Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Na Pali Coast, by sea

The Na Pali coast is probably Kauai's most famous attraction. It is sixteen rugged miles of coastline along the Northwest side of the island. Na Pali, meaning 'many cliffs', starts on the north shore at Ke'e beach, and continues until Polihale beach on the west side. Some of the cliffs rise as high as 4000 feet above the ocean floor. The Kalalau trail, the most famous hiking trail in all of Hawaii, runs for eleven miles along the Na Pali coast, dead ending at the Kalalau Valley and Kalalau beach.

Although the Na Pali coast is inaccessible by car, it can be viewed by helicopter, hiking, or boat. We chose the latter option today, and set out by sea to enjoy the majestic views. The tour took off from Anini beach on the north shore, went by our apartment in Princeville, and continued northwest along the coast. Our boat ducked into a few sea caves along the way. We then stopped to snorkel and have lunch. This is a highly recommended experience for those considering a visit to Kauai.

This would be a good time to throw in a plug for Dramamine, without which this tour wouldn't have been possible (the Pacific waves get rough).

Taking off from the north shore:

You can see our apartment complex, just right of center, in this photo. Queens bath is also pictured, but just looks like a bunch of black lava from here:

Our first sea cave:

Looking up at the wall in an open sea cave:

The Kalalau valley:

Kalalau beach, complete with fresh waterfall:

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