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Kauai HI: One of Hawaii's Best Islands to Visit...

Updated on March 26, 2011

Is Kauai HIThe Perfect Island For You?

The Hawaiian Islands are a great place to visit, and there are several options to think about when considering which one to see first. Most visitors will be flying directly into the Honolulu airport in Oahu, and then proceeding to their ultimate destination on another flight. The four main islands of Hawaii are Oahu, Kauai HI, Maui, and the big island of Hawaii. All have certain charms and just about everyone has their favorite, and I’m going to talk about one of my favorites, Kauai HI.

Kauai HI is a much older island, being the first major island “born” in the Hawaiian chain. Basically, Kauai HI started growing about where the big island “Hawaii” is now, but shifted over gradually as the volcanic plates moved underneath. As the islands shifted one by one, the next island would spring up as the volcanic lava would bubble up out of the water to form land. Today, this process is still happening on the big island and shows no sign of stopping. Since Kauai HI is much older than the others, it shows more sign of wind and water erosion on the rocks and soil and has a deep red clay appearance everywhere. It still does have some of the black sand on the coast, but inland you can see the clay all over when hiking the hills and valleys.

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon

Jurassic Park Helicopter Ride on Kauai HI...

Some of the more scenic sights on the island include the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” (Waimea canyon), which is a very large valley nestled in the mountains that you drive up into. This is a must see when visiting Kauai HI, and you’ll see the state bird of Hawaii, the Nene, living here. Incredible vistas and panoramic views abound here, so make sure to bring your camera! You’ll probably want both still and video to record for posterity…

Another fantastic attraction on Kauai HI that you must see is the helicopter flight over the island. Out of all four major islands, this is the helicopter flight you should see if you can only do one. Many movies were filmed here, including King Kong, South Pacific, and of course Jurassic Park, because of the tremendously lush jungle area called the Na Pali coast. This is a very rough and hard to reach area on the far side of the island that looks like it should have dinosaurs crawling all over the place! Do you remember the helicopter scene from the first Jurassic Park movie where they had “wind shear” and dropped fairly quickly by the waterfall? Well, they really work that into the flight, and at one point you are flying through a narrow valley with tropical lush foliage all around you and you are zigzagging back and forth to get through the valley… At the end you suddenly come out at the coast and see the deep blue sea with white capped foamy waves lapping at the shore! It is very scenic and inspiring, and some pilots will play the Jurassic Park music as you go through there… You’ll love it!

The Fern Grotto in Kauai HI...

The Fern Grotto is also something that you absolutely have to see and do while you are visiting the island, and this is located more on the northern coast on the tropical Wailua River, which is the only navigable river in the island chain. You’ll take a very beautiful flat-bottomed boat ride and visit many of the various kinds of foliage, plants, and trees that grow only in these islands. This is also a sacred river to the Hawaiian natives, and it travels along with incredible views of volcanoes and jungle.

Most of the finer hotels and surfing are of course on the northern coast, and because hotels are always trying to avoid the windward or wettest side of the island, more toward the east. Kauai HI is actually one of the wettest spots on the planet, if not THE wettest. It gets more rainfall than any other place tested because of the high mountains or volcanoes which block the wind as it comes in. Once the rain laden wind hits the mountain tops it releases all of the water stored in the clouds as rain, and it all falls on that side of the mountain. So one side is all tropical and lush, and the other side of the island which includes the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, is much drier as a result.

Kauai HI really is an amazing place, and a favorite among honeymooners around the world. It has always been to me the best island that speaks of romance and adventure, and there is plenty to do there to keep you occupied! Stay in Kauai as your home base, but be sure to venture out to the other islands and see the sights, there is plenty to do there also! Have fun!

Other Great Places Travel Destinations:

  • Maui - Maui is a beautiful island and one of the nicest in the Hawaiian Island chain. Many people consider Maui to actually be the best place to stay and sightsee, and there are many reasons for that…

  • Atlantis Resort, the Bahamas - You’ll love this resort on Paradise Island, near Nassau, and the many fun activities available for you and your family. Swim with dolphins, snorkel in a secluded cove with tropical fish, or enjoy the massive water park on property!

  • Jamaica - This is an island paradise to many people and is a great location in the Caribbean for those looking for a shorter trip. Lots of friendly people, great beaches, and awesome fun activities!


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    • scubadoggy profile image

      scubadoggy 6 years ago

      Thanks, all the islands of Hawaii are fantastic!

    • ColibriPhoto profile image

      ColibriPhoto 6 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Nicely written. This is a great hub. Looking forward to more.