The Breathtaking Na Pali Coast Caves of Kauai


On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the 17-mile Na Pali Coast (Na Pali meaning "the cliffs") is home to deep valleys covered with remarkably pristine forests and vegetation, punctuated by steep pinnacles and waterfalls. The coastline itself, meanwhile, is marked by various shallow inlets and hidden beaches, as well as a number of sea caves formed by powerful waves that hammer the coastal porous lava rocks. Here are three of particular note:

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Open-Ceiling Cave

Also known as Pukalani ("hole into the heavens"), accessible only by boat, and once a hollowed-out lava tube whose roof eventually collapsed due to wave erosion, this cylindrical chamber is well known for its massive walls, bright, sunlit interior, turquoise water, and feel of a natural cathedral. 


Waiahuakua Sea Cave

The USA's second longest sea cave - 1,155 feet - and one of the world's longest, it's also known as Double-Door Cave because it has two entrances/exits. Overall exhibiting that more traditionally darker cave vibe, it also has a collapsed section of roof through which light and a lively waterfall pour down.

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Honololo Sea Cave

Once a fishing ground for pre-colonial Hawaiians, the largest of the Kauai sea caves and the one with the highest ceiling is also a visitor favorite because of the waterfall which tour boats pass as they enter, dousing them in a refreshing spray.

Reachable by boat, helicopter, or hiking the 11-mile Kalalau Trail, the paradisiacal wilderness of these remarkable caves is a wonderland for hiking, rafting, snorkeling, and swimming - an unforgettable adventure for lovers of nature.

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