You wont believe how many choices you have to exercise yourself here:
1)Hiking, trecking, cycling, There are some easy trails but also some dangerous ones suggested only to experienced ones. The 11 miles of Kalalau trail will top it all as it is located on the Na Pali coast, even if you do the first 2-3 miles you will be reward with some great views.
2)canoeing, kayaking, There are specific companies that have licenses to rent and guide kayak tours most of them at Wailua river. They want to protect the river so they keep the daily number at a specific limit.
3)surfing, bodyboarding etc You can practice in the calm waters of Poipu if it is your first time
4)Swimming is also a must but watch out which beach you are, the north beaches are better to avoid in winter (the big waves will scare you anyway). Choose some organized ones if you have children, they have lifeguards on duty.
On our most recent trip to Kauai, unfortunately Marc was recovering from surgery so we couldn’t be as active as we had planned. We were never more disappointed in this situation as we were the day we made it to Ke’e Beach. Of course we didn’t have our hiking shoes with us as we faced the Kalalau Trailhead so we decided to try a bit in our flip flops any way to see how far we could get. Due to our poor footwear, the steep and often slippery conditions on the trail and Marc’s poor health we didn’t make it very far but in the short distance we did travel we got a taste of just how spectacular this trail could be. This is the trailhead anyone wishing to visit the Na Pali coast must trek, as there are no roads that lead there. To get to the Na Pali coast you must go my foot or by boat. The Kalalau Trail from start to finish runs 12 miles one way, but the trail meets the beach at 2 miles (Hanakapi’ai Beach) and 6 miles (Hanakoa) along. Most day hikers will only ever reach Hanakapi’ai but many of the hikers along the Kalalau Trail camp overnight along the way. Camping is restricted to 5 consecutive nights and you must purchase permits from the State Parks Office in Lihue. Camping permits are $10 US per person per night. There are no facilities along the trail so you must pack in your own food and water. We plan to do this hike on our next trip to Kauai so stay tuned! Someday I’ll have more details!
Also, everything I have read warns against swimming at Hanakapi’ai and Hanakoa beaches as the current is swift and strong and there is a nasty undertow. Many drownings have occurred at these beaches.
Equipment: Hiking shoes or shoes with good traction. If you're hiking past Hanakapi’ai Beach or camping anywhere along the trail you will need permits available from the State Parks Office in Lihue (or Honolulu). Campers will also need to pack in all their gear, food AND water as there are no facilities along the trail past Ke'e Beach. Bring your tent, camp stove, matches, propane, sleeping bag or sleep sack, etc. And please if you pack it in, pack it out. Respect the trail, respect the beach, leave only footprints.
Kauai has some of the most challenging hikes you can imagine. From the beginner to the professional, the trails of Kauai are awesome.
Equipment: Kauai hiking trails can take you along cliffs, moutains and beaches. Ensure you have a good pair of water resistant shoes, due to many trails will take you threw jungle streams and rivers. Due to the high rainfall count, you should plan on getting pretty muddy. Also ensure you have a good water pack and bug spray.
We used Seasport Divers to go to Ni'ihau but Bubbles Below and Fathom Five are just as good.
Charters leave early as its about a 2 hour trek to Ni'ihau. Most offer 3 tank dives with lunch. The dive sites themselves are pretty typical for Hawaii - alot of lava rock but not alot of coral. The fish life is amazing, with lots of colorful tropical fish. The highlights here however are the monk seals - one of which was waiting for us to get to the dive site and dive with him.
Other pelagics can be seen here as well including reef sharks and if you are lucky, hammerheads.
Equipment: Most shops can provide rental equipment. Tanks and weights are included in the price of the charter.
If you'd like to golf on a beautiful course designed by pro Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1989, the Mokihana has become popular with locals due to its lower fees. Not as challenging as the Kiele course, the Mokihana also seems to receive less maintenance and has been relegated to the status of the less deserving cousin course. (According to the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook "Personnel can be snotty, too")
While the Mokihana offers a pleasant golfing experience, it is not as spectacular as some of the other courses and might disappoint those who have been told to "make sure you golf at the Marriott." The adjacent airport and its accompanying jets can be a bit annoying. If your golfing days are few and precious here, consider playing the Kiele or driving to the north shore. But if you have golfing days to burn, the Mokihana is a pleasant course.
