Named the “Garden Isle”, even the most hardened traveller cannot fail to be awe struck by this wild and lush Pacific jewel. To experience the true Kauai you must stay in the North East of Kauai at Hanalei Bay, which is the picture-postcard image of wild Hawaii, with lush rainforests, towering mountains, and ravines dropping down to the soft, white sand.
However to maintain the lush greenery, this side of the Island does rain alot. Thankfully it is tropical rain and on most days the sun will also come out at some point!
The luxury resorts sit above the bay with fabulous views and golf courses. A short drive will take you to the pretty town of Hanalei. Sit out with a top class burger from the authentic, old fashioned Bubbas Burgers, then stroll along the front and watch the surfers traverse the waves.
The St Regis Princeville is your best luxury option here. Sitting on a spectacular beach, the building isnt anything special but the interior, service and food are excellent and the view is arguably the best view on the whole of Hawaii.
If you are brave, you could get off the luxury wagon and try camping under the blanket of stars in Na Pali Coast State Park, on the North-West coast of the island. This positions you perfectly to walk the legendary Kalalau Trail, a strenuous 11-mile trek taking in Hanakoa Falls and ending at the beautiful wilderness of Kalalau Beach. For those of us who cant bear a night without an ensuite, Kauai Nature Tours will escort you along on a number of gorgeous treks that only last for the day.
The other highlight of the Island is to take a helicopter tour, but please choose your helicopter company carefully. Blue Hawaiian had another fatal crash in their EC130 helicopter in 2011. Meanwhile, the A-Star 350 continued it’s perfect safety record with Safari Helicopters and Air Maui. More information can be found here.
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