A Vacation Rental Home Poipu – Manualoha Condo 601, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s nicknamed “the Garden Isle” thanks to the tropical rainforest covering much of its surface.
The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are hiking destinations.
Kauaʻi, Americanized as Kauai[a] (English: /kaʊˈaɪ(i)/ kow-EYE(-ee), Hawaiian: [kɐwˈwɐʔi]), is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of 562.3 square miles (1,456.4 km2), it is the fourth-largest of these islands and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the “Garden Isle”.
With some of Hawai‘i’s largest and oldest coral reefs, fascinating underwater topography, and abundant (and colorful) marine life, Kaua‘i may be one of the better destinations for scuba diving in Hawai‘i, even if it doesn’t get the same hype as Maui and Big Island. Here you can choose from shore dives to underwater rock gardens and lively reefs, boat dives to hidden gems on Kaua‘i’s southern shore, and even day-trips to the private island marine sanctuary of Ni‘ihau. With multiple dive operators to choose from, Kaua‘i is perfect for those looking to get certified and participate in Kauai scuba diving, beginning divers and veterans alike.
Kauai Scuba Diving Charters
The best way to experience the beautiful waters around Kaua‘i is with a boat charter. Most dive shops offer two daily boat charters (each with 2 dives), with an early morning (~7am) departure and an afternoon trip that tends to cater more to beginning divers and certification courses. Either way, you can count on a beautiful day on the water as you race dolphins to your dive sites. Keep an eye out for whales (in season) frolicking in the deep blue waters, then gear up and explore popular dive sites like Brennecke’s Ledge, Ice Box, Fast Lanes, the General Store, and Sheraton Caverns (dives range from 60-100’). Spend your surface intervals swapping fish stories with other divers and learning about Hawaiians’ cultural ties to the sea and the natural history of the islands from your guides. Once you are back underwater, make sure to pose for the underwater videographers who capture your dive in HD video for viewing back at the dive shop. Top-shelf rental gear from ScubaPro and Mares are included with your charter when you scuba Kauai, as well as dive computers and optional underwater cameras.
A trip to Kauai is all about the beach. While staying at our Kauai Vacation Rental, we suggest Hoku Water Sports for all your beach gear rentals. Hoku Water Sports has all the equipment you may need for a fun and relaxing day at the beach, including snorkel gear, surfboards, bodyboards, paddle boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, and anything else you may need for the perfect beach day. They also rent bikes if you want a fun and easy way to get from your vacation rental to the beach. Their office is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can rent their equipment by the hour, day, or week.
Lessons & Canoe Trips
Hoku water sports, Kauai also offers surf and paddleboard lessons, as well as guided outrigger canoe trips. They offer group, semi-private, and private surf lessons for anyone over the age of 5 and under the weight of 225 pounds. Each lesson is led by an experienced instructor and lasts approximately 90 minutes. The first 25 minutes is spent on land learning the proper stance, getting up on your board, and how to catch a wave. Then the students and instructor spend an hour in the water catching some waves. Surf lessons are done off the waters of their shop in a small, protected cove with smaller waves that are perfect for the beginning surfer. Lessons are offered every day at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m., and each student is given a surfboard, booties, and a rash guard shirt to use during the lesson.
Taking in Kauai’s culture is as easy as soaking up its sun. Discover ancient sacred sites on the banks of rivers, in parks, or among the cliffs and waterfalls. Kauai beaches are also filled with history and drama. You’ll soon know why more than 60 movies and television shows have been filmed on Kauai.
Smile, Be Happy
Locals are almost always smiling and happy. Stress isn’t common since Kauai’s people aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere. In fact, don’t be surprised if Kauai people wave and say hi. While Disney calls itself the happiest place on earth, Kauai couldn’t be far behind. Kauai has been voted the friendliest island on a Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards survey.
Kauai is the oldest island in Hawaii, featuring lush mountains, fertile gardens, and idyllic beaches.
National Tropical Botanical Gardens and you’ll understand why they call Kauai the “Garden Island.” Do remember to bring Bug spray to spray your legs if you are planning to wear shorts and visit any of the gardens. I either use Off Deep woods Sportsman Insect Repellent or Repel Sportsmen Max and can walk through without a single bite.
The Kaua’i Museum is the cultural sanctuary for the art and artifacts of Native Hawaiians and it nurtures the creative spirit of today’s artists. Kauai has embarked on a journey to revitalize the historic buildings that have been home to our collections.
You can explore the spirit of Kauai by visiting its charming small towns. Leisurely stroll through Koloa town, the home of Hawaii’s first commercial sugar mill. Or visit Hanapepe, “Kauai’s Biggest Little Town,” a sleepy town that is the art capital of Kauai.
Our Poipu Vacation Rental is actually part of the city of Koloa and is only a short 5 minutes drive time from Old Town. So if you order a pizza for pick up, your sure to be able to get it back while it’s still hot.
Kauai’s Beaches are voted to be some of the most beautiful on the planet. Kauai’s beaches are famous for long stretches of secluded white sand, warm turquoise waters and tropical backdrops. As you go to one of them, choose one that has lifeguards for swimming and snorkeling and check the surf report before going out. Kauai Beaches can be exposed to strong waves, unpredictable conditions and rip currents. Use caution follow beach safety in and around Kauai waters.
Anahola Beach – Anahola Beach is a beautiful white sand fringed bay, with good swimming and decent snorkeling most of the year due to a protective outlying reef. Anahola Beach Park is located just south of Anahola Bay. This family friendly beach is tucked away and hidden from the main road. This secluded beach is an easy beach to drive up to and enjoy without having to carry your beach gear too far. From the shore you can see the beautiful mountains of Kalalea.
