Awesome Hike and Swimming Underneath Opaekaa Falls

“Opaekaa” means “tumbling shrimp” in Hawaiian because the Opaekaa stream and waterfall used to be filled with freshwater prawns. Today, you won’t see many shrimp there – or people – which makes this an amazing hike to explore the wild jungle and nature in Kauai and get a spectacular view of this 151 ft waterfall.

Opaekaa Falls picture

Opaekaa Falls is a breathtaking 151 ft waterfall that you can hike right up to with a proper guide.

The hike to Opaekaa falls is dangerous and you should be warned that there have been deaths from hikers in Opaekaa falls – their bodies found floating in the pool below. So I highly recommend that you DO NOT DO THIS HIKE unless you have an experienced local guide who has done it before to guide you along the safest path down.

Opaekaa Falls Hike

Here’s a picture of me in the pool underneath Opaekaa Falls.

But for those of you who can find a local Kauai tour guide to take you to the falls, it’s an extraordinary experience – and I’ve never once gone on this hike and seen anyone else there – just me and my hiking buddies which makes for a peaceful experience of raw nature in Kauai.

Where To Stay When Visiting Amsterdam

Amsterdam, is a great old historic city located in the Netherlands. It is among the hottest tourist destinations in Europe. Every single year, lots of people flock to this particular city to experience the culture along with the landscapes.

Finding A Place To Stay Amsterdam

The only problem to holiday destinations such as these will be accommodations. Most hotels tend to be fully booked upon peak seasons and could even be expensive. Finding a hotel inside the scenic spots can end up being a really challenging task specifically around Amsterdam. Luckily, apartments are right now gaining popularity as an option for lodging within this area.

Amsterdam picture

You get the same conveniences of hotels, however most of all, it is a more affordable option. Nevertheless, there’s still one more road block. Choosing the perfect apartment can additionally end up being an arduous job on its own. Determing the best apartment may spell the difference in between a wonderful vacation and a catastrophe. Don’t fret.

Have you heard of Short Stay Apartments Amsterdam? It is an online reservation system for apartments in Amsterdam. They provide highly sophisticated and stylish apartments all around the town. This is the solution to your problems.

Here are a handful of good reasons to book with Short Stay Apartment Amsterdam.

It provides you with access to a wide range of apartment providers. You are able to choose between a number of apartments that will satisfy your need. Whether it is a studio type or even 1 to 2 bedroom apartment, they certainly have the one you are looking for.

They possess available apartments within tourist spots all around the city. You needn’t be worried about staying out late because your apartment is just around the corner. Having the accessibility is vital in this town.

Their apartment providers have already been within the hospitality business for a long time. You may expect only top notch service which will cater to your own needs while you are in Amsterdam. They can accommodate your special requests and be sure you get the time of your life.

Their internet site is extremely simple to use. You can be certain to finish your reservation within a few minutes. In addition they provide an overview of the actual place and even a brief description of the nearby places to get your own Amsterdam adventure started.

They also possess real time accessibility. This allows you to examine available dates and choose from the options listed. You may even narrow it down based on your preference.

They have a very devoted group of people who can help you with your inquiries. They will help you find an ideal fit for your needs. You can contact them through phone, email or perhaps Skype.

The most important above everything else is they provide a great value for the money. They provide an ideal accommodation for you without having to break the bank. Additionally, it simply takes you a few minutes to reserve.

Staying in a short stay apartment in Amsterdam will make your in Amsterdam worthwhile. It can make you concentrate on the things that really matters in a vacation which is almost all the fun you will experience in the city of Amsterdam. This is the correct selection.

More information about Amsterdam and its cultural activities, tourist attractions, flower markets, red light district, clubs, bars, nichtlife, restaurants and musea you can visit: Amsterdam.info.

Reading some information will make your stay so much more worth while. We wish you all the best and have the most pleasant stay possible.

Thanks to short stay apartment in Amsterdam for the inspiration for this article.

