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a VirtualTourist member


Kauai specific questions


We will be returning to Kauai for a 5 day trip. We went 2 years ago and stayed 4 days, we didn't know much about the island at that time and are searching to plan our next trip better.

On the first visit, we stayed in a hotel in Kapaa, we liked the area, being kind of central.

On this visit, we are looking at condos (we will be 4), we have spotted some at Princeville, at first view it seems kind of far from Poipu and the Canyon... what do you guys think?

To help you out, here's a list of things we are looking forward to do during our 5 day trip.

- Waimea Canyon + hang out at Poipu beaches/area,
- Kalalau trail
- Kayak to Secret Falls
- Snorkelling
- Queen's bath
- Hang out at beaches

We did visit Kauai once and know our way around it, but are not so aware of the special places.

So here are my specific questions :

- Does the east/north (somewhat max 30 minutes from Princeville) of Kauai offer a good enough variety of beaches and snorkelling to cover 2-3 days, so that we do not have to run around the island for those activities?

- Is there any special places that you would suggest (beaches, treks, waterfalls, activities) ?

- Would Kauai be a nice place to learn to surf (similar to Waikiki), and if yes, where at?

- Does Waimea Canyon offer treks that are spectacular? (In my opinion, simply looking at the Canyon from the observation areas is spectacular), are we missing out by just looking at it without walking right into it?

- So Helicopter rides leave from the airport? Are you aware if you must book in advance, or are you able to get in just a few days prior?

- Golf, how good is Kauai for golf? Any specific courses to recommand? I know golfing in Hawaii can be expensive, let's say something in the range of 40$ - 90$ for the round (not sure what those prices get you..)

Thanks all,

3 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Would also like to add we are going in June, in case the weather is different in certain parts of the island..

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles

I don't know that I can offer up any suggestions that you haven't already covered. I'm not a great snorkeler but found Tunnels Beach very warm and easy to swim. Not too many waves and they have a nice sandy beach. Here is a link to my Kauai page if you would like to see my pics and tips:

[original VT link]

Have a wonderful trip!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Tampa

I've been to Kauai three times and each time spent two weeks. There is so much to do, so here are some of my insights.

I stayed in Princeville on all three trips. There are dozens of beaches within 30 minutes from Princeville. Some require a short hike, but they're all worth a visit as the beaches vary and its nice to see the diversity. One day, I just went beach hopping, visiting several beaches and enjoying being out in the Kauai sun.

Snorkeling is limited to a few beaches - like Ke, Tunnels and Hideways Beach where there's a reef.

As for special places - a hike along the Kalalau Trail, Tunnels Beach, a day at Hanalei Beach and Hanalei Town, hike up Sleeping Giant are things that I enjoyed doing. If you like to hike and are in average shape, then the hike to Hanakapi'ai Falls is a real treat. Its four miles to the falls, so 8 miles round trip and would take pretty much one of your days. The first 2 miles is along the Kalalau Trail, so you get both in one trip.

On the less strenuous side, stop in to visit the St. Regis Hotel in Princeville. Beautiful place to watch the sunset, and of course, stop at Tahiti Nui in Hanalei. Do spend a few hours in Hanalei. Its a great little town.

Waimea Canyon has one trek down into the canyon. I think its called the "Canyon Trail". You can go down as far as you want, and actually, it goes all the way to the bottom of the canyon. I went as far as the trees started to obscure my view of the canyon. Only because I didn't want to walk all of the way back up. Its a little steep so coming back is a work out. But you get some great views of the Canyon. There are some other really nice trails in Kokee State Park, but they would take 1/2 day or more to complete.

If you haven't been to Polihale Beach, that is really a special place. Its on the west side of the island and if you're going to Wiamea Canyon and have time when you're leaving, its worth the stop over.

Go to Queens' Bath before 10 am, more closely to 9 am or earlier. It will be empty and you'll get a close parking spot. Around 9:30 - 10:00 am, the crowds show up and the beauty of Queen's Bath is lost.

I took a helicopter ride on one of my trips and booked it the day before. Depends on the season, but you should be okay if you call them when you get there and check schedules.

I do not golf, so I can't be of help on that topic.

Enjoy your trip!

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