Wailua Falls is one of the popular attractions in Kauai. Spilling 80 feet over a rocky ledge into a fresh water pool below, this double-streamed waterfall has a stunning backdrop of the Wailua valley behind.
In ancient times, this enchanting waterfall was where Hawaiian kane (men) would test their endurance by jumping 80-feet into the shallow 30-foot pool below. Legend has it that some of these men who willingly risked their lives never survived this fall. Some people still leap off the top of the falls, though it is dangerous and illegal.
There are several reasons why Wailua Falls continues to be such a popular attraction. First, it was featured prominently on the opening credits of the popular 1970s TV series Fantasy Island. Since then, it has also been used in various print and other media as being a symbol of Kauai’s lush beauty.
Secondly, Wailua Falls is one of the few waterfalls in Kauai you don’t have to hike to for miles in order to capture its breathtaking beauty. In other words, it’s easily accessible and can be seen from the roadside itself. In fact, the parking lot basically overlooks the falls.
Having said that, there are some people who take a steep and dangerous trek down to the bottom of the falls. This is not advisable as you can capture the beauty of the waterfall safely from above.
The other reason why Wailua Falls is so popular is because of its spectacular beauty. This is especially true if you visit the waterfall mid-morning on a clear, sunny day, when you can be treated to a thin rainbow which appears in the softly spiraling mists.
How to Get to Wailua Falls in Kauai
Wailua Falls is located about 5.2 miles outside the town of Lihue. While there are trails that lead down the steep cliff face to the base of the thundering falls, the trails are steep, slippery, and extremely dangerous.
To reach Wailua Falls, drive north of Lihue for approximately one mile until you reach Ma’alu Road. From here, turn left for a four mile journey into the misty hills.
Once you get there, be sure to take lots of pictures and enjoy the view!
If you have any questions, please share them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.
Wailua Falls: A Must-Visit Waterfall in Kauai [Infographic]
Note: This article was first published in July 2017. It has been updated regularly since then for relevance and freshness.