The untouched Kauai is beautiful beyond description. Synonymous with tranquillity and mind-boggling natural beauty, the garden island is like an Eden.
With impressive swimming holes and quiet coves, cascading waterfalls, cinematic coastlines, bright- emerald valleys, tropical flowers, dramatic cliffs and cloud-capped peaks is no surprise that the oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is considered to be the most perfect masterpiece that was ever seen by the human eye.
Dreams replace reality in Kauai‘s magical North Shore. The heavenly beauty of the verdant isle has been immortalized in films from South Paficic (1958) and Blue Hawaii (1961) to The Descendants (2011).
The majestic taro fields, the fresh floral air, the surf-assailed beaches, the slower pace of life and the unique Bohemian aloha vibe promised a treat for the senses, so there we went eager to find that insanely beautiful tropical paradise!
Haena Beach Park
It was a warm and cloudess summer day, and I was assailed by a strong desire to run to the beach. We took the car and hit the road. After spending some time in both Tunnels and Secret Beach, we headed to Haena Beach Park, commonly called the “end of the road“.
Also known as Maniniholo beach, this pristine golden-sand beach is exposed to open ocean and high surf which is what makes it so special. Imagine lounging on an extremely wild and truly unspoiled beach.
Finding ourselves entirely alone, we dreamt with our eyes open. The myriad of sensual blue hues of the ocean were impossible to define. The intense blue of the Pacific, the velvety green shady trees, the golden sunset gilding the sky… There is absolutely nothing more romantic than watching the last bit of the day’s sun disappear beneath the brilliant turquoise ocean. The resultant palette of perfection is definitely one of the best reasons to come to Haena Beach Park.
If the stunning views aren’t enough, you can hike along the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile route along the island’s secluded and idyllic Na Pali Coast that is definitely among the most paradisiacal paths on earth (and eventually, one of the world´s scariest hikes). The arduous Kalalau Trail begins from ke´e Beach which is at the far west end of Haʻena State Park.
Wet and Dry Caves
The northern part of Kauai is known for its impressive wet and dry caves. Waikanaloa wet cave is the easiest of the two wet caves to access for its convenient location near the road. Legend has it that Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, dance and volcanoes, created these caves for her lover until she abandoned them after it had been filled by water.
Located up the hill from Waikanaloa, the second wet cave known as Waikapala’e, may be difficult to find since there are no signs. A trek down the road will lead you to the Maninholo Dry Cave, named after a chief fisherman of the menehune (little people) who dug this cave in search of a supernatural beast that stole their fish.