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Kauai Sailing & Snorkel Adventures Along the Napali Coast

by tr on September 20, 2010

By A.R. Royo

Kauai Sailing and Snorkel Adventures along the world-famous Na Pali Coast, is the only means of truly enjoying this majestic, wonderland along 17 miles the island’s northwest shore.

Called “The Jewel of Kauai,” the breathtaking beauty of its 3,000-foot cliffs, secluded waterfalls tumbling into emerald green valleys, and hidden sea caves and beaches, can only be properly appreciated from sea.

With nearly a 100 inches of rain each year and the Kalalau Trail providing the only land access to this enchanted region, Kauai’s famous coastline remains much the same as it did in centuries past when native Hawaiian settlements grew taro in its hidden valleys.

Although the scenery is spectacular from the deck of any vessel sailing the Na Pali Coast, this is only half the experience. Don a mask, snorkel and fins, and get ready to be blown away by the rich panorama of marine life just below the ocean’s surface.

In this new universe below the waterline, you’ll likely see hundreds of brilliantly colored reef fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, octopus, eels, and amazing coral reefs studded with sea urchins, crustaceans, mollusks and marine flora of all kinds.

But remember: to protect this pristine marine paradise, don’t touch coral with your fingers, elbows, knees or fins. Don’t stand or walk on coral. And never feed the fish!

A number of sailing, snorkel adventures depart from Kikiaola Harbor and Port Allen Harbor on Kauai’s southwest shore to sail and snorkel for more than 5 hours along the Na Pali Coast. All feature fantastic sightseeing, provide incredible snorkeling and serve a delicious buffet lunch with drinks.

HoloHolo Charter Tours offers true trade wind sailing aboard “Leila,” a beautiful 50-foot sail-fitted Na Pali catamaran departing from Port Allen. This sailing excursion, which can attain speeds up to 18 knots, provides views of lush green valleys, dramatic sea cliffs, and mysterious caves before anchoring to snorkel the pristine waters off the Na Pali Coast.

Their namesake craft, “HoloHolo,” a 65-foot power catamaran also embarks from Port Allen serving a continental breakfast while sailing northwest to the Na Pali coast. Here, passengers enjoy spectacular views of waterfalls, lush valleys and sea caves. After sightseeing and learning the history of the area from the knowledgeable crew, “Holoholo” heads west across the Kaulakahi Channel to the “Forbidden Island” of Niihau. Anchoring offshore of this mysterious island, snorkeling and a picnic lunch ensue in a location that very few people have ever visited.

Liko Snorkel’s “Napali Kai III” leaves from Kikiaola small boat harbor, the closest harbor to the Napali Coast. This incredibly fast and comfortable 49-foot powered catamaran offers unobstructed views of verdant valleys, sea caves and cascading mountain cliffs. All seating is forward facing with padded seats for comfort. On this 5-hour Napali snorkel tour, participants experience numerous sea caves, including Pirates Cave (Waiahuakua), Rainbow Falls and the famous Honopu Archway where King Kong was filmed.

Capt. Andy’s also offers incredible 5-6 hour norkeling expeditions to raft Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. Aboard fast moving sea rafts visitors leave the modern world behind, darting in and out of sea caves, plunging under cascading waterfalls and encountering the dramatic peaks and majestic valleys of the Na Pali Coast. They also learn about Kauai’s rich history, discover abundant wildlife, navigate spectacular sea caves, and snorkel at a remote reef before enjoying a picnic lunch on some remote beach.

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