Oahu and Big Island are well known for their epic cliff jumping spots. If you ask people about cliff jumping spots on Kauai, they usually shrug their shoulders and tell you that cliff jumping is dangerous and you should go home cause there are no good places around. It can be dangerous, but you shouldn’t go home.
There are several fun spots to cliff jump on Kauai. I’m sure you can find many more but I will share with you a few easily accessible and relatively common cliff jumps on Kauai island. I also wrote a huge guide with all of the Best Cliff Jumping Spots on Oahu, which I’m sure you’d also enjoy.
BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON KAUAI
I came to Kauai to do a bunch of hikes and ended up writing this huge guide: 15 Best Hikes on Kauai. However, along the way, I came across a few sweet cliff-jumps so thought I would create a little guide to some of my favorites. Let me know in the comments if there are some more I need to try next time.
Shipwrecks is an awesome little spot in Poipu. The cliff jump is right at the end of the cliff on the left side of the beach as you look out towards the ocean. It’s pretty hard to miss.
You walk up the cliff from behind and then edge your way down to the jumping spot right on the tip of the coastline. I think the jump is about 40ft or 13m but it could be a little less according to some. The depth of the water could have been deeper but we never touched the bottom. As always you will need to check this yourself to watch out for changes in tides, sandbars, rocks, and debris.
We sent a few backflips from this height and never touched the bottom. Any time we were in the area during our month of hiking in Kauai, we would pull in and have a few jumps at Shipwrecks. It’s definitely the most popular cliff jump spot on Kauai and the only ‘real’ well-known spot for jumping from a decent height into the ocean.
From the cliff, while you are deciding whether to jump or not, watch out for turtles and whales. During January, we spotted lots of turtles and humpback whales from this beach! There is also a cool coastal walk that starts at Shipwrecks Beach called Maha’ulepu, which is one of the best easy hikes on Kauai.
View full blog post: SHIPWRECK BEACH ON KAUAI – CLIFF JUMP, COASTAL WALK, WHALES, TURTLES
Ho’oip’i Falls Trail on Kauai is a short but action-packed hike taking you to two waterfalls. The first waterfall is a great spot for cliff jumping or a refreshing dip. The second falls is one you may recognize from the film Jurassic Park. The trail is very muddy at times but leads you through some unbelievable scenes as vines and ferns are strewn throughout huge trees on either side of the Ho’opi’i Falls trail.
The pool is quite narrow but deep enough to jump into. However, it is only deep enough in certain parts. The water is dark so you must do a thorough check. If you jump in without checking you could land on one of the big boulders just feet below the surface.
There is also a rock pool halfway down the waterfall to check out. It’s pretty much a natural hot tub… minus the heat. Around the corner from the first falls is another cliff jump people were doing while we were there but we just jumped right at the falls then continued on hiking.
The main falls are in a famous location. It is the scene of Amber Mine from Jurassic Park. It doesn’t look quite the same and a lot greener when I visited but nonetheless, you will find yourself standing on a Hollywood set as you watch the water flow down Ho’opi’i Falls.
View full blog post: HO’OPI’I FALLS HIKE & CLIFF JUMP ON KAUAI
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Queens Bath Cliff Jump
Queen’s Bath is a pretty precarious place. As you walk in there is a sign stating how many people have died in the Queen’s Bath area. It was close to 30 people who have lost their lives here. On a calm day, it’s a great spot to hang out and even jump about but when there is even a small swell it can be incredibly dangerous even to stand on the cliff edge.
The day we went had a tiny swell and we stayed well away from the areas one may consider jumping on a smaller day. However, in the main pool there is a small little jump of about 3 meters into the shallow, but crystal clear water. We had some fun jumping in and chilling in this swimming hole. It is protected in part by the rock wall and only some of the wave crashes through. Once again, on a day of swell, this pool is a death trap. On a small day, it is a fun swimming hole. Identifying the difference is obviously very, very important. If you aren’t sure, ask a local or just enjoy this spot with the eyes.
Makaleha Falls Hike is a jungle waterfall adventure, which will leave you covered in mud but not with no regrets. The 2.6 miles out and back trail follows a stream the entirety of the hike with a reward of multiple epic waterfalls at the end. This hike is a great fit for those capable of bouldering, weaving in and out of roots and vines, and dealing with slippery mud and mossy rocks.
Makaleha Falls Hike on Kauai takes about two hours round trip if you don’t stop for photos or spend too long at the falls. The hike begins along the Makaleha Stream and follows it the whole way up to the falls. I lost count of the river crossings and many of them left no option other than to wade through the water. I managed to keep one shoe dry!
At the end of the trail, you run into a huge set of falls that cascade one into the next. You can cliff jump into these pools but they are very dark and require an underwater inspection for debris and depth.
View full blog post: MAKALEHA FALLS HIKE ON KAUAI
Where to stay on Kauai
I’m going to recommend five places to stay on Kauai. All five of these spots are in great locations but each one is a little different. Two are a luxury pick, one is a family choice, the other is a value selection. For more accommodation recommendations you can check my favorites in the Kauai Where to Stay Guide.
Kauai Shores Hotel – Luxury (but value also): A luxury feels with the resort-style property, palm trees, and a beautiful pool area. However, it is less than $300 a night. The best part about this hotel is that it is right on the beach. The restaurant literally looks out to the waves, which is an awesome spot to start your day with breakfast.
Koloa Landing Resort – Luxury (high-end): I was lucky enough to spend three nights reviewing Koloa Landing Resort and honestly the place is just phenomenal. It has the LARGEST pool on all of Kauai with beautiful, natural-style landscaping throughout the pool areas.
The Grand Hyatt Resort – Best Family Resort: With the best kids’ club on the island, wildlife talks in the lobby, and a five-acre pool complex that includes an enormous lazy-river pool, a waterslide, and a saltwater lagoon big enough for kayaking, the Grand Hyatt is unbeatable for keeping kids busy and parents happy.
Hilton Garden Inn – Value Pick: The Hilton Garden Inn is your number one choice if you are on a budget but still need comfort. The Hilton has a beautiful pool, has private beach access and hot tubs so you are still getting an awesome value and the resort experience.
What are my favorite pieces of travel gear?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never travel without. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my travel essentials.
- Packing Cube Set: Once you cube you’ll never go back. Organize your clothes within your luggage with these smart mesh containers. It will revolutionize your packing.
- PackTowl Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- Travel Wallet: Keep your passport, wallet, and vaccine card safe as well as any forms and important documents you need to store.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: I’ve used this for three years. It filters your water with one press and you can drink directly from it. Never buy a plastic water bottle again!