Kauai is an island for the senses – velvet-green mountains roll down to meet the ocean, fringed by swaying palm trees; it’s like something out of the movies, and it is: South Pacific, Jurassic Park – you wouldn’t be surprised to meet Elvis strumming a guitar or one of those dinosaurs (I know which I’d prefer). Secluded and laid-back it has everything you could want on a holiday in Hawaii – canyons, waterfalls and pristine beaches, outdoor adventures, sailing, snorkeling, and sunset luaus. The only problem is deciding what to do first. Here are some suggestions:
Day 1: Into the Mountains
To get a feel for the incredible landscape of The Garden Isle, take a sightseeing flight over Kauai. You’ll see Waimea Canyon, dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific; Waialeale Crater, the wettest place on Earth and waterfalls and coastline to fill any digital camera’s memory. If planes are too tame for you, make like a bird yourself on the ziplines, harnessing up and riding high above rivers, canyons and waterfalls of Kalihiwai Valley. Or if you just prefer to be amongst the peace and wonder of nature, bike or hike through Waimea Canyon or to Kalihiwai Falls. To bring the adrenaline back under control in the evening, enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau.
Day 2: Water, Water Everywhere
You have two choices here: the
river or the sea. If you fancy a bit of kayaking, head for the Hule’la
River and paddle deep into the heart of the jungle. Or go to the Wailua
River and paddle and hike your way up to the shadow of Mt Wai’ale’ale
and catch your breath by a spectacular waterfall before heading back. If
you prefer ocean to river, spend the day paddling around the pristine
and hidden beaches of the South Shore. But if it’s the waves that have
always called to you, here’s your chance to learn to surf, on the North
Shore’s Hanalei Bay beaches.
Day 3: Cast Off
Now that you know Kauai a little better, it’s time to set sail and explore the surroundings. Just offshore lies Ni’lhau, the Forbidden Island, privately owned and fiercely protected, it is only open to those who live there or tour parties who come to snorkel among the unique coastal formations. On the way there and back, see the seacaves and waterfalls of the majestic Napali coast. Or if you prefer to stay closer to home, snorkel and sail, or swim and lounge on the beaches of Kauai before setting sail on a sunset dinner cruise.
Even without the croonings of Elvis, Kauai’s going to leave you deeply in love.
Reply by Viator, May 2013
Doing what: Traditional Lei Greeting on Kauai
Enjoyed the greeting
Reply by Viator, April 2013
Doing what: Na Pali and Ni'ihau 'The Forbidden Island' Kauai Snorkel Cruise
Our trip was with the HoloHolo tours. Their vessel, crew and provisions were excellent handling our every need in a willing and graceous manner. The skipper was quite informative. He spoke of the islands and structures, the care and concerns for the environments and made the journey quite enjoyable. The crew were fun and made everyone comfortable and accommodated each need. Everyone was friendly.
Although we didn't expect to see everything in the brochure (as the seasons were coming to an end) we did see manta rays, monk seals spinner dolphins, pods of dolphin families and several whales. The scuba time was excellent. We were well prepared and informed and completely safe (we were told that there had been 11 deaths from drowning already this season compared to only two last year).
The Na Pali coast was magnificent and Captain provided running commentary along its entire length.
I appreciated the crew's expressed concern for the sanctity of the various tribal communities, their traditions and their sacred areas. Respect for the land and the peoples was very present.
The beauty of the island areas cannot be express fully in a few words. The magnificence of God's Creation and what He has done in this part of the world is fully expressed. Enjoy it if you get the chance. Reverence it when you do. Leave it better than when you came. Celebrate it to the fullest.
Reply by Viator, March 2013
Doing what: Kauai Luau and Sunset Dinner
The luau was great! It was well organized, the staff was great. The grounds were lovely. The food was marvelous. The entertainment was a delightful professional production. Well worth the money and the time. Definitely would recommend this.