Cliff jumping is a rush, no doubt about that! Your nerves flutter with anticipation as you stand at the precipice readying yourself for the big jump. As you leap off you feel weightless with the air running over you until finally your toes breach the crystal water into the depths of the ocean. If you’re ready to try cliff jumping on your next trip to Kauai there are several fun spots to try.
In a recent post we explored the Top 3 Places to Cliff Jump on Maui. Here now are 3 of the most popular places to cliff jump in Kauai where you can get the thrill of a lifetime. As a reminder, always approach each jump with the utmost safety in mind watching out for changes in tides, sandbars, rocks, and debris.
1. Shipwreck Beach
Shipwreck Beach is one of the largest stretches of beach in the Poipu area. The beach got its name from an old wooden shipwreck which sank off the coast and was partially buried in the sand. Shipwreck Beach is a local favorite for surfing and also the most popular destination for cliff jumping on Kauai. The jump itself can be found at the end of the cliff on the left side of the beach as you face towards the ocean. Besides being a popular place to cliff jump, the locals enjoy using this spot to do a little fishing. The jump from the cliff is approximately 40ft (13m) give or take. As you stand at the edge, deciding whether to jump or not, keep an eye out for sea turtles and whales that may be visible further out in the ocean.
2. Ho’oipi’i Falls
Ho‘opi‘i Falls has a 20-foot tall cliff diving spot alongside a cascading waterfall making it a very popular spot for visitors and tourists alike. The trail is less than half a mile to the falls, on a walking path alongside Kapa'a stream. It winds through lush tropical forest that is frequented by many tropical songbirds. The waterfall cascades down lava rock and into a relatively deep pool at its base. Use extreme caution when jumping so you know where the rocks are hiding beneath the surface. Do a thorough check beforehand or watch where the locals choose their jumps to ensure you’re jumping into the right part of the pool.
3. Makaleha Falls
Makaleha Falls starts with a 2.6 mile trail hike that will leave you covered in mud but with no regrets. This is a jungle adventure hike with challenging terrain, river crossing, slippery mud and mossy rocks. The trail isn’t necessarily well defined but it hugs a stream for the duration of the trek so you’ll have no problem finding the falls if you stick close to the water’s edge. At the end of the trail, you are rewarded with the two-tiered Makaleha Falls cascading one into the other. As always inspect underwater for debris and depth before you jump these cliffs.
Ready to tackle cliff jumping on Kauai? While you're there experience the island from the sky with a helicopter tour from Maverick. Enjoy the best views of Kauai’s natural marvels like Waimea Canyon, Manawaiopuna Falls made famous for its scenes in the film, Jurassic Park, and Hanapepe Valley, popular for its rich farmland and grand mountain ranges.