With its soft tropical breezes, sweet smells of plumeria and ginger, and cascading waterfalls, Kauai embraces the senses like no other vacation spot. The oldest island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, dramatic mountains, sultry rainforests and meandering rivers. Graceful, swaying palm trees shade endless golden beaches, fiery sunsets turn skies orange and purple, and the soothing lull of the surf caresses away your worries. From the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast to the vast chasms of Waimea Canyon, Hawaii’s “Island of Discovery” beckons exploration.
Discover quiet spots in the forest where you can listen to the rain dance on the leaves, and experience lazy days that end with the sun sinking into the Pacific. From the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast to the vast chasms of Waimea Canyon, Hawaii’s “Island of Discovery” beckons exploration.
Kauai boasts the greatest variety of plant life in the world, and its perpetually blooming flowers, breathtaking water features and picture-perfect backdrops have earned the island its nickname, "The Garden Isle." With vividly colored hibiscus and intoxicatingly sweet-smelling gardenias, densely tangled bougainvillea vines, bright red ginger, and an array of orchids, it’s no wonder Kauai is considered by many to be a large botanical garden.
The island’s allure goes beyond its abundant, luxurious flora. Cited in National Geographic as one of the “Top 50 Places in the World to Live and Play,” Kauai offers infinite opportunities for sports and leisure. The island encompasses a wide range of landscapes, including coastal sand dunes, desert-like plateaus, verdant river valleys, grassy foothills and mist-shrouded mountaintops.
If recreation is your game, you’ll find no shortage of activities on Kauai, all of which allow you to soak in the island’s splendor. Kayak the Wailua River, gliding through pristine canyons and supernaturally beautiful rainforests. Visit the South Shore, where you can go snorkeling and scuba diving off the Napali Coast and the “forbidden” island of Niihau, both filled with dolphins, tropical fish and sea caves. More adventurous travelers enjoy ziplining over Kauai’s brilliantly green valleys, taking in a bird’s-eye view of the waterfalls and jungles to reach destinations inaccessible by foot.
For those seeking a more relaxed Kauai experience, hike the rainforests of Kokee State Park, the bogs of the Alakai swamp or the hanging valleys of the Napali Coast. Saddle up for a quiet, guided horseback ride along the bluffs, across sugarcane fields outside of Princeville, and past out-of-the-way beaches and coves. Learn how to hula dance, discover the island by helicopter, or explore historical seaports and plantation towns.
Make your escape to the paradise that is Kauai — book your exchange today!