Starting Location
Lunch Included
Adventure Factor
8 Hours


The Better Taroko Gorge Tour



Throughout our Better Taroko Gorge Tour, our fun filled day takes you to many of Taroko’s best sites, from the Swallow Grotto to the Baiyang Waterfalls and everywhere in between. We’ll walk on some spectacular trails and do our best to spend as little time in the vehicle as possible. Our groups never get bigger than 8 people, our guides all speak English and lunch and hotel pick up is always included! But that’s just the start.


What makes our Better Taroko Gorge Tour “better”?

• Early Start = Less Traffic & More Places  – There is only one road in and out of Taroko Gorge. Here at Island Life, we start our tours earlier than everyone else to beat the afternoon tour bus traffic. With open roads, you can see more amazing places, with less crowds. Taroko Gorge, the Island Life Way.

• Less Crowds = More Wildlife – Each day, we’re among the first to numerous scenic nature trails, allowing you to enjoy them in peace. The way nature intended. As such you have a better chance of spotting wildlife as well such as butterflies, birds and yes…monkeys!

• Lunch Included – Unlike the other guys, lunch is included, so you wont have to worry about paying an extra NT$200-$450 to eat. That’s value.

• Early Start = Better Weather – Here in the Hualien area, the cloud cover and rain tend to roll in after 1 o’clock. While others are just arriving, we’ve already explored half the park.


With Less Crowds, Lunch Included and Other Extras, Why Wait!


The Details

At Island Life, we promise to try and show you as much of the best of Taroko in one day as we can. In order to have a fun and flexible day, the exact itinerary for our tour can vary.  

Some likely stops include:

  • Swallow Grotto
  • Baiyang Waterfalls Trail (closed until Feb. 2018)
  • Luishui Trail
  • Shakadang Trail
  • Cimu Bridge
  • Tianxiang
  • Eternal Springs Shrine
  • Changuang Temple
  • Yuewang Suspension Bridge
  • Qingshui Cliffs
  • Chishingtan Beach
  • And other secret spots!


DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Free pick up at Hualien hostel or hotel
DEPARTURE TIME 7:30-7:45 AM. We know our tour leaves earlier than the rest, but trust us, we do it to stay ahead of the tour buses and afternoon cloud cover. Very much worth it.
RETURN TIME Approximately 3:30 – 4PM.
WEAR/BRING A camera, comfortable walking clothing, hat, sunscreen, a swimsuit (in case there is time for a river swim!) and some money for snacks, drinks and/or souvenirs.
Transport & English Speaking Guide Lunch
Drinking water Lots of fun
Replacement mind after yours has been blown.
Guide gratuity

Have a Question? Ready to Book Your Taroko Gorge Experience? 

We’d Love to Help! Contact Us Anytime.   

For further reading on Taroko Gorge National Park, check out: Taroko Gorge National Park: The Jewel of Taiwan

Click Images to Enlarge

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We look forward to you joining us!!

Be sure to check out our Zhuilu Old Trail tour as well!

Zhuilu Old Trail Tour Hualien Tour
Taking a walk on the Zhuilu Old Trail

7:30AM: Hotel Pickup

Please be ready to go when we arrive.

Taroko Tour

We will spend the day visiting many of Tarokos best sites and walking on some spectacular trails. In order to have a fun and flexible day, the exact itinerary for our day can vary. But we promise to try and show you as much of the best of Taroko in one day as we can! Some possible stops include:
  • Swallow Grotto
  • Baiyang Waterfalls Trail
  • Luishui Trail
  • Shakadang Trail
  • Cimhu Bridge
  • Tianxiang
  • Eternal Springs Shrine
  • Changuang Temple
  • Yuewang Suspension Bridge
  • Qingshui Cliffs
  • Chishingtan Beach
  • And other secret spots!

3:30pm Return to Hualien Hotels

Taroko Gorge Tour
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Suspension Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
Suspension Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Baiyang Waterfalls, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto Cliff, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Mountains, Taroko Gorge National Park
Mountains, Taroko Gorge National Park
Formosan Macaque, Taroko Gorge National Park
River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Mountains, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Bell Tower, Taroko Gorge National Park
Lushui Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Lushui Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Bell Tower, Taroko Gorge National Park
Liwu River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Cimhu Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
Cimhu Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
Temple, Taroko Gorge National Park
Temple, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swimming, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swimming, Taroko Gorge National Park

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 45 reviews
November 12, 2017

The Highlight of our time in Hualien
My partner and I took two tours with Island Life Taiwan: a group tour to Taroko Gorge and a private tour to Mugua River Gorge. We had fantastic guides for each tour (Bruce and Simon), who were knowledgable, enthusiastic, and generally great guys to hang out with. They knew all the secret spots/trails where we could avoid the crowds and have a special, private experience. The Mugua River Gorge was a particular highlight for us, with Simon taking us way beyond the beaten track to the most stunning natural pools and waterfalls that we could swim in all by ourselves.

