Hualien
Starting Location
Lunch Included
Food
Moderate
Physicality
7/10
Adventure Factor
8 Hours
Duration

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

Itinerary

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.

Details

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).
INCLUDED
Transport & English Speaking Guide Lunch
Drinking water Lots of fun
NOT INCLUDED
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! 
1

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!
2

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

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
November 14, 2018

Experienced guide really make the difference. Yes, we could have taken the public bus and visited many of the same places for cheaper, but having a guide there to tell us about the history and geology of the place, and point out things we never would have noticed, made it a very special day. This is definitely a highlight in Taiwan and Island Life made it a highlight of our holiday.

November 12, 2018

Iris is amazing! We are a family of 5 and took a private tour of Taroko with Iris and she was a joy throughout the day. We were worried about the weather, but when it began raining in the afternoon, Iris had umbrellas and took care of everything. A very friendly local with lots of love for her local community. We also met another Island Life guide Alan at lunch and he seemed equally fun and accommodating. Highly recommend Island Life!

November 12, 2018

Island life Taroko tour. OMG, we had the best tour! Our tour guide Alan was wonderful. He was full of interesting informaion, loved to joke around and was very helpful with different information we needed for traveling in Taiwan. We ended our day laughing and in high spirits that lasted the rest of our time in Taiwan. I will recommend the tour and Alan as a tour guide to all of my friends. I’m so lookig forward to going back for other tours.

November 9, 2018

Incredible day with Island Life! We had guide Alan who is a local but speaks great English. We had so much fun hiking and checking out the sites with Alan telling all kinds of great stories. Highly recommend Island Life!

November 6, 2018

I took the Taroko tour with Simon and had a wonderful time. I’m a solo traveller so it was great to find a reasonably priced group tour to join. They definitely give you great value with a nice hot lunch at a place in Tianshiang. Fine for vegetarians like myself. I highly recommend this group as they go above and beyond to show you an excellent time in the park.

November 4, 2018

This tour was the highlight of our trip to Taiwan! Taroko Gorge was stunning (of course), but it is always the guide who makes or breaks the tour, and Iris was phenomenal — very knowledgeable about the area but also extremely personable and enthusiastic. She grew up in the area and seemed to take a real delight in showing visitors around. Her English was also excellent. Highly, highly recommend this tour. Thank you Iris!

P.S. We actually booked our tour at the last minute and the company was incredibly responsive and helpful in answering our questions and getting everything confirmed. They were willing to work with us and also offered an option for a private tour that would allow us to leave and return to Taipei on the same day. So definitely worth checking availability and talking to the company even if you are like me and have trouble planning ahead, or if you are short on time!

November 1, 2018

Spectacular day in a spectacular place! Taroko is an impressive place unto itself, but going with a great guide made it that much better. Santa was a great local guy with a good sense of humor and an amazing English name! I mean… Santa?! How great is that! Every part of the day felt well planned, and Santa made a great effort to keep everyone in the group happy and engaged. I can certainly recommend Island Life Taiwan and also definitely Santa.

October 27, 2018

The Taroko Gorge full day tour gave us a good mix of active and sightseeing for the day. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She was also accommodating while not losing track of the schedule she had planned for us. There was some light hiking throughout the day. We can definitely recommend Island life’s tour of the Taroko Gorge.

October 23, 2018

Our tour guide Iris is what made this day tour absolutely fantastic! Her local knowledge and enthusiasm for the region coupled with an always cheerful nature ensured that my wife and I had a memorable stay in Hualien. Rather than us just looking at the passing (fantastic) scenery, Iris was able to provide a commentary that described the history and interesting features of each area that we passed through. We were not rushed along and had plenty of time to look around at each place.
We were so impressed with the day, that we immediately booked a second day tour (East Coast Explorer) for the following day with Island Life Taiwan and Iris.
If staying in Hualien, you simply must take the Island Life Taiwan – Taroko Gorge Day Tour – you will not be disappointed.

