Probably the most touristy thing that we did during our Hawaii trip (I say that, but let’s face it, anytime you go on vacation your trip is pretty much guaranteed to be filled with touristy things. Otherwise why are you going on vacation!), was a luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai. Before our trip most people, including my parents, told us that a luau was a waste of time and money because it’s not truly Hawaiian and the food isn’t that great. Well I’m here to tell you that while it is touristy, a luau during your Hawaiian trip is totally worth it, and something that you should try to do on your trip, especially the luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai. And here are the reasons why!
You’ll Learn About Hawaiian Culture
The Hawaiian culture is very diverse because of it’s location in the Pacific Ocean. Multiple Pacific Islanderl, mainly the Polynesians, actually made their way to Hawaii and brought with them their culture, including the hula dance. While traditional hula is more about chants and having the dance moves portray those chants, the more Westernized hula incorporates more Western style of instruments that the dancers dance to.
With all of the different island cultures coming together on the island, it definitely makes for a wide array of styles of hula dance, and during your luau you will definitely see quite a few of those types. From traditional Hula, to Westernized Hula, to the Haka that the New Zealand All Blacks perform before every Rugby game, to even fire dancing. You will be entertained, I guarantee it!
You’re Surrounded By A Beautiful Setting
I’ll bet you that one of the reasons that you’re visiting Hawaii is because you want to escape to a beautiful and tropical setting, so why in the world would you want to spend your time eating indoors. A luau gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and a beautiful setting as well.
The luau at the Sheraton Poipu Beach will definitely allow you to enjoy the a beautiful setting, but what’s even better is that you will be literally right on the beach. We enjoyed the cool salty breeze right off the ocean, the beautiful dancing, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, and an amazing sunset to boot. You will definitely be happy that you chose to luau at the Sheraton Poipu!
Bottomless Mai Tais & Some Great Hawaiian Food
Besides beautiful dancing and music, I know that another reason that you’re deciding to attend a luau is to try some traditional Hawaiian food as well. The Luau at the Sheraton Poipu has all of the traditional Hawaiian food that you could want. From pineapple to poke to purple potatoes to Kalua pig to taro rolls and even poi, everybody will find something to eat while at the luau. And yes, Chris and I even ate some poi, even though it wasn’t our favorite we still gave it a try!
But even better than all of the food that you’re going to be eating at the luau, probably the most exciting thing you’ll be putting into your stomach is the bottomless mai tais that you’ll be able to drink while you’re enjoying the entertainment. If there’s one drink that you have to drink while on Hawaii, besides maybe a pina colada, it’s definitely a mai tai! The mai tai is the perfect fruity concoction with a side of rum that will make you feel relaxed and really enjoy the Hawaiian side of life!
While I definitely feel like the luau at the Sheraton Poipu was very touristy, Chris and I still really enjoyed our time at the luau. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting, the food and drinks were delicious, and I felt like we really got to learn more about the Hawaiian culture and the different aspects of hula. So if you feel like being a tourist on your vacation to Hawaii and learning a little bit more about the Hawaiian culture, definitely give the luau at the Sheraton Poipu a try! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women for the first anniversary of Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World! Thanks for creating such a wonderful community of women! I’ve loved being a part of this linkup so much!
Do you like to do the touristy things on vacation? Have you ever attended a luau?
If you remember back to one of my earlier Hawaii posts, you might remember how I said that Kauai was one of the more “treacherous” of the Hawaiian islands in the fact that it’s extremely mountainous. In fact, some parts of the island, most famously the Na’Pali Coast, are seriously only accessible by air, boat, or foot because the terrain is too rough for roads to be built.
We were already planning on taking a sunset cruise around the Na’Pali Coast, and we were going to hike the Na’Pali Coast if we had the time, so we’d essentially be knocking off two of the ways that you could see this incredibly beautiful part of the island, and I thought, well let’s try for all 3. I started researching helicopter tours on Kauai, and once I priced it out and talked to Chris about it, we booked out trip, and we couldn’t be happier with the amazing experience that we had! After all, it was a 5 year anniversary trip, we might as well go all out, right!
While I think that we regretted waking up early at the time, I was very happy that we arrived and booked our tour for first thing in the morning. I felt like it gave us the opportunity to have the afternoon for other activities, and just in case we had bad weather, we might still get to fly later on in the day. There were quite a few people that were there, and once we had all checked in, I think that we got weighed, they sat us down and we watched a safety video. After all, we were going up in a helicopter!
