Kauai is Hawaii's "Garden of Eden," alternately known as the "Garden Isle." It is the tropical paradise people dream about, with lush valleys and towering green mountains, cascading waterfalls and freshwater lagoons, secluded beaches and wild gardens bursting forth in bushes of plumeria, hibiscus, anthuriums, orchids, ginger and birds of paradise. Kauai is also Hawaii's oldest island, steeped in history and intertwined, more than any other island, with Hawaii's mythical little people, the menehune. Besides which, the island has provided the setting for such films as South Pacific, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii.
The Islands of Hawaii
Kauai is the northernmost and fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands, encompassing 558 square miles. It is made up of a single volcanic land mass, largely centered around the 3,000-plus feet deep Wai'ale'ale crater (Mount Wai'ale'ale is also the highest point on the island, elevation 5,148 feet, and the wettest spot on earth, with an average annual rainfall of 451 inches). Like all the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai, too, has a dry, sunny side, the South Shore, and a rain-soaked, scenic one, the North Shore. In equally sharp contrast lie the island's East Side, home to Kauai's population centers of Lihue and Kapa'a, and its West Side, remote and sparsely populated.
Kauai's principal draws are the stunning Na Pali Coast along the island's northeast corner, with steep cliffs plunging into the ocean and sandy coves tucked away among them, accessible only by boat or on foot; the Waimea Canyon, spectacular in both its colors of rust and ochre as well as its chasms and maze-like formations, often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"; Lumahai Beach, the island's loveliest, on the North Shore, and Poipu, the island's most popular, on the South Shore; the twin Wailua Falls, featured on TV's Fantasy Island; the lush Hanalei Valley, with its green patchwork of taro; and the Wai'ale'ale crater which, however, can only be seen on a helicopter tour. A couple of plantation-era estates, Grove Homestead Farm and Kilohana, are worth visiting too. The island also has more than a 100 restaurants, and facilities for virtually all the watersports and outdoor recreational pursuits you can think of.
Kauai is situated approximately 95 miles northwest of Oahu and 17 miles east-northeast of Ni'ihau. The island has a population of just over 56,000, and draws more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
© Indian Chief Travel Guides
Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More
Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More
Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More
Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More
Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More
St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More
Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More
St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More
Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More