Kauai Concert Association Info

Locals and visitors in Kauai who want to enjoy watching fine, live music performances are fortunate they can do so now. The Kauai Concert Association or KCA is committed to bringing world class music to the island. For quite some time now, the organization has been doing what it intends to do.

KCA started in 1974. It began with about two to three concerts held annually. Now, it presents up to eight concert seasons featuring a wider variety of different types of music. The concerts showcase classical, jazz, dance, and world music. The aim is still obviously to promote enjoyment as well as edification of music lovers and concert goers particularly in Kauai.

Through the years, KCA has brought to the island many noteworthy performers. The list includes the San Francisco Opera, Hiroshima, Oakland Ballet, Black Grace, Ernie Watts, and Chanticleer. Regular concert goers are looking forward for many other artists and performers that could possibly be brought here.

Since its establishment, KCA has been manned by volunteer staff. The volunteers select performers, arrange transportation and accommodation, host dinners, advertise, and sell tickets. Indeed, they are integrally involved in almost all aspects of the organization. Through the years, the organization has kept the focus of its staff towards excellence and consistency.

The Kauai Concert Venue

The organization is usually holding its sponsored and produced performances at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center Theater. The venue is no less the most modern and currently the most acoustically ideal hall in the island. To many goers, KCA performances are now somehow identified with this venue.

In the past, KCA also mounted concerts at various venues. Some performances were held at the Kauai Convention Center and the Coco Palms Hotel. It even tried staging at several other smaller venues in the area. However, KCA apparently recognized the fact that audiences during the past several decades have been growing tremendously. For instance, in the 2008 to 2009 concert season, up to 3,000 audiences attended its concerts.

Other Programs

It is not surprising that KCA is branching out. In the last several years, the organization has included the Scholarship and Educational Service as another component to its mission. Thus, the current mission statement of the group has been modified. Now it goes like this: KCA commits to hold quality classical and contemporary performing fine arts as well as to facilitate musical education opportunities.

Every year, the organization is granting scholarship awards to worthy talented musical arts students. Recipients usually include students of violin, sax, piano, drums, trumpet, ballet, tap, and modern dance. They are encouraged to take participation in KCA events. They are also provided with invitations to receptions and concerts to see for their selves how outstanding artists and production teams do their jobs.

Moreover, the Educational Service component of KCA is providing opportunities for students and even adults in the island to enjoy personal interaction with world-class artists in different genres. The organization commonly facilitates maiden opportunities to witness professionalism of musicians and performers from all across the globe.

Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau Temple In Kauai

Hanalei is one of the busiest tourism hubs in Kauai. Aside from the beaches, the area is known for specific sites that showcase unique Hawaiian history as well as religion. Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau tops the list. A visit to Hanalei will not be complete without checking out this uniquely Hawaiian temple.

Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau is a native temple that is believed to have been put up for Laka, the Hawaiian goddess of Hula. The temple features an altar, which has been successfully preserved through the years. To further boost interest, local Hula dancers regularly perform in and around the altar.

The ancient temple is located along the north shore of this paradise island. It is just a few steps away from the trailhead of the equally popular Na Pali Coast trail, which starts in Haena. Ku Ulu O Laka Heiau is strategically wedged between the vast ocean and cliffs.

Hawaiian Legend

According to native legend, the site of the temple was where a local mortal chief named Lohiau danced and performed for Pele, goddess of fire/volcano. From that meeting, Lohiau and Pele were said to have been passionately enamored with each other. So you thought such mortal–immortal love affairs only happen in Greek mythology?

This is the reason Ku Ulu O Laka Heiau is considered as a hula heiau or temple. Through the years, local hula dancers have made it a goal to dance in the temple to test their hula dancing skills. Hula learners or students are often required to show their reverence and respect to Pele through performing in the temple.

What to expect

The appeal of Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau lies within its old and antique structures. The rocky remains of the temple have apparently endured many years of weathering. However, anyone can still easily feel the power and atmosphere of this unique setting.

The ancient temple hovers midway between the ocean and the island’s mountains. It is also encircled by a jungle. Of course, it is within the edge of modern civilization. According to historians, ancient Hawaiians used to hold night rituals in the site. The locals were believed to have hurled burning branches from atop the cliffs to facilitate and create natural fireworks display every time they gather in the area. Tourists and other visitors are advised not to enter beyond the boundary in the temple allotted for them.

