Starting Location
Lunch Included
Adventure Factor
8 Hours

Explore Taroko Gorge The Island Life Way!

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

Why Our Better Taroko Gorge Tour Is Actually the Best

Early Start = Less Traffic, More Places & Better Weather

Our tours start early to stay ahead of tour bus traffic and the afternoon rains. While others are just arriving mid day, we’ve already explored half the park. With open roads and fewer crowds you can see more amazing places in the sunshine! Taroko Gorge, the Island Life Way!

Taroko Gorge Suspension Bridge
Taroko Fun!

More Time on the Nature Trails

While other operators can waste hours taking you to high pressure gift shops and crowded tourist traps outside the park, we’ll take you walking along blue rivers, hiking to incredible waterfalls and immersing you completely in the beauty of Taroko National Park! There’s really no comparison.

Less Crowds = More Wildlife

Each day, we’re among the first to numerous scenic nature trails, giving you a better chance of spotting wildlife such as butterflies, birds and yes…monkeys!

Formosan Macaque in Taroko Gorge
Formosan Macaque

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.

With Lunch and Extras Included, Why Wait!

Trip Highlights

  • Be some of the first to the famous slot canyon of Swallow Grotto in the morning
  • Take a walk on not one, but TWO suspension bridges during your day
  • Take a nature walk through the “Mysterious Valley” on the Shakadang Trail
  • Walk through seven tunnels to the towering Baiyang Waterfalls
  • Prepare to get wet in the Water Curtain Cave! We’ve got waterproof flashlights!
  • See the epic Eternal Spring Shrine and learn about the deadly history of the Cross-Mountain Highway.
  • Relax by a turquoise river and sample tasty homemade aboriginal treats
  • Get a new perspective on Taroko from the beautiful Qixingtan Beach
  • So, so much more
Walking on the Shakadang Trail in Taroko Gorge National Park


At Island Life, we promise to 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. This tour departs from Hualien City.

Some possible stops include:

  • Swallow Grotto
  • Baiyang Waterfalls Trail
  • Water Curtain Cave
  • Luishui Trail
  • Shakadang Trail
  • Cimu Bridge
  • Tianxiang
  • Eternal Springs Shrine
  • Changuang Temple
  • Yuewang Suspension Bridge
  • Qingshui Cliffs
  • Qixingtan Beach
  • And other secret spots!
Swallow Grotto in Taroko Gorge National Park

We will adjust our tour based on time and trail closures. Please let us know if there is something specific you’d like to see.


DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Free pick up at Hualien City hostel or hotel
DEPARTURE TIME 7:30-8 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, a hat, sunscreen, a raincoat (for the Water Curtain Cave), some money for snacks drinks or souvenirs, an optional swimsuit in case there is time for a river swim (weather/river conditions permitting).
Transport & English Speaking Guide Lunch
Drinking water Lots of fun
Replacement mind after yours has been blown.
Guide gratuity

 New Taroko ATV Add On Now Available!

Taroko Gorge National Park

With this add on to our Taroko Gorge Tour or our Zhuilu Old Trail Tour, you can add a fun filled hour of ATV’ing on the beach out to the mesmerizing Qingshui Cliffs!

An Island Life Taiwan Exclusive!


Have a Question or Ready to Book?
We’re Here to Help! 

7:30AM-8AM: Hotel Pickup

We know our tour leaves much earlier than other companies, but it’s to stay ahead of the tour buses and afternoon cloud cover. Trust us, it’s worth it!

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! Please let us know if there is something specific you’d like to see. Some possible stops include:
  • Swallow Grotto
  • Baiyang Waterfalls Trail
  • Water Curtain Cave
  • Luishui Trail
  • Shakadang Trail
  • Cimhu Bridge
  • Tianxiang
  • Eternal Springs Shrine
  • Changuang Temple
  • Yuewang Suspension Bridge
  • Qingshui Cliffs
  • Qixingtan Beach
  • And other secret spots!

