A visit to Fern Grotto is included on most cruises on the Wailua River; enjoy a peaceful ride up the river, then take a short hike to the grotto. You can also combine a river cruise with a tour of Waimea Canyon, which may include south shore highlights like Koloa Town, the Spouting Horn, and the Cook Landing Site. Alternatively, you can rent a kayak and paddle to the Fern Grotto on your own.
Things to Know Before You Go
Wear good walking shoes as the trail to Fern Grotto can be slippery when wet.
Visitors are no longer allowed to walk into the cave itself and must view the grotto from a viewing platform.
Some Fern Grotto tours may be wheelchair accessible; inquire about accessibility in advance.
How to Get There
The only way to get to the Fern Grotto is by boat or kayak. The grotto is located about two miles (2.3 kilometers) up the Wailua River on the eastern side of Kauai, just outside of Lihue. The easiest way to visit is on a guided river cruise.
When to Get There
Fern Grotto tours are offered all year round. The weather in Kauai is warm throughout the year, making it a great place to visit in any season. You’ll find the biggest crowds from December through March, so the spring and fall are the best times to visit. Kauai is wetter than the other Hawaiian Islands; the rainest weather from November through March.
Fern Grotto Weddings
This fern-covered volcanic cathedral is incredibly romantic, so it is no wonder the Fern Grotto is a popular wedding venue. Many couples get married at this spot each year, often while being serenaded by local musicians’ renditions of the “Hawaiian Wedding Song.” This is also a popular spot for engagements and vow renewal ceremonies.