Kauai gained the moniker ‘The Garden Isle’ for its unparalleled natural beauty, predominantly covered by mountain ranges, rainforests, enveloped by its fair share of white sand coast lines.
More than its magnificent beaches, cliffs, and natural parks, Kauai has a lot more to offer. If you are the kind of tourist or traveler that craves to stay away from large crowds and flocks of vacationers, here are some of the hidden gems you should definitely visit when in Kauai:
Makawehi Lithified Cliffs
Located in just a short distance from the popular Shipwreck Beach in South Shore Poipu, the Makawehi Lithified Cliffs is one of the more precious hidden gems of Kauai. Reached after a pine-needled forest hike, it provides the solitude some travelers are craving for when visiting Hawaii. It offers a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean, overlooking the edge of sun-bleached cliffs and rock formations which were molded by thousands of years of pounding waves.
Menehune Fish Ponds
The Menehune Fish ponds were created by a dam across a portion of the Huleia River with the purpose of trapping fish to feed Hawaiian royalty known as the Ali’i. The wall separating the pond from the stream is 900 feet long, five feet high and meticulously assembled with lava rock. Hawaiian legends say that Menehune (or little people) created this pond over 1,000 years ago.
Wailua River and Uluwehi Waterfalls
More than its share of the Pacific Ocean, rivers are also home to Hawaii’s only navigable rivers. Tourists can enjoy the calm waters of Wailua River and kayak their way to a 100-foot bridal-veil waterfall—the Uluwehi Waterfalls.
Waikapalae Wet Cave and Maniniholo Dry Cave
The Waikapalae Wet Cave gained its name thanks to the running waters from an underground spring that eventually feeds into the ocean. The cave is one of the best hidden wonders in Kauai, especially those who are a bit more adventurous and extreme. Water levels in the cave are affected by the tides. A smaller cave is accessed via a swim through the first cavern though water temperature here was extremely chilly.
The Maniniholo Dry Cave, on the other hand, can easily be explored through its massive entrance. As the name implies, it has no water and travelers can go through it without getting wet.
The Kilauea Lighthouse serves as the landmark of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which was established in 1985 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is located on a cliff, overlooking the ocean, contrasted by tall grassy slopes of a dormant volcano, which serves as a breeding ground and sanctuary for numerous species of Hawaiian seabirds.
The 52-foot lighthouse stands tall at Kauia’s northernmost point. The structure itself was built in 1913 as a navigational beacon.
Hanalei Town may not be a popular destination in Kauai, but it definitely deserves to be on your itinerary once in the island. It is perfectly located between the North Shore Mountains and the clear waters of Hanalei Bay. Its pier is a also popular landmark, as it was once a busy working wharf for the sugar industry. At present, it is a perfect place to watch surfers and fishermen or take in a stunning Kauai sunset. Tourists can also visit the old, iconic Waioli Huiia Church in the town, which served as a symbol of Hanalei.
With all these in store, it is not hard to understand why more and more tourists visit the island f Kauai. After all, this emerald jewel of the Pacific has long been considered one of the world’s most alluring destinations, living up to its name of being the present day Garden of Eden in the Pacific Ocean.