One look at the lush island of Kauai, and you will immediately know why the Garden Isle is a mecca for ecotourists. Hawaii’s oldest island, Kauai is an emerald gem through which you can admire the incredible creation of environmental splendor and be inspired to protect our ecological future. You will find a variety of life, from the slowly evolving landscape of the island itself, to the terrestrial and aquatic forests and gardens, filled with tropical flora and fauna, enveloping Kauai.
There are many ways to enjoy the natural wonders that Kauai has to offer. For a wider view of the island, from its towering mountains carved by valleys and rivers, to its steep northern cliffs or gently sloping beaches, schedule a helicopter tour. Aerial views will allow you to experience a new perspective of Kauai and appreciate the array of ecological treasures the island has to offer. Helicopter tours are a fantastic way to view Kauai’s famous waterfalls, such as Wailua Falls, seen in the opening credits of the TV show Fantasy Island, as well as marvel at the immensity of the Mt. Waialeale area.
Achieve a more personal connection with Kauai’s consciousness and its wildlife through closer exploration, walking the bountiful trails of Kauai’s parks and gardens. The National Tropical Botanical Garden has three locations you will want to visit on the island of Kauai. In southern Kauai, to the west of Koloa, you will find the public entrance to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Allerton Garden. Fans of the movie Jurassic Park, and nature lovers alike, will want to see the mighty Moreton Bay Fig trees featured in the blockbuster, in this 80 acre garden. Peruse the nearby 259 acre McBryde Garden, the headquarters of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, where you will find the largest collection of native Hawaiian plants in the world. On Kauai’s North Shore, venture through the sprawling 1,000 acres of Limahuli Garden and Preserve, spanning three distinct ecological zones. Along with a massively diverse ecology, Limahuli Garden preserves traces of early Hawaiian culture.
Visit the Kokee Natural History Museum, in Kokee State Park, for educational exhibits and hiking trail maps. Admire the wealth of native plants and birds that Kokee State Park’s lush forests hold. Stroll along the Pihea Trail or drive to the famous Kalalau Valley Lookout, for a splendid view of Kalalau Valley, expanding out to the dazzling Napali Coast. Get a close look at the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast by hiking the Kalalau Trail. You may prefer the sweeping views of these cliffs from above, in a helicopter, or from below, on a boat tour.
As you may expect, Kauai is surrounded by outstanding beaches, which must be included for any Kauai vacation to be complete. Are you not one to get wet, but excited to witness Kauai’s abundance of wildlife? Enjoy the views from the northernmost tip of Kauai, at Kilauea Lighthouse, where you can spot humpback whales December through May, during their annual pilgrimage to the warm waters of Hawaii, perfect for birthing new calves and breeding. Kilauea Lighthouse also houses a sanctuary for seabirds, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
If you are looking for a more intimate relationship with the sea life of Kauai, be sure to snorkel or scuba dive at one of Kauai’s many beaches or reefs. Beginners and children may want to visit the lagoons at Anini Beach and Lydgate Beach Park. Poipu Beach State Park also provides protected areas for snorkeling, as well as the opportunity to see endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Snorkeling and scuba diving will allow you to see a multiplicity of reef creatures, dolphins, tropical fish and sea turtles up close. Remember to give any wildlife, on land and in the water, plenty of room, refraining from touching them, both for their health and safety, as well as your own.
Also, if you should choose to go scuba diving, leave at least 24-hours between your dive and any altitude change, such as a helicopter tour or your flight home. Driving to “Hawaii’s Grand Canyon,” the 14 mile long Waimea Canyon, or to Kokee State Park would also have to wait, until 24-hours after your dive. The exact time between diving and safe altitude change should be calculated by a certified scuba diver. If you are interested in receiving your scuba certification while staying in Kauai, be sure to have your medical records available.
Featured Property: Emmalani Court 225
While taking in Kauai’s abundance of natural beauty and biodiversity, stay in comfort in this newly remodeled and decorated two bedroom two bathroom condo. With one King size and one Queen size bed, air conditioning in both rooms and high speed internet, you can relax in modern luxury, enjoying the property’s ocean views. Set on a golf course, within walking distance to St. Regis Hotel, shops and restaurants, Emmalani Court 225 provides easy access to amenities, as well as the perfect home base for your island adventures.