Trek Along the Na Pali CoastKaua‘i
The majestic NAPALI COAST on Kaua‘i’s northwest shore is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Pacific. This 6,175-ACRE STATE PARK is open only to foot traffic, but there’s a way to sidestep this restriction—head to the ocean. A number of outlets can provide access to the famous scenery via the water, including a snorkel cruise, powered ocean raft or a kayak.
No matter how you do it, slicing through the swells along this 15-mile stretch of rugged coastline affords an awesome view of the 4,000-foot cliffs, or pali. Beyond are wide stretches of golden-sand beach, deep jungle valleys and mysterious sea caves.
HANAKAPI‘AI and KALALAU beaches are well-known Napali Coast destinations; in fact, National Geographic Traveler has called Kalalau Beach one of America’s Top 40 Beaches. HONOPU, with its famous 90-foot arch, and NU‘ALOLO KAI and MILOLI‘I, with their fringing reefs, also are well storied. Although discovered by JOHNNY DEPP in “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES,” Honopu Beach’s arch is actually inaccessible by land, but you can view the majestic archway by air (see “UP IN THE AIR”) or sea.
In addition, NU‘ALOLO KAI, an ancient fishing village, is a popular snorkeling destination. Tour boat operators land here for snorkeling and archaeological tours.
Honopu Valley is sometimes called the “VALLEY OF THE LOST TRIBE” because of the mystery surrounding the exodus of the people who lived there until the mid-19th century. In 1922, visiting archaeologists found several skulls thought to be primitive, pre-Hawaiian people.
• Blue Dolphin Charters (808) 335-5553
• Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures (808) 335-6833
• Holo Holo Charters (808) 335-0815
• Kaua’i Sea Tours (808) 826-7254 or (800) 733-7997
• Na Pali Riders (808) 742-6331
• North Shore Charters (808) 828-1379
• Z Tours (808) 742-7422