If you have already read through a few posts on this blog, you know I have a knack for finding unique outdoor activities. While we often focus on waterfall hikes and opportunities to see wildlife, I am also always on the lookout for a unique outdoor dining or sipping experience. That’s why there was no way I was missing out on the fantastic Kauai Rum Safari tour while we were visiting Lihue, Hawaii, on a day trip from Oahu.
Had I known how much of the delicious Hawaiian-made Koloa Rum we’d be drinking during the two-hour tour, I probably wouldn’t have planned it right after our exhausting half-day adventure to Secret Falls. I was definitely ready for a nap by the end, but it was such a wonderful and lively tour that I was able to stay fully engaged despite my sleepy, tipsy state.
About the Kauai Rum Safari: Hawaii Farm Tour Meets Cocktail Class
The Kauai Rum Safari takes place on the 105-acre Kilohana Plantation. It is conveniently located in Lihue, just a short drive from the airport and other top attractions. The plantation property is also home to a great little sweet shop, a pottery studio (with classes also available), an all-ages train tour, a bar, and Gaylord’s Restaurant. Read more about the Kilohana Plantation and its various offerings.
When signing up for the Kauai Rum Safari Tour, you’ll have a variety of options for times depending on availability. Right now it looks like the tour time options are 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. The cost (in 2023) is $75 or $55 for Hawaii residents with an ID to show upon arrival. I’d book a week or more ahead of time for weekends and busy seasons.
Plan for about two hours at the tour and expect to be a little buzzed (depending on your tolerance) by the end of it. If you partake in the multiple Koloa Rum samples and the two cocktails, they estimate it is about three cocktails worth of liquor. I was pretty tipsy, but I’m a lightweight who spent five hours paddling and hiking to a waterfall earlier that day!
Luckily, with the restaurant, sweet shop, and other stores on the property, you’ll have plenty of options to keep you busy while you sober up. If you particularly like any of the Koloa Rums used in the drinks, there is a wide variety available in the dedicated store on-site. The chocolate-flavored one was our fave – so unique!
8 Things We Loved Most About the Rum Safari on Kauai
There is a lot to rave about on this well-crafted farm tour. Even if they hadn’t made amazing boozy drinks for us at each stop, the fun guides made this activity a great experience! Here are a few reasons we were especially impressed:
1. You Ride Around in a Cozy Covered Safari Truck
In the great little intro video on the Kaui Rum Safari website, it shows an open-air truck with no top. We lathered up with sunscreen for our mid-day tour thinking we’d get pretty toasted, but luckily they have upgraded to covered Safari Trucks since! This made the already comfortable ride even better due to having a refuge from the hot hot Hawaii sun. The open-air ride was lovely also.
2. Jungle. Bungalow. Bar.
I knew I’d love this tour when I saw the photos of the great little bar nestled in the rainforest. I’m such a sucker for a great vibe. And that jungle bungalow bar is a GREAT vibe. After an entertaining ride over (including laughing at getting roughed up by a few low-hanging banana tree leaves), we took a short walk along a lovely boardwalk trail to this divine location for a cocktail.
The other stop for our second cocktail was beautiful also and took place over a reflective pond. But, that first stop in the jungle just really couldn’t be beat and was the absolute highlight for me. So happy they offered to take a photo of each group there!
3. The Kauai Rum Safari is for 21+ Only
Okay, I’ll just say it: sometimes it is nice to have adults-only time. We are child-free by choice (DINKS, I think they are calling us these days haha). And, although we love the kiddos in our life, it’s nice to go to places where we can take off the mental filter that makes all our conversations PG. I know our parent friends feel the same way.
Plus, I’m one of those over-thinkers who would totally get worried and overly aware if a parent was getting tipsy and had a small child with them. I mean … we were on a semi-bumpy route in an open-air vehicle with a bunch of tipsy adults. Although they’d certainly love some aspects of the tour, it’s just safer that kids aren’t allowed on this one.
Wondering how to share this beautiful farm with your little ones? Don’t worry, the train tour is perfect for them!
4. It’s a GREAT Date Day Activity (Or Girl’s Day Out!)
Kid-free cocktails in a jungle paradise sounds like a pretty awesome date idea to me. Whether you are planning a Hawaii vacation or live locally, I’d highly recommend booking a tour! For those who like to dress up a bit for dates, I just wouldn’t recommend heels since you have to get in and out of the safari truck and walk on a variety of areas.
5. Local Ingredients in the Farm-to-Glass Cocktails
As we drove around Kilohana Plantation, our guides pointed out the wide variety of plants grown and used on the tour and at the on-site restaurant. From the well-known mango to the more exotic longan, we were impressed by the wide variety. At our two stops for cocktails, we watched our guides/bartenders cut up fresh citrus and pour juice made that morning into the cups.
I love knowing I’m not consuming a bunch of processed overly sweet syrups. Fresh and natural ingredients always taste best, in my opinion. And if you aren’t convinced, wait until you try their creations! Plus, there was plenty of rum added, too – no light pours on this tour!
6. Meeting the Resident Piggies
At one point in the tour, you get to go through an enclosure that is home to a whole bunch of little adorable wild pigs that have a home at the plantation. Our guide chucked tortillas out to them and we laughed as we watched one pig grab it and run off to greedily try to eat it alone. There were also itty bitty babies we all gushed over. So cute!
Note: They do use some of the pig population as a food source. This may be upsetting for vegans, vegetarians, and others opposed to eating animal meat.
7. The $20 Off Kama’aina Discount
Not only are our Hawaii IDs pretty (think McLovin’s in SuperBad) they also get us some nice discounts at local tours and other activities. Usually, we see about 10-20% off, but the Kauai Rum Safari Kama’aina Discount takes more than 25% off their normal rate ($75 as of September 2023). Just select that option when booking online and have your ID ready upon check-in.
8. Funny Guides Who Kept Us Smiling
I must admit, the goofy jokes and antics did seem to get funnier after our first stop for cocktails. However, the kind, knowledgeable, and funny guides (Tanji & Fletcher) kept us entertained and smiling for the entire two hours. Plus, they are damn good mixologists! You can follow along with some of their creations on Instagram here. We really appreciated the tips they gave for making the cocktails at home as well. And they even kept the driving portion interesting!
Final Thoughts on this Unique Kauai Farm Tour with Cocktails
All in all, I can’t fault this tour. Honestly, I didn’t plan to write an entire blog post about it. We were just going to include it in a Kauai overview article, but it was just too good not to share a detailed recap about it!
The Kauai Rum Safari definitely exceeded expectations and we’ll be taking some friends along next time we have visitors. With drinks being around $15 for cocktails in most popular places in Hawaii, this could very well replace happy hour when we are on Kauai. What a genius idea for a tour!
Plus, there is just so much to do in Kauai, we’re eager to plan a lot more time there! A hui ho, Rum Safari friends!