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Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

Washington DC
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Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

My husband and I will be staying at the St. Regis at the end of March and are looking into Captain Sundown's boat tour of the coast. My concern is getting seasick. How rough is the water this time of year? Would it be better to do a short hike into the coast? If so any recommendations? Thanks. This is my first trip to Kauai and I really want to experience the coast, but do not want to get seasick.

California
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1. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

How about a helicopter or Wings Over Kauai to see the coast? See many reviews of both.

March ocean conditions might be pretty rough.

http://www.wingsoverkauai.com/

http://www.bluehawaiian.com/kauai/video/

Pahoa. HI
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2. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

Why not do both? A helicopter ride (or the boat if you reconsider) AND hiking in. Picking one or the other is a bit like saying "should I watch a great movie about Hawaii, or actually go there?". Different experiences.

Washington DC
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3. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

Thanks for the tips. We only have 3 days on Kauai, so we are trying to select one method. My husband is also leary of flying, so that is why I am thinking of going the hiking or boat route depending on how rough the water tends to be in March.

California
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4. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

Both is great if you have the money but one is like watching a horror movie vs a love story. You decide which is the horror movie. For me it's a boat in rough waters.

Holo Holo has a good combo package.

holoholokauaiboattours.com/discount_kauai_to…

Central Florida
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5. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

I took a helicopter tour of the Na Pali coast my first morning on the island. The helicopter also gives you a great view of the rest of the island. Picture and video taking from a moving helicopter are difficult to say the least. Best to just take it in. The best option, however, is the hike. For obvious reasons, your photo album will be much happier.

Oxnard, California
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6. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

If ocean conditions aren't too rough, I would highly recommend seeing it by boat. To avoid seasickness, just take some dramamine or bonine the night before. Don't wait until the day you get on the boat.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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7. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

March is still winter, and the north shore may get more rain, making the Hanakapi`ai trail (first 2 miles of the Kalalau) difficult. Just so you're aware.

Also, I think Captain Sundown leaves from Hanalei Bay. Tours from the north don't generally start up again until April, although you may get lucky. Best to contact them directly.

Edited: 12 January 2010, 02:13
San Diego...
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8. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

Today that stretch of trail had some muddy spots with slick conditions and some dry spots where the sun was making it pretty d--n hot. You could reach the first couple of overlooks with nice views down the Na Pali coast in about 45 min to 1 hr each way. All the way to Hanakapiai Beach is more like 1.5 hrs at a medium pace. This trail is not a stroll in the park. Rough surfaces, mud, and pretty good elevation changes make it a fairly strenuous hike. At least for geezers like moi.

Rough? Who knows. March could be still and safe or it could be rough like today. At times the waves were hitting the cliffs so hard it sounded like small explosions. The "beach" at Hanakapiai was lost in a swirl of foam with a few of the larger sets throwing water half way up the rocky area. It was clear the waves had been much much higher, well into the naupaka which would mark the usual limits of the surf. Really something to see.

Ke'e Beach was closed as well. Just too rough. First cars in the overflow lot were at about 10 AM (we were 3rd ones in there). It was full by the time we got back 3 PM ish.

Even Hanalei Bay was quite rough though people were swimming and surfing. The waves were truly awesome.

Wailua
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9. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

I know this was not the spirit of your question, but for those who may find this thread later:

The best way to see the Na Pali coast is to take the all-day kayak trip from Kee to Polihale. Yes, it's hard (though not extreme) and subject to the weather, but still easier and more accessible then backpacking to Kalalau. And you see the coast up close all day from all sides, not to mention landing at a remote secluded beach (Milolii), paddling under waterfalls and into sea caves if conditions allow. And you literally see the entire Na Pali coast in all it's glorious colors and shapes.

This is usually available only in the summer and when conditions allow, and definitely not for everyone, but if you can do it, I highly recommend it. I don't see it mentioned very often on this board, so I thought I'd fix that.

10. Re: Best Method for Seeing the Napali Coast

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