On Friday, the day after we arrived, we planned a boat tour around the island, showing us the stunning Na Pali coast. Beautiful sheer cliffs with waterfalls, on-water caves large enough for our boat, and a bumpy, yet thrilling ride made this unforgettable.
The boat brought us to a snorkeling area, where my family and I swam with sea turtles and skirted around coral reefs, warm enough to endure an entire hour of non-stop snorkeling.
That afternoon, we took it easy, walking around and trying various recommended restaurants in the area. We tried some fantastic shaved ice mixed with ice cream.
On Saturday, we woke up early for a plane tour. After a nice cup of coffee at a nearby local café, we boarded a compact family-sized plane. We observed the entire island above numerous mountain peaks shrouded in fog. We saw the same cliffs as before but thousands of feet higher. The lush expanse of the island was unlike anything I had seen.
Later that day, we visited a tubing tour of an old sugarcane plantation with tunnels dug by immigrant workers in the 1800s. The company drove us to a river that meandered through three long tunnels. One of which was completely dark. They treated us to decent homemade sandwiches, and we were on our way back.
On Sunday, we drove up into the mountains to hike. Kauai is home to red dirt that contrasts wonderfully with its booming and lush plant life. Our hike was short but sweet, ending at a waterfall that you could swim under and a stunning view of the canyon.
On Monday, the last day of our trip, we went kayaking. We boated to a trail that took us to yet another fall. This was a couple hundred feet higher than the previous fall. When swimming under it, the water stung from falling so high.
In all, I will never forget this trip and the many impossibly fun activities. From shaved ice to hiking, I would definitely recommend Kauai as a vacation destination.