3:30PM-4PM Return to Hualien Hotels

Taroko Gorge Tour
Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge Suspension Bridge
Baiyang Waterfalls, Taroko Gorge National Park
Swallow Grotto Cliff, Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, 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
Swimming, Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge National Park
things to do in hualien
what to do in hualien
Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Suspension Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
what to do in hualien
Suspension Bridge, Taroko Gorge National Park
what to do in hualien
River, Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Mountains, Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge National Park
Mountains, Taroko Gorge National Park
Temple, Taroko Gorge National Park

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 106 reviews
April 5, 2018

Our guide Iris was positively a delight. I can’t remember laughing so hard. She truly loves the area and was so excited to share it with us. I couldn’t recommend this tour enough!

April 1, 2018

Better Taroko Tour with Simon.
I only wrote to island life Taiwan a couple of days in advance, but they were able to let me join a group of 2 other travelers. I liked that it was a small group. The planning of the different sites is flexible and will be adapted to the group.
Simon was a very good guide and shared a lot of knowledge of the area. We spent a great day and visited hotsprings, the Shakadang trail, Swallow Grotto and some short quieter trails.

I recommend island life!

Great way to see a lot of places of the Gorge when you do not have your own transport. We left pretty early so were not really affected by the big tour buses that leave later in the day.
The gorge is really beautiful!

March 25, 2018

Iris, our tour guide was knowledgeable and accommodating. With different construction areas in the Taroko area, Iris was able to offer alternatives on the spot. It would have been impossible without someone like her. We will consider some of the other tours they offer if we come back to Hualien. Overall a wonderful experience.

March 8, 2018

What an incredible experience! Taroko is one of those places you HAVE to visit in Taiwan. And we couldn’t have had a better time with Daniel from Island Life. Great tour company with great tours.

February 20, 2018

We (a family of 6) had an amazing day in the park with Alan. He was very attentive and informative throughout the tour. Would definitely recommend Island Life Taiwan and use them again next time I come to Taiwan.

February 4, 2018

What a fun time. Not only were we the first people in the park, but throughout the day our guide Alan did a wonderful job to avoid the big tour bus groups. Highly recommended!

February 2, 2018

Five stars all around for everyone at IL! Thanks again guys!

February 2, 2018

Simon our guide was very funny and a great man to walk trails with. He show us many secret places in taroko. We will come back soon!

January 23, 2018

Excelent day in Taiwan’s best park! I went with guide Simon and had a wonderful time. Very informative and funny man. Thank you for great trip!

December 9, 2017

My two friends and I booked a tour with the team at short notice (2 days). We received a quick response and were all booked in in just a handful of emails.

We were picked up promptly before 8am. It might seem a bit early but he planned it well so that we would miss all the tour buses. Simon and well prepared with umbrellas, water and even toilet paper! He really thought of everything.

After a drive through Hualien, we went through quite a few trails in the Gorge and were given plenty of opportunity to take photos. Simon also took photos of us as well (these were sent to us later!). He took us through some really cool scenic trails, including hanging out in the hot springs! We also walked the Shakadang trail which was lovely and we got to hang out near the secret pool (water was too cold to get in!).

Lunch was good – it’s prepaid at a restaurant with vegetarian options. There is also a 7 11 nearby in case you want to get some snacks.

Overall it was an excellent tour. Simon was very knowledgeable and the routes were beautiful, so much so that I will definitely choose this team again the next time I come to Taiwan.

December 7, 2017

Great time with a Great Guide!
I was in Taiwan for 1 week and wanted to see Toroko. Contacted Island Adventures via LINE and was contacted by Bruce. Made all the arrangements and he showed up at my Hostel when he said he would and we drove over to pickup another couple. The 4 of us then headed to Toroko. Weather held out for the day and I had an excellent time. Visited all the major spots. Our tour took the entire day (roughly 7-8 hours and included lunch). Bruce was knowledgeable and was a great source of information about Toroko, Hualien and Taiwan in general. Highly recommended!

December 5, 2017

We are so thankful that we found Island Life Taiwan and Simon. Travelling with a family of 6 is not easy and usually neither is booking a tour. With Island Life Taiwan all of that changed, they accommodated all of our wants and needs and made our Taroko experience a breeze. Which any parent knows is such a relief. Thank you Island Life Taiwan you made our family vacation great!

December 4, 2017

Island Life Taiwan is the only tour company worth your time. My boyfriend and I e-mailed and tried to call other tour companies before we found Island Life Taiwan and it was like pulling teeth to get any responses. Bruce at Island Life responded to our inquires right away and because he’s a native English speaker, there were zero communication problems. We had a great Taroko tour with Simon and ended up jumping on a second tour the next day! Great find, great people. Book with Island Life Taiwan!

