Horseback Riding in Kauai
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Most of the horseback-riding tours on Kauai are primarily walking tours with little trotting and no cantering or galloping, so no experience is required. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If you're interested, most of the stables offer private lessons. The most popular tours are the ones including a picnic lunch by the water. Your only dilemma may be deciding what kind of water you want—waterfalls or ocean. You may want to make your decision based on where you're staying. The "waterfall picnic" tours are on the wetter North Shore, and the "beach picnic" tours take place on the South Side.
CJM Country Stables. Just past the Hyatt in Poipu, CJM Stables offers a three-hour picnic ride with noshing on the beach, as well as their more popular two-hour trail ride without the picnic break. The landscape here is rugged and beautiful, featuring sand dunes and limestone bluffs. CJM can get you as close as anyone to the secluded Mahaulepu bay. They sponsor seasonal rodeos that are free and open to the public and participate in other popular community events. Poipu Rd., 1½ mi from Grand Hyatt Kauai, Koloa, HI, 96756. 808/742–6096. www.cjmstables.com. From $105.
Esprit de Corps. If you ride, this is the company for you. Esprit De Corps Riding Academy now offers private two- and three-hour waterfall picnic rides for advanced riders with trotting and cantering. Group rides at a walk, as well as a 90-minute custom ride are also featured. Lessons with a certified instructor are held in a covered arena for beginner through advanced riders ages six and up, both in English and Western saddles. Weddings on horseback can be arranged (in fact, Dale, the owner, is a wedding officiant and planner). Make sure to call ahead because they are by apppointment only. 1491 Kualapa Pl., Kapaa, HI, 96746. 808/822–4688. www.kauaihorses.com. From $99.
Princeville Ranch Adventures. A longtime kamaaina (resident) family operates Princeville Ranch. They originated the waterfall picnic tour, which runs three-and-a-half hours and includes a short but steep hike down to Kalihiwai Falls, a dramatic three-tier waterfall, for swimming and picnicking. Princeville also has shorter, straight riding tours and private rides. A popular option is the three-hour combination Ride N' Glide tour with three ziplines. Kuhio Hwy., between mile markers 27 and 28, Princeville, HI, 96722. 808/826–7669. www.princevilleranch.com. Ride only from $99; private tours from $245.
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