Nicknamed “The Garden Isle”, Kauai is home to canopies of lush tropical plants and trees that envelop the entire island, while its coastline is marked by impressive emerald-green sea cliffs dropping dramatically to white-sand beaches and crystal-clear coral reefs below.
With nearly 95% of its land remaining undeveloped, Kauai is Hawaii as you imagined it 50 years ago. It is retro, rustic and romantic all at once; nothing but dense jungle, rugged peaks, secret surf spots, and old school towns with tight-knit communities.
Made famous by Hollywood as the setting of all of the Jurassic Park movies- as well as Lost, The Descendants, and Pirates of the Caribbean, among others – it’s no question why film-makers lust over this place’s beautiful terrain. Kauai makes you wonder “Could this all be real?” at every turn.
If this sounds like your heaven, you’re not alone. Here is your complete Kauai Travel Guide to plan your next amazing Hawaiian getaway.
Shobhit & I decided to spend about 5 days on this island and based ourselves in Lihue at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. To my surprise, Shobhit had reserved a red hot convertible Mustang! What more would you ask for? A super hot car and a jaw-dropping scenery to begin the adventure!A
Upon early arrival on the island from Honolulu, we stepped out on a drive. Starting With Kilauea lighthouse lookout while soaking in some beautiful scenery all along the drive. It’s quite surprising to find an amazing Indian food truck called Turmeric along with other food trucks on the drive serving delicious food. We then decided to chill in the Princeville resort relaxing on their beach and watch the sun go down, keeping the day light and easy.
The next day was an adventurous afternoon for us as we opted for a 4×4 tour at Kipu Ranch. And to make this even more fun and muddy, it simply started to rain so we enjoyed it to the core. Taking an afternoon tour, we explored locally around Poipu beach and saw the Spouting Horn. Whilst in the city center of Koala Old town, we would highly recommend to try the restaurant Pizetta for scrumptious pastas and calzones. We loved it so much that we went there again on our last day for dinner.
The next day on this beautiful island was about exploring the Waimea Canyon which is known as the GRAND CANYON of the Pacific! However, we started our day by visiting the Wailua Falls in the morning followed by Lydgate beach park. We then started our drive towards Waimea. I was mesmerized by the fact there was a giant canyon on an island. It seemed too good to be true! Even the drive to the main attraction is scenic. There are plenty of stops on that road to give you great views of the canyon and we were so lucky that each spot we would stop at would have a giant rainbow waiting for us. And rainbows, they just make my day better!
The first marked lookout is the Waimea Canyon lookout with ample of parking available. As you go up on the drive the weather starts getting cooler as you gain elevation so ensure you are prepared to bear some colder climate. It was quite windy at just one spot on this lookout but trust me I’m having a hard time describing the views from the canyon rim, as it was breath-taking and made me feel so incredibly tiny. It was impressive, awe-inspiring. absolutely beautiful. I could have stood there for hours just feasting my eyes on the beautiful sight in front of me and not to forget the rainbow. We took so many pictures and sometimes just stood at the railing and took it all in. The other points we stopped by were Pu’hinahina lookout, Pu’uolika lookout & the final which is Kalalau lookout though its very misty & cloudy here all the time and hard to get the views.
We then drove to Kekaha beach park to catch a nice sunset while cherishing the beautiful moments we had at the Waimea Canyon. And then when in Hawaii how can we not have the Shave Ice! You will see tons of small shops for shave ice, but we liked the one in old town the most.
On our final day we were hoping to be very fortunate with the weather as Shobhit was very excited to go to the Napali Coast by boat and I was anxious to get on a helicopter to see all the hidden waterfalls and not to miss the Jurassic falls and all the scenery from the top. And hurray we did get lucky and got to do both.
Early morning, we hopped on a small catamaran operated by Makana Charters sailing all the way to Napali. On our journey we spotted many dolphins, Sting rays & lucky enough to get some whales too at a distant sight. As we inched closer to Napali, the sea was getting rough however, our captain ensured that we quickly and safely arrive around Napali for which everyone waited desperately! One of the most remote and beautiful places on earth- one can see this coast by foot, boat or helicopter- there are no roads leading to this beauty. And we succeeded by surviving in the rough ocean and then getting brilliant weather to see it from the Air.
Words can simply not justify the beauty of this island! On our helicopter ride with Sunshine Helicopters, our pilot made sure that we get the best of the views. Celebrating a special occasion, we got the front 2 seats next to him. He observed that how much I love rainbows as we saw a couple by then, he would simply take turns around the arches for us to feel closer. Every bit of this tour was worth it. Seeing so many remote waterfalls which would not have access otherwise and seeing them so closely was totally the experience of our lifetime. Having travelled to more than 45 countries both Shobhit & I had one of the best days from all the places we have travelled to, We highly suggest you to keep this island on your bucket list as it’s got something so heart touching which may be hard to find!