A large area of many star resorts and private beaches makes Poipu stand out in a virgin area. Do not miss going to the beach of the Sheraton, to see the sun slip into the horizon, sitting on the sand, philosophizing and drinking (If yo drink alcohol, do not forget to cover it with the typical brown paper bag as is forbidden to drink it without any camouflage on the beach) equipped with cameras, capturing the incredible warm sunset tones on the turquoise blue South Pacific.
Next to the tourist area of Poipu and passing the surf spot known as PK's, is the path towards the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Hawaiian Legend has it that the coast was protected by a large lizard - Mo'o-, who ate anyone who dared fish or swim in these waters. Until one day, a man named Liko entered the sea and defied the lizard. He hid in a tunnel and lured the lizard in, who got trapped there while Liko escaped. It is said that the lizard is still trapped there to this day, spewing water out of the sea.
Through the southernmost part of Kauai (appropriately nicknamed the Green Island), Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail is a path to enjoy the cliffs off the coast. The walk is a real treat for geologists because of its fascinating history of formations, erosion, and limestone. For those who are lazy and puss up outdoor excursions, you can reach the idyllic beach by car, following Poipu Road all the way to the end (but you will pass a checkpoint with opening and closing times).
That morning we woke up pretty late, and it started raining early (which was common since we had arrived on the Green Island). We went straight to the ABC Store in Kappa Town for to get an American French vanilla coffee, which became a habit rather than a vice. There wasn't a single morning where we were able to pass up these stores to recharge and have this sweet and irresistible dose of caffeine. That morning, we chose the southern route and drove to Poipu, looking for a beach called Shipwrecks. My pre-trip notes indicated that there was a path that would take us to a beach called Mahaulepu. We parked the car near the Brenecke Beach pavilion, because we thought there would be some indication of a path there…but there was nothing. We returned to our car to get back onto Poipu Road (the road that had brought us there) to see if there were any signs with directions, until we finally found one that would lead us to Mahaulepu.
We seemed like we were looking for some kind of hidden treasure because the road was horrible (it had many potholes). Our beloved rental car was not fully insured, so we took our time on this crappy road in order to avoid any damages that we would end up needing to pay for. Finally, after a long drive we found a fence that had some huge signs on it warning: NO TRESPASSING, PRIVATE ROAD. ONLY WITH SPECIAL PERMIT. (Violators will be prosecuted).
We turned back to return to Poipu road and found out just where it ends. There is a detour that appears to take you to a big resort, but it actually leads you to Shipwreck Bay (the locals call it Shipwreck Beach because of a wrecked fishing boat from 1970) which is where the trail begins. It was worth getting lost and experiencing this sublime two-mile journey which took us through sandy soils, dunes, strange zurcando succulents and to a dirt road that was marked red where we discovered the amazing coastline of this beautiful cultural heritage (which was horribly interrupted midway by a misplaced golf course). We arrived at the deserted beach from my notes, carrying our snorkel goggles a bag, with the full intention of watching fish, but the sea was rough, with lots of waves and it seemed too difficult a task to perform. However, we still got the dressed and put on the flippers, put our heads under the water but….ZERO, nothing. It was very windy to lay on the beach, so we headed back to Shipwreck Beach, where we witnessed a beautiful wedding taking place.