The Anahola Beach Park is manned by a County of Kauai lifeguard and offers good shade, a sandy beach, camping facilities and fun for all ages. This beach is popular among the locals and is crowded on the weekends with families picnicking and enjoying the beach.
The North end of the bay at the mouth of the Anahola River is another great beach for shelling, fishing from shore and photo opportunities. Use caution near the river-mouth for strong currents. There are no lifeguard stations at the river-mouth end of the bay. Get Directions to Anahola Beach
Anini Beach – There is no lifeguard posted at Anini Beach, but is still considered to be one of the safer beaches on Kauai’s North Shore during the summer months. Anini boasts the longest and widest fringing reef in the Hawaiian Islands and because of the unique conditions it usually has well protected waters and some of the most consistent conditions for water activities. Enjoy snorkeling, beach walks, picnicking, paddle boarding and wind surfing. Anini beach is known to have strong currents in the channels and outside the protective reef. Always use caution especially during high surf. On windy days you are likely to see wind surfers out riding the waves.
Anini Beach is popular for camping and also a great beach for simply relaxing with a book, fishing from shore or paddle boarding above the lively reef. The deeper and clearer water can be enticing, but it is better to be cautious and stay closer to shore.
Anini Beach is usually less crowded than Poipu or Hanalei and is really quite breathtaking. The Beach Park has multiple campsites with permits, shade trees, picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms and showers. My wife and I went here on one of our trips and within a short time snorkeling we saw a sea turtle, some trumpet fish and several other type of fish while we were going across the reef. Get Diretions to Anini Beach.
Baby Beach – in Poipu is a small, secluded and generally protected beach that is great for families traveling with infants and toddlers. The beauty of this little strip of peach in poipu that it is usually less crowded than nearby Poipu Beach Park and the calm waters are perfect for babies, hence the name. It is not uncommon to view sea turtles and monk seals at baby beach, but remember to keep your distance as these animals are protected.
Known as the Garden Island for its lush tropical landscape, Kauai is also home to countless waterfalls that complement other spectacular sites around the island including Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. A few of these gorgeous falls are easy to get to, and others take a bit of effort to experience. Here is our top 5!
Waipoo Falls is a glorious 800-foot waterfall in Waimea Canyon. You can see the falls from various lookout points along Highway 550, the road that takes you up to the museum and park. You can also snap magnificent pictures of the canyon from the Waipoo Falls Trail hike, a 3.2-mile roundtrip hike, which is located just off the highway between mile markers 14 and 15. While you will not see the falls up close in their splendor, this easy and popular hike will take you through rain forests and canyon rims ending at the top of the waterfall in a Awaawapuhi Ginger lined stream. The trail is considered easy/moderate, and is kid friendly for children that enjoy a great adventure outdoors and is part of the Waimea Canyon State Park.
By far the most difficult to get to, the Hanakapiai Falls hike is impressive. After driving to the end of the road on Highway 56, park in the lot fronting Kee Beach and head out on the 2-mile Hanakapiai Trail. This is a very popular trek on the island so we suggest going early in the morning. For the first 2 miles you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Na Pali Coast as you traverse on switchbacks along the coastline.
Once you arrive at Hanakapiai Beach, it is an additional 2 miles upstream to the falls. The trail can be rough in spots, but the 300+ foot waterfall at the end of the tramp is definitely worth the adventure. This experience is not recommended for small children due to the terrain and difficulty of the hike.
You can leave your hiking boots behind for this breathtaking display of Mother Nature. Wailua Falls, a double-tiered waterfall, is located just north of Lihue and is the most easily accessible on Kauai. Head north from Lihue on Highway 56 and take a left on Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. After traveling uphill for approximately 3 miles, the road ends at the parking lot of the falls.
You may recognize the prestige of these falls as they were used in the opening credits of the 80’s hit show, Fantasy Island. This adventure is definitely recommended for families with small children as there is no hiking involved. The views are just a short walk from the parking lot. Believe it or not you’re going to still run into a Rooster or two way up here! But where are you not going to find one, even going to see Kauai Waterfalls.
Kauai Secret Falls
Named Uluwehi Falls, but known to locals and visitors as Secret Falls, are an extremely popular adventure on the east side of the Garden Island. The trailhead to the falls is located up the Wailua River and requires water transport to get there. You can travel via kayak or canoe and there are several companies in the area that you can rent from, or you can always book a guided adventure.
Once you land your boat at the entrance to the trailhead, you hike up to the falls on a trail that can be extremely muddy and slippery. Hiking boots are not recommended. We suggest either going barefoot, using sport sandals or tabis. If you travel at a relaxed pace, it takes about 45 minutes each way. The is a great family friendly adventure for children that don’t mind paddling up the river and getting a little dirty on the trail.
Opaekaa means, “rolling shrimp” Supposedly the stream was full of shrimp and so they aptly named the dazzling waterfalls after them. Like Wailua Falls, this majestic site is easily accessible and requires no hiking. Simply turn up Kuamoo Road (580) from highway 56 and travel up the hill to the lookout that is located adjacent to the parking lot on the right hand side. There are many photo ops from this location, as well as from across the street where you are treated with views of the Wailua River Valley. Families with children all ages would enjoy Opaekaa Falls as the views can be seen from a brief walk from the parking area.
So pack up the car, choose your destination and you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the Garden Island.