Kaua‘i cool

Canadian Geographic - - GATE WAY - Learn more about why so much rain falls at Mount Wai‘ale‘ale at can­geo.ca/sep16/kauai. —Jes­sica Finn

SECLUDED, SPIR­I­TUAL and worn by time, the is­land of Kaua‘i, the north­ern­most and old­est of the eight Hawai­ian is­lands, is de­fined by an an­cient cul­ture deeply con­nected to na­ture. Whether it’s lush rain­forests, deep canyons, pris­tine beaches or ocean ad­ven­tures, here’s a small taste of what awaits the in­trepid vis­i­tor.

FISH

Reel in yel­lowfin or bluefin tuna aboard a fish­ing char­ter from Naw­ili­wili Har­bor near Li­hue, Kaua‘i’s cap­i­tal. You may even hook a mahi mahi, the fish so nice they named it twice.

SUN AND SAND

Frolic in the waves at Kekaha Beach, where you get a su­perb view of nearby Ni‘ihau Is­land and sun­sets that are hard to beat.

STREET FEST

Mix with the lo­cals ev­ery Fri­day at Hanapepe’s Art Night, when the main street is trans­formed into an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of art and food ven­dors and street per­form­ers, and most shops stay open late. If you get the chance, try the taro chips at the Taro Ko Chips Fac­tory on Hanapepe Road.

SURF

Learn to surf or hone your skills by the iconic Hanalei Pier at Black Pot Beach Park, where the waves co­op­er­ate more of­ten than not, thanks to the gently slop­ing bay.

SNORKEL

Some of the best snorkellin­g on the is­land is in the la­goon at Makua Beach, where a near-shore reef helps pro­tect snorkeller­s from the surf.

DRIVE

Wind north along High­way 550 to see the spec­tac­u­lar Waimea Canyon, a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of the Pa­cific, and end the day in the bird-watch­ing par­adise of Kōke‘e State Park, where you can take in the view of Kalalau Val­ley and ex­pe­ri­ence Mount Wai‘ale‘ale, which with more than 1,000 cen­time­tres of rain an­nu­ally is one of the wettest places on Earth.

HIKE

Fol­low the rise and fall of colos­sal sea cliffs along the nearly 18-kilo­me­tre Kalalau Trail on the is­land’s north coast, renowned for its wet, slip­pery slopes, steep grades and jaw-drop­ping views.

SAIL

Com­plete your cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion of the is­land and see an­other side of the Nā­pali coast­line in lux­ury aboard a cata­ma­ran from Port Allen Har­bor in ‘Ele‘ele. Watch for dol­phins, hump­back whales and sea tur­tles, and soak up the in­com­pa­ra­ble views of the ver­dant Nā­pali cliffs.

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