Fall is low season for the islands of Hawaii. I thought that it was also the ideal seasonal time to go to Kauai, just like it is for the other islands. But, turns out the winds are a bit high on the Napali coast starting around this time of year that there are risks of your boat trips not making it out to the iconic coastline. So, I suggest going just a bit earlier - but luckily we got some amazing weather! Unlike the other islands, this was my first time in Kauai. I had this silly idea that it was more of a romantic spot and was waiting to go with a significant other. But, turns out one of my female besties was up for the trip, over my bday weekend, no less! I am loved. I've got to say I'm glad I went - it's now my second favorite island and it's definitely the most lush and beautiful island. Reminded me a bit of Costa Rica's rainforests and the view of the Napali coast from the water - stunning.
Ok, the important stuff. Because neither us have been, we decided to hit the biggest, most popular sections of the island. Because of this, we stayed at the amazing Koloa Landing Resort - lucky to stay in the nearly brand new rooms and upgraded to the 1 bedroom suite with the hot tub right in our backyard!
We're also super Chinese - great value for a 4 star. It's in south shore and about 45 minutes to Waimea Canyon and about 1 hour 15 minutes to the Hanalei (near the Kalalau trail). We really liked this set up, but next time would likely split the trip and find a place to stay on the north side to really explore the trails and sights up there.
...more updates on the resort in its own post coming soon.
Here's the spreadsheet:
On recommendation from lots of people, we focused on hikes. Day 2 we went with Waimea Canyon area and Day 4 was up in north shore for the Kalalau trail.
Waimea Canyon: Awa'awaphu Trail & Pihia Trail
North Shore: Kalalau Trail (first 2 miles)
South Shore: Coffee Plantation (ok, not really a hike, but we walked around!)
Click for Pihia Trail & Awa'awaphi Trail overviews as part of the Waimea Canyon (west side) day trip.
The Boat Excursion
I got a lot of recommendations to see the vastness of the Napali coast either via helicopter or by boat. We with the boat option and since we were staying in Poipu (south island) we went with Captain Andy's which is at Port Allen, only about a half an hour drive from our hotel.
...updates coming on Captain Andy's in another post soon!
Quit my non-profit career in a fit of YOLO rage. Blessed enough to go from wanderlust to wanderslut. Collecting cities & countries, not men.