Kauai, known locally as the “Garden Isle,” is lush and green with diverse, natural wonders, ranging from a miniature Grand Canyon in Waimea to the crashing waves of Napali Coast.
1 – NAPALI COAST (the cliffs):
Majestic sea cliffs rise 4,000 feet above Kauai’s uninhabited North Shore. Explore sea caves, lush hidden valleys, deserted white sand beaches and some of Hawai‘i’s most awe-inspiring views. See it by air or sea, accessible by boat or an active hike on the Kalalau Trail.
A gorgeous, 11-mile hike where an experienced hiker traverses five valleys, mountain streams and waterfalls, as well as beautiful ruins of several ancient Hawaiian settlements. The trail begins at Haena State Park and ends at Kalalau Beach.
Rich in history and beauty, the valley was once home to a large, thriving Hawaiian community. Today, most of the state’s taro is grown here. In the 1800s, the bay was an important harbor for whaling and trade vessels.
One of the country’s most visited wildlife refuges, this historic lighthouse on Kauai’s northernmost point is home to nesting seabirds in the cliffs above, and whales, dolphins, seals and turtles in the blue-green waters below.
Wailua Falls is a few minutes north of Lihue. Follow the signs and take Hwy 56 to Hwy 583. Hawaiian chiefs once jumped from the top to prove their courage. Off Hwy 580, a boat trip up Wailua River takes you to the beautiful Fern Grotto, a massive lava tube filled with ferns.
The mountain is the second highest point on Kauai at 5,148 feet, and one of the wettest places on Earth with over 400 inches of annual rainfall. The unparalleled beauty of this important watershed area can only be seen from the air.
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific is a geological wonder stretching 10 miles long, 3,600-feet deep and over a mile wide. There are numerous hiking trails, picnic areas and lookouts. The park’s headquarters is in Kokee.
Photos by Nickolay Stanev, Carol Gauthier, Steve Heap, John Hester Photography, Alfgar, Backyard Production, DonLand