Hands down without even a close second, the Na Pali coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. I've been a lot of places in my life including touring around most of Hawaii but on my most recent trip to Kauai I was absolutely blown away with the islands beauty. And then when I finally saw the infamous Na Pali coast line I knew I had found the most beautiful and unspoiled spot on Earth.
|End of the Kalalau trail|
I was super impressed when they called me the evening before and honestly conveyed their thoughts on the weather and concerns that the tour may not be all we want due to high winds. They worked with me to swap my tour to a different day and because we were going to be staying on the other side of the island at that point I switched to the snorkel adventure which takes place on a rigid inflatable.
|The water actually looks just like that!|
The boat itself is an inflatable raft in definition but in reality it is much more than that. It doesn't hold anywhere near the amount of people that the catamaran does but it holds far more than you would expect. They are super fast rigid hull boats so nothing like the zodiac type you may be picturing in your head. They seemed quite new and modern and have a fiberglass hull that cuts right through the water. All the boats were locally built as well which is something I always love to support
The boats reach speeds of up to 30 knots. That coupled with the fact that you leave out of Hanalei bay makes it the quickest way to get to the Na Pali coast. I definitely preferred this type of craft because I am someone who tends to get motion sick slowly lolling along the sea, I never felt that at all as we were cruising. Even when we stopped for a bit the boat took the waves quite well so nausea was never an issue, although admittedly 1 poor soul did not get away so easily.
The staff is really what the tours are all about. I mean everyone has a good boat right?! Well you hope anyway but the staff and how they compliment a tour is really what helps differentiate the tours. The staff with HoloHolo were fabulous from start to finish. They were courteous and helpful during the booking and when we had to change the tours and the staff on the boat were very knowledgeable about culture, the landscape, and Hawaii in general, not to mention that fact that they were loads of fun!
What really could be said here?! Hopefully the pictures are doing it some type of justice but really to get the full effect you need to jump on board yourself. I was repeatedly blown away with the beauty, honestly the prettiest place on the planet! The tour takes you along the entire coastline starting where the road ends on one side all the way to where the road starts again on the other side so you don't miss a thing!
One of the things that was really cool about this tour was the fact that we could get so close. Not only did we get a great view from the ocean of the topography but we were also able to get extremely close and even enter and relax in several caves that are carved out along the shoreline. Some of the caves have open tops while others have deep, long, dark chasms that seem to have no end. Now I don't want to scare you, we didn't go deep inside but with the current and all it was still extremely exciting!
|The line where the trees start is how high the waves crash in winter!|
The water was not great the day we went out due to churned up surf from a storm but the crew did their best to look around and find a spot that was as clear as possible. On the way to snorkeling we even stumbled upon a large pod of the resident spinner dolphins, always a treat!
We snorkeled for about a half hour. It is easy to get in and out of the boat due to a sturdy ladder they lower into the water. On board they provide fins, masks and snorkels. There is also a warm fresh water shower you can rinse with after snorkeling and soapy water to keep your mask from fogging up.
After about 30 mins you come back on board and relax with a delicious sandwich lunch, drinks, chips, cookies, etc. There is a tarp that rolls over the top of the boat so you aren't just frying in the sun while sitting in the comfortable and padded seats. Then after another half hour we were off to adventure our way back to Hanalei Bay!
I know I mentioned that the helicopter tour of Kauai was THE thing you MUST do and I stand by that but if there were 2 things this tour would be the other, Here are some tips for making it the best experience you can have:
- Wear a bathing suit, don't worry about shoes as they take them upon getting on board, no need on a boat
- Bring a towel, sunscreen, and a change of clothes if you like
- Take sea sickness medication or suck on ginger candies to help alleviate nausea
- Don't worry about your stuff getting wet as they give you a huge dry sack when you check in
- Take pictures, loads and loads of them but put the camera down if you are feeling sick, looking through a viewfinder increases nausea
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!