Kauai Hawaii

Some photos and highlights from Kauai Hawaii (Kaua’i) are included below. Slides will scroll automatically and pause when the cursor is hovered over a photo. You can also manually advance the photos if you prefer.

Locals call Waimea Canyon the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. Views are beautiful but because of the fog and rain, it can be difficult to plan a good time to visit and hike to the top.
The wild rooster population has soared on Kaua'i because there is no real predator on the island. They are pretty much everywhere so you have to be careful where you walk. This hen and chicks followed us around Waimea Canyon.
Waikanaloa Wet Cave is one of the three caves (two wet and one dry) in Ha'ena State Park.
The place to snorkel on Kaua'i is definitely Ke'e Beach (often referred to as "The End of the Road" because it is literally, the end of the road once you pass Princeville). Beyond this point, you need a boat, helicopter or small plane to see the beautiful Na Pali Coast cliffs. The water is relatively shallow but has a strong undertow.
This was the perfect day to visit Kilauea Lighthouse because the weather cooperated.
This bay is just to the side of Kilauea Lighthouse. Between December through May, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of humpback whales here.
The zip line in Princeville is amazing: zip lines over the jungle, plank suspension bridge crossing and hidden swimming hole.
Fed by a small waterfall, this is a hidden swimming hole when you can dive from cliffs into the deep or just float and relax.
The National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kaua'i are beautiful - a wide variety of fauna and flora.
McBryde Garden is a nice self-guided tour though part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
These cacao (chocolate) pods grow well in the wet climate on the island. There are also guava, sugar and coffee plantations.
Part of Allerton Garden, this lagoon has been featured in the Gilligan's Island television series and Jurassic Park movie.
Kaua'i's landscape is beautiful with waterfalls flowing in a variety of areas. It rains nearly every day.
Wailua River is a beautiful place to kayak and see Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls.
Attending a traditional luau on the island can be pricey but the show is nice and worth seeing as a new visitor to the islands.

The island of Kaua’i is spectacular – beautiful views, cultural fusion, diverse activities, delicious food and engaging locals. As with any trip, though, it is helpful to set your expectations before arrival. First, make peace with the fact that it will likely rain every day. This is what keeps the island so lush and green. The rain passes very quickly so you can usually just take cover for a few minutes and then resume to your activities with little inconvenience. Depending on which month you visit, it can also be very hot and humid. For example, July through September are sunny months, but you can also expect 90°F temperatures along with 90% humidity even if the rainfall is low, simply because this is an island. It is not uncommon for your clothes to actually feel wet when you put them on due to the humidity. Keeping hydrated is important.

Another point to note before travel is that because this is a small island and the Na Pali coast is not accessible by car, all of the island traffic follows the same general route through Lihue and dead-ends on either side of the island. You will want to plan activities regionally – for example, see the South side of the island on a different day from when you plan to see the North side. Road traffic on this island is awful during rush hour. While it does not take long to drive the entire highway under normal conditions, an accident or rush hour (morning or evening), can easily add hours to your drive in bumper-to-bumper lines of cars. This is not pleasant and there are few options once you are stuck in a traffic jam. Be sure you always have enough fuel in your car if you are driving yourself.

Visiting Kaua’i can be a costly experience or reasonable, depending on your choice of accommodations and food. A budget traveler can still enjoy this island with a little planning. Flights to Kaua’i generally come through Honolulu. It is common for luggage to miss the connection, though. Not to worry – your bags will generally arrive later in the evening or the next day. To be safe, pack your critical items in your carry-on (e.g., toiletries and swimsuit) so you can still go have fun.

There is much to see and do on this island depending on your interest. Activity options range from snorkeling at “The End of The Road” (Ke’e Beach) to zip lining in Princeville, taking surfing lessons, kayaking the river, viewing the waterfalls, hiking Waimea Canyon, touring plantations (coffee, guava, sugar cane), guided or self-guided tours through the beautiful Tropical Botanical Gardens, seeing the Na Pali coast cliffs by helicopter or experiencing a traditional luau. The fruit (especially the pineapple and papaya) on Kaua’i is some of the most delicious I have ever had. Don’t forget to try the local macadamia nuts too!

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