Cultural importance

The presence of Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau cements the cultural importance of Hanalei to Kauai. The temple is simply known as among the most popular hula platforms in all of Hawaii. Tourists who want to enjoy hula performances as well as trace the roots of the native dance can find the temple as an ideal place to be in.

Along with hula dance, the eclectic Hawaiian native music is also a come-on in the area. More interestingly, the music used in hula dance today feature an enticing mix of various musical influences and themes from all across the globe. There is a belief that the current music mix was started by missionaries many years ago.

Historic Places In Kauai

Kauai is believed to be the oldest of all islands in the entire Hawaiian chain. It is estimated to be aged more than 5 million years old now. This belief further gives its locals a stronger and prouder appreciation of the island’s own culture and history. From the arrival of Captain Cook in Waimea to the establishment of the historic Koloa sugar plantation, Kauai’s rich history is definitely something to explore.

There is a generous abundance of historical sites all across the garden island. Numerous explorers from Europe, America, and Polynesia have dropped by the island in the past centuries, giving their own sets of influences to numerous structures and even religious/cultural beliefs. The locals also pass on several interesting legends that add to the appeal of historic places.

Finding out more about Kauai’s history, culture, tradition, and old religious beliefs can be an enriching and engaging experience. The process can make one appreciate further the beauty and allure of what are considered as the island paradise’s historical treasures.

Legendary Sites

As mentioned, Kauai locals have passed down folklores and unique stories that continue to live on within some of the famous historical places. For one, the Alekoko Menehune Fishpond is identified with the legend about Menehune, mythical little people who are believed to have constructed the thousand-year-old pond in as fast as a night.

The Ka Ulu O Laka Heiau or sacred hula temple is a holy spot that is believed to be a site where a mortal and an immortal met thousands of years ago to fall in love with each other. Located along the Napali Coast of the island, the temple is a famous site where hula dancers regularly perform to honor and appreciate their admirable hula traditions.

Small Towns

It is amazing how Kauai has successfully preserved and maintained many of its small towns. It is not surprising because such towns are small in scale but they are without a doubt huge in terms of historical significance. Top on this list is the Waimea Town, where Captain James Cook first set his foot in Hawaii in 1778. That led to the discovery and development of the island chain.

Hanapepe Town was once a thriving village. Now, it is considered as the art capital of the island. The Old Koloa Town located north of Poipu is home to the first ever sugar plantation and mill, which was built in the island in 1835. The Koloa Heritage Trail facilitates an ideal exploration and discovery of Kauai history.

Interesting Museums

Of course, there are numerous museums that allow visitors to further see and realize Kauai’s rich history. The Waioli Mission House and the Waioli Huiia Church in Hanalei facilitate glimpse into the missionary life in the island circa 1830s. The Kokee Natural Museum showcases the history of the Waimea Canyon. Other notable museums to visit are the Grove Farm Homestead Museum and the Kauai Museum.

Visitors should include visiting such historical places in their itinerary when exploring Kauai. One can surely discover and realize that there is so much more about this garden island other than what meets our eyes. Indeed, a visit to Kauai can be an enriching experience.

Hiking Holidays In Kauai

Kauai: Hiking Holidays

Up to 90% of the entire Kauai is inaccessible by typical transport. That is why the island facilitates great hiking experiences. There are just too many sites and sights within this paradise that should be explored—on foot. Indeed, hiking is truly an ideal way to explore and enjoy the natural splendor of Kauai first-hand. Needless to say further, Kauai is an amazing island with breath-taking sceneries. You can aim to see major waterfalls, which mostly require hours of hiking. You may take short hikes from specific roads or opt to go through hiking trails that may require all day of challenge.

