Welcome to Molokai where time slows down, the terrain is rugged and the history is rich. If you’re looking for a path less traveled, Molokai needs to be on your bucket list. You feel as if you are stepping into a time machine and have traveled back to old Hawaii. With dirt roads leading you through most of the island, small mom and pop shops the only source of “shopping”, and untouched wilderness on every corner, Molokai is a raw Hawaiian gem.
Whether you’re hiking through a desolate forest or taking a mule ride through Kalaupapa, Molokai embodies the beauty of a truly remote getaway. No sounds of rushing highways or thousands of people crowding the shoreline. Just you and the peaceful sounds of “The Friendly Isle”.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Hike or catch a ride on a mule through Kalaupapa’s sheer cliffside along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The 2.9 trail to the peninsula ventures through about 26 switchbacks all leading you to the most pristine view of the town of Kalaupapa. A quiet and serene experience only accessible through a hiking tour, plane, or mule ride, it’s one of Molokai’s most prized destinations.
In the 1800s Kalaupapa was used as a place of exile for Hawaiians who were struck with Hansen’s disease. A Belgian missionary Saint Damien took to the town to care for the sick and is now an honored figure in Hawaiian history. As you ride through the town of Kalaupapa, take a moment to learn about the history of one of Hawaii's most remote towns to date.
Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove
Visit Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove in Kaunakakai, an old Hawaiian coconut grove that was planted in the 1860s during King Kamehameha V's reign. This is one of Molokai's most famous natural monuments where people from all over come to marvel at the hundreds of coconut palm trees spread across the field.
Tourists and visitors find that the best place to take in the scenic views is from the grassy area along the Mauna Loa Highway. It lets you take in the grove in its entirety and it protects you from the occasional falling coconut! Sunset and sunrise are especially peaceful and beautiful times to visit and capture the moment when the sky is lit up.
Discover ancient Halawa Valley and experience the life of the most ancient Polynesians. Believed to have been home to early Polynesian settlers as early 650 AD, this stands as one of the most historic sites on Molokai. It’s easy to believe Halawa Valley was an early settlement because the breathtaking views and towering waterfalls make it a dream landscape. There are numerous hidden heiau's (places of worship) scattered along the 3-4 deep valley - likely only discoverable through a guided tour.
You can also adventure on a guided tour that leads you along a moderate two-mile hike through the forest up to one of Molokai's most famous waterfalls, Moola Falls. Take a dip in the water and let Mooula refresh your mind.
As you’re driving out to the valley don’t forget to take in the many notable stops along the way like iconic beaches, historic fishponds, and expansive views of the Molokai mountains.