Kipu Falls, Kauai
Kipu Falls is somewhat off the beaten tourist path, but a favorite for locals. While not a big or majestic as Waimea falls and some of the other better known ones, her you won't find crowds and can enjoy the pretty view and magnificent setting. If you're adventurous, there is a rope swing at the pool below the falls.
You won't be able to find the falls unless you are looking for them, and I wouldn't recommend going here if it's been raining out, since you have to walk along a narrow mud path through tall plants and trees. The walk from the road is about 5 - 10 minutes.
Kipu Falls is an absolute must see, and for you adventurers, the rope swing is a must do. This spot is a favorite of the locals. Getting to the actual waterfall is tricky, and if you go a day after a heavy rain like we did, its nearly impossible. Once you find the trail off of Kipu Road (just before the bridge), you will walk the dirt path to the waterfall. After about 5 minutes you come to an opening where you can see the top of the waterfall. On normal days, you can hike down a bit and walk straight into the rocks on the top of the falls. From here, you can either jump off the waterfall (make sure you jump OUT), or continue to cross the rocks over to the rope swing. If there's been a heavy rain, crossing the rocks to get to the other side is nearly impossible. What you can do, is hike to the bottom of the pool and then swim to the ladder (not for the weak swimmer -- that current is strong!). To hike to the bottom, go past where the trail opens up to the top of the waterfall. Just a little ways up is another, smaller opening where you can go to climb (you literally climb) down the tree roots and rocks. Its slippery and steep, but once you get to the bottom and have the raging falls in front of you, it is so worth it.
The pool below the waterfall is about 30 feet deep, but if you are climbing the ladder to get to the rope swing or swimming along the shore, which is rocky, wear reef shoes or scuba booties.
Oh yeah -- wear bug spray. We were eaten alive in the time we spent hiking through jungle like conditions to get to the waterfall!
Kipu falls are absolutely gorgeous and very accessible. They are one of the few falls on the island that you can enter and frolick in. There is a rope swing to use to launch yourself into the pool below, or you can jump off the small cliff. Whichever you choose it's sure to be fun! Again, being 7 months pregnant, I wasn't able to do either. But, it's still worth visiting. The area surrounding the falls and the drive to get there is quite nice.
The island of Kauai has so many beautiful waterfalls. We saw most of them from the helicopter ride, but you can hike to many of them if you so desire. If we had more time we would have hiked more, but the views of the waterfalls from the helicopter satisfied our desire to view all of them in a limited amount of time.
I highly reccommend seeing the island by air-it is really gorgeous and pictures although beautiful are not as good as seeing them in person!
I had so much fun here. Do yourself a favor and visit. This wonderful little gem is loved by everyone. The 20-rock wall surrounds most of the falls where you can safely jump off, or try the rope swing. It was so fun, I tried it about 9 times over 2 days of visiting.
Kipu Falls is like a natural playground, so have fun with it! I even carefully walked underneath the falls and dove out the middle. Be careful if you try it, its very slippery.
The falls are fed by the Hule'ia Stream on its way to th Nawiliwili Bay. There is a short hike off a dirt sugar cane road down to the waterfalls. The dirt road can be slippery. It can be crowded some days, but I thought it was better that way. You cheer on the various locals and tourists trying out the rope swing, or have them cheer you on.
There was this 10 year old boy who was a little nervous to jump off the falls at first, but I showed him how safe it was and he had a blast.
If no one can show you how to get to the rope swing, first hop the rocks across the falls, then grab the big tree branch and swing yourself across. Its really slippery on this side so be careful. Walk over to the rope and swing away! Theres even a ladder attached to the rock wall so you can climb out of the water when you're done, or try climbing up the roots sticking out of the wall. This is a little hard, so I only recommend that to seasoned tree root climbers. :)
A beautiful waterfall with Banyan trees all over the place. You can jump off the falls, or swing off a rope hanging from a banyan tree. (Be careful!)