The first thing that comes to mind when I think of our trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, is paradise! The majestic beauty of Kauai is literally jaw dropping, and there is lush scenery at every turn. This is the first in a series of posts that we will be sharing from our trip, as we have so many great pictures, details and fun things to share! This was one of our all time favorite trips and we just fell in love with Kauai. It's definitely a place we hope to return to one day!
We stayed on the North shore, so we have lots of great recommendations and things to do on that side of the island, but we actually managed to cover each side of the island in some capacity. The North shore was very laid back and a bit less touristy than some of the other parts of the island, so for us it was the perfect area to stay for a low key getaway. We ate so much delicious food, found some incredible hikes and enjoyed some surfing in the most beautiful place we could imagine!
One of the first things we did when we arrived to the island was find a hike. Kauai is known for its beautiful landscapes and incredible hiking. One of the best things that I brought along with me were these hiking shoes that I shared recently. They were seriously a life saver, especially because some of the hikes were slick and very muddy so it was key to have shoes with extra grip.
Kalalau Trail Hike
Our first hike was on the Kalalau trail, which runs along the Na'Pali Coast. In total, the Kalalau trail spans 11 miles, but we just did the first couple of miles out on the trail from Ke'e Beach to Hanakapi'ai. This was a great introduction hike for us and not too strenuous. It was however very muddy, as we hear is often the case during the winter months. If you are just looking for some great views but aren't much of a hiker, there is an incredible lookout just a half mile into the hike (pictured below).
Below is the gorgeous view the from lookout point I mentioned.
Pictured below is the beach that we hiked to before turning back. Leading up to the beach the trail was very muddy and slippery so this was our stopping point. In order to get to the beach, there is a large stream of water to wade through about knee high, which was a fun adventure!
Ho'opi'i Falls Hike
Another amazing hike that we found on the east side of the island is the hike to Ho'opi'i falls. This is one of the waterfalls that was featured in the movie Jurassic Park, and it really felt like the movie on the way to the falls, minus all of the dinosaurs! There were lots of lush trees, plants, streams and vines, and it felt like a jungle! There was a smaller waterfall on the way that we stopped off at and then we made our way to Ho'opi'i Falls.
The first, smaller waterfall.
It was a fun excursion to get to Ho'opi'i Falls, we climbed over some fallen trees, crawled through vines and scaled some rocks.
We even passed by some goats!
... and then we arrived!
There was even a water hole with a rope swing at the bottom of the falls!
Wailua Falls Overlook
On the east side of the island, just south of Kapa'a is Wailua Falls. This is the perfect spot to visit if you are looking for a break from hiking and want to see a beautiful waterfall by car. You can drive up to the Wailua Falls overlook, and it's also a great option on a rainy day!
The view from the opposite side of the road by the Wailua Falls overlook.