Excursions

Sunday Sailing | Snorkel Picnic on the Nā Pali Coast with Captain Andy

Sunday was my last day on Kauai and a breeze -- literally. I woke up early to go on a snorkel picnic to the Na Pali Coast with Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures. At first, I was a little hesitant because I don't swim, but you don't have to snorkel. In fact, there's much more to the tour than just snorkeling! 

There's plenty of commentary from the guides and the views are to die for. I can't think of a better way I could have spent my Sunday morning on this vacation. I kicked my feet up while inhaling the fresh air, read my magazines, and took tons of photos.

Get a glimpse of my last excursion on Kauai:

On the way back to the shore, I listened to music and even took a nap. I'm happy that I got to do something new and I had time to take in the natural beauty of the island. The best part was that I had very little to no cellular service at all...and it was fantastic. In a world so obsessed and connected to our devices, it's nice to be able to disconnect sometimes. No emails, no phone calls, no social media updates, and I loved every moment of it on Akialoa.

Learn more about Capt. Andy's catamaran tours and add a sailing adventure to your Kauai vacation itinerary

Bird's Eye View of Kauai | Safari Helicopters Deluxe Waterfall Tour

One of the top recommended excursions and activities for visitors of Kauai is a helicopter tour. As I mentioned in my Weekend Itinerary blog post, 80% of the island cannot be accessed by a vehicle, so a helicopter tour is one of the best opportunities to truly see everything. I popped a Dramamine (as advised) to help with any motion sickness and was ready to scratch this off of my bucket list! I didn't want anything ruining the moment.

After checking-in at Safari's office and going through a brief safety orientation, my group for the tour hopped into a van to be whisked away to the airport where the helicopter pads were located. Soon enough, myself and a family of 4 were filing into the helicopter to be greeted by our guide, Bruno. Shortly after, we were lifted far above the airport and our hour-long journey began.

These are some of the photos I captured from the tour. And yes, the island is even more beautiful in real life!

At the end of our tour, we exited the helicopter so the next group could board, took quick individual photos and headed back to the Safari Helicopters office where we were able to grab our bags and other personal belongings from supervised lockers. There's even an opportunity to purchase a USB of your entire tour with the guide's full commentary. The other passengers in my group didn't purchase theirs, but I would have been awfully upset if I left Kauai without that memory despite the fact that I captured several vivid photos.

Me next to the helicopter after our tour with my camera. I got so many amazing photos!

Me next to the helicopter after our tour with my camera. I got so many amazing photos!

Here are some things to remember for a helicopter tour:

  • Take a motion sickness pill at least an hour prior to your excursions with a lot of heavy movement. Typically, the companies will extend this tip, but it's alway good to know!
  • Bring a camera to capture photos to show off and HAVE FUN! How often are you in the sky hovering several hundred feet over landmasses and oceans as beautiful as the ones on your trip? 
  • Wear dark clothing to avoid reflection on your photos. If you're a passenger who may not necessarily be interested in stellar, professional photos, you should definitely be considerate of others on your tour.
  • Listen to your guides and practice safety! While a helicopter tour is TONS of fun, there are things to be mindful of in terms of safety. Stay away from the blades on the helicopter, don't block your guide/pilot's view during the tour to take a selfie, etc.

Book your helicopter tour with Safari Helicopters

ATV Tour on Kipu Ranch | Off-Road Kauai Scenery & Film Spots

If you've ever wondered where those exotic locations from movies such as Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones have been filmed, then look no further! On a trip to Kauai, I learned that you will find some of the most memorable spots from films on several tours whether you're hovering above in a helicopter or zooming through the forests on an ATV.

One of my excursions on my trip was an ATV tour on Kipu Ranch, which was definitely a new experience for me. Typically, groups sign up for tours like these, so since I was traveling alone I opted to ride with a guide for two reasons.

1) Because I'm not used to driving on such terrain or in an ATV and I'll admit I was a little scared! While the guides do safety checks and brief trainings before and along the way, I personally thought this would be best for me.

2) I wanted to be able to get all of the photos and video footage I needed to share with you all, of course!

Overall, the Ultimate Ranch Tour offered on Kipu Ranch is a 3-hour tour, so here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Bring sunscreen to reapply throughout the tour! The most shade you'll probably get is in the ATV and under the lush, shady trees.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. This is not the time to dress up! 
  • Don't worry about makeup! I know it can be tempting to look cute for Instagram, but prior to the tour, you'll be given goggles to wear which will definitely come in handy as you embark on the route. Plus, makeup will likely sweat or be wiped away. I actually don't think I even wore very much makeup during my entire trip!
  • Pack a camera to get photos. There are tons of stops, so you will have plenty of opportunities to snap away. They don't need to be fancy -- iPhone cameras are great, too! Just make sure you do not drop them while you're in the ATV. 
  • Have fun, of course!

This tour honestly wasn't anything I ever would have chosen for myself and I'm SO glad that I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I mean, who wants to do the same old boring things on such a beautiful trip to a Hawaiian island? Not I! 

Learn more about Kipu Ranch and book your tour on Kauai!

Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by the Kauai Visitor's Bureau, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.