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Kauai Beach Safety

While vacationing on Kauai we want you to enjoy, explore, relax and most importantly stay healthy and safe. Kauai is beautiful, exotic, mysterious and full of spectacular wonders to explore. Most of Kauai activities are associated with the outdoors, hiking and ocean activities. With these activities comes a share of precautions and potentially dangerous situations. Please become familiar with these to help you stay safe and relaxed.

Beach Safety

The biggest safety concern is understanding the oceans and the environment. Ocean conditions are difficult to judge and conditions can change quickly. Always use common sense when entering Hawaiian Waters. Conditions vary from seasons, tides, locations and local weather pattern.

  • Swim at Life guarded beaches
  • Ask a lifeguard about conditions of the ocean
  • Before entering the water check for any warning signs indicating hazardous conditions.
  • Avoid shorelines rocky areas and swimming during high surf.
  • Never turn your back on the ocean, an unexpected wave can knock you down and drag you out.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Never allow small children to swim or play in water unattended.
  • Never swim in murky water and never swim in river mouths.
  • Listen to weather and surf forecasts on local radio or check the surf report
  • Learn about rip currents and how to avoid them or what to do if you get caught in one. Check out Beach Safety page for more information.

Portuguese Man of War – This small jellyfish-like animal with a stinging tentacles can be seen on the beaches after strong onshore winds and stormy conditions. The Portuguese man of war (locally known as pochos) resemble a clear bubble about the size of a half dollar with blue tentacles that are usually a couple feet long.

The jelly fish float on the surface of the water and the painful sting is usually a result of the tentacles touching bare skin. Medical attention is usually not necessary unless a rare case of an allergic reaction. Be careful to remove all the tentacles, do not rub and rinse well with very hot water to neutralize the poison and help relieve the pain. Lifeguards usually will have ice-packs or sting relief.

Coral Reefs – Coral reefs are beautiful to explore underwater but it is important to not touch or stand on the reef for your own safety and the protection of the living coral. See our page on reef etiquette.

  • Kauai Hospitals and Clinics

  • Wilcox Memorial Hospital
    808-245-1100
  • Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital
    808-338-9431
  • Samuel Mahelona Hospital
    808-823-4194
  • North Shore Medical Center
    808-828-1418
  • Koloa Clinic
    808-742-1621
  • West Kalaheo Clinic
    808-332-8523
  • Kapaa Clinic
    808-822-3431
  • Important Numbers
  • Emergency/Police/Fire/Ambulance
    911
  • Police Dispatch (non-emergency)
    808-241-1711
  • Visitor Information Line
    808-262-1400
  • Kauai Visitors Bureau
    808-245-3971
  • Kauai Weather
    808-245-6001

  • Kauai Bus
    808-241-6001
  • Visitor Aloha Society of Kauai
    808-482-0111

Hiking Tips

Heading into Kauai’s interior and remote terrain offers dome of the most beautiful backdrops on the world. By doing a little planning and being prepared you will make your hiking trip one of your best Kauai experiences. Hiking on Kauai will take you into some of the most beautiful and remote rain forest, mountain tops, river valleys and canyons. It is important to remember to plan your hike and follow well marked trails as well as learn about precautions and trail etiquette. As you hike along some of Kauai’s historical trails you will find yourself amongst historic and archeological sites. It is important to preserve and respect these areas as well as stay safe while exploring.

  • Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) you plan to hike and when you plan on returning. It is best to take a partner and be informed about the trail that you pick and study the route before you set off.
  • Water -When hiking it is important to stay hydrated. Do not wait until you start feeling thirsty to start replacing lost fluid. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Your body can absorb only about one quart of fluid per hour. Drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drink each and every hour you are hiking in the heat. Carry your water bottle in your hand and drink small amounts often. Make sure if you are drinking water from any streams or fresh water sources you purify your water with a purifier is certified to filter microbial leptosporosis or giardia (not all do).
  • Food -Eating is equally important to both day hikers and overnight backpackers. Carry high-energy, salty snacks as well as meals. The hike out is much easier when you provide your body with enough calories to support the extreme physical activity you are engaged in.
  • Check weather before you set off on your hike.
  • It is important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be monitored closely. Do not expose open wounds or cuts to river water. Open cuts are highly susceptible to infection that can set in rapidly (one of the most dangerous infections being leptosporosis and one of the most common being staphylococcus or “staph”). It is important not to let an infected wound go untreated.
  • Foot Wear- There are a variety of footwear options to choose from. The best advise is to wear what is comfortable for you. Do not break in new shoes along a hiking trail.
  • Dress in layers so you can protect your skin from the tropical sun.
  • Sunglasses, Hat and sunscreen is recommended.
  • A light rain jacket is always good to have in your pack.Kauai weather changers quickly.