We were really impressed by the professionalism of both Bruce and Simon. They were great at assessing how involved to be with the group or with us a couple, striking a perfect balance of being present but giving you your own space. They were very flexible and gave us a lot of input into how we wanted the tours to run, particularly when it came to changeable weather and giving options for alternatives sights to see/things to do if rain was too bad. They provided a waterproof camera for the Mugua River Gorge trip and sent us the photos afterwards, allowing us to fully enjoy the day and keep some treasured memories. They also easily accommodated our need for vegetarian food.

The tours were the highlight of our stay in Hualien and I would recommend Island Life Taiwan wholeheartedly to anyone looking to do some awesome activities with fun guides who will do their utmost to give you a special day.

November 7, 2017

We had a great day in Taroko!! We were a group of four people only, which makes the trip very pleasant! Bruce is a great guide!! Knowing very well the park he knows how to avoid the tourists and enjoy the spots in unique way! In addition, we learned a lot about the park! It was a great experience!! I would add that the lack of language barrier was a big advantage! Definitely recommend it!

November 5, 2017

Do it!
Three of us organised a very last-minute tour of Taroko Gorge only one day in advance and Bruce was kind enough to accommodate us. We did a standard Taroko Gorge tour and were so glad we did it.
He and Simon were very knowledgeable and the tour included most of the highlights of Taroko but tailored somewhat to our preferences on the day and also what was open due to recent inclement weather (a constant issue in the region).
We were picked up early from our hotel to avoid the crowds of Chinese tour buses which was awesome and dropped off approx 4.30pm. Taroko itself is stunning and we had a nice mix of sightseeing and hiking with a simple but tasty lunch at a local restaurant. Bruce even made us dinner reservations at his fellow Canuck’s Mexican restaurant Dos Tacos in town as we felt like a Western fix. We’ll be back for the Zhuilu Trail!

October 31, 2017

Amazing Tours of an Amazing place!
I had two private tours run by Simon, re-arranged at very short notice because of terrible weather on the originally planned dates. His local knowledge was perfect for finding the best places to go, things to see and eating stops. Also he was a mine of useful information about both the local area and the people who live there, which made a fascinating soundtrack to the tours.

Taroko Gorge is simply a must-see place and I was lucky enough to visit on the day after a massive rainstorm so the rivers & streams were full to bursting, which made for an even more dramatic experience.

I can’t recommend Island Life highly enough. The place is full of other tour buses full of people peering out of windows as they drive by, but with Island Life you can pull over wherever you want & stay for as long as you need for views, photos or just to take in the atmosphere of the place. Simon & Daniel are very accommodating of whatever you want to get out of the tour. I’ll definitely be looking them up next time I’m in Hualien. Thanks Guys!

October 28, 2017

Excellent tour into the uncharted!

Was fortunate enough to visit Hualien sights after the rain and had private tours with Bruce and Daniel. They were fun, witty and we spoke about anything under the sun. Great knowledgeable guides and we were able to beat the crowd into some of the trails. Will definitely be back for more for the river adventures!

October 15, 2017

Fantastic… totally recommend these guys!
What can I say….thought my brother and I would book a last min trip to Taiwan ( 2 days before travelling) found this company on the internet. We gave them a call to get some advice on what we should do whilst visiting the East coast. Bruce was really informative and sounded very experienced. We decided to use this company for 3 days and we weren’t disappointed. Bruce managed to get us trekking passes within 3 days (usually takes a month) which was a fantastic experience. The other guides were just as good and they couldn’t do enough for you! If you are travelling the East Coast Of Taiwan You would be a fool not to contact these guys for a tour of a life time. We couldn’t have never seen the places we did without these guys!

My brother and I made such lovely memories thanks to Bruce, Chad and Dan and they even sent you photos from the days adventure!

