Are you planning a vacation to Kauai? We feel your excitement! Hawaii’s oldest island boasts of stunning landscapes and scenic beauty which never cease to amaze visitors.
If you’ve never visited Kauai before, you probably have a lot on your mind. To help dissolve the uncertainty and dilemma that comes with visiting a new place, we have come up with a list of frequently asked questions for your aid.
When you know the island better, you can plan your vacation itinerary better.
Kauai Travel Guide: Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Kauai called the Garden Isle?
Kauai is blessed with lush greenery. The island is home to the wettest spot on earth, Mt Waialeale, which feeds the Wailua river. This spot receives an average of 400 inches of rain per year and fuels the green ecosystem of the island. Moreover, Kauai is home to 3 of the 5 National Tropical Botanical Gardens – McBryde and Allerton Gardens on the south and Limahuli garden on the north shore.
How much time do you need in Kauai?
Most Kauai travel guides recommend 3 to 4 days to be ideal for first-time visitors. Kauai is a small island. It only takes an hour to drive from one tip of the island to another. Moreover, you can always modify your itinerary to experience activities and places of your choice in the time available. Plan longer if you’re the adventurous type and love to indulge in day-long hikes.
Can you drive all the way around Kauai?
Kauai is a small island with one highway. The towns are connected well through the highway and main roads. If you start from the north, you can drive from Hanalei to Lihue on the south. From there you can go all the way till Waimea on the west. About a quarter of the northwestern shore is not accessible by road because of the Napali coast and cliffs. So you cannot drive the whole way around Kauai.
When is the best time to visit Kauai?
From April to June or between September and November. This is when the weather is most pleasant and hotel/airfares are reasonable.
Where is the main airport on Kauai?
Lihue, on the eastern shore. This is Kauai’s commercial center. The airport caters to both international and inter-island flights.
What are the languages spoken there?
English is Hawaii’s official language. Due to the infusion of many cultures, you will also find Hawaiian, Pidgin English, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese on the island. It helps to learn a few Hawaiian words to converse with the locals and interpret sign boards.
Where can I stay in Kauai?
Depends on the budget, type of accommodation, and vibes you are looking for. If you stay on the commercial south shore, you can easily visit the attractions along the west and the east shores. The north shore is lush and poses a laid back ambiance. The north also boasts of some of the best resorts on the island. Most Kauai beaches are bordered by beach-front condos.
Do I need to get my passport to Kauai?
Kauai is the U.S’s 58th state and you don’t need a passport to step foot on the island. However, you will need one if you’re traveling from other parts of the world.
What should I Pack on my trip to Kauai?
Along with the basic essentials required for any travel, it is best to include the following items in your packing list:
- Waterproof camera
- Reef friendly sunscreen
- Flip flops and hiking shoes
- Bug spray
- Beach friendly and hiking attire
- Personal identification documents, credit cards, and senior cards.
Which beaches have lifeguards on Kauai?
- Kekaha Beach park
- Salt Pond Beach Park
- Poipu Beach
- Lydgate Beach Park
- Kealia Beach park
- Anahola Beach park
- Hanalei Bay
- Hanalei Beach Park
- Kee Beach park
Lifeguards are stationed on all days from 9am to 5pm.
Does Kauai have a grand canyon?
Waimea Canyon is a popular attraction on Kauai’s western side. It is famously known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. The title is due to its characteristic red soil and magnitude, which closely resemble that of the Arizona Grand Canyon. The scenes can be enjoyed from the lookouts along Waimea Canyon Road. Or you can head over to the canyon to explore the intriguing hiking trails and waterfalls inside.
Kauai Volcano: Can you see any volcanoes on Kauai?
No. Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island and the natural process of erosion has dampened the volcanoes that were once active here. Much of the island’s beauty, including the Napali Coast, can be credited to the volcanic eruption that happened millions of years ago.
What are some of the most popular activities on Kauai?
Kauai is well known for adrenaline-pumping activities. Hiking and water sports are a rage among local folks and enthusiasts. You can grab a kayak and paddle through Hawaii’s only navigable river, a.k.a Waimea River. Snorkeling at reef-rich beaches and taking a Napali coast boat tour will be the highlight of your Kauai vacation.
Can we hike to the Napali coast?
The only land access to the Napali coast and Kalalau beach is via the Kalalau trail. The 11-mile-long trail starts at Ke’e beach and is counted among the world’s deadliest hiking trails. However, hiking the Kalalau trail is still a popular activity on the island. Opting for a Napali boat tour is the easiest and most enjoyable way to explore the Napali coast.
Is Kauai open for travel?
Yes. But as of December 2020, Hawaii’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all travelers arriving in the Hawaiian islands remains in effect. You will have to produce negative covid-19 test results before arriving in Hawaii. Please visit hawaiicovid19.com for more information.
If you still have any questions in mind, please let us know in the comments section below. We’d be glad to answer. We recommend that you explore our blog as there’s a plethora of information on Kauai and how you can best enjoy your time here.
Most travelers coming to Kauai do not leave the island without exploring the Napali Coast. Hop on one of our catamarans to course through intriguing sea caves, colorful marine life and beautiful landscapes along Kauai’s coveted coastline.