Captain Cook Never Sailed Here

Milolii Beach, Kauai

   

No one should leave the islands without a taste of that old Hawaiian fantasy. The Robinson Crusoe moment. The beach of one's own. The only hitch: You'll have to swim for it.
Kauai's Na Pali coast—inevitably called the "rugged" Na Pali coast in guidebooks—has stood in for paradise in everything from King Kong to Gilligan's Island. A beachscape that adaptable can accommodate all variety of run-away-from-life dreams, especially since Na Pali's beaches are accessible only by boat, and semi-accessible even then. An inflatable Zodiac carries you to within sight of the sand. "This is the spot," the captain then hollers, before blithely tossing your waterproof packs overboard. You follow, feet first, into the deep blue sea. Ahead is Milolii beach, empty of company. The most remote of Na Pali's beaches, it's also the prettiest. Green valleys cut between inland mountain cliffs. Waterfalls stream down the rocks. Crayon-plumed birds flit through the trees. And sea turtles float serenely in the surf. Paradise. And you have it to yourself—for about four hours. Then the Zodiac returns and you swim, reluctantly, back to real life.
To arrange your own island drop-off, call Captain Zodiac Raft Expeditions (800-422-7824 or 808-826-9371). The boats leave from Kauai's Tunnel Beach at prearranged times for prices from $68-$120.

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