Exploring Kauai island this summer was breathtaking, exciting, exhausting, and unforgettable, all wrapped up in one. Hawaii is usually a typical touristy place, most people have this one on their buck list, and if your from the US, it can usually get checked off the list without a 12 hour flight. Oahu and Maui are usually the most popular of the islands but, Kauai is a hidden gem!
The island of Kauai felt like home, it was not heavily trafficked, it was very quiet, and there was some very unique adventure spots for all the wanderlusts like myself. This was actually a bit of a trek for us coming from south Florida so the total flight travel time was ten hours. We changed planes in ATL, then LAX, then made a small plane switch in Honolulu and landed in Kauai in the evening. I always love getting to my destination during the day time, so I see all of the terrain, culture, and surroundings but this time I didn't get to...... I knew I would be up early to explore! We had a beautiful night time tiki dinner on the resort that evening and relaxed by the sea. This was literally the only time we spent at the resort, and the only time I wore a dress! After this everything started to get real dirty.....
Me and my husband called this our pre-honeymoon adventure since we were getting married four months later, which was quite the adventure itself in the mountains......but thats another story, or yet another blog post! Ha
We stayed in the Kaua'i Marriot Resort in Lihue, Hawaii. It was a gorgeous resort right on the beach and our room was nestled right in front of the beach, there is several towers and buildings so not everyone gets this up close beach view. Below is an image of the morning sunrise we caught the next day. Just because I was about to have a jam packed day of exploring, didn't mean I couldn't start it right with a mimosa....every single day I ordered room service wake up with four mimosa's ha! Two to get started and another to take to the beach and watch the sunrise.... it was perfection let me tell you. I could have stayed in this spot all day long!
Up on the to do list was:
The first thing we really wanted to do was just get out there in nature and start exploring, we had no plan but we knew we wanted to see the Wailua Waterfall which was the closest to us. We drove over to the falls and seen the amazing view from above where everyone else was also taking pictures and video taking in the breathtaking view. My husband put together a quick video of our trip and you can really see this view at the intro.....he filmed al of this with the GoPro Hero, and the Karma Grip. Moreover, I still wanted to get down there and explore so we had to improvise.
I seen a local guy selling fresh coconuts at the falls to all the people that were coming up to view it. I asked him if there was a way to get down there and go explore the falls more up close and in person, he told us how to get down there and we quickly noticed this was probably frequently traveled by locals and maybe a few lucky tourists just trying to find their way like us.
It was a steep climb down to the falls, but there was already some ropes in place to help and we were geared up and ready anyways. Hydration is always key when your outdoors, you never know how long its going to take, how much energy you may consume etc...I highly recommend having a Camelbak for the trip so hydration isn't an issue and you can stay focused on all the sights and sounds.
Once we got down there it was so gorgeous, so much more than from above! We seen the vastness of the falls and could feel the mist all over us as well as the amazing strong sound of the water as it flowed over the ridge into mid air and falling amongst the rocks and water below. We climbed all the way around the the back of the falls and was the only ones here. It was an unforgettable experience and completely free mind you.
Next up way the ATV Tour, it was a must to go see where exactly they filmed the movie Jurassic park.
This was what I was referring to when I said getting a little dirty earlier in the post, it was about a total of 4 hours total and we stopped at another small waterfall for lunch, seen some really cool mining spots and all the different scenery of Kaua'i.
The images just DO NOT do it justice, or show the vastness of this place.... it was beautiful and so peaceful.
Next, we got to go meet up with one of my friends from way back that now resides in Kaua'i. I have to give him a shoutout for showing us around, recommending some great places and showing us Polihale State park.
The trails were just what we needed.... with amazing views, seeing the ocean meet the sky, cliffs edges, history and more. One must do spot everyone talks about is the Waimea Canyon, which was what we explored our last day in Kauai. There is multiple trails here to choose from and a great place to get some picture to!
During the trip my second favorite thing besides the waterfall trek was this hike! It was pretty much just us the entire time, it was a great workout being just over six miles long and a gain in elevation. This was our view from the top, you could walk all the way out to the tip of this cliff if you wanted to it was defiantly a must do hike if your going to Kaua'i.
Overall, this was such a great trip it just flew by fast. We only had three full days to explore so I recommend at least a week for most people. The food at the resort was good, but I like to eat local...so we checked out some of the local food spots and i have to. say there was really great food around. I started to get a little to comfortable, I told my husband I think I could live here!
I look forward to another trip back to the islands in the near future, but this year Yosemite is on my list.