October 10, 2017

Great tour with excellent guide!
I contacted Island Life via email and communicated with Bruce to organise a tour to Taroko gorge. On the day, he picked me up from my hotel and then we went to pick up some other people and headed to Taroko. Bruce was very knowledgeable about Taroko and Hualien and happy to answer all our questions. The tour itself was great, just the right balance between walking on our own and going between key sites by car – very convenient. We also got in early so we missed the crowds! Kudos to Bruce for knowing the right timing. A few of the people on our Taroko tour wanted to do another activity with Island Life, so we arranged a Coastal tour the next day. Even though it was arranged at short notice, Bruce handled it professionally. We got to see really nice scenery on the coastal tour, and Bruce knew the good places to eat!

I would recommend Island Life to anyone thinking about doing a tour in Hualien!!! Especially for Taroko Gorge as you get to see way more than taking the public bus (and much less waiting!)

September 28, 2017

Highly Recommended!
Booked 1 day tour to see Taroko Gorge in eastern Taiwan. The communication with Bruce went smoothly and he’s very helpful answering all my queries. On the day of the tour we were guided by Simon who as well is an excellent guide! Knows a lot about the history of the places! This people are beyond just doing business but they ensure you enjoy the place and experience it the best way! Will surely contact you guys again when we’re back in Taiwan!! 🙂

September 15, 2017

Best tours in Hualien!
I looked for tours on internet for a while…nothing was very well written or presented. Finally I came across Island Life and decided to make my tours with them. Website was clear, they were very responsive, professional and with a very personalized service.

The tours themselves were great! Bruce is very knowledgeable and passionate about the area and showed us beautiful spots and gave us great recommendations of where to eat, what else to see and do! Very friendly as well!

September 13, 2017

As we arrived in Hualien it was raining, nobody seemed to speak english, we were quite lost on how to move around and how to visit Taroko National Park. We searched on the internet and find Island Life Taiwan Adventures & Experience!!! We couldn’t have been luckier!!!!
Bruce was super nice, took us in for the next tour in the morning and made our day!!! He knew every spot of the park, took us to all the places we wanted to see even though it meant to be late on the way back!
He helped us beyond his duty in everything we needed for our trip through Taiwan!!
Recommend Island Life Taiwan to everyone, you will have the BEST TIME!!

Thanks again for everything!! Hope to be back soon and do another tour with you guys 🙂

September 4, 2017

My daughter and I booked two tours for our two days in Hualien. When I first made contact with the company, I corresponded with Bruce. When it was time for our tours, we worked with Daniel and the transition was very smooth. The first day we visited the Taroko Gorge and the next day we did a shortened East Coast tour as we had a flight to catch.

Daniel is very knowledgeable of the area. He is easy going and has a good sense of humor, which made it comfortable spending two days with him. He answered a lot of questions, made numerous bathroom stops, bought us lunch and even took pictures and emailed them to us. While he was very engaged, he also gave us time alone and didn’t rush us. He really provided a good balance of guiding and allowing us to explore. I appreciated that Daniel was very conscientious of our time constraints on the second day and even dropped us off at the airport!! When he learned my daughter loves hush puppies, he ordered her some from a local restaurant and picked them up on our way to the airport!

These two days were the highlight of our two weeks in Taiwan and I wish we had stayed longer in Hualien and booked another tour with Island Life Taiwan. I highly recommend this company and both Bruce and Daniel are great!

August 22, 2017

Great Staff, great tour!
All the staff were super friendly and accommodating. The tour itself was breathtaking!
Although our tour was a little more expensive than some of the others, lunch was included and I was shown some hidden gems!!! (The kind only locals know about!)
Highly recommend!

August 17, 2017

Awesome guides, places, tours to experience Hualien’s hidden natural beauties
I did two tours with them, what was great with Daniel was that I really did appreciate that he tried to join in with other people’s interested dates as I was travelled solo and wanted to meet other fellow nature buffs. Had fun and they took some amazing photos of us too! No need for a selfie stick to get your epic pic.

I did the Better Taroko Tour was with Simon which was very fun and an early start tour. Pick up between 7:30-7:45am is really worthwhile to avoid all the tour buses and having to compete with other people to get that picture of the gorge. You might still see a few tour buses or people as the day goes by but that’s only natural because it the main attraction of Hualien. We did some short hiking trails which was nice instead of just hopping in and out of a car to get pictures.

The other tour I did was half day at the Mugua River Gorge. It was a bit more customised as I was again doing it solo but that didn’t mean less fun. Got to explore places that wouldn’t have been able to DIY and well swimming in these gorgeous pools was such a fantastic way to cool off from the humid summer heat in Taiwan. Daniel also gave me some food recommendations which was great, didn’t have to think too much about where to get the best eats around Hualien city

Hope to come back to Hualien in a month’s time or so and go check out the other places I haven’t been to yet! Thanks guys!