The 3 Best Hiking Trails in Kauai

It is advisable that before you go on a hiking holiday in the island, you should do some research to know which trails to take. The Department of Land and Natural Resources as well as the Division of State Parks can provide you with accurate maps, which can be helpful in navigation. There are several recommended hiking trails but if it is your first time to go, the three most popular are the Kukui, Kuilau Ridge, and Kalalau Trails. 1. The Kukui Trail is a 5-mile trail dropping about 2,000 feet into the Waimea Canyon. It offers a short route going to the canyon floor. As a form of reward from nature, there is a huge swimming hole at the canyon’s bottom. 2. The Kuilau Ridge Trail is a 4.2-mile hike that offers picturesque views of a wealth of flora and several waterfalls. Its trailhead is a mile from the University of Hawaii Agricultural Experimental Station. 3. The Kalalau Trailis noted for being the original hiking route going to Kalalau Valley. It offers panoramic views of the equally popular Kee Beach and Na Pali Coast. Many hikers decide to take an overnight camp and spend the night at Hanakapial, where you can mingle with other hiking adventurists for a unique nightlife. This trail is most suited for experienced hikers for logical reasons.

Hiking Safety Tips for Kauai

Be sure to prepare for your hiking holiday before going to Kauai. As mentioned, it will be advisable to get a map of the trails first. It will be more fun to hike with your family or friends, although some adventurists opt to hike alone. Pack your hiking essentials especially drinking water as drinking freshwater from streams and ponds may not be advisable for health safety reasons. Wear a good and reliable pair of hiking shoes (preferably with tread), a pair of light pants or shorts and a light shirt. Don’t forget to bring with you light rain jackets and even mosquito repellents (for overnight hiking). If you are taking a tougher and longer hike, bring flashlights, compass, sweaters, first aid kit, and sufficient water and food to nourish you all throughout the activity. Bringing of mobile phones is also advisable. Hiking in Kauai can really be fun. If you are planning a holiday vacation in this island paradise, it is advisable that you don’t forget scheduling a hiking activity. Take any of the trails and you will see what kind of rewards from nature you can behold.

What’s On Your Bucket List?

If you’ve got a bucket list, chances are you can check off a lot of those things on the gorgeous island of Kauai.

Here are some common bucket list items you can do in Kauai:

Skydiving

Skydiving on Kauai is epic to say the least! The views of the gorgeous green mountain in the middle of the ocean are breathtaking. If skydiving Kauai doesn’t make you feel alive, I don’t know what will!

Skydiving Kauai picture

Skydiving Kauai is a must for your bucket list!

Surfing In Hawaii

Now surfing may not be all that amazing of an activity (unless you’re really into surfing) but there’s absolutely something unique and amazing about surfing in Kauai. Kauai is not as well known for surfing as the North Shore of Oahu but swells can get to 20 ft or more on big days and much more often 6-12 ft depending on the season.

If you want to surf with the big waves, this is one of the places to do it!

Scuba Diving

Kauai is one of the best places to scuba dive. Well, not Kauai exactly – Nihau. It’s the small island just a few miles off the coast of Kauai. It provides epic deep underwater cliffs right next to the coral reefs.

Nihau Scuva Diving picture

Scuva Diving in Nihau is a great addition to your bucket list!

If you’ve never scuba dived before, Kauai is a great place to get your certification. The dive operators here are very experienced and have great safety records.

Swim With Dolphins and Turtles

Who doesn’t want to swim with dolphins and turtles?

Swim With Dolphins

Honestly, there’s nothing like swimming with dolphins. They’re so fun and playful and you can swim with them in the wild here if you know where to go (and what you’re doing!).

Just make sure to be safe and NEVER go out alone!

Locals will often go to Kalihiwai Bay early in the morning on a calm day and swim out to where the dolphins are feeding. If you’re lucky, you too can swim with the dolphins there. Again, just make sure to be safe, never go alone, and bring flippers and a snorkel if not a flotation device as well.

See The Rainiest Spot On Earth (Mount Wai’Ale’Ale)

Mount WaiAleAle averages more than 452 inches of rain a year! That makes it the rainiest place on Earth – and an extraordinary sight to see. In the old days, you could take a helicopter and fly to the top of the mountain, land there and walk around. Today, the only way to get there is to hike for several days and it’s very dangerous and not recommended.