October 9, 2018

This tour is AMAZING. First of all, Iris (our tour guide) was great. She’s so cheery and so excited for everyone to experience how wonderful the gorge is. When I told her about all of the great reviews she has online, she said “I love taking my tours around Taroko Gorge. I feel like I’m on vacation with them!” She’s also VERY knowledgeable. We learned so much, and she answered all of our questions. The few things that she didn’t know, she even looked up on her phone for us (like helping us coordinate watching the nation’s fireworks for the following day). The tour itself was stunning. There was some hiking and some driving. Unlike the other tours that we saw (which were very few, since Iris did a great job at spontaneously deciding where to take us in the gorge, so that we wouldn’t have to experience everything with a million tourists around us) Iris drove us around in a sedan. There were only 3 of us, which made our group very tight-knit. The tour highlighted all of the beautiful aspects of the gorge. Even if you are looking for an intense and long hike (which this isn’t – although the short trek up the mountain to the bell tower can be exerting), I recommend doing this as well, so that you can make sure to see all of the sights that the gorge has to offer.

September 11, 2018

Best way to experience natural wonders around Hualien
My boyfriend and I started with the Butterfly Valley tour and loved it so much that we then booked two more day trips with Island Life (Taroko Gorge and mountain swimming holes). Every guide was delightful company and made the days fun, informative, safe and unforgettable. You will leave relaxed and a bit in awe of the natural beauty of Hualien. These guides will take you places other tours won’t and when you see their warm and friendly exchanges with other local businesses, you realize that they’ve fostered great relationships throughout Hualien.

September 1, 2018

Best way to experience natural wonders around Hualien

My boyfriend and I started with the Butterfly Valley tour and loved it so much that we then booked two more day trips with Island Life (Taroko Gorge and mountain swimming holes). Every guide was delightful company and made the days fun, informative, safe and unforgettable. You will leave relaxed and a bit in awe of the natural beauty of Hualien. These guides will take you places other tours won’t and when you see their warm and friendly exchanges with other local businesses, you realize that they’ve fostered great relationships throughout Hualien.

August 25, 2018

Our experience was amazing. Our tour guide was Iris. She worked so hard to make sure we had a wonderful tour. She really went above and beyond. The sights were breathtaking. I am so glad we did a small group tour with a guide that knew the area. We got to see so much that we would not have any other way. I highly recommend the tour and you will be luck if Iris is your tour guide.

August 25, 2018

What an incredible day! Iris is a joyous soul and went out of her way to make the day extra special for us. She personalized the day to our interests and needs, took lots of fun pictures, told us many interesting stories, let us try local foods, and even took us to some secret spots! It was a day I won’t soon forget and was one of the highlights of my trip to Taiwan. Ana also gave great service and answered all of my questions before the tour. I couldn’t have asked for more….except to do it again one day! You won’t regret booking this tour, it’s definitely the most authentic experience you will get.

August 18, 2018

Excellent trip
I joined a group tour to the gorge at the last minute and it wasn’t a problem. There were 4 of us as well as our guide Simon. He was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the gorge and Taiwan in general. I liked that he knew the routes and timing’s of large tour groups which enabled us to avoid them for most of our trip together. We saw all the main sights of the gorge and did some of the shorter walking trails too. The car was comfortable and well stocked with extra water. I would definitely recommend this tour! I felt glad I wasn’t one of the people walking along the roads in the heat or on a massive coach full of people. Worth it!

August 13, 2018

Great tour with Iris
We had a great day out at Taroko Gorge with Iris, she was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Taroko and Hualien; she had an infectious energy which negated our grumpiness from waking up early (which we actually do highly recommend in order to miss the crowded tour buses). Iris showed us a great secret spot for a river swim, which was certainly the highlight of our trip, even my 61-year old dad gamely jumped into the clear blue water! Our pre-trip queries were also promptly dealt with by Ana. Highly recommend this wonderful little tour company.

August 6, 2018

What an incredible day we had! Our guide Iris took us on some excellent trails and to all the best spots in the park. She knew so much about the local culture, it was a blast hearing her stories during the day. We left our hotel early, so we missed most of the big crowds which was great and got lots of the trails done before the midday heat got bad. Overall an excellent tour and we would highly recommend Island Life!

June 10, 2018

This was an excellent tour of Taroko Gorge. Our guide, Iris, was thoughtful, caring and knowledgeable. We stopped at a great sample of spots in the park to see spectacular scenery. The included lunch was delicious. This is a great way to see Taroko Gorge if you only have one day to visit!

