Right after we (me and my boyfriend) started our work in the restaurant in Provincetown, MA I knew that after we finish our program as exchange students, we had to go and visit Hawaii. It has been my dream for years. It is so different, lush, green, just gorgeous that it even looks unreal. I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am that we were able to make it come true. A lot of hours went into planning our trip to Kauai to see as much as possible in such a short amount of time and not spend all of our money.
Problem was that there are several islands that I wanted to visit. A volcano eruption happened on the Big Island, so it made the process of making my decision a little bit easier. In the end we decided to visit Kauai, Oahu, and Maui.
First I wanted to spend at least 14 days in Hawaii, but after negotiating with my boyfriend, we agreed to at least 12 days. I was very happy with the end result of the huge amount of hours that I spent on all my planning so now let’s get started.
Flight from Buffalo to Lihue: $335
Kauai is the smallest island, out of the three that we visited. We decided to spend only 2 days there, 6 on Oahu and 5 on Maui. I know that it’s an extremely short amount of time for Hawaii, but that’s what we had to work with and make the most of it.
We wanted to visit North and East parts on the first day and South and West parts on the second day. That’s why we decided to stay in Lihue, because it is located in the middle of the island.
We rented an Airbnb for one night, and it was really nice. We paid $112 for one night.
We couldn’t find an easy way to go from place to place except for renting a car. Kauai is not as well-developed as Oahu which gives it even more charm. In the beginning, we were a little worried because we’ve never done it before, 😅 but driving and navigating, using Google Maps, was really easy. We booked our car on Turo app, and it was $128 for 2 days plus we paid $33 for gas.
Things to do:
Kilauea Lighthouse – the entrance fee is $5 per person, and it offers stunning views of the North part of the island.
Queen’s Bath – natural swimming pool surrounded by rocks. Be careful if you’re planning on swimming because of the waves and strong tide. The trail to get down there can be very muddy so be prepared and bring another pair of shoes.
Na Pali Coast – the best way to see The Na Pali Coast is either from the sky or by boat. We went with the second option, and we definitely do not regret it.
Our second day in Kauai started around 5 30 a.m. because we booked ‘Morning magic boat tour from NaPaliExperience which was at 7 o’clock. We gave ourselves 1 hour in advance to get there. The cost for the tour is definitely not cheap, it’s $202 per person. That’s why my boyfriend was so against it in the beginning, but after reading all the positive reviews about it, I decided that we should do it and booked it either way.
All I can say that it was definitely the HIGHLIGHT of our trip. It was the most magical experience and so worth the money that we paid. It is the best Na Pali Coast Boat Tour. We saw so many dolphins, Open ceiling cave, Waiahuakua Cave, beautiful hidden beaches, caves, and waterfalls, which we wouldn’t see otherwise. I even made a separate video about it 🐬Click me🐬
Waimea Canyon – known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. It really reminded me a lot of my last summer when I worked at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It’s a ten miles long canyon, which was formed by the Waimea River. It looks so colorful when you’re standing on top of it, and you can even see a waterfall.
another unique spot to enjoy Kauai from a different angle and get an idea of what Na Pali Coastline looks like.
Other points that you might want to check out:
- Haena Beach Park Tunnels
- Waikapalae wet cave
- Kalalau beach
Where to eat:
I highly recommend all of the places that I mention down below. In each one of them the food was delicious!
Scorpacciata – We got the Hawaiian and Vegan pizzas and parmesan fries with pesto aioli. I’ve never tasted such amazing fries! We paid $35.
Jojo’s Shave Ice – you have to try famous Hawaiian shaved ice. We went to JoJo’s shave ice because this is the place which was recommended the most. We got a small “Colada special,” and it was huge. $8
Coconut’s Fish Café – We got the most popular items to try, which were: local style grilled ahi plate and fish tacos and they were outstanding, definitely not to miss. $33
We got Coconut shrimp and garlic sautéed shrimp with red potatoes. In my opinion, it’s even BETTER than the famous Giovanni’s shrimp food truck that we tried in Oahu. $27
It offers only Hawaiian style hot dogs. They also have a vegetarian option that I ordered. We both agreed that they were the BEST hot dogs that we’ve ever had. $18
It’s an excellent place for breakfast and waffles. Opens at 7:30 am.
Another breakfast/coffee/ acai bowl place. Opens at 6 am, which is essential when you want to explore as much as you can.
Al Pastor Tacos
A great food truck to try fish & steak tacos.
Day 1 (North Part):
Opaeka’a Falls Lookout
Scorpacciata to eat
Jojo’s Shave Ice to eat
Haena Beach Park Tunnels
Coconut’s Fish Café to eat
Day 2: (South Part):
Na Pali Boat Tour
Shrimp Station to eat
Puka Dog to eat
Headed to the airport for our flight to Oahu.