Na Pali Coast, Kauai
Na Pali (Cliffs in Hawaiian) is beautiful awe inspiring site! Kalalau Valley, the largest valley on Na Pali. This point and the less frequented Pu'u o Kila Lookout provides the greatest views of the Pacific. The Kalalau Valley was inhabited until 1919. The Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile hike down steep seacliffs, through waterfalls and to the ocean, is one of the most popular in the world. Views from the lookout change minute to minute depending on the ever-present clouds. If the clouds are coming from inland, they usually disappear quickly. However, if there is a cloud bank moving in from the ocean, it usually lasts indefinitely. At 4,000 foot elevation, the air here is much cooler than along the coast or in the valleys.
There are two viewing points past the Waimea Canyon observatory. Go to the upper one and walk carefully down the slippery path to the right. That is where the best pictures can be taken.
This is a must do!! It is a bit expensive, but the Na Pali Coast on Kauai is something you have to see. I personally think the best way to see it is by taking a sunset cruise (unless you are MUCH better kayakers than we are and want to see it that way).
If you come to Kaua'i, you MUST see the Na Pal'i coast. It is only accessible by sea or helicopter. This was the end of the line where I could drive. These following shots are the Northwest coast of this topographical marvel. The Na Pal'i coast is most recently renowned for its filming location for Jurassic Park.
This was in my opinion the most beautiful sight on Kauai. Following the Waimea Canyon Road stop at Kalalau Lookout or go further at Pu'u o Kila Lookout to experience an amazing view of the Kalalau Valley, a green, rugged canyon that opens onto the Pacific. Kalalau Valley is the largest on Na Pali and it was inhabited until 1919. Sometimes you can see rainbows over the valley (it happened when we were there; you can see it in the picture if you look closely). There's is no trail down from this spot, but you can hike the 11-mile Kalalau trail to get to the beach at the bottom of the valley.
Next to the helicopter ride, I believe this is a must do activity. It is a wonderful experience! After considering various companies we chose a small family owned company called Makana Charters and we were very pleased with them. Mike, the owner is a wonderful captain and it was a very informative tour. One of the main reasons we chose them is because they only take 13 people on their 32-ft power catamaran. This made the trip, I feel, a lot more personal and then we could go inside the caves and snorkel on the Nu‘alolo Kai beach (you can only go here if the boat has less than 18 people on it). We took a morning tour, which incidently is the best time to see a pod of spinner dolphins. We were very pleased to be able to see a pod of Hawaiin Spinner Dolphins. They swim in pods of 500 and they were really showing off while we stopped to watch them. Personally I could watch them all day. They were very entertaining.
The view of the Na Pali coast by boat is breathtaking. The views are beautiful, and the caves were very cool to go inside of. The boat left from Port Allen and we went about 100 yards from Ke'e Beach. We then went back and went snorkeling at Nu‘alolo Kai beach. They offered a buffet style lunch and then head back to the port. The trip back to port is much faster than on the way there, so hold on!
The boat tour was a lo
Take a NaPali Coast day excursion on a Catamaran. We booked our trip through Pleasant Hawaiian and they made arranging it easy, but pretty much any hotel can hook you up with one of the many outfits that run these day trips. It's a whole day, but it's worth it. They run you out along the coast, which, in itself is worth it, but then they let you snorkel at a couple of beautiful spots. Since the NaPali is so inaccessible, this is really the only way to see it unless you hike it. And even then, you don't get the views you get from the boat.
For us, the greatest part of it was the trip back. We saw whales and a whole pod of dolphins catching a ride on the front of the boat. It was awesome...
At the end of Highway 550 in Koke‘e State Park you'll find the Kalalau Lookout. This spectacular panoramic view of the valley is the culmination of your drive here.
Please see my tip regarding Waimea Canyon, which is what you will be driving past to get to Kalalau Lookout.
Be sure to see my tip on the Ultralight Flight I took over Na Pali and into this valley.
These excursions are pretty competitive in price, but some kind of discount coupon is readily available at your hotel. Arrangements can be made the day before, so there's no urgency to book before you arrive in the paradise islands. In any case, we choose the catamaran that headed to off the Na Pali Coast State Park, where the extraordinary cliffs are breathtaking but difficult to see from the island itself. These boats all leave from Lehue, and head out over the choppy waters of the east coast between Niiahu and Kuaui. If you are prone to becoming sea sick this trip will test your limits, especially on the way back in the afternoon. I'm one such person. I did fine on the way out in the morning, enjoying the flying fish and dolphins, and later the stunning Na Pali Coast. At the northern end of the island, there's a place where the water has eroded caves, and the waves smash against a peninsula of durable rock that juts into the north Pacific. I fed the fish during the snorkle dive off Niiahu, and on the way back, I was in pretty bad shape, but once on shore, I recovered quickly and ate a fine dinner. Don't skip this trip if you fear becoming sea sick.
A catamaran tour along the Na Pali Coast is expensive (99$), but worth it!
Seven hour boat trip, incl. breakfast, lunch, drinks and snorkeling.
The Na Pali coast can only be admired by helicopter, boat or, partly, on foot.
Huge, bizarre cliffs seem to rise straight out of the ocean, sometimes interrupted by green valleys. At the foot of those cliffs are white-sand beaches, caves and waterfalls.
A breathtaking miracle of nature and the highlight of any visit to the island!!!
This is the most beautiful part of the island which is accessible by car.
Beautiful beaches; colorful, lush vegetation; the North coast has it all in abundance.
The coastal highway ends at the starting point of the Kalalau-trail along the Na-Pali coast. Even if you don't have time to walk the whole trail, it's worth hiking to the first view point (1h).
Though most people talk of hiking the Na Pali Coast Trail (and justifiably so), another worthwhile hike is to the peaks overlooking the Na Pali Coast. Because you drive most of the way up, it's not a demanding hike, but when the clouds clear the view can be exhilierating.
One must to do activity on Kauai is hike on the Kalalau trail. The Kalalau trail is in 11 mi. treck through the Na Pali coast: "the cliffs" 2,ooo ft. cliffs fall dramaticaly into the ocean. You dont have to hike the whole 11 miles to get an apreciation of the coast line. about a half mile up there is a stunning view of the entire coast.. Two miles in is Hanakapiai Beach this is a great day hike and the end of the road for about 99.9% of hikers. For the brave few that make it all the way they are rewarded with the Beautiful Kalalau valley which can only compare to the garden of Eden. And the untainted Kalalau beach. Plan on camping there. I recommend Near the waterfall the social gathering place. If your there in the summer hike to the end of the beach and swim around to Honopu you will not see a soul, and you will be blown away. Start out early once noon hits the parking lot is like a zoo, whith not many spots.
The Napali coast. If you can hop on one of the boat trips. They will take you along the breathtaking cliffs, stop and snorkle with sea turtles plus feed you lunch.
Or take a helicopter ride. Actually you can even hike it. Either or, but its a must.
Or hike it.
To give you some perspective on how gigantic the Na Pal'i coast is...check out the little white lines in the middle of the photo...just over the treeline. That's a pretty decent sized waterfall! Check out my WATERFALLS ALBUM for bigger, better shots.
This hiking trail is at the very end of the road on the north shore of Kauai. It begins at Ke'e beach where the Na Pali coast begins to rise. It is a very popular hiking trail and worth the effort. It is actually 11 miles long. The last 9 miles can only be hiked with a permit. A good dayhike can be made from the first 2 miles. It offers good views of the rugged Na Pali coast as well as a visit to a beach. Be advised that the beaches off this trail can be very dangerous (especially Hanakapiai Beach). The vegetation is lush, and the trail climbs and descends quite a few times as it crosses over the ridges. I would advise good shoes since the trail can be wet and slippery. Water shoes might help assist in stream crossings. The hike will be very memorable for those who enjoy the outdoors. I recommend an early start to avoid the most crowded times as well as grabbing a decent parking space at the trailhead.