The Three R's of Kaua'i: Rebalance, Replenish and Revive
At one point during my blissful lomi lomi massage, I actually nodded off and awoke to drool inching down my chin. When I embarrassedly made a comment about it, my therapist Connie kindly complimented me on my ability to drift off, saying that it was a sign of complete relaxation or “malie” in Hawaiian. I, in turn, returned the compliment, noting the expertise of her magic fingers. The tension seemed to just melt away as she worked wonders on all of my body’s knots. That, combined with being in a semi-open air treatment room where I could hear the rustling of the palms and smell the perfumed scent of the flowers, made for a heavenly experience. It was one of many I would have during a memorable stay on the Island of Kaua’i.
The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kaua’i is known for its incomparable beauty. The “Garden Isle” has it all, from miles of white sand beaches and crystal blue ocean to rugged mountains, majestic canyons, thundering waterfalls and verdant tropical foliage. But, Kaua’i is more than just a pretty face. You’ll find a diverse array of dining, art, shopping and charming, historic little towns dotting its expanse. And then there are the people, who have the reputation of being among the friendliest residents of all the islands. They welcome you with the true spirit of aloha.
As a visitor to this special piece of paradise, you’ll find no shortage of things to do. The scenery sets the stage for an array of activities that not only energize, but challenge your body in a myriad of ways. Recreation reigns supreme with a range of mellow to high adventure options available. If you’re a water baby, there’s everything from snorkeling off the famed Napali Coast and boogie boarding at Kiahuna Beach to kayaking the Hanalei River and mountain tubing down the tropical waterways of the island’s interior.
If you’re more comfortable on land, join a bike tour with Polynesian Adventure Tours down stunning Wailea Canyon. At 3,600-feet-deep, two miles wide and ten miles long, this “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is a true gem, brilliantly layered in hues of red, green and brown. Take a hike at Koke’e State Park, a hiker’s mecca with more than forty miles of trails and plenty of picturesque vistas. Or hop on a horse for a memorable ride with Princeville Ranch Adventures across a working cattle ranch.
Those looking for a unique perspective of the island can go on an exhilarating zipline trek with Outfitters Kaua’i, where you’ll have a bird’s eye view of Kaua’i’s stunning topography. You’ll soar above valleys, rivers and waterfalls ala Tarzan and Jane for a guaranteed adrenaline high. A helicopter tour, however, is the ultimate way to get the lay of the land. It’s definitely a splurge-worthy alternative and one for the memory books. And as long as you’re going all out, make it a waterfall landing excursion. Island Helicopters’ exclusive tour takes you to the 400-foot Manawaiopuna Falls, which was popularized in the movie, “Jurassic Park.” The helicopter sets down in a tropical valley at the base of the falls, allowing you to experience the grandeur of this remote, tropical site. The ride also includes a narrated tour of the island with gasp-inducing views of the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon.