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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.
Updated Dec 6, 2003
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.
Written Feb 5, 2004
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!
Updated Nov 14, 2003
Address: Nawiliwili Harbor
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.
Updated Dec 4, 2009
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.
Updated Oct 3, 2006
Address: Port Allen - south coast of Kaua'i
Phone: (800) 535-0830
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.
Written Jun 5, 2007
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.
Written Jan 18, 2005
Address: Port Allen Harbor in Ele'ele
Phone: (800) 535-0830
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.
Written Jun 2, 2008
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.
Updated Jan 17, 2008
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.
Written Oct 19, 2008
1 Review and 408 Opinions It was a great place, good location. However, Kauai Coast Resort business practice is desired to be...