Equipment: Fees are $120, with discounts if you are staying at one of several resorts. (For example, Marriott customers pay $80) Price drops to $69 after 11 a.m. Carts are included in the price.
Kama'ainas pay $50.
About 10 percent of Kauai is accessible by road. That's great news if you enjoy hiking, because it means there's a lot of island out there waiting to be explored on foot. Of course, before you set out you'll need to know where you're going.
Write to the Hawaii Geographic Society, P.O. Box 1698, Honolulu, HI 96806, and ask for their information packet. A good book on the subject, Hawaiian Hiking Trails, by Craig Chisholm, offers trail descriptions by someone who has been there. You can also contact the Sierra Club, Kauai Group at http://www.hi.sierraclub.org/Kauai/kauai.html. Any of the above will prove helpful to your planning.
Good maps are also necessary. The University of Hawaii Press Reference Map of Kauai is available from the Hawaii Geographic Society and at bookstores on Kauai. Maps may also be obtained from the State Division of Forestry, P.O. Box 1671, Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766.
Three of Kauai's best trails:
The Kukui Trail
This 5-mile (round trip) trail drops 2,000 feet into spectacular Waimea Canyon, and offers the shortest route to the canyon floor. There's a large swimming hole at the bottom. The trail begins off the Iliau Loop Trail.
The Kuilau Ridge Trail
This 4.2-mile (round trip) hike offers dramatic views of small waterfalls and a wealth of flora. The trailhead is about a mile beyond the University of Hawaii Agricultural Experimental Station on Route 580.
The Kalalau Trail
This is the original Hawaiian trail into Kalalau Valley, and offers dramatic views of Na Pali Coast and Kee Beach. It begins at Kee Beach where Highway 56 ends. Two miles inland is Hanakapiai Falls, which cascades 300 feet to a pool below. The trail travels on to Kalalau Valley, and many hikers camp overnight at Hanakapiai and before continuing on the next day. The entire trip is best made by experienced hikers.
Equipment: The most difficult thing about a visit to Kauai - besides getting on the plane to return home - is knowing where to start once you get here. Opportunities for fun are virtually endless. So, what do you want to do first? You might start by checking out the various outdoor sports and other activities that are available on the island.
If you have the means, time, & opportunity...you MUST sail the Na Pali coast. It is one of the most spectacular experiences I have ever done. We did a morning sailing out of Port Allen on the south coast with Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures. It was approximately 5 1/2 hours long & worth every second. They offer two sailings - one at 7am and one at 1:30pm. I HIGHLY recommend the morning departure...here's why: The waters are calmer & you will likely see pods and pods of bottlenose & spinner dolphins. This, coupled with the splendor of the Na Pali coast will blow you away. There's also giant green sea turtles and flying fish. It is truly an amazing display of nature at its best. There's also food, beer, wine, & a snorkeling stop. This is very much worth the $$$. Don't miss Na Pali if you visit Kaua'i...you'll kick yourself if you don't. CHECK OUT MY TRAVELOGUE ON THE NA PALI COAST FOR GREAT PICS!!
Equipment: Bring sunscreen, towel, digital camera, & underwater cameras. They will all get a good workout.
Hanalei bay is a good place to catch some waves, both the novice and the experienced can enjoy surfing this here. Several companies gives surfing lessons here and further out the breakers can be quite challenging, of course depending on the weather conditions.
The sandy beach and relativley few rocks in treh bay make it a place where you dont have to worry about falling on rocks when falling off the board.
Equipment: You can rent boards in several surfshops in Hanalei.
