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United States - Kauai

Kauai is Hawaii's fourth largest island and is sometimes called the 'Garden Isle,' which is an entirely accurate description. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs, aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls. Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination.

Beyond Kauai's dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. Kayak the Wailua River. Snorkel on Poipu Beach. Hike the trails of Kokee State Park. Even go ziplining above Kauai's lush valleys. But it is the island's laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns and along its one-lane bridges that make it truly timeless. Make your escape to Kauai and discover the undeniable allure of Kauai.

Kaua'i's origins are volcanic, the island having been formed by the passage of the Pacific plate over the Hawaii hotspot. At approximately six million years old, it is the oldest of the main islands. One of the wettest spots on earth, with an annual average rainfall of 460 inches or 1170 cm, is located on the east side of Mount Wai'ale'ale.

On the west side of the island, Waimea town is located at the mouth of the Waimea River, whose flow formed Waimea Canyon, one of the world's most scenic canyons often referred to as 'The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,' and which is part of Waimea Canyon State Park. The Na Pali Coast is a center for recreation in a wild setting, including kayaking past the beaches, or hiking on the trail along the coastal cliffs.

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Kauai's main airport is Lihue Airport (LIH) in southeastern Lihue. Many airlines now offer non-stop service to Kauai. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu first and then heading to Kauai on a short, 25-minute flight.

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Weather: The average temperature ranges between 84 and 69 degrees. Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round.

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Dave D. wrote about Dominica:

"Dominica was another stop on our Caribbean cruise. Here's an excerpt from my blog post about our day in Dominica:

The bus departed from the pier at 10:30am and we were en route to our first stop up in the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. As we drove through town, it looked really poor - more than the other places we've visited. During our history lesson of Dominica we learned that the island is 99% volcanic rock and 1% limestone, that there are 17 dormant volcanoes and 365 rivers - one river for every day of the year, and during leap years they find another river, was the joke.

The bus stopped after the 45-minute drive through the mountains, and we were at the entry point of the rain forest for the walk to Spanny's Waterfall. A few people stopped to use the facilities but the rest of the group began their walk through the rain forest - great tour guide, just leaving us to navigate on our own. The walk was roughly 20-minutes and was a pretty substantial hike through the mud. We saw a lot of interesting and colourful plants along the way, but surprisingly no bugs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. Could have spent a lot more time there.

Back on the bus, we made our way down the mountain and to Mero Beach, which is a black sand beach. The drive down the mountain was a little easier to handle than the drive up. Baron sure did like to grind the gears, and take the turns pretty fast. The beach was pretty interesting, seeing that I've never been to a black sand beach before. The water looked really murky, but was surprisingly clear - the black sand makes the water clarity deceiving. Because we were with the tour group, we didn't have to pay for the chairs/umbrella, and we were given a free drink at the bar.

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Brion H. 62 
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