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Lush, Green, Beautiful Kauai

Lush, green, beautiful: this is how people describe the island of Kauai. Dating back some five million years, Kauai is the oldest of the eight major islands that make up the US state of Hawaii, situated in the Pacific Ocean about 2,500 miles off the west coast of America. Known as the Garden Isle, it is a magical place of tropical vistas, dense rainforests, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls.

Kauai has 113 miles of coastline, almost half of which is made up of golden sand beaches, while its interior is a remote mountainous region, descending to grand plains stretching out to the coast. Mount Waialeale is situated at the centre of the island; this extinct volcano is one of the wettest places on Earth. The summit, more than five thousand feet up, receives around 450 inches of rain a year. You can take a helicopter tour into the Waialeale Crater, the spiritual center of the ancient Hawaiian culture. It is a sublime setting surrounded by spectacular waterfalls.

Although it rains every day in Kauai, most of it falls on the island’s north and east shores, while the south and west shores remain dry and sunny. You can spend a day swimming, snorkeling and surfing off one of the island’s many idyllic beaches; hike through Waimea Canyon, a geological marvel known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, or take a boat ride along the Napali Coast, a land of magnificent cliffs and inaccessible valleys. With most of the island underdeveloped and uninhabited, Kauai is the ideal place for the adventurous to explore.