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Xmas kauai itenary, please help

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Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Family of four (kids 13, 17), all in good shapes.

3.5 days in Kauai over this Xmas, stay at poipu. Then, go to Haiwaii.

First day. Waimea Canyon early morning, then see Port Allen on the way to Polihale Beach and walk to the start of the Napali coast and cliffs.

Second day: Kalalau Trail: First 2 miles to Hanakapiai beach

We also want to do the boat tour to Na Pali coast, zipline, snorkel and try scuba diving (first time). Any recommendation on spots and companies who provide above activities?

Also, any suggestion to arrange the activities are welcome.


20 replies to this topic
Apple Valley...
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1. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Going from the canyon to Port Allen wouldn't make much sense. There's nothing to see in Port Allen, other than a light industrial area. Going from the canyon to Polihale is a better idea, as they're relatively close together. When you head up for the canyon, make sure you go all the way to the two Napali lookouts. You won't regret it.

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286 posts
2. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

SCUBA: ( Intro dive ) You might google FATHOM FIVE, ( koloa Town ) or SEASPORTS on poipu road. This will be a total time of a couple of hours or so. You will be going thru an on shore briefiing, as well as getting kitted up, and the guided snorkel sessiion. Call the selected companyand get up to date time frames.

SNORKEL : No need to go on a paid snorkel trip, you can do shore enttries at poipu beach park and Lawai Beach. next to the Beach House Restaurant on the way to spouting horn.

Yep, your time is limited, pass on port allen, unless you have booked a 5 hr Napali Catamaran Tour of the Napali. I really do not know how you are going to do all that you have planned in 3 days. But, best pre book all of your selected paid activities.....Christmas time will be very, very busy.

NAPALI COAST CATAMARAN : Capt. Andy is our fave, out of port allen, But all of the napali boat companies are excellent. Blue Dolphin, and Holo Holo are other choices.

ZIP LINING: We liked Back Country in Lihue area, vanned up on private land, they have permits for that. Also a new zip lining outfit has opened up on the south shore. Do not know the name. This can be a good chunk of time out of your day as well.

WAIMEA CANYON and the KALALAU VALLEY OVERLOOKS. Good advice, after Waimea Canyon, continue up waimea canyon road to the very end of the road to the Pu'u O Kila overlook. Also, if you feel like it, just a short walk beyond the overlook is the trail head for the Pihea ( pee-hay) trail with great views.

Only about 1 mile, then do a 180. Also you can just walk a short way for the best photos from the rim, and return.

One tip: If it has been raining, the beginning of the Pihea trail is steep, and can be extremely slippery.

3 days on kauai will pass at light speed, it will take some excellent research and planning well ahead.

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3. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help


meant to say that after your intro SCUBA Dive briefing, you will have a great SCUBA dive session with your guide / instructor.

Snorkeling is free, and shore entry at the mentioned poipu area beaches.

Centerville, Ohio
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4. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

We do enjoy the Poipu beaches

santa cruz
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5. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Kalalau trail: plan on leaving very early if you really want to do this. You used to need to be at the lot by 7:30 to have a reasonable chance of getting a legal parking spot but I've heard you need to get there even earlier now. I've never been in the winter but can imagine it could be extremely muddy and slippery.

Do the Na Pali tour the morning you go to the Canyon. You'll see Port Allen, which isn't much to see, the tours are done around 2. If conditions are ok you can snorkel during the catamaran tour. We like Capt. Andy. After the tour head up to the Canyon.

Maybe save scuba for the Big Island.

Edited: 09 December 2017, 15:07
Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Get that NaPali tour booked now. You're going at a very busy time. With only 3 days you won't find many openings so grab one now.

Why do you want to see Port Allen? Nothing there besides boat docks and not a pretty site, very industrial. Instead, on your Waimea Canyon day, you should visit Kauai Coffee back by Kalaheo. This is the largest coffee plantation in Hawaii. You should also visit Salt Pond Beach which is just past Hanapepe. Beautiful, half moon beach, sandy bottom, lifeguards, restrooms, showers. I'm not sure if Polihale Beach is worth the long drive considering you're short on time.

So, as much as I hate itineraries, here is one for that day:

Early breakfast in Kalaheo at Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee

Kauai Coffee Company ( plantation has small museum, gift shop , and optional tours)

Salt Pond Beach Park ( look for left turn sign just past the town of Hanapepe)

Waimea Canyon

Or, you can do the reverse....... visit the canyon first, then beach, then coffee plantation

Edited: 09 December 2017, 17:54
santa cruz
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7. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

I wanted to add with only 3 days plan your activities by location. A Na Pali tour is a must do and hopefully weather will cooperate. After the tour drive to the Canyon.

Have another day to check out the North Shore sights, don't skip a visit to Hanalei Bay.

I'd keep a day to relax at Poipu Beach for and maybe a snorkel at Lawai.

Kauai isn't huge but it takes time to get around which can eat up some time.

Edited: 09 December 2017, 18:06
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for Kauai
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8. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

I agree with others, your time is limited and tours will be booking up fast. Get your Na Pali catamaran tour booked ASAP, that's one of the "must-do" activities, unless you shell out for a helicopter tour.

For Polihale, it's a long bumpy dirt road, and while it is a beautiful place, it's not a typical hawaiian beach. Yes you can see and walk to the foot of the last cliff, but there is no trail and you are walking on the rocks under the cliff. It can be very dangerous if the surf is high, which it often is in the winter. I think it's neat to explore there, but I think you'd be better off hiking along the canyon or Pihea trail that Denny mentioned. So I would spend most of the day up at the canyon and Kalalau lookouts, exploring the shorter trails and maybe one longer trail (Nualolo for example), and then go to Polihale for sunset if you still have time and want to brave the road. Salt pond is also nice for sunset, we often stop there ourselves after a day at the canyon.

I also agree with the posters who say to spend an entire day up north. Drive up very early, hike to Hanakapi'ai if it's not raining, then spend time to explore other beaches, Hanalei bay and Hanalei town. One downside of booking lots of activities is that you are then less flexible for doing the north shore on a non-rainy day.

If you do manage to schedule in a zipline, I recommend the Koloa Zipline, close to Poipu and very scenic.

Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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9. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Aloha from Kaua'i!

The Kalalau Trail and the section that is called Hanakapi'ai can turn, at this time of year, into an extremely dangerous place. Last year 47 visitors were stranded in the Hanakapi'ai area due to flash flooding, they had to be helicoptered out (at least some of them died in the flooding).

You cannot put it on your itinerary IMO - but play it day by day. Check trail conditions with someone (you can also call Pedal N Paddle in Ching Young Village, Hanalei......generally they know and can tell you).

Don't figure it just for one day, play it day by day based on conditions. We have had a really rainy time here on Kaua'i in the last 3/4 weeks - today is sunny and bright, but just shows you how quickly things can change!

Malama Pono,


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352 posts
10. Re: Xmas kauai itenary, please help

Thank you all for the useful inputs.

Trying to book Napali coast catamaran tour, does it make difference to board from north shore or south side? I heard that Napali state park section is the most beautiful part, does the south boat go to that part?


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