To be honest, Hawaii was never my idea of an authentic spiritual destination. As I am always in search of remote places with less (or no) tourists and rather authentic local vibes, I never thought Hawaii had much to offer me. That is, until I discovered Kauai
It’s an island draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs, aged by time and the elements. The most pristine and secluded of the four major islands of Hawaii, the least populated and least visited of all of them. A place where the feeling of old Hawaii still lives. An island boasting the true energy of mother Gaia: Kauai
After a short research, Kauai seemed to have exactly what I was always looking for – jungles, waterfalls, mild temperatures, less tourists, great hiking, diving and surfing. Buildings are required to be shorter than a coconut tree. Most of the island is untouched by civilization- in fact, there’s not a highway that cuts through the bulk of the forest- only a few circumference roads that don’t actually connect through the northern face of the land.
Are you craving for real paradise? Kauai is the Spiritual Destination of your dreams.
1 | NA PALI COAST
Boarded by a landscape of lush rainforest and deep valleys that extend out to the coast, the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park has provided the backdrop to some of Hollywood’s most adventurous storylines.
Jurassic Park, Avatar, King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark
These films and their magic are filmed right here in the lush mountains and valleys, waterfalls and beaches, bays and inlets. Especially ruggedly beautiful Na Pali Coast is featured in these flicks.
An environment in a constant state of flux, Hawaiian legends tell of the goddess Pele and her sister Namakaokaha’I who fought each other for the right to claim Na Pali their home. Their battle lives on in the erosive forces that continue to sculpt the shoreline today. As you hike the ridges, valleys, or even the lookouts, a reminder of the ancient battle of souls for their home is prevalent in the mind.
Legend has it that after death, the soul leaves the body and climbs to the top of the Na Pali ridge-line, to be judged by Pele. Those deemed worthy become sea creatures, to travel the ocean waters once more…and those not, well, they are thrown from the heavens to suffer in the fires of the volcanos.
2 | ELITE SNORKELING AND DIVING
If you ever wanted to swim with sea turtles, dolphins or rays in the ocean, Kauai will make your dreams come true.
Since Kauai is millions of years older than the other inhabited islands in the Hawaiian island chain, it has by far the most protective reef lagoons and therefore some of Hawaii’s best snorkel spots!
I came face-to-face with a stingray, and had the wonderful opportunity to snorkel with a dozen extra-large turtles at Queen’s Bath.
The underwater flora is just as incredible as the animals that inhabit it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The corals were incredible in some areas, rivaling my experience in Bali and beyond.
3 | MECCA OF SURFING
Hawaii is known as the mecca of modern surfing and Kauai is one of the most popular islands to ride some great waves.
Surfing the waves of Kauai will never be monotonous. The “Garden Island” receives both long distance swells and waves that result from surrounding winds on all four sides of the landmass.
What makes Kauai also attractive for surfers of all ability levels is its variety of difficulty throughout the island and accessible beaches and surf spots.
If you are a beginner surfer, Kiahuna Beach on the southeast corner of Kauai will be your best choice .
For the intermediate rider, Hanalei Bay in the north is the place to be.
More advanced riders may want to head to the most western point of the island to hit the seventeen mile, white sand wonder of Polihale Beach. Another spot for more experienced surfers can be found at Poipu Beach, as well as the cove at Shipwrecks beach.
4 | WATERFALL PARADISE
On a hot day you can dive into the crystal blue ocean to refresh your heated body…
…or how about a jump into a waterfall?
Kauai is a lush paradise dotted with countless amazing cascades and dramatic natural showers. Some easier to get to than others, but you will have your pick of sky-high showers and crystalline pools of magic to bathe in.
5 | DOLPHINS, WHALES, SEA TURTLES AND MONK SEALS
One day I was snorkeling at Salt Pond beach as the tide came in, crashing over my gear. I surfaced to clear my mask and breather, treading in the warm water. When my face reentered the water, I was within a finger’s distance from a large stingray! I came face-to-face with her, watching her slowly swim by!
I felt so alive in that moment!
Humpback whales are also plentiful in the waters of Kauai in winter and early spring. You can go on a whale watching tour or simply spot them from Kauai’s beaches and coastal areas as I did.
Another of the amazing animals to be found in Kauai is the Hawaiian Monk Seal. It is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world. Nowadays only 1100 individuals remain! The seals frequently relax on the shores of Tunnels beach, hauling out on the sand, having a long long rest after looking for some food and avoiding their predators like tiger sharks.
6 | MAGNIFICENT SUNSETS
Kauai has simply some of the most stunning sunsets (and sunrises) that you will ever see. The sky is beautiful, each and every time. It’s hard not to feel blessed as mother nature shows off her best side.
7 | TROPICAL RAINFORESTS
Kauai is called the Garden Island – for good reason.
At Mount Wai’ale’ale it rains nearly every day, making it one of the wettest locations on Earth, receiving about 450 inches (11430 mm) of rain each year. This creates the perfect jungle escape. An oasis covered with tropical rainforests, fertile valleys and lush flora.
8 | WAIMEA CANYON
With deep valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and incredible colors, it’s no wonder that over 100 years ago Mark Twain nicknamed Waimea Canyon the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Even though smaller than the Grand Canyon of Arizona, Waimea Canyon rivals in beauty. To me, it’s an even more incredible view.
Waimea Canyon is ten miles (16 km) long, up to 3,000 feet (900 m) deep and offers lots of hiking opportunities.
Check out the Kelapa Ridge Trail- It’s my personal favorite in the region.
9 | PRISTINE BEACHES
With 90 miles of spectacular coastline, Kauai boasts more beaches per mile than any other Hawaiian Island, and almost half of its coastline is virtually deserted, making it easy to find solitude on an unspoiled, un-crowded beach.
Some of Kauai’s beaches are accessible only by trail, others by helicopter or solely by sea – but most are available to all visitors. There are beaches full of drama with crashing waves, while others are calm and tranquil. Whether you are interested in snorkeling, surfing or sunset meditation, Kauai has a perfect beach for you.
My personal favorites include:
- Secrets Beach
- Ship Wrecks Beach
- Poipu Beach
- Anini Beach
- Polihale Beach
10| KAUAI SPIRITUALITY
Kauai’s spiritual energy is tangible. I felt the urge to slow down reconnect with nature and my inner self. I spent hours meditating on the shores, enjoying the quiet reverence of the island, and enjoying her presence as I hiked through the jungles.
Even Hawaiian monarchs have long voyaged to its shores to seek solace and spiritual guidance. Kauai’s history is filled with stories of enlightenment seekers.
As the oldest, most remote and the only unconquered island of the main islands in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai’s unique energy and spirit can be felt to this very day – in the beauty of its endemic flora, in the gentle cadence of its beaches and especially, in the free and easygoing nature of its people who are opening their hearts and doors to those who arrive on their shores -They will make you feel at home, so you will never ever want to leave!
More Kauai Blog Posts
I spent almost a month exploring the island of Kauai. In particular, I was hiking all of the trails, snorkeling and surfing every break I could find.
The Ultimate (Vegan) Guide to Kauai: What to do, see, eat, and where to stay
The 12 Best Hikes Kauai