Best Oahu Kayak Tour

Rainforest River Kayak Self-Guided Tour

Best Oahu Kayak Experience for Families

This is the Best Kayaking Experience on Oahu. This self-guided* Oahu kayak tour takes you up a calm river into the valley then out into the bay for a great view of the coast. Enjoy the picturesque landscape of turquoise ocean, secluded beach, green-clad mountains and plentiful jungle of Kahana Valley. The whole place has an amazonian like feel to it.

*No tour guide provided. You will need a vehicle to transport the equipment about 1 mile. We provide foam pads and straps that fit most vehicles

202 Reviews
3 Hours
  • $80 – Visitor
  • $70 – Kama'aina / Military
  • $70 – Children (under 12 years old)
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Best Oahu Kayak Tour

Our services were highlighted on Japanese TV, Ariyoshi’s Summer Vacation, Oahu, Hawaii, 2017

  • Great for anyone, easy to learn, relaxing and beautiful
  • Calm water on the river
  • Scenic views and plenty of green
  • One of the most exclusive places on Oahu to kayak
How to prepare
  • Apply sunscreen and wear a swimsuit
  • Please leave valuables at home or use a drybag we provide with the self-guided experience.
  • Foam pads and straps are provided to help transport the kayaks.
  • Be prepared with a vehicle to transport the kayak about 1 mile.
  • Life vests, all other kayak equipment is provided

“Wow! What an incredible experience. We kayaked through the rainforest in the pouring rain and wouldn’t have changed anything about it.” … “It was so lush and green and something each of us will remember forever.”

La Jolla,CA

“It was perfect for my 10 and 12 year old children. The kids enjoyed a rope swing in the rain forest and we all enjoyed riding the waves into shore at the end of our tour. Thank you Active Oahu Tours!”

Thousand Oaks, CA

“We even got to paddle out from the river to the ocean which was awesome. The kids loved the kayaking and found it very memorable.”

Activity Overview

Welcome to the best local Oahu Kayak tour and self-guided experience. The trip takes place in Kahana valley which is one of the last fully intact Ahupua’a. Ahupua’a is an old Hawaiian land division that has everything for the local population to sustain themselves from the top of the mountains to the ocean. Inside the valley, there are picturesque mountains, plenty of lush greenery, a rainforest river as well as a beautiful ocean bay. Kahana Bay and Valley are some of the last places on the island to be completely commercial development free. Ahupua’a O Kahana is maintained and protected by the state and therefore, Active Oahu will provide the kayaks off-site just around the corner. This is an unforgettable experience most visitors and even locals never get to see. 

Kahana Valley Self-Guided Kayaking Experience

Since this is a self-guided experience, no tour guide will be provided. You will be receiving the kayaks at a the meeting location and we can help you load the kayaks on your vehicle so you can transport them to the kayak launch location. Any 4 door Sedan, van or SUV will work fine since we provide soft pads and straps for you to transport the kayaks.

If you do not have a vehicle to transport the equipment, you can optionally experience coastal kayaking from the beach access across the street. You will get some great views of the mountains and the windward coast of Oahu. If you choose this option, we advise you to not go beyond the reef.

Kahana Kayaking Route Options

Under ideal conditions in the summer (end of May to the beginning of Sept), you can choose this option and kayak from the beach access, all the way to the Kahana stream (about 1 mile) then up the stream (about 1 mile) and then back for a total about 4 to 5 miles of paddling. This would be better for experienced paddlers. This is a favorite route for experienced or active groups and still only takes about 3 hours total if you go at a consistent pace. Just be sure to have water and snacks on-hand for the trip. There is a google map of the beach access option at the bottom of the page.

Kayaking in Kahana Valley

The Kahana Rainforest River location is the best Oahu kayak tour experience if you’re looking for epic green scenery or have kids that want to come on the trip too. Since the self-guided tour can be mostly on a river, it’s family-friendly and great for beginners. You start out nestled in a valley between two arms of land that stretch out into the ocean to form a sheltered bay. You will be surrounded by green-clad mountains and a picturesque landscape; ocean, beach, mountains and rain forest. You will paddle up a calm river where you can be immersed in the wonderful landscape.

For the more adventurous sort, there are plenty of rope swings all along our route as we paddle up the valley. This lush valley is culturally and historically significant, so show respect to the community and do not do anything that may seem offensive.

You will get to explore the rain forests of Oahu’s Windward Coast where you get a hidden Amazonian-like feel without the dangers of Anacondas or Parana. If you are attentive you will often see wetland birds in the trees and schools of fish rippling under the water.

If that’s the kind of Oahu kayak tour experience you are looking for, call us up or book online and we can get you your equipment and some more instruction for the self-guided kayak tour.

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More info about this Oahu Self-Guided Kayak Tour

For your kayaking experience, we suggest that you start out in a river where the water is placid and peaceful and a perfect place to see the beauty of Oahu.

This is a Rain forest Valley and one of the wettest parts of the island, so there is a high probability of rain. We do not cancel reservations for rain. Rain just makes the experience more refreshing and adventurous. When else can you say you’ve paddled through a Hawaiian Rain forest in the rain? Although, if conditions are dangerous we will notify you as soon as we know to re-schedule the reservation.

Meeting Location for the Kahana Valley Self-guided Rainforest Kayak Tour

Here is some more info about the meeting location and other helpful links:

The parking lot we will be meeting you at is:
Keneke’s Grill at Punaluu
53-138 Kamehameha Hwy Kaaawa, HI 96730

Try the Google Maps link:

It’s in front of a local restaurant called Keneke’s Grill. There is plenty of room to park before you continue to the kayaking location.

The driver will be there with the equipment at or a little before the reservation time. Our drivers often use personal vehicles, so keep an eye out for a vehicle with orange kayaks.

It’s a short drive around the corner to your destination, so we will loan you pads and straps to transport the kayak to the launch location.

The valley you will kayak in is a rain forest and has all sorts of hiking trails and rope swings. It’s one of our favorite locations on the island. The whole area is surrounded by epic mountains. It’s a cool place.

The best place to park is in the State Park parking lot. Here is the google maps link for that location:
Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park

From there, you carry the kayak to the grassy area and launch the kayaks straight into the river. Please handle the kayaks with care, do not drag the kayaks on the asphalt and please do not sit or stand on the kayaks while on land.

More Links and Maps for Kayaking Kahana Valley

Helpful links and maps for your experience:

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