Aloha from Great Vacation Retreats!

Kauai is an adventure playground! It is wonderful for island residents to play tour guide when family and friends come to visit for the first time. 
Based on the south side in Poipu, we love to take our guests to the west side and the North Shore to explore the vast and varied landscapes the Garden Island offers. Our favorite destinations are Polihale, Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Valley Lookout, Waimea River Valley and the North Shore.

A helicopter tour is the best way to see the island of Kauai since over 70% of the island is inaccessible by land. A birds eye view of Waialeale Crater and the majestic waterfalls of the island's interior is breathtaking. A Catamaran or Zodiac snorkel island tour is the perfect way to experience the Napali Coast especially during whale season. 

Our challenge was to share as much of Kauai as possible in five days by car, foot, kayak and zipline with our recent visitors, Sara and Zander.  We were reminded once again of how truly lucky we are to call Kauai home.

Polihale - Best place to watch the sunset
Polihale is located at the western end of Kauai and is known for over fifteen miles of white sandy beach that averages about 300 feet from the barrier dunes to the surf line. Sand dunes along the beach can reach heights nearing 100 feet. There is no reef barrier that protects the beach from the open ocean. The only relatively safe place for a swim is at Queen's Pond, a shallow pond with a sandy bottom surrounded by a protecting reef. Polihale is framed on the west end by the Na Pali cliffs and offers a stunning sunset view towards the Forbidden Island of Niihau. Polihale is a magical place to camp out and stargaze. It is well worth the long bumpy dirt road drive to get there.

Explore Waimea Canyon

Mark Twain called Waimea Canyon "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." There are several overlooks to enjoy beautiful views of the canyon as you climb to nearly 4,200 feet on highway 550 to the Pu'u o Kila overlook.

The Waimea Canyon / Kokee region is a mecca to hikers, offering dozens of trails down into the canyon or along the back rim of a Napali Valley or along a ridge behind Kalalau Valley leading to Alakai Swamp, the world's highest swamp.


Favorite Hike in Kokee!
Pihea trail starts at the Pu'u O Kila Lookout over Kalalau Valley in Kokee State Park. 

The beginning of the trail travels high along a narrow back ridge and offers truly lovely views into the Kalalau Valley as the clouds permit. Witness a grand reveal in the gaps of passing cloud of lush green valley and the blue Pacific flanked by towering peaks and cliffs. The trail passes through forest of Ohi'a trees, ferns, koa, and other native vegetation. After the first mile the Pihea Trail is covered mostly with boardwalk of long wooden planks covered in chicken wire for traction.

After approximately two miles there is a junction between the Pihea Trail and the Alaka'i Swamp Trail. Turn left and continue along the Alaka'i Swamp Trail to Kilohana Lookout. Descend a steep set of wooden stairs to a place where you cross Kawaikoi Stream. From there the trail ascends and follows a few narrow ridges that lead out onto a high plateau. Continue along the boardwalk as it hovers  over a continuous series of little bogs. In foggy weather, the visibility up here can be limited to 10 feet or less.   After traversing the plateau, there are a couple of small dips in the trail after which you break free onto the western edge of Wainiha Pali at Kilohana for a panoramic view of the entire North Shore from Wainiha Valley to the horseshoe-shaped Hanalei Bay.


Zipline on the South Shore
Skyline Poipu offered us the perfect afternoon with a 3 hr adventure tour ziplining above multiple lush valleys with picturesque views of Kauai's south shore. Conveniently located in Poipu, we checked in at their office at The Shops at Kukui'ula. The tour began with a brief van ride into the mountains where we were kitted out in our custom zipline gear. A short hike up the mountain led to the first of 8 zip lines that criss cross three different valleys, getting longer and higher and faster throughout the adventure.  The ziplines were exhilarating and the views of the coastline breathtaking.  Our guide, Jose, put everyone at ease to confidently leap off elevated platforms, soar across valleys and stop comfortably and safely on the other side.  We were entertained with witty quips and interesting stories about Kauai legends. Jose's genuine aloha, enthusiasm and concern for each person's enjoyment, elevated the tour to an authentic adventure Kauai style!

Arriving back at The Shops at Kukui'ulu, we were perfectly timed to enjoy their Wednesday Culinary Farmers Market.

Visit to book your tour.

Kayak Wailua River 
The Ulu'wehi Falls, more commonly known as "Secret Falls", is located on the North fork of the Wailua River and can be accessed via a short hike. We like to rent kayaks from Kamokila Hawaiian Village located further up the river. The 4 acre property is rich in history, culture and & natural habitats from centuries ago. The last reigning King of Kauai, King Kaumuali'i was a one-time resident and it was reported to be his Favorite dwelling.

 North Shore Tunnels Beach

One of the north shore's most popular beaches is Tunnels Beach aka Makua Beach. This postcard-perfect stretch of golden sand is backed by ironwood trees and tropical palms that offer welcome shade.  The beach is unique for having an inner and an outer reef. The inner reef is ideal for snorkelers, while advanced divers and snorkelers explore the outer reef, which has more lava tubes, arches and coral formations. We were lucky to experience six Honu (green Hawaiian Sea Turtles) that hung out for the day just yards from the beach in the clear aqua water. 

10% OFF


FREE Rental Car & 10% OFF YOUR ISLAND ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES during your stay at one of our vacation rental properties 
for a 5 night minimum stay between May 1st and June 15th, 2015. 

Call 808-742-9202 to reserve!
Offer Expires 05/15/15. 
Offer subject to availability. 
May not be used in combination with any other offers.
Adventure Activity must be purchased from ALOHA SHARE through Great Vacation Retreats to qualify for 10% discount. 

Surf Cams on Kauai
Aloha Surf Cam is located at Kuhio Shores and overlooks the popular surf breaks PK's and Centers on the south side of Kauai. Lately the waves are small as the bigger winter swells are wrapping around the North Shore of the island, however, this makes the bay in front of the Beach House restaurant ideal for swimming, snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding. Witness a beautiful island sunset every night.

 Click here to watch the waves on  Aloha Surf Cam
For a directory that links to all the surf cams on Kauai and Maui visit our site Kauai Web Cams