Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 essential Hawaiian islands, Kauai is thought for its lush, tropical panorama, epic seashores, and unmissable vacationer sights.
However which Kauai vacationer sights do you have to prioritize in your journey to Kauai? Let’s discover out, however first we’ll reply a couple of generally requested questions on Kauai.
Is Kauai very touristy?
In comparison with the islands of Oahu and Maui, Kauai isn’t very touristy. It doesn’t have a giant metropolis, like Honolulu, and doesn’t see the identical vacationers flocking to well-known locations just like the Highway to Hana in Maui. Actually, Kauai is even quieter than the Massive Island, which is thought for being extra distant and pure.
Regardless of being the least touristy of Hawaii’s 4 main islands, Kauai nonetheless has the entire infrastructure vacationers must take pleasure in a vacation there. You’ll discover a world airport, a number of resorts and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island.
What number of days do you could go to Kauai?
I imagine 5 days in Kauai is the proper period of time. This lets you discover Kauai’s vacationer sights, spend time on the seaside, uncover the finest locations to eat in Kauai, and perhaps even go on an journey or two. With 5 days, you’ll even have time to discover all sides of the island.
Do you could lease a automotive to go to Kauai?
Sure, you do must lease a automotive when visiting Kauai. In contrast to a number of the different Hawaiian islands, there may be not in depth public transportation accessible in Kauai and a lot of the essential vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So make sure to e-book your rental automotive upfront!
Driving round Kauai is pretty straightforward, as there’s just one essential highway that circles the perimeter of the island. Observe that the highway doesn’t totally circle the island; the Na’Pali Coast mountains on the northwest of Kauai prohibit a highway from passing by. You’ll additionally need to keep alert for any highway closures resulting from flooding.
Discover Kauai at your personal tempo with this narrated, self-guided driving tour.
In case you’re not wanting or in a position to lease a automotive, be part of a guided bus tour to finest discover Kauai.
The place do you have to keep in Kauai?
The preferred areas to remain in Kauai are Poipu within the south and Princeville within the north. Whereas Princeville lodging costs are barely cheaper than Poipu’s, the world does see extra rainfall and is farther from a few of Kauai’s finest vacationer sights. Nevertheless, I imagine the north shore seashores are higher for swimming.
The south shore seashores round Poipu are rockier and lodge costs are increased, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s essential websites. There’s additionally the choice to remain in Lihue or Wailua on the east facet of the island. Lodging right here isn’t as plentiful however it’s cheaper.
Prime 5 Kauai vacationer sights
Waimea Canyon State Park & Kokee State Park
Absolutely the can’t miss vacationer attraction in Kauai is the Waimea Canyon. Heralded because the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon State Park and the adjoining Kokee State Park offers you epic views of jagged coastlines, towering mountains, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls and beautiful lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll need to dedicate no less than half a day to driving by these two parks. Observe that there’s just one highway out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical highway that you simply drove in on. The highway also can get fairly windy, so pack your nausea medicine in case you get carsick.
Alongside the way in which, there shall be numerous official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance charge to the parks. There are additionally numerous mountain climbing trails you may head out on to raised discover the panorama.
Associated tour: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Non-public Tour
Makauwahi Cave Reserve
Situated down a dust highway on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is house to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave and is the proper place to find Kauai’s various terrain. From the higher parking zone you’ll trek down a hill, stopping typically to soak up views of the ocean and jungle. Alongside the way in which, you may peel off the path to hit the seaside or go to the resident tortoises.
When you’ve reached the cave, you’ll should crawl on palms and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is only some ft lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. In case you time your go to proper, you’ll be capable of converse to one of many cave guides who can level out completely different rock formations and the house of the uncommon cave wolf spider.
Associated tour: Non-public Tortoises, Caves, and Cliffs South Shore Hike
South shore seashores
Kauai isn’t nearly mountain climbing, jungles and mountains – it’s important to make time to hit the seaside as nicely! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled to your alternative of seaside to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and stress-free at. The highest south shore seashores embody Child Seashore, Kiahuna Seashore, Shipwreck Seashore and Poipu Seashore.
