BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON KAUAI, HAWAII
Oahu and Big Island are 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. 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.
Shipwrecks is an awesome little spot in Poipu. I slept in the parking lot in my car a few times while I was on the island and would wake up for sunrise at the beach. Special moments like that are what travel is all about. 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. You can check out that hike and other easy hikes on Kauai by clicking here.
Ho’oip’i Falls Trail on Kauai is a short but action-packed hike taking you to two waterfalls. The first falls 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.
After about 20 minutes you will reach the first falls. 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 jump with a local who knows where the rocks are hiding beneath the surface or 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. This is one of the best short hikes on Kauai and even has a bonus cliff jump!
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 the jungle waterfall adventure, which will leave you covered in mud but not with no regrets. The 2.6 mile 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. Otherwise, allow for three hours if you want to enjoy the falls at the destination.
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!
The trail isn’t necessarily well defined throughout but as long as you follow the stream and stick close to the water’s edge you will find you the way to the falls. The trail is worn enough so that if it gets too thick you have probably gone off the track.
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.