Mount WaiAleAle picture

You can still take a helicopter ride up and see Mount WaiAleAle though – you just can’t land there. It’s definitely an extraordinary sight to behold on a clear day (which, of course, are few and far between). You can see Mount WaiAleAle from many parts of the island and you’ll often see it hidden behind rain clouds – working on a new world record for rain fall!

Thanks to www.extremebucketlist.net for their inspiration for this article.

10 Reasons Why You Will Love The Helicopter Tours In Kauai

So you want to see the beautiful island of Kauai by helicopter, huh?

Well that’s a good choice! It’s one of the BEST ways to see the island.

Here are my top 10 reasons why you will absolutely love taking a helicopter tour in Kauai!

1. See What No One Else Can See

First of all, because you can see A LOT of parts of the island by helicopter that are completely inaccessible by land.

Jurassic Park Falls picture

Manawaiopuna Falls is famous for being in the movie Jurassic Park. It can only be seen by helicopter!

2. Very Little Travel Time

Second, it takes a lot less time to get there by helicopter! You can go from seeing Waialeale (the highest point on the island, the top of the mountain!) to seeing the amazing Kalalau and exclusive Honopu beaches in just a few minutes.

3. Bird’s Eye View

The view from a helicopter is stunning, to say the least. Honestly, words cannot describe how gorgeous the island is from above. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience when you get to see the majestic beauty of the island from a helicopter. Even if you go on several trips, you will NEVER forget your first time seeing Kauai from above.

Na Pali Coast Bird's Eye View picture

The bird's eye view of the Na Pali coast from Helicopter can't be matched!

4. Ocean Life

You can often see whales, monk seals and dolphins from your helicopter as well – just keep an eye out for them!

Kauai Whale Watching picture

Seeing the whales in Kauai is an amazing experience.

5. See Where You Want To Explore More

When you take a helicopter adventure, you can see where you want to go explore more. Maybe Wailua falls appeals to you from above – so you want to go check it out more. Or maybe you love the view of the Na Pali coast and gorgeous mountains there so you decide to hike into Kalalau valley to explore more.

Taking a helicopter trip as soon as you get to the island is a great way to discover what’s here and can lead you on even more adventures!

6. Avoid The Tourists

On some of the custom helicopter tours, you can land at secluded parts of the island and walk around where no one else is. It’s a great way to get away from it all and explore some of the hidden beauty in Kauai.

7. Fly In An Open Door Helicopter

On Kauai, there are several helicopter companies that will take you on an open-door helicopter ride. It’s definitely an experience to remember! It allows you to get almost a 360 degree view from your perch that’s unobstructed – meaning you’ll have more time to check out the stunning waterfalls and sheer cliffs below you.

Open Door Helicopter Kauai picture

There's nothing quite like flying in an Open Door Helicopter in Kauai!

8. Wildlife!

From a helicopter, you can often see mountain goats, wild deer and wild boar which are very hard to find any other way unless you’re hiking alone in Koke’e State Park.

Mountain Goats Kauai

The mountain goats in Kauai travel on sheer cliffs with ease.

9. See All Of Waimea Canyon

You can literally see ALL of Waimea Canyon (or just about all of it) from above. This is the “Grand Canyon of Hawaii” and provides breathtaking views. Honestly, even if you hike the canyon trails, because it’s so big and there are several sections of it, you’ll never get as good a view from hiking as you will from the helicopter ride.

Waimea Canyon picture

Waimea Canyon is just gorgeous from above!

10. Fun!

Honestly, taking a helicopter ride in Kauai is one of the funnest things you could possibly do on the island. So enjoy it!

Thanks to all of the wonderful folks on Kauai who provide helicopter tours for all of us to enjoy. We love you!

Travel Tips For When You’re Traveling Abroad

A trip to a foreign country is always an exciting time. You get to explore new sights, experience different cultures and meet lots of people along the way. This is also a great way to bond with friends and family.