Before we knew it, it was time for us to actually get on our helicopter! The people at Blue Hawaiian arranged us in groups and the order that we would be sitting in the helicopter and then took us out to the landing strip. There must have been 3 or 4 other helicopters going up at the same time as us, so there was always somebody from Blue Hawaiian there guiding us around the air strip and eventually onto the helicopter. We all got strapped in, received headphones/microphones, got introduced to our pilot and guide, and took off into the air!
While the beginning of our flight wasn’t too interesting, we started off pretty much flying over the airport, it quickly turned into one of the most peaceful and beautiful experiences I’ve ever been on. Our pilot was extremely knowledgeable about the island of Kauai and had a ton of experience flying (I think that it was like 15 years or something), so our flight was so incredibly smooth and we got to see so much around the island.
We got to see the highest point in the island (something that you can literally only see by air), Mana Waiapuna (most infamously known for being the opening scenes to Jurassic Park), Waimea Canyon (which we had seen the day before, before ending at the Na’Pali Coast and the beautiful Princeville resort area of the island. Besides all of those amazing sites, we also saw too many waterfalls and beaches to keep track of. It’s no wonder Hawaii is known as paradise!
The hour that we were up in the air flew by, I took way too many pictures on my camera, which is why there’s pretty much a throw up of pictures on the blog today, and Chris and I had one of the most magical experiences of our lives. Without a doubt something that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I hope that y’all get the chance to experience it as well, and if you’re planning a trip, here are a few things that you should know before your visit!
Know Before You Go
Wear dark clothing: Hands down one of the most important things to remember for your trip is to wear dark clothing, preferably all black if you can. Chris made the mistake of wearing a blue shirt, and when the people at Blue Hawaiian told him that his shirt would show up in pictures (he didn’t believe me when I told him), he had to buy one of their shirts to wear. Of course, they conveniently had shirts for sale that were black if you needed them. If you don’t believe me about the color, look at some of the pictures that I posted, you can see my camera strap and sometimes my arms or legs showing up in the pictures. I swear, I’m probably the only person who visited Hawaii and came home without a tan, thanks SPF 50!
Plan on a long commute to the airport: Like I mentioned earlier, the island of Kauai is very spread out and there aren’t a lot of roads that lead through the island, pretty much everything is around the island. So be aware that even though the airport might be like 10-15 miles away from your resort, it could still take you a while to get there, especially if you’re coming from the Princeville area. So make sure to give yourself enough time to get there before your flight.
Your trip is subject to the weather: I know that this is probably a duh, but if the weather is bad, stormy or raining, your flight could get canceled. The same is also true if the weather is maybe a little bit more windy than normal. The #1 concern of your tour company is your safety, so they will cancel the flights if the weather conditions are too unstable. So what does that mean for you? You could potentially spend the whole day at the airport waiting for your flight to get rescheduled, meaning you miss out on other activities for the day, or your flight gets rescheduled to another day, which means rearranging your schedule. Both are not ideal, but the good news is that you’re on Hawaii, and there’s really not that many bad weather days!
Your helicopter will be air-conditioned: While Hawaii is very humid, most of the time the weather is pretty nice and tropical and not sweltering, like it can be in Houston, or other Southern cities and states. Because of the constant nice weather, several places around Hawaii are not air conditioned (including the airport), but don’t worry, your helicopter will have some AC blowing through it!
You will have no choice on where you sit in the cabin:I think that one of the biggest surprises for Chris and I was the fact that we had no control over where we sat on the helicopter. They took everybody’s weight and then sat us with our groups and then tried to even out the weight of the helicopter. I know that we would have loved to sit at the front of the helicopter, but unfortunately we got sat in the back, with me having the window seat. It sucked for Chris who was loving his camera and using the new lens that he had bought right before this trip because it meant that he barely had any pictures on his camera from the helicopter trip. The good thing is that I got some good ones and that we still really enjoyed the ride! My suggestion would be that everybody knows how to use the camera you have, so that whomever is sitting in a window seat can take pictures during your trip.
Your flight is taped: With that being said, if you have someone that’s a big shutterbug and disappointed that they can’t take their own pictures, or you forget your camera and don’t get any pictures from your trip, don’t worry, your entire trip will be filmed. Each of Blue Hawaiian’s helicopters have cameras and you can buy your very own souvenir from your flight.
