Adventure awaits

Your best friend has been your best friend since preschool, and on the 50th anniversary of your near life-long shenanigans, you decide to spend a week together on Kauai to celebrate. With its white-sand beaches, abundant sunshine, and gorgeous Koloa Landing Resort, you decide that the South Shore is the perfect playground for you two adventurers.

You have both always been a bit animal crazy, so the activity you are looking forward to most is a day trip up the Napali coast on a catamaran to snorkel and whale watch. The concierge at Koloa Landing books you onto Capt Andy’s Napali coast catamaran tour and after a restful night’s sleep in your luxurious villa, and a breakfast of macadamia nut pancakes at the Holoholo Grill, you are both bright-eyed and ready to go. 

You steer your rented Jeep up the verdant, winding coastline to Port Allen in the tiny town of Ele’ele and climb aboard the classic catamaran with a handful or two of other equally eager day-trippers. Your seats are positioned under the cover but are otherwise fully outdoors with a grand view of the ocean on both sides. And what a view. The Napali Coast of Kauai with its soaring emerald cliffs trickling with waterfalls is the stuff of daydreams.

Playtime on the ocean

Soon into the voyage, you spy spinner dolphins swimming alongside the boat just a few yards out. The crew encourages you to get as close as you’d like to the pod so you and your friend move to the railings for a better view. You lose count after twelve dolphins! You marvel at their speed and playfulness as everyone chatters with delight, pointing and snapping photos. Smaller than their bottlenose dolphin cousins, spinners have pointed beaks that help them swim quickly and elegantly. When one shoots out of the water and spins in mid-air, you can’t help but laugh. 

“What a show-off!” your friend says, laughing too.

All about the spinners

The spinner dolphin is a small and fast-moving species of dolphin found in the warm, shallow waters of the tropical seas. They are smaller than their bottlenose cousins and have pointed beaks that help them swim quickly and elegantly. When one shoots out of the water to spin in mid-air, you can’t help but laugh!

Spinner dolphins are known for being playful creatures who often leap out of the water to play with one another or with humans on boats. These ocean mammals are typically spotted around offshore islands like Kauai where they live most of their lives. Recently, efforts have been made by conservationists to teach these intelligent creatures how to avoid getting entangled in fishing nets so they can enjoy a safe future as well.

Napali Coast Catamaran offers dolphin watching tours from the beautiful harbor town of Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s north shore. The catamaran sails along the stunning Napali Coast and provides guests with plenty of wonderful adventures.

Explore Sea Caves

After seeing the playful dolphins, we continued our destination to explore the sea caves near Napali Coast. The sun was shining and the waves were gentle as we sailed along the coast. We had been told that these caves were some of the most beautiful in Kauai, and we were eager to see them for ourselves.

As we sailed further into the bay, we began to see the cliffs looming ahead. They rose up from the water like a series of giant teeth, threatening to swallow us whole. But we were not afraid. We were explorers, and we were ready for anything.

We soon arrived at the mouth of the first cave. It was huge, stretching back into the darkness like a long, dark tunnel. We eagerly boarded our kayaks and set off into the cave.

The walls of the cave were covered in moss, and the water was so clear that we could see every rock on the bottom. We paddled through the darkness, our kayaks cutting through the water like knives.

The cave opened up into a small bay, and we stopped to take a break. The sun was shining, and the water was so calm that it looked like a mirror. We sat there for a while, taking in the beauty of our surroundings.

We then set off into the next cave, eager to see what else it had in store for us. This cave was smaller than the first but no less beautiful. The walls were lined with jagged rocks, and the ceiling was high enough for us to stand up in.

We paddled through the cave, our kayaks leaving behind trails of ripples on the water. We then emerged into another small bay, this one even more picturesque than the last.

We sat there for a while, taking in the beauty of our surroundings. We had never seen anything like this before, and we knew that we would never forget it.

The Napali Coast is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and exploring it by catamaran is an experience that you will never forget. So if you are ever in Kauai, be sure to check out the Napali Coast boat tour. You won’t regret it.


Cruising closer to the coastline you gaze up at towering cliffs intersected by tiny slivers of beach and displaying some of the tallest waterfalls you’ve ever seen. Your guides regale you with stories of  Kauai’s Napali Coast history and legend. Hands go up and questions are patiently answered. The boat edges into the mouth of a cave and you feel you are somewhere prehistoric. It’s no coincidence that it looks a little like Jurassic Park.

