Hawaii’s western-most island is home to picture-perfect white sand beaches, lush nature trails and tropical rainforests. You’ll experience sights that will take your breath away and create memories that will last a lifetime. And while we here at Blue Sky are committed to helping you have a seamless vacation from the moment you step off the plane, we thought that there are some destinations and attractions you should absolutely know about if you’re planning on visiting the Garden Isle.
Most of Kauai’s appeal is on the coastline but there is one landmark inland you do not want to miss. Nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon was formed by erosion from the Waimea River and is about 10 miles long and up to 3,600 feet deep. The canyon is known for its gorgeous red, brown, and green color palette and is complemented by waterfalls and frequent rainbows. This geological wonder is truly unlike anything you’ll encounter in the whole of Hawaii and is home to hiking trails of various difficulties that wind through the canyon.
While you’re on the west side of the island, head north and you’ll hit the famous Na Pali Coast—often hailed the “jewel of Kauai”—which spans 17 miles wide and towers as high as 4,000 feet above the Pacific. There are hiking trails here, as well, however, the coastline is best (and most safely) explored by sea or by air. This makes it the ideal place to snorkel, sail, kayak, or even take a catamaran or raft tour if the conditions are right. It’s on these tours you’ll discover the hidden sea caves and remote beaches that make Na Pali Coast so magical—and maybe even see some dolphins along the way. If you want a bird’s eye view, book a helicopter tour and get a front-row seat to scenic areas that are largely inaccessible by land or water (like the iconic Manawaipuna Falls where the helicopter landed in Jurassic Park).
Once you head down to the southern part of the island, we definitely recommend stopping in Poipu for some killer surfing and ziplining. It’s also one of the best places to spot the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. These majestic mammals are often referred to as “living fossil” as they’ve remained physiologically unchanged for over 15 million years. While you’re in Poipu, do not miss a chance to visit Lappert’s Hawaii. This local chain serves some of the most decadent and delightful ice cream you’ll ever have the pleasure of indulging in and is known for featuring macadamia nuts in its deliciously tropical offerings like Kauai Pie and Hana Road.
Lastly, we recommend checking out Kipu Ranch (just 20 minutes north of Poipu) for the perfect off-roading experience. Book a spot on the Waterfall Picnic Tour for a four-hour adventure you’ll never forget. Get behind the wheel of a Kawasaki 750 4X4 TERYX-4 and after some instruction and practice, you’ll be off on your way to the Huleia River where you’ll be able to swing in on the same rope that Indiana Jones did in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then, after a deli-style picnic lunch at their seasonal waterfall, you’ll head over to another swimming location where you’ll be able to take a splash in a tropical spring-fed waterfall. Don’t forget to wear dark clothing! This tour is as dusty as they come!
Kauai has so much to offer. Whether you want to take your vacation to relax or explore your wild side, there’s truly something for everyone. Our Blue Sky Luxury Travels team has explored Kauai thoroughly, and we can help you find the perfect accommodations and activities for your dream Kauai vacation. E komo mai!