The flight is very smooth: While I don’t get motion sickness very easily, one of the things that I was curious about with this trip was whether or not we’d get a lot of turbulence or feel the helicopter moving around. Well I can tell you that we barely felt anything when we were up in the air! When we did the hot air balloon ride in Napa, it literally felt like you were floating in the air, and while the helicopter was a different feeling, I never once felt sick, and neither did anybody else for that matter. If you are prone to motion sickness though, I would suggest taking a pill before you go.
There are multiple helicopter companies to choose from:While we ended up choosing Blue Hawaiian for our helicopter ride, you should know that there are multiple helicopter companies to choose from on the island of Kauai, and even the other Hawaiian islands for that matter. We ended up choosing Blue Hawaiian based on their reputation and the fact that they’re located on multiple islands, and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.
Price: And of course, I know the thing that y’all are all dying to know, how much did this helicopter ride actually cost us? Since we booked online, which I highly suggest you do since their flights can sell out, we paid $216.47/person for our flight. It looks like right now that’s a discounted price for booking at least 5 days in advance, and the full price you could pay if you sign up on the day of your flight is $246.56/person. So definitely one of the more pricier activities that we did during our trip to Hawaii, but one that was totally worth every single dollar that we spent!
And there you have it, everything you need to know for your own helicopter ride around Kauai, and all about our own ride. This is definitely an experience that you will truly never forget, and one that is worth every single dollar that you will pay! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
So have I convinced you to go on a helicopter tour of Kauai yet? Have you ever ridden in a helicopter before?
One of the things that we don’t do often enough when we travel is to check on sites like Groupon for deals related to activities that we’re already interested. I guess it’s a good thing that my mom was looking out for us, otherwise we wouldn’t have found out about Skyline Eco-Adventures and gotten an amazing deal for our ziplining adventure!
Located in Poipu, Skyline Eco-Adventures offers two different course options for your ziplining adventure, a 5 line or an 8 line course. The 5 line course costs $98.95/person while the 8 line course costs $125.96/person, and the Groupon that Chris and I used was the 8 line course for $99/person. Basically we got 3 extra ziplines for free!
Overall we couldn’t have asked for a better experience with Skyline Eco-Adventures. Chris and I have been ziplining before in Jamaica on a cruise, and while it was fun, our time in Kauai absolutely blew it out of the water. Not only did I think that the courses were a lot better, but I can’t say enough positive things about the guides. They told us a lot about the history of the island of Kauai, but they also told us some cool pop culture things, like how Jurassic World was filmed near where we were ziplining. We had such a blast on our ziplining adventure, and I know that you will too, if you’re looking for some adventure during your Hawaiian vacation!
Know Before You Go
Wear a hat and close toed shoes and comfy clothes- You could get seriously injured if you wear sandals, and you’re going to be strapped into harnesses in order to zipline, so you definitely want to be in athletic clothes and closed toed shoes!
Don’t forget the sunscreen- You’ll be flying over the trees, not standing in the shade underneath them, and the last thing you want is to be fried before you make it to the beach!
Be prepared to hike- As you’ve guessed, in order to actually zipline, you need to first start at a high point. In order to get to a high point, you will have to do some walking, but just think about how amazing it will feel to have the wind whipping through your hair as your ziplining back down!
Bring your own GoPro- Skyline Eco-Adventures allows you to rent a GoPro so you can remember your fun, but you can bring your own and save some money!
Arrive early- You have to sign a couple of waivers, get weighed in, and fitted with all of your equipment, so make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes early. You don’t want to miss your bus to the ziplines!
Bring a phone, but maybe not your nice camera- They provide a small pouch that you can store small items in, but remember that you’re going to be going on a zipline which means things get jostled around. I wouldn’t recommend bringing your nice camera. You can get some pretty awesome pictures with your phone or a point and shoot camera instead.
Don’t be afraid to take a leap- I know that ziplining can be scary, but I promise that it’s a ton of fun, and totally worth every little bit that you might be scared! Don’t be afraid to run and take a leap off the platform for lthe adventure of a lifetime!
Check out their website- Skyline Eco-Adventures has quite a few requirements on their website and you want to make sure that you fit all of the requirements before booking your trip. There are certain age, height, weight, and other requirements that must be met in order for you to go ziplining!
Overall, you will not be disappointed by choosing to zipline with Skyline Eco-Adventures during your stay on Kauai. With great guides and a great course, you’re sure to have an amazing adventure! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you ever been ziplining before? Are you going to add it to your list when you visit Kauai?