Kauai holiday highlights

Following the challenging 11-mile Kalalau hiking trail, which links the beaches of Ke'e and Kalalau and traverses five verdant valleys, is the only way to experience the Nā Pali coastline by land. But if the hike is a bit of a stretch, the view is equally impressive from water or air. On a cruise along the coast, you might spot dolphins leaping in the slipstream or the tail lob of a whale.

The rugged Waimea Canyon, proudly known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, was created by an earthquake that almost split Kauai into two islands and it has been long since been eroded by the waters of the Waimea River. The canyon is approximately 10 miles long, a mile wide and over 3,000ft deep and one of the best views is from the Waimea Canyon Overlook. Bask on one of the uncrowded white-sand beaches, many of which are great spots to surf, go mountain tubing down Lihue’s water flumes or shoot down zip-lines above the rainforest. Tee off on championship golf courses and unwind with a traditional Lomi Lomi massage in a sumptuous spa.

Kauai key facts

Time difference

GMT -10 hours

Currency

US Dollar

Flying time to destination

17¼ hours to Honolulu.

Language

English and Hawaiian

Passport & visas

•   Brits must have a full 10-year British Passport that's valid for six months after you return to the UK.
•   You'll also need a USA visa or waiver form/ESTA. Apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before travelling (http://esta.cbp.dhs.gov).

Kauai good to know

Etiquette

Dialling code
+1 808

Health/Vaccinations
•   No vaccinations are compulsory but it's recommended you have one for tetanus.
•   For more information, contact your GP or a specialist vaccination centre.

Tipping

•   If you're happy with the service, tip 15-20% in restaurants, bars and taxis.
•   Porters can expect anything between $3 and $5 per case – there's normally a Union Rate displayed in reception.
•   Give tour guides about $5 per day.

Public holidays

• 1 January: New Year's Day

• Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

• Third Monday in February: Presidents Day

• Last Monday in May: Memorial Day

• 4 July: Independence Day

• First Monday in September: Labor Day

• Second Monday in October: Columbus Day

• 11 November: Veterans Day

• Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day

• 25 December: Christmas Day

Food & drink

•   A popular local dish is 'plate lunch' - rice, macaroni salad and meat or fish such as kalua pork, chicken katsu and mahi mahi.
•   'Pupu' means 'appetiser', and restaurants serve up sumptuous platters of them for you to enjoy.
•   Hungry types should tackle a 'loco moco' - a filling feast of a hamburger steak, an egg, rice and gravy.
•   Cool down with a refreshing 'shave ice' - a snow cone on top of ice cream or azuki beans.
•   When you fancy something sweet, visit a bakery for a hot malasada or Portuguese doughnut.