August 16, 2017

Really enjoyed the trip to Taroko Gorge with Island Life. Simon was a great guide; knowledgeable and friendly and took us to some lovely spots away from all the tourist traffic. Daniel was also very friendly and helpful at coordinating and answering questions and giving advice about Hualien. I wish I’d stayed a bit longer so I could have taken another tour with them. Highly recommended!

July 15, 2017

My mom and I had the most wonderful experience at Taroko Gorge with our friendly and helpful guide Bruce. He took great care of my mom throughout the entire private tour and catered the trip based on her needs as she couldn’t walk that much. Nevertheless, Bruce took us to all the beautiful spots at the gorge. I must commend on Bruce for taking the extra mile to send us back to our B&B which was not easy to locate. Thanks Bruce for your hospitality. I definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a personalized tour.

June 8, 2017

All the highlights in one day!
Daniel was very helpful in organizing our tour, as well as answering questions before the trip regarding transportation, etc. The tour was great – we saw all of the highlights of the park and it was a good balance of driving, hiking, and taking photos. Daniel was very knowledgeable about the history and features of the park, as well as giving us lots of information about life in Taiwan.

June 7, 2017

Gorge(ous) day in Taroko National Park
We just finished an incredible tour with Daniel and Laura as our guides. We stopped at about 10 beautiful viewpoints and did two short (1 to 2 mile) hikes. On the hikes, they taught us about local and national history, entomology, geology, and the botanical wonders of the gorge. We had a truly wonderful day. Thanks!

May 28, 2017

Great tours
My boyfriend and I took 2 tours – I had first emailed the company telling them how many days we have got, asking about the Zhului Old Trail hike and requesting another suggestion as well, and they suggested some tours of which we took Zhuilu & the Taroko tour. Bruce (super nice dude from Vancouver and very considerate: asked us if we wanted extra water, brought toilet paper and umbrellas etc) drove us around in the park to all the main stops, which is great because you don’t have to rent a car yourself, nor look up the way or plan anything. We liked the fact that it was not just driving – there was enough time to do several shorter hikes (10-30′) if you want to, such as climbing up vista points, and we never felt rushed. This way you get to move a bit, which we liked very much! This tour also includes lunch at a local restaurant, and nothing comes in more handy than a guide who can translate what you want to eat. At the end of the day, we had time to go for a swim in a secret spot, which was the perfect closure to a very humid day. Big thank you to Bruce for a wonderful day!

A nice unexpected “present” is that the guides take pictures of you during the tours which they will send to you via google drive afterwards – for free! We appreciated this, thanks!!

April 19, 2017

Great tour, excellent guides
Bruce and Laura showed us a great time around Taroko Gorge and the Zhuilu trail. Our guides were both very knowledgeable about Taiwan and the region and thoughtfully answered our many, many questions. The trip and early timing allowed us to maximize our time while avoiding an traffic/ large tour groups. The latter is highly recommended and worth the effort.

April 12, 2017

Four Days of Natural Splendour. We arranged our Taroko Tour through Island Life Taiwan. I cannot speak highly enough of the proactive and professional service we received. Emails were answered quickly; information was clear and helpful and the staff friendly and obliging. Mother nature did the rest. What a magnificent part of the world and walking is a great way to experience it. I highly recommend the Taroko Tour and the best thing you can do is get the The Island Life Adventure Company to organise it for you.

March 11, 2017

Everything done to accommodate. Just finished the Taroko Gorge Tour. This company was professional, helpful and flexible. The whole experience was wonderful, and when bad weather forced us to change plans it was done with ease. Everything was very thorough. Staff pleasant.

January 9, 2017

Gorge walking. After a failed attempt to do this two years ago due to too much rain we finally made it and it was well worth the wait. Great fun was had and we were very well looked after (and encouraged) by our guide. Remember to book ahead though if you fancy this as it is very popular, although the guys were very accommodating and squeezed in a session just for us. Thank you – we will be back on our next trip.

January 2, 2017

Loved the Gorge. A brilliant experience with great scenery and a brilliant guide! Would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of adventure on a relatively quiet island! Having been to Taiwan every year, pretty much, since i was born, i can safely say it is one of the best things i have done there.

December 4, 2016

This place is unbelievable and we had an amazing time with Island Life.

December 2, 2016

Fantastic time even in the rain. What a great adventure. Fantastic scenery. Top quality service. Excellent guide. Superb afternoon of wet and wild fun. Totally recommend to anyone – give it a go. So worth it.


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