The island of Molokai is just a short plane ride away from Oahu, about 30 minutes; and getting there is part of the fun. You can opt to take a larger aircraft that will get you there safely and comfortably… or you can have an adventure by flying on one of the smaller 10 passenger propeller planes. Still safe and fairly comfortable but a lot different than most people are used to. You are up close and personal with your pilot and get to finally see inside that illustrious cockpit. Another advantage, it’s like getting a private helicopter or small plane tour of the islands. Since it flies at a significantly lower altitude than the larger aircrafts, passengers are treated to some amazing views.
As you approach Molokai, you are greeted by unimaginable cliffs, glorious beaches, and a terrain that is untouched. You won’t see many roads, cars, or even houses. Its small area and population keep it free from commercialization, and that’s the beauty of it. To get around, you’ll need a car; ideally one with 4 wheel drive if you want to see it all. There is one small town on the island called Kaunakakai and it is filled with friendly people who validate the island’s nickname. Small shops line the street and everyone knows everyone. You get that small town charm and local feel the minute you arrive. Pick up some produce and snacks at the market because you won’t find any big box stores here.
There are only a couple of options on where to stay on the island. Molokai Shores offers a beautiful view of the ocean, a refreshing swimming pool, and comfortable accommodations. In town, there is also the Hotel Molokai and a Bed and Breakfast. Just remember, life is slower on Molokai and life is quieter. As long as you respect the island and the people, they will welcome you.
Once you get there, what’s there to do? Number one on the list is Kalaupapa National Historic Park. This 2.9 mile hike (or mule ride if you prefer) will take you deep into the jungle on the North Central side of the island and into an area where a Leper colony once existed. Along the way you will discover the world’s highest sea cliffs, while learning about the people who lived in the colony and the struggles they experienced. You will become educated on this once misunderstood disease and how it changed the lives of many. For more information about the Kalaupapa tour, please visit http://www.muleride.com/.
Looking for a beach? Check out Papohaku Beach Park, known to locals as Three Mile Beach. You can’t swim here due to the dangerous shore break but since it’s’ Hawaii’s longest stretch of beautiful white sand beach, it’s definitely worth checking out. Three Mile Beach doesn’t attract a whole lot of people either, an added benefit if you’re looking for solitude. For a list of other beaches where it is acceptable to swim, visit http://visitmolokai.com/beaches.php.
If waterfalls are your thing, you might have to dish out some money. To go on the Halawa Valley Falls Cultural Hike, you will need a guide. The trail goes through private property and it is not recommended for visitors to go it alone. Luckily, you can just call Greg. Or so the sign says. Schedule an appointment and get to the trailhead early. This hike is a little over three miles long and will traverse streams, rocks, and eventually lead you to the Mo’oula falls for a dip in the refreshing waters. For more information on how to schedule a hike, please visit http://www.halawavalleymolokai.com/.