A tropical paradise lying amidst the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, Kauai is time-etched mountains, tumbling waterfalls, lush greenery and sun-drenched beaches.
The northernmost of the main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is just 550 square miles and somewhat circular in shape. Majestic mountain ranges radiate from peaks more than 5,000 feet above sea level in the center of the island. Kauai is known as the Garden Island for is ancient emerald-cloaked mountains, brilliant flowers and greenery of many shades.
Mostly rural with no buildings taller than a coconut tree (by law), Kauai’s distinct micro-climates, include hot sandy plains, lush river valleys, temperate foothills, high mountain rainforests and a swamp. While there is plenty to keep even the most active vacationer busy — golfing, surfing, hiking, snorkeling and more — Kauai is the low-key and laid back Hawaiian Island. Kauai is the island where Hawaiians go on vacation.
Kauai: Essential Facts
Learn these Kauai factoids and you will know more than most on your dream Hawaii vacation:
- Kauai, known as the "Garden Isle," is the northernmost and fourth largest of the major Hawaiian Islands.
- The island has a circular shape and an area of 550 square miles.
- There are 113 miles of shoreline and 50 of those miles are sand beaches.
- Ninety-seven percent of the land is used for agriculture and conservation.
- Seventy percent of the island is inaccessible by foot.
- Kauai's weather is near perfect year-round with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's, slightly warmer in the summer.
- Rain showers usually fall in the evening and early morning hours, predominantely over the mountain ranges. Contrary to popular belief, it DOES NOT rain on Kauai all the time -- except on Mt. Waialeale (in the very center and top of the island).
- Mt. Waialeale (3,000 feet high) is the wettest spot on earth, with over 430 inches of rain per year pouring on its peak and creating wonderful waterfalls on the island below.
- The temperature of the ocean ranges from 68 to 80 degrees fahrenheit.
- Kauai is about a half an hour by air from Honolulu.
- Kauai was "discovered" by Captain James Cook in 1778. Polynesians settled on the island in the fourth or fifth century A.D.
- Hawaii Standard Time is in effect year-round. There is no daylight savings time. Hawaii is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time and 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time. When daylight savings time is in effect on the mainland, Hawaii is 3 hours behind the West Coast and 6 hours behind the East Coast.