December 2, 2017

Taroko has so many interesting sights that a guide is really necessary to ensure you see the best of it, especially if, like us, you have only half a day to spare. Bruce expertly guided us to various attractions and did a great job of sharing their history and trivia. We were driven from one spot to another in comfort, but also did plenty of exploring on foot.

We liked that he kept the group small so there was a good amount of interaction. Bruce knows Taroko inside out and willingly shared its many delightful secrets, such as an edenic natural pool that we could swim in. We highly recommend Bruce if you’re looking for an exciting and authentic experience of Hualien.

Last but not least, we left our cap in his car and he helpfully sent it back to us all the way in Singapore!

December 1, 2017

If you are stumped on what to do in Taiwan, look no further than Island Life Taiwan! This company has loads of tour options and is very accommodating. We had such a blast on our Taroko tour with Simon that we ended up going on two additional tours with them! Thanks Island Life Taiwan!

November 25, 2017

What a day! Our tour with Simon was unbelievable. Thanks Island Life!

November 23, 2017

Highlight of our Trip to Hualien!
Thoroughly enjoyed our guided trip to the gorge. We traveled from one scenic vista to another, feasted on a great lunch and were able to go for a mid-afternoon swim in the river. After the trip we were sent a folder of pictures of the day. Highly recommend this tour!

November 21, 2017

Champion people at Island Life Taiwan! I am a solo traveler who heard about Island Life Taiwan through a friend of mine who had been on one of their tours last year. I was coming into Hualien from Taipei by train and they offered to pick me up at the train station! Who does that? This rad company, that’s who! Thanks again for a great day in Taroko park.

November 20, 2017

Killer day in Taroko Gorge with Island Life Taiwan! These guys are fun as hell and even more friendly. Great job guys, Thanks again!

November 19, 2017

Excellent tours in Taroko Park
I took two tours, the highlights of the Taroko park and the Zhuilu trail. Both of them were really interesting and fun. My two guides (Daniel and Bruce) had an extensive knowledge of the park and know how to move around to avoid the crowd, They would also take picture, which I found very convenient. A great experience from all sides!

p.s. ask Daniel to let you try the lemonade, he knows a very good shop where they sell an amazing one

November 18, 2017

Well done Island Life Taiwan! This company is true to their word, our Taroko tour was so much fun and because we got there early, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Highly Recommended!

November 18, 2017

Awesome tour, very complete
Me and a friend had a tour to Taroko Gorge for an entire day. Bruce showed us some great spots while avoiding most of the tourbusses. Also saw some spots we would have definitely not found by ourselves. Very complete tour for just a day in Taroko.
Bruce was very friendly and helpful. He made sure we had an awesome day.
Would highly recommend!

November 16, 2017

My sister and I were visiting Taiwan and were given the recommendation to book our Taroko tour with Island Life Taiwan. It was the best choice we made while in Taiwan. This company makes everything easy and comfortable. They were attentive, knowledgeable and helpful in giving us tips for planning the rest of our trip in Taiwan.

November 13, 2017

Amazing tour!
I booked this tour for my boyfriends birthday as a surprise and It did not disappoint and in fact exceeded all of my expectations. We’ve travelled to many countries and participated in many tours along the way, but this was by far our favourite. Daniel was very committed to making our day special and making it memorable and it most certainly was.
We did the Taroko Gorge tour, it was breath takingly beautiful and was made even better by Daniels extensive knowledge. We felt comfortable and truly felt like we had an unforgettable experience.
We both highly recommend this tour and in fact any tour provided by island life. For sure if we return to Hualien, island life would be the first point of contact!

November 12, 2017

This is THE way to see Taroko! Our guide from Island Life Taiwan knew her stuff. She was very knowledgeable and made us feel like we were long lost friends. Don’t go with any other tour company. Island Life Taiwan has everything you want in a tour!

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 6, 2017

There were 8 people in our group and Bruce really helped create a friendship among us during the day. He even made us all a dinner reservation that night and we all shared a beer after. It’s rare to find guides that were so excited to share their town with strangers. Highly recommended tour outfit.

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!

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