As soon as I saw the itinerary for the Jungle Valley Adventure at Princeville Ranch Adventures, it became number one on my Kauai Travel Bucket List. Mostly because it offered a little bit of everything – kayaking, zip lining, hiking and waterfalls but also because it encompassed so many “firsts” for me.
At check-in I met with the other 5 members of my group and after going over the customary safety information and paperwork, we took a short 5 minute drive to another part of the Princeville Ranch Property. This drop off point served as the beginning of our adventure with a 30 minute hike through the ranch. The hike was easy and the guides gave us a breif educational history on the land and it’s vegetation.
Before long we had arrived at the next leg of our journey, kayaking. I had never been kayaking before and I was pretty nervous about it. While I knew we would be getting wet today, I did not want to be the one to tip my kayak and get soaked earlier than anticipated.
Thankfully the guides put me right at ease and had me cruising down the Kalihiwai Stream in no time. It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the ride as we moved at a leisurely pace to take in the serene rainforest around us.
Before long it was time to tie up our kayaks for a hike deeper into the ranch. Our guides hadn’t been kidding when they said we would be getting wet and muddy. We negotiated several stream crossings and some muddy terrain before reaching the Uluhe Fern Ridge.
Here we had the opportunity to cross another “first” off my list – ziplining! The zipline is unique in that we would be riding one 400 foot zip line over twin waterfalls, crossing a suspension bridge and then ziplinig back to where we started to take in the mountain views.
I thought my day couldn’t get anymore thrilling after the zip lining experience but I was wrong. The day was all about firsts and facing fears. It was another short hike down to the swimming hole we had just zip lined over where the guides laid out a delicious picnic lunch. While they prepared lunch we were free to cool off in the swimming hole and were encouraged to “jump in” by jumping off the edge of the cliff.
While it wasn’t overly tall, perhaps 20 feet in the air, I have a moderate fear of heights and an extreme aversion to swimming in muddy swimming holes. So of course I had to be the first person to jump in the swimming hole. It was thrilling! And if my stomach hadn’t been grumbling I may have done it again and again. Instead the smell of cookies lured me over to the picnic to enjoy a make-your-own deli sandwich on pita bread, potato chips and a cookie.
The next half hour was passed in quiet conversation, swimming and floating around the swimming hole on tubes. Before long it was time to head back the way we came. Along the way the friendly guides continued to educate us on everything from surrounding vegetation to the wild boar population who frequently left tracks along our trail. The 4.5 hour tour flew by and we all had an incredible time, the two kids in our group included! This tour definitely lived up to being number one on my Kauai Travel Bucket List.
Thank you to the Kauai Visitors Bereau and Princeville Ranch Adventures for providing my experience, all opinions are my own.