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Shipwreck Beach On Kauai, Hawaii: Cliff Jump & Coastal Trail

Shipwreck Beach On Kauai, Hawaii: Cliff Jump & Coastal Trail

Shipwrecks Beach is my favorite beach on Kauai. It has so much to offer but it is hidden from the unsuspecting eye. What exactly do I mean by this? If you roll up to Shipwrecks it looks like a nice beach but not much else. However, there is so much going on here if you know where to look. There is the Maha’ulepu Coastal Trail beginning on the left of the beach, the cliff jumps out at the point, turtles and whales out in the ocean, and a surf break when the swell is up!


Shipwrecks Beach is in Poipu and not too far from the popular tourist town Kapa’a. It’s a great spot for a chill session if you don’t want to head all the way north or west! It’s also one of the best cliff jumping spots on Kauai. I’ve pinned the map location below.



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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.

If you are heading to Oahu, definitely check out my guide to the best cliff jumps on Oahu before you plan your adventures.

pictures of hawaii, hawaii
Cliff Jumping at Shipwrecks Beach

Maha’ulepu Heritage Coastal Trail

The Maha’ulepu is one of the easiest hikes on Kauai and is actually more of a coastal walk.  The walk begins at Shipwrecks beach and winds along the coast. It’s a little under 2 miles each way but you can really turn back at any point unless you are trying to reach the caves. The Makauwahi caves are at the end of the trail and it’s truly a sight to behold. In this cave are lush green grass and plants but also fossils, which are millions of years old. It’s one of the best easy hikes on Kauai.

easy hike kauai


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Whale watching at Shipwrecks

From the beach, it’s not uncommon to see whales breaching out in the ocean. I visited during January and there is a day when multiple whales cruised past the coast, exciting everybody onshore. Nic flew the drone out to get a closer look at the whales and captured some epic footage.


The free hot tub hack: Grand Hyatt

If you are like me, you are likely not keen to spend hundreds a night in a fancy hotel. Luckily though security is lax and you aren’t harming anyone by sneaking in for a cheeky hot tub session. After a few cliffs jumps, we blended right in at the Grand Hyatt, which is right on the beach at Shipwrecks. A 30-minute hot tub session was enjoyed and then we were on our way! Definitely, give it a crack!


  • Kauai Shores HotelLuxury (but value also): A luxury feels with the resort-style property, palm trees, and a beautiful pool area. 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 ResortLuxury (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 ResortBest 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 InnValue 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, private beach access, and hot tub.
  • For more accommodation recommendations you can check my favorites in the Kauai Where to Stay Guide.
a lush green field with palm trees and a mountain in the background.

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.
  • 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!

Best Things to Eat, See, and Do in Kauai - House of Nash Eats

Saturday 9th of March 2019

[…] and there is a gorgeous point for watching the sunrise in the mornings.  We even saw people cliff jumping from the point into the ocean below, although it looked too dangerous for us to want to try it.  Next time we […]


Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

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Monday 30th of April 2018

Thanks so much for all this! Getting lost in your site right now and love it

lina garcia

Friday 6th of April 2018

Great details and very helpful in deciding where our hiking crew will go MAHALO?