Photo Essay: Hawaii's Garden Isle

5.11.2011
by ali

On a recent trip to the islands of Hawaii, I spent several days in Kauai, enjoying the views of the lush valleys, tropical rainforest, and sharp cliffs leading to bright blue water. Unlike most of the surrounding islands Kauai, often referred to as the Garden Isle, still maintains the feel of a small island, largely undeveloped by mass tourism. The laid back atmosphere, small towns, and one-lane bridges make for a unique, rich culture. I spent my time on the North Shore in Princeville near Hanalei. To me, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Though the weather was not ideal, party cloudy with a drizzle of rain most of the time, it was still around 80 degrees and did not prevent any of our planned activities.

Kauai Cliffs
Hanalei

Kalalau Trail

One of my favorite things to do in Kauai is hike the Kalalau trail, which winds along the Napali coastline offering incredible views of the beaches below. Napali is one of the most beautiful and remote areas of Kauaii. The entire hike is 11 miles, though there are shorter trails and you can view streams at 2, 6, 8, and 10 miles into the hike. The hike begins at Ke’e beach and continues along high cliffs over looking the ocean and ending at Kalalau Valley.

Kalalau Trail
Kalalau Trail

Manini-Holo Dry Cave

On the way to Kalalau trail be sure to stop at the Manini-holo Dry Cave, near Ha’ena Beach Park. There are several dry caves in Ha’ena, North Kauai. The caves were formed when the ocean was much higher and the waves hit against the lava, carving away the rock. However, Hawaiian legend states that the chief fisherman in the town dug this cave in search of the supernatural beast, akua, who was stealing their fish.

Maniniholo Dry Cave
Maniniholo Dry Cave

Hanalei River

There is a great lookout near Princeville of lower Hanalei valley, where you can see the Hanalei River. The river flows from Mount Wai’ale’ale for almost 16 miles before meeting the Pacific Ocean at beautiful Hanalei Bay.

Hanalei Valley

Simply taking a drive through Kauai offers relaxing, beautiful scenery.

Kaua’i

Enjoy the spirit of aloha on Hawaii’s most scenic island. Looking for a great Hawaii eco hotel? We can help! Fill out our custom tours form online or give us a call at (866) 577-2462 to start planning your green holiday!

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