Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 principal Hawaiian islands, Kauai is thought for its lush, tropical panorama, epic seashores, and unmissable vacationer points of interest.
However which Kauai vacationer points of interest must you 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 an enormous metropolis, like Honolulu, and doesn’t see the identical vacationers flocking to well-known locations just like the Street to Hana in Maui. Actually, Kauai is even quieter than the Huge 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 lot of inns and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island.
What number of days do you should go to Kauai?
I imagine 5 days in Kauai is the proper period of time. This lets you discover Kauai’s vacationer points of interest, 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 should hire a automotive to go to Kauai?
Sure, you do must hire a automotive when visiting Kauai. In contrast to a few of the different Hawaiian islands, there’s not in depth public transportation accessible in Kauai and a lot of the principal vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So remember to e-book your rental automotive upfront!
Driving round Kauai is pretty simple, as there’s just one principal street that circles the perimeter of the island. Observe that the street doesn’t totally circle the island; the Na’Pali Coast mountains on the northwest of Kauai prohibit a street from passing by. You’ll additionally need to keep alert for any street closures on account of flooding.
Discover Kauai at your individual tempo with this narrated, self-guided driving tour.
In the event you’re not wanting or capable of hire a automotive, be part of a guided bus tour to finest discover Kauai.
The place must you 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 points of interest. Nonetheless, I imagine the north shore seashores are higher for swimming.
The south shore seashores round Poipu are rockier and resort costs are increased, however you’re nearer to Kauai’s principal websites. There’s additionally the choice to remain in Lihue or Wailua on the east aspect of the island. Lodging right here isn’t as plentiful however it’s cheaper.
High 5 Kauai vacationer points of interest
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 gives you epic views of jagged coastlines, towering mountains, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls and beautiful lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll need to dedicate at the very least half a day to driving by these two parks. Observe that there’s just one street out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical street that you just drove in on. The street may get fairly windy, so pack your nausea medicine if you happen to get carsick.
Alongside the way in which, there might be various official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance charge to the parks. There are additionally various mountaineering trails you may head out on to higher discover the panorama.
Associated tour: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Personal Tour
Makauwahi Cave Reserve
Positioned down a mud street on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is residence 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 usually to absorb 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 must crawl on fingers and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is just a few toes lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. In the event you time your go to proper, you’ll have the ability to 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: Personal Tortoises, Caves, and Cliffs South Shore Hike
South shore seashores
Kauai isn’t nearly mountaineering, jungles and mountains – you need to make time to hit the seaside as nicely! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled in your alternative of seaside to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and stress-free at. The highest south shore seashores embrace Child Seaside, Kiahuna Seaside, Shipwreck Seaside and Poipu Seaside.
Poipu Seaside is persistently ranked as one of many high seashores on this planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there isn’t any higher place to look at the sundown! Plus, if you happen to’re fortunate, chances are you’ll 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 footwear and solely venturing additional out if you happen to’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 strive 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 toes from the shore and the water would nonetheless solely be at my hips.
The preferred seaside on the north shore is Hanalei Seaside, that includes an extended pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seaside, a extra peaceable spot identified for nice snorkelling. Tunnels Seaside is one other one which snorkellers will need to hit up. And if you happen to’re searching for a seaside off the overwhelmed path, try Hideaway Seaside, accessible solely by a steep path.
Associated tour: Personal Wildlife, Seaside Hike with Snorkel Choice
Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls
As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one remaining cease you should make in your option to the airport. You possibly can’t go away Kauai with out testing a couple of extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and positively well worth the detour. These have been a few of the most stunning and plush waterfalls I noticed on all the island.
In the event 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. Nonetheless, if you wish to stand up shut and private, you too can hike to the falls and expertise them from a complete different degree.
Bonus: Exploring the Na’Pali Coast!
After Waimea Canyon, the Na’Pali Coast is likely to be the preferred and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast will be tough. In the event you’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there’s nonetheless loads to see and do in Kauai that can blow you away.
One choice for visiting the Na’Pali Coast is to hike the Kalalau Path by Haena State Park. The one option 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 the event you’re not up for an extended hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve a couple of extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You possibly can take a ship, small airplane 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 if you happen to’re susceptible to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour won’t be a enjoyable choice. The Na’Pali Coast airplane and helicopter rides can be somewhat bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly pricey.
Different Kauai vacationer points of interest 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. You probably have time, listed below are a couple of extra Kauai vacationer points of interest so as to add to your itinerary:
- Kauai Espresso Firm: Go on a free impartial strolling tour to find out about espresso manufacturing in Kauai after which pattern a few of their favorite brews!
- Hanapepe: Kauai’s largest little city, Hanapepe is a good place to find native outlets and eating places, in addition to stroll throughout the swinging bridge.
- Spouting Horn: Try 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 prefer 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 bushes that give Kauai a Center Earth really feel.
- Kilauea Lighthouse: A lovely spot on the north shore to look out over the coast and perhaps spot a whale. It’s additionally residence to a chook sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter.
- Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: Probably the most in style luaus on Kauai presents a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you may discover earlier than showtime.
- Ziplining or mountain tubing: In the event you’re feeling adventurous, why not swing alongside the bushes or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has a lot of choices for thrill seekers!
With this listing in hand, I’m certain you’re getting excited in your journey to Kauai. Be sure that to tick off as most of the above Kauai vacationer points of interest as you may!