The Island of Molokai

The Friendly Isle

Welcome to the Island of Molokai

Molokai - Where Aloha Spirit Meets Unspoiled Natural Beauty

Remote. Charming. Timeless. This is the magic of the Friendly Isle, where culture and history are etched into every inch of the island’s stunning landscapes

Explore ancient fishponds, visit one of Hawaii’s last royal coconut groves, stroll along a 3-mile stretch of Papohaku Beach sand and hike to the Hawaiian fertility site of Kaule o Nanahoa. Or take a fly-in tour to Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where Belgian priest Father Damien devoted his life to the peninsula’s residents suffering from leprosy. 

For a “night on the town,” hit Kaunakakai, a paniolo (cowboy) hamlet where the absence of stoplights takes you back to a simpler time. . 

Explore the Island

Maui Island Facts

Explore the Island

Travel to Molokai is limited, with flight options available to Molokai Airport (MKK) from Oahu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) or Maui's Kapalua Airport (JHM). Airlines offering flights include Makana Kai Air and Mokulele

On the island’s west end, Papohaku Beach is the longest white sand beach in the Hawaiian Islands at three miles long and 100 yards wide. Beachcombers love this stretch that provides solitude and the likelihood that you’ll be the only one making footprints in the sand. Another west end pick, Kepuhi Beach that sees a bit more action with sunning, surfing, fishing and swimming on calm ocean days.

 During the summer and fall, the best beaches for snorkeling include Kepuhi and Papohaku, with Make Horse and Dixie Maru adding to the roster. In the winter, it’s best to stay on the sand and watch veteran surfers tackle the monster waves. Southeast beaches are better bets then, including Sandy Beach and Murphy's Beach. Also known as Kumimi Beach, the latter features an offshore reef considered the longest continuous fringing reef in the U.S. 

After being closed for quite some time, the trails to Moaula Falls at the head of the east end’s Halawa Valley are once again open. According to archaeologists, the valley is one of the earliest settlements in all of Hawaii–possibly dating back to 650 AD. As a result, it still homes many hidden heiau (places of worship). Roughly two miles up the moderate trail is the double-tiered 250-foot Moaula Falls. 

Since the trail crosses private property, the only way to explore the area is with a guide. Halawa Valley Falls Cultural Hike provides guided hiking tours with cultural knowledge that adds to the authentic, engaging experience.  

Sitting on sloping land along central Molokai's north coast mountains, Ironwood Hills is a plantation-style nine-hole municipal course that’s seldom busy and never crowded. In fact, your tee time is based on when you show up! Aside from the ease of play, the high elevation course offers expansive views of the island of Oahu and Molokai's towering sea cliffs from many of the holes.  

The 233-acre Palaau State Park is home to Kaule O Nanahoa (Phallic Rock), a sacred site that was coveted for increasing fertility. Just a short walk from the parking area, a path through the ironwood forest leads to Kalaupapa Lookout with its view of the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula that’s nearly 2,000 feet below. 

With the high elevation, it's not uncommon to see small airplanes navigating below along Molokai's Northern Cliffs, the tallest sea cliffs in the world as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, measuring 3,600-3,900 feet.

While the famous Molokai Mule Ride is no currently operating, you can still visit serene Kalaupapa National Historical Park by making a flight and ground tour reservation in advance with Father Damien Tours

This special community was once home to Belgian missionary Saint Damien and later, to Saint Marianne Cope. In 1873, Father Damien chose to leave the "outside world" to care for the residents with Hawaii's Hansen's disease who were exiled to this isolated peninsula. After 16 years of faithful service, he too, tragically succumbed to the disease and was laid to rest at historic St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church in Kalaupapa where you can visit his grave. 

On Molokai, it’s not so much about what is there. It’s about what isn’t there. You won’t find a single traffic light or shopping mall. The charming paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) of Kaunakakai takes visitors back to a simpler time with its main strip of Ala Malama Avenue featuring a few shops, boutiques, markets and the island’s famous Kanemitsu's Bakery. This social “hot spot” is where locals and visitors merge to line up after hours waiting for piping-hot loaves of fresh bread. 

Planted at the request of King Kamehameha V, Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove is home to hundreds of tall coconut palm trees in what is said to be “one of the last royal coconut groves in Hawaii.” While you can no longer enter the grove due to the hazard of coconuts falling from the trees, the view from outside is still spectacular–especially at sunset. 

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