The Napali Coast is a rugged and strikingly beautiful stretch of coastline on the north shore of Kauai. It’s not just for sightseeing, though. The area has an incredible history, as well as many natural wonders to explore.

The cliffs are home to some of the tallest waterfalls in all of Hawaii. They can be seen from miles away when viewed from the ocean or even from neighboring valleys in Kalalau Valley and Waimea Canyon State Park. The beauty continues underwater, where you’ll find a variety of marine life including turtles, giant clams, and various species of fish.

Na Pali Coast Snorkelers’ delight

Later, in the middle of the ocean, the captain cuts the engine and the boat bobs a bit to a gradual stop. Some nice snorkel gear is produced and everyone is invited to jump off the back of the catamaran into the sparkling Pacific. You and your friend take the plunge and as you swim further and further away from the boat you begin to sense the true vastness of the sea. As you snorkel below the surface, countless orange and yellow, and bluefish of all shapes and sizes flash past you through shafts of sunlight. 

There is no better place to snorkel than in the crystal-clear waters of the Napali Coast on Kauai. The vast Pacific stretches out before you as you swim, and you can see for miles in every direction. Beneath the surface, colorful fish dart through the coral reefs, providing a beautiful spectacle for all who are lucky enough to witness it. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, the Napali Coast offers something for everyone.

Turtles in love

Back on board, you are drying off with a towel when the assistant captain shouts excitedly, “This is your lucky day, folks!” He points off the starboard side. “Look over this way. Something we don’t see too often: Bonafide sea turtle romance!” About 3 yards out you see two sea turtles entwined on the water’s surface engaging in a floaty, floppy mating ritual. (It must be hard to get much privacy in the wild.)

All about the sea turtles

Sea turtles are one of the oldest creatures on the planet, dating back to before the dinosaurs. They can grow up to four feet long and weigh 300 pounds. The Hawaiians call them ‘honu’, and they consider them a symbol of good luck. Many people come to Kauai’s Napali Coast specifically to see these graceful creatures in the wild.

The mating ritual is a beautiful thing to behold. The male mounts the female from behind, and they intertwine their necks as they swim. Sometimes they even flip upside down together. The whole process can last for hours until the female eventually lays her eggs on the beach. Then the male fertilizes them and returns to the sea.

Sea turtles have been around for so long because they are remarkably adaptable. They can live in both salt and fresh water, and they eat a variety of things including seaweed, crabs, jellyfish, and fish. Unfortunately, their numbers are declining due to things like coastal development, pollution, and fishing nets.  So if you get the chance to see a sea turtle mating ritual, take it! It may be one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen.

Hump day – Whale Watching

Earlier in the trip, the captain said how common whale sightings were this time of year. It’s the best time to see whales in Kauai. He explained that humpback whales travel a great distance to get to the warm waters of Kauai, as this is where they come each year to breed, calve, and nurse their young. But it isn’t until the return trip that you finally see a whale breaching way out in the distance on the shimmery horizon. Just as you’re squinting and pointing at the spot, two more whales glide hair-raisingly near the boat! You are too entranced to be frightened. The catamaran sails across the water in tandem with the humpbacks, and you lean over to get a closer look. As the sea sprays your face you begin to feel the tiniest connection to these whales. Though they are some of the largest mammals on earth, at that moment they almost feel within your reach. What a trip!

All about the humpbacks

Humpback whales are one of the rarest sights in the world. They migrate to Hawaii every year, but only for a few months during their breeding season. That’s why it is such a special occasion when you see them on your Kauai catamaran tour! The humpbacks will often breach out in the distance and then come near enough to almost touch before continuing on their journey. It’s an extremely emotional experience that always leaves people feeling lucky and grateful for this beautiful opportunity.  If you want to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, whale watching tours in Kauai offer the perfect chance to witness these magnificent creatures up close.

Book your stay at Koloa Landing Resort, the best Kauai resort and then get yourself a cruise up the unforgettable Napali Coast. Captain Andy is standing by. You can also check our activity center for other adventures in Kauai.

— Erica Karlin, Koloa Landing Resort