A Relaxing but Adventurous Vacation in Kauai, Hawaii

For our latest vacation, we spent a week on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It was our first trip to Hawaii and we wanted to have a relaxing but fun-filled holiday. Kauai was a perfect island for us – a lush tropical paradise with plenty of adventure to be found.

Top Activities
Emily and I must suffer from ADHD because there is only so much lying around we can handle. We like to explore and experience new places. Our week in Hawaii was still relaxing and we spent lots of time lounging on the beach, but we also did something adventurous everyday. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Hidden Valley kayak adventure with a short trek to a jungle swimming hole.
  • Hiking in the Waimea Canyon. We only hiked the first mile of the Pihea trail because of flash flood warnings, but the limited views we had were awesome.
  • Swimming and snorkelling along the coast. There were lots of colourful fish, but sadly a lot of dead coral too. We rented gear for the week and explored several beaches.
  • Taste of Kauai horseback ride through the mountains along the Kuilau Ridge Trail.
  • Couples massage at the Grand Hyatt spa. Simply luxurious.
  • Stand-up paddle boarding along the Wailua River. Fun, except for the motorboats.

Kayaking the Huleia Tarzan Pihea Trail Emily Snorkelling Paddle-boarding on the Wailua River Smiling Horse Beach Towers Sandstone Cliff Jump

Favourite Beaches
Kauai is dotted with beaches all along the coast, some of which are good for snorkelling (with protective reefs) and some that are more suited to surfing (with hard breaking waves). We mostly stuck to the snorkelling beaches, but the all the beaches were good if you just wanted to relax and enjoy the sun. We were lucky that the large winter surf along the north shore had just ended when we arrived in April, so we were able to snorkel on both the north and south shores. Kauai.com has good descriptions on all the beaches and Kauai Explorer has an Ocean Report detailing the surf conditions around the island.

  • Poipu – Great snorkelling, nice spot for suntanning, and close to amenities.
  • Hideaway – Secluded little gem with amazing snorkelling.
  • Anini – Long beach on the north shore with good snorkelling.
  • Shipwreck – Great spot to sit and listen to the surf or explore the sandstone cliffs.

Beer on the Beach Dipping Your Feet In Lounging at the beach Walking Hanalei Beach

We stayed in an airbnb property in Kapaa. Kapaa is a great home base to explore Kauai. There are good restaurants and grocery stores in town and it is equidistant to the beaches on the north and south shores. My only complaint was there were few sidewalks, which left me running on the road. The vacation property we stayed in had a spectacular view of the valley, lots of privacy, and a full kitchen for us to cook in.
Magic Sunrise Vacation Property Lanai Our Airbnb Bedroom Sunset on the Lanai

Hawaii Travel ExpensesCost
Hawaii is not cheap. We ended up spending $2,177.40 per person for our 1-week trip to Kauai. Our flights cost $680 each and we spent $115/night for our accommodation. We spent over $500 each on activities, with most of that going to our fancy couples massage ($215), horseback riding ($155), and the guided kayak adventure ($123). Public transit is almost non-existent, so we had to rent a car to get around the island but it didn’t cost that much.

Kalalau Valley
Wailua River Hawaiian Hiking Underwater at Hideaways Beach Kalalau Valley Flower Hanalei Beach Taro Farms Hawaiian Monk Seal on the Beach Spiny Orb Weaver Spider
In the Sandstone Cliffs Tiny Gecko Kneeling Paddle Boarding
Fresh Coconut One-Eyed Willy Mooching Breakfast Practising on Old Rusty
Hawaiian Stretch Paddleboarding Break Time Beach Tree
Yellow Leaves
More pictures on Flickr


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