After seeing the Na Pali coast by trail a few days earlier, and by helicopter the day before, we still had to see this one of a kind landmark from another angle, the ocean! Sailing aboard a modern 55 foot catamaran (those prone to seasickness, beware!), the trip takes about 5 hours in all. During this time with "Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures" you'll sail about half way up the Na Pali coast while enjoying wine and snacks. The view from here is even more stunning as the cliffs are so steep and high you literally can't see where they end. If the weather is fairly calm, on the way back you'll anchor and spend some time snorkeling. While fun, if you are used to snorkeling in crystal clear, reef strewn waters (such as the Caribbean), this won't be the highlight of your sail. However, the experience of Na Pali alone is worth the trip.
Note 1: The cost of this trip is advertised at US$129. However, many of the hotels and other attractions on the island seems to have special offers, so shop around and you might find this trip for as low as US$75.
Note 2: This sail could possible be listed under a "tourist-trap" activity, and perhaps it is, but for good reason. Tourist trap or not, the scenery and experience is worth it no matter how you're traveling.
Equipment: Bathing suit for snorkeling (all snorkel gear is provided), and some warm clothes as the sea breezes can get a little chilly.
Unfortunetly, we don't golf, but we heard many good things about the golf course at Hyatt Regency. The hotel guide boasts that the world's greatest golfers have played here - like Tiger Woods. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
The golf course has spectaular views, as does the entire property. If you are a golfer this hotel will be a dream come true!
We stayed right on Hanalei Bay, so every late afternoon, we would watch the local outrigger club doing their training. An outrigger is 45 feet long, weighs 400 pounds and is manned (or womanned) by a crew of six. The trick is not to paddle with 6 paddles, but to move in complete synchronization so the six paddles act as one paddle.
These crews had it down pat. They were so smooth and beautiful to watch as the sun set over the Pacific.
This is probably the most famous hike in Kauai. The trail goes for 11 miles and leads you to Na Pali Coast; the views along the way are simply beautiful. One needs a permit to go past the first 2 miles (it is assumed that you'll be camping if you go farther). At the end of the trail lies Kalalau Beach and above it the beautiful valley that you can see from the top of Waimea Canyon Drive at the Kalalau Lookout.
We went trolling for Marlin, Tuna, and Ono. We were lucky enough to each catch an Ono! Amy got a big one, about 45 pounds, Susan's was big too at about 30 pounds. WHAT A THRILL!!!
Equipment: Hana pa'a Charters - "4 person shared"... only we were lucky enough to be the only 2 people on the boat... so it was like a personal charter! Our boat was the ONLY boat in the harbor to catch anything that day!
Scuba diving! I always wanted to try it, but my husband was chicken. So my dad went with me.
I was a bit surprised to find out that there are a lot of people whole really do have a fear of breathing under water---with an air tank , of course! My husband refuses to even use a snorkel. But we did get him to do the free resort course and he seemed to have gotten the hang of it. But he still elected not to go out into the ocean. The company had a money back gaurantee---if you went out and didn't love it, they would bring you back in and not charge you for it.
I was also very surprised how easy it is to breathe with scuba gear. The pressurized air really flows into your lungs freely. Scuba diving is actually easier than snorkeling in that the surf didn't toss us around.
It is expensive---about $110 each. We got a 2 for 1 discount by listening to a timeshare presentation.
Getting up close and personal to the fish was fascinating to me. I found it exhilerating!
Equipment: I forget the name of the company we went with, but there are a lot of them. I would expect they all have excellent equipment. But don't think you'll save money and get something cheaper. Make sure the mask fits properly so water stays out. Do use a wet suit---even in Hawaii the water can be chilling.
Don't forget to take a camera!
Fishing from the pier near the airport. We caught several Bone Fish here. Talk to the locals, they will teach you how to set up your rig.
Equipment: Bring your rods, they have plenty of cheap fishing tackle in all the grocery stores.
2373 Ho'ohu Rd, Poipu, Hawaii, 96756, United States
Good for: Business
7083 Alamihi Rd., Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, United States
Good for: Business
It was a great place, good location. However, Kauai Coast Resort business practice is desired to be...more