my Kauai memories date back to 1988,but they're very vivid.We stayed south
of Lihue,the capital,in Poipu beach.This is al ovely area,with many luxurious
hotels,each of them being beutifully hidden among trees and gardens,so
the whole impression is one of tranquillity and privacy,and the landscape
is not spoiled.The southern coast is the less rainy,but Kauai is the second
most rainy spot on earth(most of the rain falls up in the mountains,though).
The northern section of the island is more complex in terms of ups-and
downs and narrowings of the coastal road(not to the point of Maui's north)
and the centers of Princeville-Hanalei are more of the condo and resort
type.The whole island can be explored on day outings.
We stayed in Poipu Beach Hotel,a sort of annex of the poshier Wahiohai,with
shared amenities and beach.The prices were very reasonable,and the more
than decent rooms came with kitchenette.But quite some time has gone now,so
you'd better get more recent suggestions.
What hasn't changed,I guess,is the outstanding beauty of the island,which
was superbly displayed when we took a 1- hour helicopter tour,It cost
100 dollars per head back then,and today I'm afraid it will be at least
double,but it was worth every cent.Waimea canyon and,more than any other
place,Na Pali coast are breathtaking.Na Pali coast is also visited by
boat,or on foot,but not by car.Among the other places that you can reach
by car I recall the famous Wailua falls.One minus note?The smell of sugarcane
being harvested,which is not what I'd call a pleasure.And,the sight of
continuous flights of small aircrafts spraying chemicals over the plantations.Makes
you wonder if it's better to have your coffe without sugar.
We used to skip the crowded hotel beach and find our way to MAHAULEPU beach,one that you could only reach by a dirt road among sugarcane plantations,without any road sign,and where the maximum number of other people we came across was 3. The scenery,with black rocks and majestic waves,was unique. I know I'm not being very useful in practical terms,but I only meant to pass on to you my enthusiasm.