The northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is entwined with sharp mountain spires, lush valleys and jagged cliffs, all draped in a canopy of emerald. Kauai appeals to a wide audience because of its dramatic beauty, abundance of activities, and laid back atmosphere. Whether hiking the Napali Coast, sunbathing in Poipu, or exploring the expansive Waimea Canyon, the views are phenomenal. Nightlife isn’t a priority here, but you won’t miss it. The timeless beauty and allure of Kauai makes it a treasured destination.
If you’re planning to explore the island, it’s best to rent a car. This will allow you the flexibility to tour Waimea one morning and spend the evening in Hanalei. Shuttles and tours are also available, though stops will be limited. Some of the lush interior of the island is only accessible by air, so you may find yourself sightseeing by helicopter. Don’t miss the chance to travel by foot on Kauai’s magnificent hiking trails or vast, trackless beaches.
Beaches - Kauai offers miles and miles of spectacular white beaches – the longest compared to any other Hawaiian island. Tunnels Beach, Lumahai Beach, Poipu Beach and Hanalei Bay Beach are some of the most popular and most scenic spots.
Spouting Horn – On Kauai’s south shore is the spectacular Spouting Horn. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a spout of water up to 50 feet high. You’ll also hear a hiss and an eerie groan that is explained through Hawaiian legend. The view from the Spouting Horn area is luminous at sunset. The Poipu Coastline is also a great vantage point to look for humpback whales or Spinner dolphins.
Waimea Canyon & Kokee State Park - Waimea Canyon, on Kauai’s west, is more than 3,000 feet deep and provides stunning panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags, and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles, which is why Waimea is nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
Wailua River & Falls – The tranquil Wailua River weaves by gorgeous waterfalls and lush, jungle landscapes along the east side of Kauai. Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii, and the Wailua River is one of the most popular. In southeast Kauai, Wailua Falls offer visitors an inspiring view of nature. Located at the southern end of the Wailua River, the tiered waterfalls plunge to dramatic 80-feet. You may remember Wailua Falls from the opening credits of the TV show “Fantasy Island.”
Waialeale Crater (West Kauai) & Alakai Wilderness Preserve – Mt. Waialeale Crater is the wettest spot in the world with an average of 460 inches (1,168 cm) of rain per year. This has resulted in the Alakai Swamp, the highest swamp in the world which is located in a Wilderness reserve with many rare plant and animal species. Hike around the crater or take a helicopter tour for a breathtaking aerial perspective of the resulting waterfalls.
OTHERS: Napali Coast, Botanical Gardens of Lawai, Allerton & Limahuli, Alekoko Fishpond