June 7, 2018

100% Worth It!
We initially were going to self-drive the gorge, but because it was a Saturday we didn’t want to worry about finding a place to park. We are super glad we found Island Life tours! Iris was so lovely, she clearly loves Hualien and her passion as a tour guide shows. She took us to all the key places, plus some little gems that are off the beaten track, and was happy to adapt the schedule to our needs (we were a small group, myself and my partner plus three other people). Time in the car was kept to a minimum. Highly recommend!

June 3, 2018

Great one day trip from Hualien to Taroko Gorge. Good if you want to get to see all the great sights of the Gorge but not wanting massively long hikes. Host Iris was so friendly, catered for return train times and took our group to several extra little hidden gems as well. Great fun!

June 2, 2018

We had a fantastic experience doing the Better Taroko Tour with Simon. From start to finish all the staff were super friendly and helpful, and overall we felt very well prepared and catered for and wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again. Thanks so much!

June 1, 2018

Awesome day at Taroko National Park with Island Life Taiwan! Highly recommended!

May 30, 2018

Had a great day, only 4 of us plus guide and driver. We went to places that we would not have known about or been able to find. Our guide was very knowledgeable on local history. As we had to catch the train back to Taipei that evening, our guide made sure we were back at the station on time. Would recommend this day trip to anybody!

May 27, 2018

Iris is a great guide!
We did a day trip to the amazing Taroko Gorge with Iris. She speaks very good English and shared her extensive knowledge of the area efficiently and well. She took lots of photos and put them up on Google drive the next day to share with us. Iris shared insights into local cuisine, the history of the area and answered the many questions we had. We walked nine kilometres on very easy terrain. We highly recommend this company and guide!

May 26, 2018

Great Private Taroko Tour with kids!
We did a private Takoro tour with Iris as our guide and had a great time. Her love of her hometown is evident in the way she shares stories and facts about the area. We saw all the main sights with Iris using her knowledge of the park to select the order so that we missed as many of the large tour groups as possible – this was key.
Booking the tour was very straightforward; communication was direct and timely and pricing was competitive. We were traveling with a baby, so needed a car seat and a bit of flexibility during the day, and Island Life was able to accommodate. Overall, we had a great experience on our tour of this beautiful place and would definitely recommend Island Life!

May 22, 2018

We had a great time visiting Taroko! We went with 3 people and we were picked up by Jason. Jason is a great guide, he explains everything in great detail and can give you a lot of insight on the history of the park. He came and picked us up in a private car. Basically you can stop at any point but he has set up several points where he stops and explains you. It was simply a great great day!

May 15, 2018

Wow, just wow! I had heard about Taroko but I didn’t realize just how beautiful this gorge is. Island Life Taiwan really impressed us with their knowledge about the park and they took us to the best places at the perfect times of day. Recommend them to everyone.

May 6, 2018

Rain or shine! Will not disappoint
Went on the Shihtiping coast tour and the Taroko Gorge tour! Despite the rain, both tours were amazing! Incredible views and informative tour guides! I’d say even in the rain it was worth it. Maybe not a typhoon tho ;)… The rain did clear up on the Taroko gorge tour and we requested to go to Qingshui cliff got to see stunning views! Got to swim in both tours. Some hiking. And the guides took many photos for us with their camera. So glad we booked with them!

May 6, 2018

We had Iris as our tour leader and we had a great time. Iris is local from Hualien and she has a lot of local knowledge in the area which makes it interesting – you can also tell that she is passionate about the outdoor and the beautiful county that she lives in- even a secret spot for swimming as we were lucky with the weather. She took us to a restaurant which is famous for its fresh lemonade and very refreshing in the heat. The walk up to the bell tower in the am was reasonably tough as there were steps up but the trail in the pm was quite easy and suitable for all levels of fitness.

April 29, 2018

This is the best tour if you only have one full day in Hualien.
Pros:
– booking was easy. They arrange when and what time to pick you up. (No language barrier)
– our tour guide (Santa) was fantastic: not only was he extremely friendly and spoke great English, he provided loads of interesting information about different parts of the George, the history of different tribes that use to live there, the implications of Japanese and Chinese occupation in Taiwan. This extra information really made the tour worth while for me.
– you get to see EVERYTHING – all the famous places plus smaller trails

Cons:
– there was a lot to see in one day which was exhausting (however, santa give me extra time to explore certain areas and was willing to change the schedule if all guests agreed)

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