• Features

    Fern covered, lava rock grotto on the Walua River with daily boat tours.

Location and Access

Only accessible by boat or Kayak, the Fern Grotto is located about two miles up Kauai’s Wailua River, the only navigable river in the State of Hawaii. The grotto is a cave of lush ferns growing on the cave walls as a result of moisture seeping from the irrigation of sugarcane growing on the cliff plateau. When the sugar industry had its last days, the ferns began to die off until restoration efforts returned moisture to the area. Hurricane Iniki and a severe flood in 2006 also wreaked havoc upon the cave.

Kauai, known as the “Garden Isle” of Hawaii, is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and lush greenery. Amidst this paradise, the Fern Grotto stands as a natural wonder, inviting visitors to embark on a memorable journey through one of the island’s most enchanting spots. The Fern Grotto tour is an immersive experience that combines the allure of nature with the rich cultural heritage of Kauai.

The Fern Grotto is nestled along the Wailua River, just a short drive from Kapa’a town on Kauai’s eastern shore. Accessible only by boat, this secluded grotto is shrouded in verdant foliage, making it a hidden gem awaiting discovery. Visitors typically embark on guided boat tours that meander up the scenic Wailua River to reach the Fern Grotto.

Lush Foliage and Dramatic Setting

As you approach the Fern Grotto by boat, the first thing that strikes you is the astounding natural beauty that surrounds it. Towering emerald-hued ferns drape elegantly from the grotto’s limestone walls, creating a breathtaking canopy of greenery that’s illuminated by dappled sunlight streaming through the leaves. The contrast between the lush foliage and the dark, moss-covered rock formations is a sight to behold, and it’s no wonder that this spot has been a beloved destination for generations of visitors.

The Romantic Legend

What sets the Fern Grotto apart from other natural wonders is the captivating legend that accompanies it. Local Hawaiian guides, well-versed in the island’s culture and history, share the romantic tale of the grotto with visitors. According to legend, the grotto was once a sacred site reserved for Hawaiian royalty. It was a place of love, where young lovers would come to pledge their commitment to one another. The Fern Grotto tour often includes live Hawaiian music, hula dancing, and a reenactment of the romantic story, adding to the enchantment of the experience.

A Captivating Experience

Visitors to the Fern Grotto can expect a tranquil and awe-inspiring experience. The boat tour itself is a leisurely ride up the Wailua River, offering opportunities to soak in the stunning scenery along the way. Upon arrival at the grotto, visitors are treated to the melodious sounds of Hawaiian music and the graceful movements of hula dancers, creating a serene and memorable atmosphere.

Practical Information

  • Tour Duration: The Fern Grotto tour typically lasts around two hours, including the boat ride, entertainment, and exploration of the grotto.
  • Booking: It’s advisable to book your tour in advance, as this popular attraction can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • What to Bring: Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery, and consider bringing a light jacket or shawl, as it can be cooler on the river.

In conclusion, the Fern Grotto tour on Kauai is a magical blend of natural beauty, Hawaiian culture, and romantic legend. It offers visitors the chance to connect with the island’s history and immerse themselves in the lush, tropical paradise that is Kauai. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a serene escape, the Fern Grotto tour promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Hawaii’s Garden Isle.