the whole, I thought the tour felt too much like sitting in the bus, and too short time at the scenic spots. We had short stops of a few minutes at some scenic spots. Whereas we got a 20 minute stop at a shopping place, which honestly felt a bit like a waste of time to me when we could have spent that time at other scenic spots. Lunch was 1 hour long, but if a different place would have been chosen, lunch would have been served quicker, and we could have done with less time for lunch too.

On the whole, I feel I didn't see much during this tour, which is a pity. For a tour that has Waimea Canyon in its title, it felt decidingly light on Waimea Canyon.

I can't blame the driver/guide, as he was full of humour and well-spirited. But the tour schedule he had to drive could do with definite improvement I think. (Why not, after the Waimea Canyon lookout, drive further up to the Kalalau Valley lookout while we are in that area?)

One other thing: I got a pickup time of 7.00, but had to wait until 7.40 'til the bus arrived. The driver seemed to be on schedule, so presumably 7.40 was the pickup time communicated to him, but it wasn't communicated to me by the organisation sadly.

I did many great tours during my holiday. This wasn't one of them sadly, although I'm happy I got to see the magnificent Waimea Canyon.


This trip was terrible, expensive, and boring. With false advertisement. We were on time waiting for the bus, but it came an hour ...and thirty minutes later. It was ridiculous they called 3 times saying to be on time, but they were late themselves! Our guide was very bad. All he told us was the name of the attraction not the history. The bus was huge but his mic didn't work. All he had to do was change the batteries but even at a stop he didn't take the time to change them. He just was talking with other people. We could have done this with our own car and taken our time! PLEASE don't waste your money and time on this trip!!! Explore your self and take your time!!!!!!!!! more

Unhappy customer

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