Photo diary of Kaua'i

Kaua'i is astonishing. From a geological standpoint, it's the oldest of Hawaii's main islands, created from it's volcanic history. The rugged coastline placed against the effervescent sunsets shows off the beauty of the "Garden Isle". Islanders here respect their nature: no building is allowed to be taller than a coconut tree, it's impossible to circumvent the island, and there is no ferry system to the island (the residents blocked the proposal because of environmental concerns). You can dive into shattering blue caves, wind surf while listening to the vibrato of humpback whales, and hike through Waimea Canyon, adored by Mark Twain and all Jurassic Park fans. 

(Note: sorry for the bad photo quality, all of these were taken with a very old iphone back in 2011!)

This is Spouting Horn, on the south shore of Kaua'i. Hawaiians have a legend for everything it seems and this one doesn't fail (it involves a man and a giant lizard). The blowhole used to spurt much higher (to 200 ft), but then some outsider came through and tried to make the hole bigger and, of course, ruined it.

This is Spouting Horn, on the south shore of Kaua'i. Hawaiians have a legend for everything it seems and this one doesn't fail (it involves a man and a giant lizard). The blowhole used to spurt much higher (to 200 ft), but then some outsider came through and tried to make the hole bigger and, of course, ruined it.

Kaua'i is one of the top locations in Hawaii for wind gliding. 

Kaua'i is one of the top locations in Hawaii for wind gliding. 

An overlook on the way to the North Shore.

An overlook on the way to the North Shore.

  The Kaua'i Monastery has been being built for decades. When I visited it was not yet open, claiming to be completed in 2017, but I am unsure if they were able to stick to schedule. When it is done, it will be the only monastery in the world completely made out of stones. 7,000 stones compromise the monastery, each stone is handmade, taking up to 7 years per stone.

 

The Kaua'i Monastery has been being built for decades. When I visited it was not yet open, claiming to be completed in 2017, but I am unsure if they were able to stick to schedule. When it is done, it will be the only monastery in the world completely made out of stones. 7,000 stones compromise the monastery, each stone is handmade, taking up to 7 years per stone.

Driving up Waimea Canyon Road.

Driving up Waimea Canyon Road.

This is Waimea Canyon! Also the backdrop in Jurassic Park. It's ten miles long and one mile wide. The canyon was created from lava flow, with the assistance of the Waimea River. Legend has it that Mark Twain once called it the "Grand Canyon of Hawaii" when he came to Hawaii, but in his autobiography he never mentions even going to Kaua'i. As I said though, they love their legends, so it is still called that.

This is Waimea Canyon! Also the backdrop in Jurassic Park. It's ten miles long and one mile wide. The canyon was created from lava flow, with the assistance of the Waimea River. Legend has it that Mark Twain once called it the "Grand Canyon of Hawaii" when he came to Hawaii, but in his autobiography he never mentions even going to Kaua'i. As I said though, they love their legends, so it is still called that.

Rock formations built by the legendary Menehune, on the side of the canyon. In Hawaiian mythology, the Menehune are craftsmen, sometimes described as dwarves, that live deep in the valleys and forests (and canyons) of the islands.  And, in case you were wondering, their favorite food is banana, but they also like a good fish.

Rock formations built by the legendary Menehune, on the side of the canyon. In Hawaiian mythology, the Menehune are craftsmen, sometimes described as dwarves, that live deep in the valleys and forests (and canyons) of the islands. 

And, in case you were wondering, their favorite food is banana, but they also like a good fish.

Kalalau Valley, located near the Napali Coast on the West Shore.

Kalalau Valley, located near the Napali Coast on the West Shore.

The swinging bridge in Waimea. There's another one on the island, located in Hanapepe.

The swinging bridge in Waimea. There's another one on the island, located in Hanapepe.

The glass beach in Hanapepe, in the southwest. Hanapepe is the industrial part of Kaua'i, so this beach (usually...not when I was there) has tons of glass covering it, making it a rainbow beach.

The glass beach in Hanapepe, in the southwest. Hanapepe is the industrial part of Kaua'i, so this beach (usually...not when I was there) has tons of glass covering it, making it a rainbow beach.

Waimea Beach, located at the mouth of the Waimea River. it has rare black sand that you can't find anywhere else on the island.

Waimea Beach, located at the mouth of the Waimea River. it has rare black sand that you can't find anywhere else on the island.

  Overlooking the Hanalei Valley, where most of the taro is grown. Taro is used to make poi, a famous Polynesian food in Hawaii.

 

Overlooking the Hanalei Valley, where most of the taro is grown. Taro is used to make poi, a famous Polynesian food in Hawaii.

The Kilauea Lighthouse, representing the northern most point of Kaua'i. This is where you can come to spot kohala, humpback whales. This is also the Kaua'i National Wildlife Refuge, so it is a sanctuary of seabirds.

The Kilauea Lighthouse, representing the northern most point of Kaua'i. This is where you can come to spot kohala, humpback whales. This is also the Kaua'i National Wildlife Refuge, so it is a sanctuary of seabirds.

  Opaekka Falls, which means "rolling shrimp", getting it's name from the abundance of shrimp that used to be in the pool at the bottom.

 

Opaekka Falls, which means "rolling shrimp", getting it's name from the abundance of shrimp that used to be in the pool at the bottom.

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The tree tunnel drive on the island. It used to intertwine and connect over the top, making a complete tunnel, but the hurricane in 1992 destroyed it and it has never grown back. 

The tree tunnel drive on the island. It used to intertwine and connect over the top, making a complete tunnel, but the hurricane in 1992 destroyed it and it has never grown back. 

All of Hawaii is stunning and you can't go wrong with any of the islands you choose, but Kaua'i will welcome you with the friendliest of people and a beautiful appreciation for life.

Xoxo