Kauai Exposed: Expectations vs. Reality

Is Kauai really a little paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

Last updated: June 19, 2023

Kauai - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
Kauai exposed: Expectations vs. reality

Kauai – Dreamy Island in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean

I decided to take a break from our European adventures and talk about island life. No, Europe doesn’t bore me. On the contrary, I like every piece of it. But so often you see places that steal your heart. Even if you never go back there, your mind takes frequent trips to those places. Kauai is that magical escape for me.

Browsing the Internet, I can clearly say that I’m not alone here. From Instagram perfect photos to reality checks, Kauai is exposed in more ways than you can ever imaging. And while pictures usually speak louder than thousands of words, sometimes a short caption is all you need to complete those images. So, here is my take on exposing Kauai.

Kauai Exposes: Kilauea Lighthouse - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
The Island of Kauai: Our expectations vs. reality


Kauai Exposed: The Island is Expensive

High prices are probably the biggest drawback of visiting and living on Kauai. Regardless if you are a budget traveler or gravitate toward adventures with a luxury touch, be ready to shell out more money pretty much for everything.

While it’s quite understandable to pay more for imported products (the price includes transportation cost from the mainland of the USA to Kauai), even locally grown produce, such as coconuts and other fruits, come with a hefty price tag.

Reality: Hotels are Affordable

Speaking about the prices, surprisingly, the accommodation on Kauai is pretty affordable. You can choose a place to stay based on your budget without sacrificing some “luxuries” of island life. We didn’t aim for a five-star hotel, but still were able to enjoy free morning yoga classes, free bikes, big swimming pool, and amazing ocean views from our hotel room.

Kauai Exposed: Queen's Bath - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com

Kauai Exposed: Not all Beaches are Pretty

Hardly any pictures on the Internet or social media show this reality: not all beaches on Kauai are equally pretty. While Hanalei Bay Beach, Ke’e Beach and Tunnels Beach don’t raise a question, small beaches right behind large hotels are pretty ordinary.

Reality: Nature doesn’t Disappoint

Whether you are a big outdoor enthusiast like I am or a city person with occasional desires for short hikes, nature on Kauai never disappoints. Lush greenery of the island impresses from the moment you leave the airport. Majestic mountains of the island charm and awake your adventurous soul. Beautiful waterfalls promise unforgettable experiences.

Fast and Slow Travel for Beginners - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
Kauai expectations vs. reality: Lush greenery abounds

Kauai Exposed: One of the Rainiest Places on Earth

It rains a lot on Kauai. The rain pours almost every day. In fact, Mount Waialeale in the heart of Kauai is considered one of the rainiest places on earth.

Reality: Perfect Vacation Weather

Despite a lot of rain, Kauai boasts perfect weather year round. With average temperature ranging between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you hardly find any other places as perfect for your tropical vacation as Kauai.

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