Polynesian Bounty

Kauai, Hawaii

Aug 22, 2006
Outside Magazine

Kauai Swimming Hole    Photo: Hawaii CVB

Though the origin of the name Kauai is hazy, some speculate that it means "season of abundance." If so, no wonder: Hawaii's oldest island has miles of precipitous coastline strewn with tangled forests; steep hillsides planted with coffee, squash, and pineapples; and the highest annual rainfall on the planet—5,148-foot Mount Waialeale receives an average of 460 inches a year. Austin-Lehman Adventures explores the bounty on its new Hawaiian offering, Kauai: The Garden Isle. The six-day adventure packs in everything from a rugged hike to 200-foot Hanakapiai Falls, on the Na Pali Coast, to a screaming 3,500-vertical-foot, 12-mile mountain-bike descent from Waimea Canyon to the Pacific coast. The accommodations live up to the island's abundance: The 356-room Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club has elaborate tropical gardens, a 26,000-square-foot hibiscus-shaped pool, access to world-class surfing on Kalapaki Beach, and a spa renowned for its open-air massages overlooking Nawiliwili Bay. From $2,848, based on double occupancy, including meals; trips begin December 25, 2005, and January 1, 2006; 800-575-1540, www.austinlehman.com