It’s been a few weeks since I shared my Maui Travel Guide with you, where I promised I’d have my Kauai travel tips with you shortly after. Two weeks later, I’m finally sitting down to write the post. (Oopsie!)
KAUAI TRAVEL GUIDE: MY RECOMMENDATIONS
As much as I loved Maui, it didn’t hold a candle to Kauai. I have never seen anything like it. 70% of the island is not accessible by foot, which translates to incomparable, undisturbed beauty. They call Kauai the “Garden Island” because it’s so green and lush. It’s where they filmed Jurassic Park – if you remember how beautiful that was.
To see the 70% of the island that you can’t access, it’s essential to travel by air. If you are planning a trip, you MUST factor a helicopter trip into your budget. It was the most incredible things I have ever experienced. (And yes, as I said on my Instagram, it was so beautiful that I cried!) We used Jack Harter Helicopter Tours. We chose this one because it’s open doored, which allows you to see more clearly. It’s pretty pricey to do (I think it was $250-$300 per person) but honestly, 1000% worth it. I can’t stress this enough. Here are a couple snaps below, that don’t really do it justice, but give you the idea. Sorry they are blurry – it was super hard to get a good shot, as you have to put your phone inside a plastic case that hangs from your neck, so it compromised the image quality.
KAUAI TRAVEL GUIDE: STATE PARKS
There are three state parks you must visit in Kauai.
Waimea Canyon – aka the Grand Canyon of the Pacific is as grand as it is beautiful. You can take the main road into this park, and stop at many lookout locations to enjoy the vast canyon views and diverse colors. There are also plenty of hikes you could embark on, to get a locals view on the canyon.
Koke’e State Park – If you continue on the road, just north of Waimea canyon, Koke’s State Park. This would be the perfect spot to camp or start your hike at, as there are 7 major hiking trails from here.
Napali Coast – The Napali Coast is only accessible via boat or air, which is why you must absolutely splurge on the helicopter tour. The water is as blue as kool-aid, and the cliffsides are deep red and green. You could also hike through this lush coastline, but the best vantage point is from the air.
KAUAI TRAVEL GUIDE: ADVENTURES
Aside from visiting state parks, there are many other adventures you can enjoy on the island. We rented kayaks one day, and kayaked to the “Secret Waterfall”. (Spoiler alert – it’s not so secret.) I highly recommend this excursion, as the landscape is so diverse! Plan for an all day trip for this, as it takes quite a while to kayak to and from the trailhead. Once you get to the trailhead, it’s about a mile to the waterfall. It’s an easy hike, but when we went, it was extremely muddy. I ended up taking off my shoes and walking barefoot, because it was so bad. It’s an absolutely beautiful hike though, and every corner you turn is different than the last.
We only spent 2.5 days on the island, so that’s all we really got to do. I hope to go back one day, and explore more of the island. Have you ever been to Kauai? What was a must-do on your list? Did I miss anything in this Kauai travel guide? Let me know in the comments below!