Living in the Moment on the Island of Molokai

This gallery is comprised of photographs that echo the old world charm that pervades the culture and landscape of Molokai.
By: Sponsored The Hawaiian Islands
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Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tor Johnson

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tor Johnson

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Ron Garnett

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dana Edmunds

There are only three ways to get onto the Kalaupapa National Historic Park on the Kalaupapa Peninsula: by mule ride, a hiking tour or a small commuter airplane. This scenic area was once home to Belgian missionary Saint Damien, the selfless priest who devoted his life to caring for exiled victims of Hansen disease. 

As you look toward the north coast of Molokai, you can see the Kalaupapa Peninsula in the distance. The peninsula is isolated by towering cliffs that stand up to 3,600 feet high and are the tallest sea cliffs in the world. 

Hike into Molokai's East End's classic cathedral valley to see Hawaii back in time. It's believed that ancient Polynesians settled in the lush Halawa Valley as early as 650 A.D. Roughly two miles up the trail is the impressive double-tiered 250-foot Mooula Falls. The one and a half hour drive to the valley from the airport is an adventure in itself, with ancient fishponds, Kumimi Beach and Kaluaaha Church along the way. 

Only 38 miles long and 10 miles wide, Molokai has more than enough land to explore by foot, bike or car. Follow the roads along Molokai's rugged coastline and you'll see far more birds than cars, and probably even less people. 

Western Molokai features some of Hawaii's largest and least visited beaches. Papohaku Beach Park is three miles long and one mile wide, a perfect crescent of shimmering sand. Kapukahelu Beach is a small sheltered cove. 

From the Kalaupapa Peninsula, the North Coast of Molokai presents a stunning vista. 10 years ago we would have reminded you to bring enough film to capture all the gorgeous scenery. Now it's memory cards, which seems a little ironic considering Molokai is the kind of place that makes you happy to escape your electronics. 

Molokai has very little traffic and is perfect to be enjoyed by avid and novice cyclists alike. From one end of the island to the other, just follow the roads. But don't look for a convenience store on any corner, because we're proud to say there aren't any. So, bring water, snacks, and a supply of sunscreen to protect your ear-to-ear grin. 

It's quiet as you ride on your mule along the 2.9-mile trail to Kalaupapa Peninsula. You'd be speechless too if you were descending from 1,700 feet with steep drops and the Pacific before you. Three miles, 26 switchbacks and 90 minutes of magnificent views later and you're back to sea level in the historic town of Kalaupapa. 

As you approach the Halawa Valley, Halawa Beach offers a secluded bay that is great for swimming. However exercise caution during high surf and winter months. If you think it looks picture perfect, that's because it is. 

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