Remote Seacoast Known for its Steep Seacliffs
One of Earth’s geological wonders is Kauai’s Na Pali Coast spanning more than fifteen miles of the island’s western shore. To see the valleys and seacliffs of the Na Pali Coast, including the famed Kalalau Valley you have various options.
On Foot: If you are planning to visit Kalalau Valley you will need to hike in and camp there since it is unlikely you could hike in 11 miles and then out again in one day. A permit is required to hike the trail even if you are not camping.
If you are going to hike into Kalalau Valley make sure you are well prepared. In addition to all the usual preparations for a camping trip in a remote area (see Kauai Hiking Safety Tips), make sure also to prepare yourself physically. The trail weaves up and down though numerous valleys and is rugged and uneven in many places making it quite challenging, especially if you are wearing a heavy backpack.
By Kayak: A guided kayak tour of the Na Pali Coast is a great way to see this majestic shoreline if you are an experienced kayaker and if the ocean conditions are very calm. The open stretch of ocean along the Na Pali Coast can be quite an adventure even with a guide. Kayaking the Na Pali is best done during the very calmest of conditions, which typically occur during summer months, though ocean conditions are unpredictable at all times of year and need to be checked on the day of your adventure. Kayaking along the Na Pali shoreline should only be attempted with an experienced guide. Tours leave from the north shore and follow the prevailing current south to Polihale on Kauai’s southwest shore.
By Helicopter: As fleeting as a flyover of the Na Pali Coast may be, a helicopter tour is a great way to see this remote and rugged shoreline. In addition to getting a wonderful birds-eye view of the renowned Kalalau Valley, you will also be able to see the other remote and breathtakingly scenic Na Pali Valleys, some of which are beyond Kalalau and cannot be reached by any trail.
By Boat: One of the most popular ways to see the Na Pali Coast is to take a boat tour. Options range from large, tri-hulled sailing catamarans that emphasize comfort to small Zodiac rafts that enter sea caves. Some Na Pali boat tours stop along the way for snorkeling which is best during the calmer summer months. Winter months combine Na Pali Coast viewing with humpback whale watching offering a remarkable double adventure of seeing giant whales breaching from the sea with a backdrop of the Na Pali’s fluted cliffs and cathedral peaks.
No matter how you see the Na Pali Coast you will never forget the deep, majestic valleys and seacliffs rising up steeply from the blue Pacific. Whenever you are visiting the Garden Island make sure to follow all Kauai Safety Tips to ensure a safe and happy vacation.
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