Welcome to Kauai: the Emerald Isle of Hawaii and residential to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! Of the 4 predominant 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 do you have to prioritize in your journey to Kauai? Let’s discover out, however first we’ll reply a number of generally requested questions on Kauai.
Is Kauai very touristy?
In comparison with the islands of Oahu and Maui, Kauai just 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. In reality, 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 have to take pleasure in a vacation there. You’ll discover a global airport, a lot of lodges and outlets, and even a Goal and Costco on the island.
What number of days do it’s worthwhile to go to Kauai?
I consider 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 perfect 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 it’s worthwhile to lease a automotive to go to Kauai?
Sure, you do have to lease a automotive when visiting Kauai. In contrast to among the different Hawaiian islands, there’s not intensive public transportation out there in Kauai and many of the predominant vacationer websites are driving-distance away from each other. So you should definitely e-book your rental automotive upfront!
Seek for automotive rent choices on Kayak.
Driving round Kauai is pretty simple, as there’s just one predominant street that circles the perimeter of the island. Notice 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 resulting from flooding.
Discover Kauai at your personal tempo with this narrated, self-guided driving tour.
For those who’re not wanting or capable of lease a automotive, be a 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 realm does see extra rainfall and is farther from a few of Kauai’s finest vacationer points of interest. Nonetheless, I consider 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 predominant 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 lovely lookouts over the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll need to dedicate at the least half a day to driving by these two parks. Notice that there’s just one street out and in, so that you’ll be returning on the identical street that you simply drove in on. The street may also get fairly windy, so pack your nausea treatment for those who get carsick.
Alongside the way in which, there will probably be a variety of official and unofficial lookout factors. The official lookout factors require paid parking, which acts as your entrance charge to the parks. There are additionally a variety of mountain climbing trails you’ll be able to head out on to higher discover the panorama.
Associated tour: Waimea Canyon & Kokeʻe State Park Non-public Tour
Makauwahi Cave Reserve
Situated down a mud street on Kauai’s south shore, the Makauwahi Cave Reserve is dwelling 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 soak up views of the ocean and jungle. Alongside the way in which, you’ll be able to 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 arms and knees to enter it. Don’t fear – the crawl is just a few ft lengthy and there’s a tarp on the bottom to guard your knees. For those who time your go to proper, you’ll have the ability to communicate 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 a must to make time to hit the seaside as nicely! On the south shore, you’ll be spoiled on your selection of seaside to spend the day swimming, snorkelling and enjoyable at. The highest south shore seashores embrace Child Seaside, Kiahuna Seaside, Shipwreck Seaside and Poipu Seaside.
Poipu Seaside is constantly ranked as one of many high seashores on this planet and is definitely one of many busier seashores in Kauai. However there is no such thing as a higher place to look at the sundown! Plus, for those who’re fortunate, you could spot a monk seal lounging on the sand.
Notice: In my expertise, the south shore seashores appeared rocky and the waves weren’t so calm. If that is your expertise too, I recommend carrying water sneakers and solely venturing additional out for those who’re a robust 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 ft 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 a protracted pier that juts out into the water and options on many Kauai postcards. Close by is Anini Seaside, a extra peaceable spot recognized for excellent snorkelling. Tunnels Seaside is one other one which snorkellers will need to hit up. And for those who’re on the lookout for a seaside off the crushed path, try Hideaway Seaside, accessible solely by a steep path.
Associated tour: Non-public Wildlife, Seaside Hike with Snorkel Possibility
Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls
As you put together to depart Kauai, there’s one ultimate cease it’s worthwhile to make in your solution to the airport. You possibly can’t depart Kauai with out testing a number of extra epic waterfalls! Each Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are close by the airport and positively well worth the detour. These had been among the most stunning and luxurious waterfalls I noticed on your entire island.
For those who’re simply in it for the views, each waterfalls have designated parking areas the place you’ll be able to pull up and benefit from the surroundings from a lookout level. Nonetheless, if you wish to rise up shut and private, you can even hike to the falls and expertise them from a complete different stage.
Bonus: Exploring the Na’Pali Coast!
After Waimea Canyon, the Na’Pali Coast may be the preferred and must-see vacationer attraction in Kauai. However attending to the coast could be tough. For those who’re not capable of go to the Na’Pali Coast, there’s nonetheless lots 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 solution to entry this path is on-foot and superior reservations and permits are required. If you wish to do your entire path, it’s a 22 mile spherical journey hike that requires an in a single day tenting keep.
For those who’re not up for a protracted hike or didn’t get a reservation in time, you’ve a number of extra choices for exploring the Na’Pali Coast. You possibly can take a ship, small aircraft or helicopter. Boats depart from the south or north of the island, relying on the time of yr, and are out on the water for a number of hours.
Notice that these waters are notoriously tough and for those who’re vulnerable to seasickness like I’m, a Na’Pali Coast boat tour won’t be a enjoyable choice. The Na’Pali Coast aircraft and helicopter rides can be somewhat bumpy and are, as anticipated, fairly expensive.
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. If in case you have time, listed below are a number of extra Kauai vacationer points of interest 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 largest little city, Hanapepe is a superb 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 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 dwelling to a hen sanctuary, which you’ll pay to enter.
- Smith’s Household Backyard Luau: One of the vital well-liked luaus on Kauai presents a scrumptious Hawaiian feast, spectacular luau dance present and a 30-acre backyard you’ll be able to discover earlier than showtime.
- Ziplining or mountain tubing: For those who’re feeling adventurous, why not swing alongside the timber or go tubing down some mountain passes? Kauai has a lot of choices for thrill seekers!
With this record in hand, I’m positive you’re getting excited on your journey to Kauai. Ensure that to tick off as lots of the above Kauai vacationer points of interest as you’ll be able to!