Poipu Seashore is constantly ranked as one of many high seashores on the planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there is no such thing as a higher place to observe the sundown! Plus, in case you’re fortunate, you could spot a monk seal lounging on the sand.
Observe: In my expertise, the south shore seashores appeared rocky and the waves weren’t so calm. If that is your expertise too, I recommend sporting water sneakers and solely venturing additional out in case you’re a powerful swimmer.
North shore seashores
We are able to’t let the south shore have all of the enjoyable! In fact, you’ll need to spend a while on the north shore of Kauai and provides their seashores a attempt too. I discovered the northern seashores to be extra calm, sandy and family-friendly than the southern ones. At many I discovered I might stroll out over 100 ft from the shore and the water would nonetheless solely be at my hips.
The preferred seaside on the north shore is Hanalei Seashore, that includes an extended pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seashore, a extra peaceable spot identified for excellent snorkelling. Tunnels Seashore is one other one which snorkellers will need to hit up. And in case you’re searching for a seaside off the overwhelmed path, try Hideaway Seashore, accessible solely by a steep path.
Associated tour: Non-public Wildlife, Seashore Hike with Snorkel Possibility
Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls
As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one ultimate cease you could make in your strategy to the airport. You’ll be able to’t go away Kauai with out trying out a couple of extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and undoubtedly definitely worth the detour. These have been a number of the most lovely and plush waterfalls I noticed on all the island.
In case you’re simply in it for the views, each waterfalls have designated parking areas the place you may pull up and benefit from the surroundings from a lookout level. Nevertheless, if you wish to stand up shut and private, you may also hike to the falls and expertise them from an entire different stage.
Bonus: Exploring the Na’Pali Coast!
After Waimea Canyon, the Na’Pali Coast is perhaps the most well-liked and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast will be troublesome. In case you’re not in a position to go to the Na’Pali Coast, there may be nonetheless loads to see and do in Kauai that may blow you away.
One possibility for visiting the Na’Pali Coast is to hike the Kalalau Path by Haena State Park. The one strategy to entry this path is on-foot and superior reservations and permits are required. If you wish to do all the path, it’s a 22 mile spherical journey hike that requires an in a single day tenting keep.
In case you’re not up for an extended hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you may have a couple of extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You’ll be able to take a ship, small aircraft or helicopter. Boats go away from the south or north of the island, relying on the time of yr, and are out on the water for a couple of hours.
Observe that these waters are notoriously tough and in case you’re liable to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour won’t be a enjoyable possibility. The Na’Pali Coast aircraft and helicopter rides will also be slightly bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly pricey.
Different Kauai vacationer sights you’ll need to go to
In fact, there’s a lot extra to see and expertise in Kauai than simply the 5 websites above. When you have time, listed below are a couple of extra Kauai vacationer sights so as to add to your itinerary:
- Kauai Espresso Firm: Go on a free unbiased strolling tour to study espresso manufacturing in Kauai after which pattern a few of their favorite brews!
- Hanapepe: Kauai’s greatest little city, Hanapepe is a superb place to find native outlets and eating places, in addition to stroll throughout the swinging bridge.
- Spouting Horn: Take a look at this blowhole on the south shore that erupts like a geyser each time a wave crashes into the shore.
- Maha’ulepu Heritage Path: For many who don’t wish to hike, this coastal strolling path is the proper choice to discover the seaside views of the south shore.
- Tree Tunnel: As you drive alongside the island, you’ll inevitably drive by the Tree Tunnel, a cover of Eucalyptus timber that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel.
- Kilauea Lighthouse: A ravishing spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and perhaps spot a whale. It’s additionally house to a hen sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter.
- Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: Probably the most common luaus on Kauai affords a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you may discover earlier than showtime.
- Ziplining or mountain tubing: In case you’re feeling adventurous, why not swing alongside the timber or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has a number of choices for thrill seekers!
With this record in hand, I’m certain you’re getting excited to your journey to Kauai. Ensure that to tick off as most of the above Kauai vacationer sights as you may!