Kaua’i is also referred to as “garden island” due to its extremely lush vegetation. The island offers one of the most spectacular and pristine landscapes of the archipelago. There are still rough jungle areas that are completely undeveloped.
The island has desert-like plains, deep ravines and cliffs rising up to 1000 meters from the sea. In general, Kaua’i is just so superlatives equipped. Here are the most beautiful beaches, the lushest tropical flora and the largest coral reefs in the archipelago. Kaua’i is located at the northwestern end of the island chain. The erosion has created dramatic cliffs on the north coast. Inland, huge canyons have formed. At the 1500 meter high Wai’ale’ale the Passat clouds are caught and discharge their water masses with 12 meters of precipitation per year. The soft volcanic rock is washed away by these masses of water to bizarre formations. We had the feeling that Kaua’i has the lowest number of tourists. There is still a lot of originality to learn here. This is probably due to the fact that the island is often hit by tropical cyclones, which obviously deters the investors to create more hotel complexes. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki razed large parts of the holiday centers and destroyed 10,000 houses. Strangely enough, nature has recovered quickly, because only a year later, the damage was barely visible. Kaua’i is one of the few islands that you can not completely circle around by car, as the entire area around the Na Pali Coast offers no passageway.
We land after a short flight with a twin-engine propeller aircraft at Princeville Airport in the north of the island. The runway is just enough for the prop machines and the small building for handling at the edge of the runway already conveys South Sea feeling. We have not pre-ordered a rental car and need to arrange a taxi first. The drive to the already booked Sheraton Princeville Hotel takes ten minutes.
The hotel is located on Hanalei Bay and was recently completely refurbished with great effort. The entrance is dominated by an impressive huge lobby with a fantastic panoramic view of the bay and the neighboring Na Pali Coast. It is said that this is undoubtedly the best location in Hawaii. The ambiance is solid and modern. The reception hall is furnished with antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century.
Of course, the hotel has the usual American standard on all conceivable amenities such as swimming pool, sauna, Firtnesscenter, several restaurants etc. It is located directly on the sandy beach. We have pre-booked our base for a week and want to explore the island from here. The hotel is not fully booked despite the Christmas and New Year and so we get after a long tough bargaining an extra large room overlooking the Na Pali coast. Brigitte is excited. The bathroom has a panoramic window so you can enjoy the view of the Na Pali coast while bathing.
But now enough of so much enthusiasm, finally we want to discover the island of Kauai with its many secrets. The self-imposed and completely voluntary program, however, is not until the next morning, and so we end the evening comfortably with a glass of wine overlooking the typical Hawaiian sunset. It’s a beautiful spectacle when the sun’s huge fireball sinks into the sea and the Bali Hai rocks of the Na Pali Coast shine golden.