The second destination of our Hawaii vacation was Kauai, also called “The Garden Island". We spent here four days, and despite the fact that the island is not as famous as our first Hawaiian destination - Maui, I found it to be even more beautiful, with amazing nature and quiet beaches.
*For more pictures and less words, I've got plenty of pictures on my Instagram
One of my favorite pictures from Kauai. #nofilter
We arrived in Kauai late during the night, and things didn't seem to start off that great - it was raining and we got the worse rental car ever. But things would change the next day, and I will start falling in love with Kauai soon.
Day 1 - Discovering the South shore
We started the first day in Kauai with visiting a few places on the south shore of the island. First stop was Spouting Horn Park, where at every few waves, water shoots in the sky through an opening made by lava in the rocks. We continued the morning with a chilling session in the sun, at Poipu Beach Park. The beach was quite crowded and with many (sometimes crying) children, but a seal pup got lost on the beach and we could observe and admire it from the distance. Volunteers made sure that tourists cannot get too close to the seal and that the pup is enjoying the sun as well. 😃
Myself, I love hanging out at the beach for hours, but Le Boyfriend got bored soon, so we continued the sightseeing at Shipwreck Beach and walking on the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, an easy coastline trail with amazing view and cliffs.
Mahaulepu Heritage Trail
After lunch (at the very not fancy but very delicious Savage Shrimp), we rented bicycles at the rental company next to our hostel in Kapaa and spent the rest of the afternoon biking on the bike path along the south shore. While biking, we even spotted humpback whales not too far out in the ocean. At the end of the bike path, Monkey Beach welcomed us with almost no people, shadow and nice waves. We ended up the day with Happy Hour, dinner and drinks, and I was already in love with this magic island.
Biking in Kauai
Day 2 - Wild beaches and Jurassic Park
Our hostel was located in Kapaa, few steps away from the beach and had a great rooftop view, where I enjoyed a yummy breakfast from the nearby fruit stand. Heaven. After packing our backpacks, we headed to the west of the island to visit Polihale State Park, a wild and quiet beach at the end of a dirt road. Soft sand, tall foamy waves and framed by the Na Pali coast on one end, this was a magical place to be. To me it felt like a surreal combination between Jurassic Park and paradise island. In fact, that’s what it was.
Polihale State Park
For the second part of the day, we headed to Waimea Canyon, an impressive canyon with lookouts to tall waterfalls and towards the Napali coast at the end.
The famous coast from Jurassic Park was expensive at sight, so we ended up spending the late afternoon waiting for the clouds to clear out and to see at least a bit of the coast. In the end, the weather did not disappoint and we also enjoyed an amazing sunset over the clouds. We spent the night in a a nearby campground in Koke'e State Park. Kauai got me hooked.
Napali Coast seen from Kalalau lookout
Day 3 - Kayaking, waterfalls and secret beaches
I love Kauai - and unfortunately did hundreds and hundreds of chicken which are living everywhere on the island - even on the most remote campground. So, once again their singing skills woke me up around 6AM and announced that a new day has started. No time for sleeping, that’s not what vacations are for…
For first half of the day, we have planned a kayak trip on the Wailua river and a hike to the Secret falls. We packed some poke, sushi and seaweed salad from the local supermarket (favorite food during this trip), rented kayaks from Kayak Kauai next to Wailua river and kayaked up the river for a few miles and “parked” our kayak at the trailhead. The hike to the waterfalls was packed with tourists, but nice (and muddy!) nevertheless. Our exquisite lunch was greatly appreciated at the end of the hike, and soon we had to head back to return the kayaks and drive to our last campground - Anini Beach - located on the north of Kauai.
Kayaking on Wailua river
On the way there, we stopped by the Secret Beach - a magical place out of this world with an atmosphere that pictures can't describe. We spent the evening at Hanalei Bay, watching locals paddle boarding and fishing from the pier, and watching the last Hawaiian sunset for this trip.
2 by 2 at Hanalei Bay
Day 4 - A hike to remember for the last day
There we were, at the end of our one week break in Hawaii, but still with an exciting day ahead of us. The chickens on the beach did not disappoint and woke us up before 7AM, and soon we were at the Hanakapi Falls Trailhead in the Napali Coast State Park, a fairly popular and accessible trail with amazing views, trees and cliffs. The trail goes up to the Hanakapi falls, but we stopped at the Hanakapi'ai Beach since we had to make it back to the airport for our flight.
Napali Coast again
On the way back to the airport, we visited Queen Bath Beach, a spectacular but dangerous rock formation called “beach” by some (and enjoyed a packed sushi lunch there), and I had my last fruit smoothie delight at my favorite fruit stand on the island. Kauai is perfect for fish and fresh fruit, and these are two of my favorite things to eat in the whole world, to the point of eating sushi/poke twice per day and the rest fruit in one form or another.
After four wonderful days in Kauai, I was nowhere ready to head back to the Pacific Northwest, and still had a bunch of things that we didn’t cross from our list... yet :)
Kauai, I’ll be back someday.
Hiking on Hanakapiai Falls Trail, Napali Coast State Park