Hawaii has been a top travel destination for those on the mainland, as well as people around the world for – well, as long as I’ve been alive, haha! It’s no wonder that so many people wish to bask in the sunshine, warm waters, and lush, tropical flora and fauna! Not to mention all the delicious food, as well! Did someone say shave ice? AND OF COURSE: everyone wants to find amazing instagram photo locations from their incredible trip to Kauai! Read on to find some of my top instagram photo locations in Kauai!
I must note here, that although tourism greatly benefits the islands, many tourists do not treat these special lands with the respect they deserve. They cross areas which should not be crossed, they pollute the lands with trash, etc. We must remember that as we travel around the world, we need to take care of it. Please visit leave no trace to learn more about how you can prevent leaving your own “footprint” on these unique and special lands, so we can all continue enjoying them.
When we travel beautiful places, it’s obvious that we want to capture the beauty that we experience. Although a photographer, I am still of the opinion that a couple pieces of reflective glass will never fully capture the essence of a person, a place, or a moment. My first piece of advice is to remember — SOAK IN THE MOMENT with your own eyes and senses. The camera will never do it justice. EVER. My second piece of advice is to hire a professional photographer to capture you experiencing beautiful places. This way, you can focus on your experience, and they can worry about framing and capturing your emotions as they come! We all want to share our wonderful experiences with those whom we care about!
The following locations have all been legally accessed, without crossing any boundaries set by local areas. Wildlife was respected and enjoyed at a distance. All images have been captured by Alexi Cox, photographer with Paper Airplanes Photography . Model is Aliyah Clark, a dear friend of mine.
Nestled with access only by foot, prepare yourself for a bit of a trek! If it has recently rained, beware of extremely slick, muddy paths. The shoe holds are there, but are very deep and slippery. Bring some grippy sandals for the best traction (I adore my Chacos in situations like this!) (I saw lots of people going barefoot and STRUGGLING. Without traction from shoes, you slide even more!). With the traction, you might avoid falling, but I think I’ve still fallen every time, haha!
Once you’ve exited the jungle portion, you’ll arrive at the lava rock, where many turtles enjoy being tossed about the waves. Make sure to take a peek to see if you spot any! Take a left turn, and continue walking (about 10 minutes) until you find a beautiful pool of water. When Aliyah and I visited, we lucked out and had the bath to ourselves for about 20 minutes! If you are wanting to swim, be aware that there are many dangers with the Queen’s Bath. Individuals have passed away, as the waves directly enter the bath, and have swept them to sea. As always, take caution and choose safety.
On the drier part of the island, Waimea Canyon provides absolutely beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast, accessible by car. (You can also hike the KaLauLau Trail – my favorite hike in the world! I highly recommend it!) Along the windy drive, you’ll come across a patch of red dirt, complete with its own small waterfall and small pools of water. It was here that Aliyah and I decided to do a more earthy, Mother Earth inspired shoot.
Remember the song “Puff the Magic Dragon”? “Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei” Okay, well when I searched it, the first lyrics came up as “Honah Lee”. So who knows, haha. This bay is so striking! And the SUNSETS!!! No wonder it’s such a popular spot to swim around! The waves are great for boogie boarding, too!
Renting a car in Kauai is an absolute MUST, as there are so many places to simply pull over and shoot. Another great tip is to visit some of the really nice hotels. They usually have gorgeous beaches and views that are still accessible to guests. (Who are not even staying there). The eastern side is much more green, while the western side is more dry. They both offer gorgeous terrain, and are very unique and different. This greenery location was right off the road, while the other location featured here was on a trail outside of the Hyatt Hotel in Poipu. (check it out here: https://www.hyatt.com/grand-hyatt/en-US/kauai )
Turtle Cave. WOW. I have been lucky enough to experience Turtle Cave a handful of times, nearly every time being blessed to see a turtle or more. As previously mentioned, if there are turtles, keep your distance, and respect them. Do not touch or hold on to a turtle for any reason— it’s against the law. In addition to the turtles, this location offers such variety! The opening to the cave is unreal, as you can see! Such a beautiful place to create!
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Paper Airplanes Photography, owned by Alexi Cox, is an international photography business. She is willing to travel anywhere around the world to document stories of love and adventure. See more of her work here : www.paperairplanes.photography
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