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“Princeville Bontanical Gardens Tour”

Kauai Island Experience
Reviewed August 13, 2013

My husband and I and my two teenage daughters visited Princeville Botanical Gardens at the end of July 2013. Our guide, Holly showed us around the eight acres of lush and lovely terraced, well manicured gardens. I was amazed how many different tropical plants, flowers and trees we saw. Many fruits were ripe, we got to sample mango, apple banana, passion fruit, and lychee. We saw bee hives and tasted raw honey. In addition to all the specific plants talked about, Holly was able to identify others that caught my eye.

We eventually walked down to the lowest point on the property, into a grassy shaded park, there we found a tree that was the source of the Rudraksha bead necklace, worn by those on the path to enlightenment. The beads or seeds are inside a fruit that looked like blue marbles when they lay on the ground. With it's bright red leaves—it had colors I would expect to see in a book by Dr. Seuss.

We walked up and out of that small park to a level spot with shaded chairs, There we rested, drank water and heard an informative talk by Holly about how chocolate is made. We sampled chocolate from four different world locations and were asked to compare them, before finally sampling chocolate made right there at the gardens—from the pods of cacao trees growing near the blue marble tree!

Next we walked down to another area near a healthy stream, then crossed over a foot suspension bridge. I finally got to see a real Venus Fly Trap that I had heard about all my life.

Towards the end of the tour, the owner, Bill stopped by to chat. He keeps acquiring more and more diverse plants and recently purchased another acre of land near the stream. I want to come back in a few years to see this new addition. And, if I come later in the year the avocados and oranges might be ripe? But, I'm ready to return right now to this beautiful silent refuge, it was too much to absorb in just one tour.

My husband and I and our 16-year-old loved it, but our 18-year-old doesn't have patience for anything that lasts three hours. But, there was a family on our tour with a two-year-old who managed quite well. At the end of the tour we were able to buy a T-shirt and jars of raw honey. It is a heavenly place and was the highlight of my Kauai vacation!

2  Thank Rosalyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 28, 2013

We are a diverse family of 8 (2 seniors, 3 adults, and 3 young children) and we wanted to take an SUP tour up the Hanalei River. None of the standard tour operators we found could accommodate our group, and honestly none of them seemed to offer what we were looking for. We were recommended by a local to Mike at Kauai Island Experience, and it could not have worked out better!! Mike met us at the boat ramp with a range of boards that worked for our group. He took us on a tour up the river as far as we wanted to go and at our own pace. But most importantly he was SSSOOO good with the kids! In the more challenging areas, he towed them in a line behind him, letting one always ride on front of his board. He is Coast Guard certified and was always on guard for their safety, which was crucial because two of them can't swim. This allowed me to relax and go at my own pace, sometimes speeding ahead to spot giant sea turtles! The kids LOVED it, and were confident enough to jump from board to board at times. Overall Mike is a really nice guy, and we all had a fantastic time on our SUP tour. We will definitely contact him next time for more water activities!! He does all kinds of boat tours and surf lessons too, so we are really looking forward to our next adventures with him! Kauai Island Experience = HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

8  Thank eawalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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