Kauai’s Amazing Napali Coast

Published Date Author: , November 14th, 2011

Kauai's Napali CoastI was barefoot and drenched, holding fast to the railing of the 34-foot Sea Breeze as it zipped through the water. The jagged cliffs of the Napali Coast jutted to my right and the Pacific, in limitless shades of blue, stretched over the horizon to my left.

Kauai is the northernmost of Hawaii’s islands and gets fewer visitors than Oahu, the Big Island or Maui. Many of those who do visit see it only through the lens of a kitschy luau or a dinner theater production of “South Pacific,” where they’re herded directly from cruise ships. But there are other ways to experience Kauai, untamed and authentic. One of them is to tour the island’s northwest coast as I did, aboard a catamaran.

The Napali Coast is mostly a collection of cliffs, weathered and unscalable. You can’t tour it by car because there aren’t any roads. You can see it by helicopter, but it can be pricey. Some adventurous visitors kayak, but the coastal route is some 16 miles long. Or you could hike the dramatic and scenic Kalalau Trail, but it’s steep and can be muddy and slippery as you climb from high cliffs and back down to the ocean.

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Click here for gay travel resources in Kauai, Hawaii.

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