However, before you leave for abroad, there are a few essentials that you need to check first to ensure that you will have a safe trip and pleasant stay overseas.

Travel picture

Before leaving for your international trip, there are very important things that you need to check.

From precautionary measures to learning about the country as much as you can, to what clothes to pack; these are all essential things that you need to look into to ascertain that everything will run smoothly once you arrive in your country of destination.

Precautionary Measures

Check your government website to see if there are any travel alerts posted about the country that you are planning to go to.

Governments are updated about specific political situations in other countries and sometimes, certain countries are listed as “high risk” because of civil disturbances brought on by political turmoil.

Check also for health advisories to ensure that you will not be walking into anything that might prove to be highly dangerous to your health.

This being said, you should definitely check if your insurance policy covers travels abroad.

Travel Insurance

It is not recommended that you travel abroad without any form of insurance.

Insurance policies for trips abroad usually not only cover medical emergencies but they also cover lost luggage, dental emergencies and even car rental excesses.

So before you leave for your trip, check to see if your insurance policy covers medical and emergency expenses abroad. If not, there are travel insurance policies that you can get just to cover your stay in a foreign country.

What to Bring

Check the weather condition in your country of destination during the time of your visit. This will help you pack the right clothes and bring other essentials such as sunscreen and other sun protection items if the weather will be too hot during your stay there.

Of course, do not forget your important documents such as your updated medical history, prescriptions, if any; and your passport.

Bring your own first aid kit as well.

Now, for the matter of what to leave behind, the most important thing that you need to leave behind – actually, to give to your family and friends, is your travel itinerary.

Make a detailed documentation of everything that you will be doing during your trip plus your flight details.

This way, should anything amiss happen; your loved ones whom you left back home will have a record of your planned itinerary and have an idea of where you are; i.e. where you’re billeted and places you planned to visit.

Thanks to expatintelligence.com for their Travel Tips.

Top 5 Things To Do In Bratislava

Bratislava is a beautiful city and one that we think doesn’t get enough holiday attention. Situated in Europe between Austria and Hungary, it’s the only national capital that is bordered by two countries. Plus with its rich and diverse culture, there’s much to enjoy in this European city and as an added bonus Bratislava is one of the cheapest places in Europe to visit! So there’s no excuse!

Bratislava picture

However because of this, many people visit purely to enjoy the cheap drink, which (as you can imagine) makes it a key destination for stag parties. Problem is because the alcohol (and pretty much everything else) is so cheap many stag parties fail to notice that there’s much more to this city than just drinking! So for those of you who are planning to go on a Bratislava stag, read on for some exciting ideas about what to do…

Quad Biking

Definitely a great activity for all the petrol heads out there! This is a great alternative way to explore and sight-see in Slovakia. In fact it’ll also give you a chance to literally go off the beaten track and get to grips with the local and natural terrain. So if you like adrenaline then this one is definitely for you!

Clay Pigeon Shooting

This is a great and popular European activity. If you’re not sure what it is then let us give you a quick explanation. Basically it involves a shotgun and you aiming at clay targets that are propelled into the air (where you’re supposed to shoot them mid-air.) Sounds exciting don’t it? Well it is and once you’ve shot a few targets we promise you’ll be hook and feeling like a real sharp shooter.

White water rafting

Not exactly what you’d expect from Bratislava is it? However it’s true, because in the city there’ve built a manmade white water rafting course that has more rapids and drops than you can handle! So make sure you take some swimming trunks and clothes you don’t mind getting wet because you are going to get wet!

Bobsledding

Oh of course we’re going to save the best activity for last because in our opinion this is the best and the most exciting stag party activity ever. So if you want something that’s really going to gets the blood pumping then how about grabbing a sledge and whizzing down a 360 meter slope at 50km/h? Just remember though the season lasts till April to September so make sure you go during those times.

Anyway that’s it for our best of Bratislava…

See? There’s much more to do during your stag than just drink and go clubbing. We also recommend taking in some of the local historic sights and hot spots as well while you’re there. After all you’ve paid to go to another country so why not learn a bit more about it and see some of its national sights?