Tips Before you go to Secret Falls (Uluwehi Falls) in Kauai, Hawaii
Planning to see some waterfalls during your trip to Kauai, Hawaii? Secret Falls (also known as Uluwehi Falls) is among one of the most unique waterfalls in Kauai to visit since you can swim under it. After my trip to Secret Falls, I realized most of the group wasn’t prepared for the trip. With that being said, I thought it would be nice to share some Secret Falls tips with you, this way, you get the best out of this experience.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Tips Before you go to Secret Falls (Uluwehi Falls) in Kauai, Hawaii
- You Can Go to Secret Falls by Group or Yourself
- Bring a Waterproof Bag
- Bring Sunscreen and Bug Spray
- Waterproof Shoes
- Bring a Lunch to Secret Falls
- Bathingsuit and Towel
- Waterproof Phone Case
- It is not Recommended to Go Under the Waterfall
- Sunglasses, a Hat, a Smile, and a Good Attitude
- Kauai Secret Falls Tips Wrap-up
You Can Go to Secret Falls by Group or Yourself
During our trip, we went to Secret Falls on a group trip. I could definitely recommend this experience because we had a local guide who gave us a lot of insight about the lands, plants, animals, etc, throughout our trip. Moreover, Secret Falls is easily one of the best waterfalls to see on Kauai.
To get there, you have to kayak to Secret Falls down the Wailua River, wade in the water (without your Kayak), and then hike through the forest. On top of that, there were no signs pointing out where to go. We took our tour through ali’i kayaks (not sponsored), and had such an amazing experience!
However, if you are feeling very adventurous or don’t like doing things in a group setting, you can rent a kayak or Sup Board and come to Secret Falls.
Bring a Waterproof Bag
Another one of my top tips for visiting Secret Falls is to bring a waterproof bag. Because we went with a tour group, they provided us with waterproof bags, but if you decide to go on your own, you will have to get into the water and walk a couple of feet to the beginning of the trail.
Bring Sunscreen and Bug Spray
For the first half of the trip, you will be going down the river directly in the sun. This is why I always like to pack sunscreen so I won’t have a sunburn ruin my trip! I like to use chemical-free sunscreen, and I find sunscreen, in general, is more expensive at my vacation spot.
Additionally, Hawaii has banned all non-reef-safe sunscreen, so it is important to make sure your brand is reef safe. We always use Blue Lizard Australian Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30 and Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Moisturizer
Once you get into the forest, this is when you will want that bug spray! You will be doing a short hike in the dense forest to the waterfall. Don’t put this on until you get to the hiking area since it will come off in the water. You can get this at a local 7-11.
One of the Secret Falls tips I wish I knew was having waterproof shoes. We packed sneakers for the hike and sandals for going in the water, but water shoes would have been so much better.
I highly recommend them after failing with my flip-flops sticking in the mud and then floating up in that water! I love my Teva sandals that work great in the water.
The hike can also be very slippery and muddy, especially if it just rained. The hike is pretty short, but the path is not that maintained.
Bring a Lunch to Secret Falls
A tip our tour guide told us was to bring lunch, and we are so happy we did. Most people eat lunch once they get to the falls because the trip itself could work up an appetite. We went to Subway since it was located right by our tour company, and it was quick and easy.
Bathingsuit and Towel
This sounds obvious, but don’t forget your bathing suit and towel! You can swim in these falls, but it’s shaded, so drying off in the sun is not an option. Let me tell you, the water is freezing, and getting out is even colder!
We love using our Quickdry Towels, which are lightweight and really easy to pack. We have the large size.
Waterproof Phone Case
While most phones do have a water-resistant feature, I’d still recommend a waterproof casing of some type, just in case. These are expensive electronics, and you want to keep them safe and not lose all your epic photos from Kauai.
It is not Recommended to Go Under the Waterfall
Secret Falls is marketed as a waterfall you can swim up to, which is true. However, one of the Secret Falls tips I wish I knew was that they do not mention there are signs everywhere saying danger or death to go under the falls. The reason is that you never know what might be coming down the waterfall. It makes sense when you think about it.
As the water pushes down, it can bring branches, rocks, etc. In that case, if you are under the waterfall and a rock loosens and comes down the waterfall…. you are a bit away from any hospital. So basically, going under the waterfall is at your own risk.
The good news is that there is a decent-sized swimming area that you can still enjoy without directly being under the waterfall and still get cool photos!
Sunglasses, a Hat, a Smile, and a Good Attitude
Additionally, bring your sunglasses, and a hat and enjoy! During your day trip to Secret Falls, you will get to see beautiful views while going down the Wailua River, including some mountain views. Then you will get to hike through a tropical oasis; they call Kauai the garden island for a reason! And, of course, you get to see and swim at a waterfall!
Kauai Secret Falls Tips Wrap-up
I hope you found these Secret Falls tips helpful! If you have any questions about these Secret Falls Kauai tips, let me know in the comments below!
Other Hawaii Guides to Check Out!
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- Kauai Hawaii 3 Day Itinerary
- 1 Day in Kauai
- 5 Best Things to See in Kauai
- Maui 5 Day Itinerary
- Driving the Road to Hana
- Beach Vacation Packing List
- Sunrise Experience & Tips for Mt. Haleakala
- Swimming with Sea Turtles in Maui