If you like to “get after it” and explore lots of remote terrain fairly quickly, then going on an ATV tour is an excellent choice for Kauaʻi. The island is loaded with preserved wilderness that you can explore via hikes and car travel, but ATV tours open up a whole new landscape for visitors, running on private lands that would be otherwise inaccessible.
And, luckily, Kauaʻi offers some of the most extensive ATV tours in all of Hawaiʻi, with multiple options running three hours in length that include side experiences, like beach walking, waterfall hiking, and even fishing!
Table of contents
Table of Contents
- List + comparison of all Kauaʻi ATV tours
- What are ATV tours like?
Often muddy and always adventurous, ATV tours explore various terrains, including ranch lands, jungles, bamboo forests, waterfalls, coffee fields, beaches, and more.
Interested in getting behind the wheel? In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about ATV tours on Kauaʻi.
List + Comparison of ATV Tours on Kauaʻi
There are currently two ATV tour companies on Kauaʻi. Below, we break down what you can expect from each company, as well as the tours they offer, the price, and good things to know.
|Price||Duration||Good to know|
|Kauaʻi ATV Tours||From $252 for 2 people||3 hours||Only one tour offered, but extremely extensive, includes ATV ride, beach walk, and fishing|
|Kīpu Ranch ATV Tours||From $372 for 2 people||3 hours||Offers two ATV tours, including waterfall and ranch tours|
Kauaʻi ATV Tours
Kauaʻi ATV offers one ATV tour: The Backcountry Adventure Tour. But don’t let that fool you – this tour is incredibly diverse, and could really be two or three tours.
Three hours in length, it is one of the longer ATV tours in Hawaiʻi, taking you on about 18 miles of off-road trails in and around the Kōloa Plantation, Mahaʻulepu Beach, Waita Reservoir, and the Wilcox tunnel.
A mix of plantation scenery, ocean views, coastal wilderness, and movie filming locations (Jurassic Park, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more), the Backcountry Adventure Tour not only includes the ATV exploration and cultural/historical/natural narration, but also a half-mile beach hike and catch and release fishing with a traditional bamboo pole.
Tours go out at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., and 1:45 p.m. most days. Pricing is based on a minimum of two people, so if you’re riding solo, you’ll still have to pay the double rate. You can see more info on rates, for up to four people, here.
Important: One other thing to note is that, under the company’s policy, no minors under the age of 18 are allowed to be driven by anyone under the age of 25. So, if you have two adult children in this age range, this is good to know.
Good to know: The Kauaʻi ATV Backcountry Adventure Tour is one of the most extensive ATV tours in all of Hawaiʻi. For the price and all it involves, it’s perfect for families and groups with a wide range of interests.
Kīpu Ranch ATV Tours
Kīpu Ranch, a 3,000-acre privately-owned cattle ranch, has two ATV tours through which you can experience the history and culture of its landscape: the Waterfall Triple Trail Expedition and the Ultimate Kauaʻi Off-Road Ranch Tour. Both are three hours long, but they take different paths and trails through the ranch.
Important: Both tours include light snacks, and both require a minimum of two people. Solo riders will still have to pay the double rate. Also, the minimum age to participate is 9 years old.
Good to know: Kīpu Ranch Adventures was named the “2019 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year” by the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi (formerly the Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association). You can expect top-notch guides and a sustainable outlook.
You can see some of the highlights at the 3,000-acre Kīpu Ranch in the 2-minute video below:
The Ultimate Off-Road tour
The Ultimate Off-Road tour is the ranch’s signature tour. It offers an overview of the ranch and its many ecosystems, including cattle pastures, wild coffee fields, bamboo forests, and lush rainforest. Movie sites are visited (Jurassic Park, The Descendants, Raiders of the Lost Ark), as well as panoramic views of Kauaʻi. The focus is on seeing a little of a lot and experiencing the many diverse sides of the ranch.
This tour runs twice a day at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Waterfall Triple Trail Expedition
The Waterfall Triple Trail Expedition includes some of the highlights of the Ultimate Off-Road Tour – such as the range of landscapes and movie sites – but puts a priority focus on the property’s waterfalls, with an extended stop for guests to hike and experience the waterfalls. That said, the tour does still cover a lot of ground, covering nearly double the mileage and cruising all three of the ranch’s trail systems.
This tour is offered four times a day, running at 8 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m.
ATV tours on other Hawaiian islands
You can join an ATV tour on any of the other main Hawaiian islands.
ATV tours on Oʻahu
There are 3 different ATV tours on Oʻahu. The most spectacular ones are organized on the scenic Kualoa Ranch, but the Gunstock Ranch and Coral Crater adventure park also offer good options. Read more about those in our guide to ATV tours on Oʻahu.
ATV tours on Maui
Like Kauaʻi, Maui also has 2 ATV tours: Maui Mountain Activities and Maui Off-Road Adventures. We compare their tour offerings in our complete guide to ATV tours on Maui.
ATV tours on the Big Island
The Big Island offers by far the greatest diversity of ATV tours in Hawaiʻi. Options range from getting dirty on muddy tracks and washing up at a private on-property waterfall to a more paced exploration of a traditional farm, and many things in between.
Read more about all options in our guide to ATV tours on the Big Island.
What are ATV Tours like on Kauaʻi?
ATV tours are a fun, fast, and thrilling way to explore. They provide a rush of adrenaline as you cruise through the backroads of Kauaʻi’s landscape. Obviously, all ATV tours are the same in that they involve driving or riding in an ATV, but how and where they take place – a.k.a. the terrain you explore – is the main way the tours differ from each other.
Passenger only or drive yourself?
While some tours around the islands are passenger-only, all ATV tours on Kauaʻi allow you to get behind the wheel and drive yourself.
The experience begins with a safety briefing and a crash course (pun intended) on how to operate and drive an ATV. Because of this, no experience is necessary. The only requirement is that you need to be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license, although children younger than 18 can still come along as a passenger in most scenarios.
(With other companies on other islands, note that the minimum driving age is 16.)
Into the wilderness
After the safety briefing, you’ll head out into the wilderness, following behind your tour guide.
You’ll make a few stops along the way for pictures and narration. Common stops on tours include scenic viewpoints, ocean views, waterfalls, and historical/cultural sites. Some companies and tours provide snacks or refreshments along the way. Be sure to check/confirm what your ticket entails when booking.
Location, location, location…
In our opinion, location is the deciding factor in choosing an ATV tour.
Sure, price and timing could play a role, but those things being relatively equal (or at least close), we recommend choosing your adventure based on the terrain it explores. Some ATV tours in Hawaiʻi climb high into the foothills, some cruise along the coast, and others tackle private ranch land.
What should you bring/wear on an ATV tour?
Helmets and other safety equipment will be provided, but you should bring the following as well:
- Closed-toe shoes (required by ATV companies to ride)
- Long pants (prevent accidental engine burns and keep mud and dirt at bay)
- Sun glasses (protection against sun, mud, and wind – although many companies provide goggles, too)
- Sunscreen (burn your fellow ATVers, not your skin)
- Change of clothes (Even when it’s sunny, you’re likely to encounter mud).