In late September of 2017, Dana Innocenti of Lake Zurich Travel was invited to become one of only 300 Kauai Master Specialists. Here is an account of her visit to Hawaii’s oldest and northernmost island.

If I had two words to describe the island of Kauai, it would be pure magic! Kauai has an intangible quality and raw natural beauty everyone should experience. From the lush tropical landscape to beautiful, mesmerizing waterfalls Kauai has something to offer everyone.  Kauai is so remote that some areas are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond the imagination. It is by far the most unique of the Hawaiian Islands.

Geologically, Kauai has aged well over its 6 million years and transformed into one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain peaks and jagged cliffs it is home to the truly jaw-dropping Napali Coast. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls which make it feel like a dinosaur from Jurassic Park may appear at any moment. Fun fact: Steven Spielberg and crew filmed a portion of the movie throughout the Napali Coast; you can even take a Jurassic Park ATV tour.

Kauai’s weather is ideal at all times of the year.  Daytime temperatures range from the mid-70’s to mid-80’s with northeast trade winds bringing a refreshing breeze; rainfall predominantly falls over the mountain ranges, generating gorgeous rainbows almost every day!

More than just dramatic beauty, however, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities making it perfect for those seeking an active vacation.  During my trip, I went river tubing down an old irrigation system on a former sugar plantation, zip-lined across the breathtaking canopy treetops, saw a luau under the stars with the twinkle of torch lights surrounding us, went on an adventurous ATV ride through Princeville Ranch, hiked to an overlook at Waimea Canyon (nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) and snorkeled with dolphins and turtles on the Napali Coast. There is so much to explore on this diverse and beautiful island; it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise.

Kauai’s plentiful sea life is not to be missed, with dozens of endemic species found nowhere else on earth. Kauai also offers numerous marine activities such as whale watching tours, canoe and kayak rentals, fishing, surfboarding and snorkeling lessons. You can keep busy in the turquoise water off Kauai for days and may see incredible sea turtles, monk seals, and numerous species of dolphins and whales. One afternoon while sailing along the breathtaking coast, pods of dolphins followed our catamaran, playfully jumping and showing off.  The water was so clear I saw more marine life than imaginable.

Kauai is wonderful for romantic getaways, family vacations, destination weddings, and active adventure seekers alike. It was one of the most amazing travel experiences I’ve had, and I hope to go back over and over again!  Kauai is an island to discover and one you have to see for yourself to truly grasp the diverse and incredible scenery. The island’s laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns make it truly timeless. Make your escape to Kauai, and discover the undeniable allure of the island. #lethawaiihappen

Sue Shimkus and the team at Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise provide custom travel itineraries for the discerning traveler. To learn more, visit lztravel.com or call 847.438.5551.