When Ben and I were deciding on which Hawaiian Island we wanted to spend our vacation, we were torn between Maui and Kauai. After giving it some thought, we decided that since Maui is more developed and touristic, we can visit it in the future. Kauai, on the other hand, is the most wild and adventurous island in Hawaii. Now seemed to be the perfect time to explore Kauai while we are still young and a little reckless :)
The most important part of out trip was getting PADI certified. Soon I will tell you how to get your PADI certification, and share my diving experience and learning process, but today I want to focus on the actual dives we did in Kauai.
I have always wanted to go scuba diving, but I had no idea that I needed to learn so much and pass so many exams beforehand. Luckily, Ben and I had already finished our scuba course in Manhattan (here). Make sure you apply for the exam and pass confined water skills portion in your home city before you go on the vacation. Afterwards, I suggest you pass your open water skills portion (4 dives in total, usually takes two days) somewhere you are really excited to dive, like we did in Kauai.
We were diving in Koloma Landing. The surge was incredibly strong, but we still had a great time and really impressed our instructor. We passed every skill, never freaked out and weren't afraid to descend deeper (so far my record is 50 ft).
I think the highlight of our dives was seeing a few GIGANTIC sea turtles. I have a huge obsession with them, and I think I screamed underwater in excitement when I saw a turtle for the first time. We even swam next to each other which was an incredible experience.
Now Ben and I are planning our next diving trip and thinking about taking the advanced scuba diving courses. Ben is interested in the Rescue Diver course, and we are both excited to get the Wreck Diver license. Wreck diving allows you to dive deeper and explore ship and aircraft wrecks underwater. We are also talking about getting Dry Suit certified this winter, as it allows you to scuba dive in icy cold water. My SO heard diving in Alaska is amazing. :)
If you are ever in Kauai, I recommend you visit the Silver Falls Ranch on the north shore. The ranch is beautiful and it has many exotic birds and cute, little boars running around. But of course, our main reason for visiting the Ranch were the horses. Ben and I took the horse riding tour that travels through the wild, tropical land and lush gardens and takes you to Silver Falls. It was a long and beautiful ride and I loved my horse so much.
I was so grateful to Ben for organising such a wonderful Hawaiian trip that I surprised him with a helicopter tour over the whole of Kauai Island. Kauai is the oldest and the greenest Island of Hawaii. Over 80% of Kauai is uninhabited and wild, which makes it the epitome of savage beauty. Seeing the lush island in all its magnificence from a bird's eye view is something we will never forget.
It is hard to describe all the wonders of nature we have seen, but I guess the most famous sightseeing was the Jurassic Park Falls in Hanapepe Valley. We were also lucky to see Waialeale Mountain. Waialeale, if you didn't know, is the second wettest spot on Earth and it receives about 450 inches of rain every year(!).
The helicopter tour was great and we loved our pilot/guide. I booked the tour from the Safari Helicopters and definitely recommend them.
I would also suggest you go zip lining and maybe even try skydiving in Kauai. In the next post I will tell you more about the St. Regis Resort we stayed in and suggest places to go (and not go!) in Kauai.
P.S. I had to rewrite this post at least three times because Squarespace was crushing and deleting my progress. Anyone else experience the same problem with Squarespace when using Chrome?