What is your definition of paradise? If you are picturing beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, adventurous activities and mind-blowing landscapes, Kauai is the paradise you need to see and experience. The oldest island of Hawaii is truly Heaven on Earth.
The most admirable fact about this ‘Garden isle’ is that everything is linked to one another. The beaches lead to stunning views of the cliffs, the hiking trails lead to breath-taking waterfalls and the local villages will give you a perfect blend of cultural experience, shopping pleasure and local entertainment.
Here are 11 reasons to zero in on exactly why you must visit Kauai:
Kauai has some of the world’s most picturesque beaches with clear pristine waters. The clear waters reveal the attractive coral reefs which makes the island an ideal location for snorkelling. The beaches are peaceful and uncrowded which makes you feel as though you have the entire beach to yourself.
As a bonus, the island has a coastline that boasts of scenic views of the gigantic cliffs. Hanalei bay is a popular spot for surfing for both beginners and experienced surfers alike, Poipu on the South west end has multiple beaches for all ages. Please and do check the weather reports for all beaches before stepping into the waters for a safe experience. Before jumping into any beaches we encourage you to take at least 10 minutes watching the ocean, swells and current can be very dangerous.
Kauai offers a plethora of trail choices for hikers with different levels of experience. You can choose to trek along the gorgeous NaPali coastline, follow the ridge trails that lead to stunning views of the mountains and lush green vegetation of the island, or hike the famous Waimea Canyon trail. Hiking is a great way to explore the unique flora and fauna and is an opportunity to explore the parts of the island that are inaccessible by car. With a variety of options, Kauai is, without any doubt, a paradise for hikers. Carry proper hiking gear along with you for a safe hiking experience.
3. Water Activities
As mentioned earlier, snorkelling is a must do activity in Kauai. Lydgate state park is a popular snorkelling spot as it has 2 pools covered by boulders which are thus protected from ocean currents. The pools are filled with different varieties of fish that enhance your snorkelling experience.
Boat tours are a great way to explore the outside views of the island and will treat you to dolphins, monk seals, whales and sea turtles. Seeing the NaPali Coast by ocean can be one of the most breath taking experience. This is known to be the #1 things to do in Hawaii
4. Air Tours
Kauai being home to breath-taking mountain ranges, scenic coastlines and lush green vegetation, exploring the island by air is a also a great way to see paradise. The helicopter and airplane tours are normally an hour long and take you into the depths of the island which otherwise cannot be explored by other means. Many air tours offers a video of your air tour experience to cherish it forever. People who leave Kauai without doing an air tour often regret it.
The best thing about exploring the caves in Kauai is that they are absolutely free and awesome. The Island has both Dry and Wet caves which are special in their own ways. Manini holo dry cave is a huge cavern opening up from the bottom of the mountain and will not fail to amaze you. The blue room cave is a wet cave which has a large blue water pool that looks magical when the sunlight directly falls on it. Some caves contain ancient graffiti art on their walls. The drive to the caves along the beaches and rain forests is worth an experience.
6. NaPali Coast
The Napali coast, which lies from the west to north shore of Kauai, boasts of a mountainous shore line spanning 17 miles and is home to beautiful beaches and waterfalls. The best views must be explored by water or air tours. The catamaran sunset cruise with luau style dinner is a popular choice among tourists. Under good weather conditions, a raft tour is a great way to explore the gorgeous coastline and check the inside of the natural caves.
A boat or an air tour will help you grasp the magnitude of the Napali coast and will take you through the most scenic areas which are inaccessible by land. You can also choose to explore the Napali coast by following the 11 mile foot trail from Ke’e beach to Kalalau valley. However, the trail can be very difficult and hiking beyond a certain point might require a permit and you’ll only be able to see parts of the coastline. If you are an active hiker this should be on your bucket list. If Kauai is paradise, then the Napali coast should be considered as the heart of the paradise and must not to be missed at any cost.
The luxurious resorts are a perfect contrast to the sleepy village life of Kauai. The grand Hyatt, south side of Kauai is a beautiful resort with spectacular landscaping. Offering amazing views of the coast, the resort is both picturesque and peaceful. Do try the Lomi Lomi Massage at the Anara spa to relax your body after an adventure filled day. The resort also offers Hula and Torch lighting ceremony on specific days of the week. Koa kea resort and The Mariott are also great options for your stay at Kauai.
8. Explore Historic Locations
Kauai is the oldest island of Hawaii and has a rich historical and cultural background. The island has two of Hawaii’s heritage sites that are monuments to historical contribution of the island. Another must do is the Waimea canyon state park, she offers a wide view of the breath-taking canyon range and is home to many exciting hiking trails. Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea light house, which was built as a beacon for travelling ships, rewards visitors with views of the Pacific Ocean and mountainous north coast.
The Koloa heritage trail offers a 10 mile tour of important historical sites in Koloa and Poipu village. Koke’e natural history museum located in Koke’e state park illustrates the rich history of the park and the Waimea canyon. There are many other museums in Kauai that dig into different historical aspects of the island.
Kauai is home to some of the world’s most scenic waterfalls. A few of these are easily accessible and the rest demand some effort before you savour the lavish beauty that lies beyond the trails. You can schedule your visit to the waterfalls to compliment your hiking plan and hike through the adventurous trails. Wailua falls is an exception as you can reach the top of the waterfall by car and the view is very close to the parking lot. This twin waterfall is a treat to the eyes and was featured in the opening credits of the 80s hit show ‘Fantasy island’.
Every vacation is incomplete without some shopping. Kauai never ceases to amazes shoppers with its wide range of shopping stops. Poipu Shopping Village has a variety of shops ranging from Kids wear, Art galleries, Bar and restaurants, Souvenirs to Whalers. If you are a bookworm, head to the Talk Story Book Store in Hanapepe as it has wide collection of old and new books. You can plan a visit to Hanapepe on Friday to witness the Friday night art show.
Kukui’ula shopping market is also a great place to spend a couple of hours shopping and enjoying many restaurants. Do visit the Farmers Market delicious local foods and enjoy the music performances. Kauai thus, offers a perfect mix of shopping and entertainment.
If you love the beverage, then do have the pleasure of visiting the Kauai Coffee Company for a free tour of their estate. They provide an educational tour about the company and the history of coffee on the island. The place offers over 80 different varieties of coffee and will make your taste buds go wild. With a renewed sense of liking for the beverage, Kauai will change the way you see and drink coffee forever.
11 Reasons to Visit Kauai [Infographic]