Molokai, Discover the Unexpected
Often called “The Friendly Island”, Molokai represents the true aloha spirit. Indeed, Molokai embraces the quintessential Hawaiian nature. With a slower, more laid back atmosphere, here, visitors will discover the true Hawaiian spirit but without the typical Hawaiian fanfare.
It’s an island getaway with minimal distraction; in fact, nightlife and mega-resorts are practically nonexistent, as tranquility and nature are emphasized.
Molokai is the fifth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. For travelers seeking unaltered originality and a true island spirit, Molokai is a great fit. It’s the real Hawaii, the old Hawaii that offers breathtaking natural beauty, rain forests or deserted beaches without the glitz and glamour.
Imagine the Hawaii of the past, unspoiled country and untouched, that’s Molokai. In fact, the lights of Honolulu that are visible at night from the west end of the island are as glamorous as it gets here.
Molokai is about seclusion and serenity. There is little automobile traffic, no mall, no elevators, none of it, only true island spirit. Only warm friendly people going about their slow and relaxed life in rural areas that seeming stepping back in time 50 years. Indeed, this sense of timeless originality gives Molokai its true uniqueness.
Molokai holds the distinction of being home to the highest sea cliffs in the world along its northeast coast and Hawaii’s longest continuous fringing reef off its southern coast. As such, outdoor activities are extremely popular here. For the daring and adventurous, there is never a dull moment in Molokai.
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How to Get To Molokai
Molokai’s main airport is Molokai Airport (MKK), a small commuter airport serving this isolated peninsula. There are no direct services to Molokai from the US. As such, visitors fly to Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and from HNL, they then connect to local airlines or small aircraft to Molokai Airport.
When to Go To Molokai
Weather in Molokai is consistently pleasant all year round with only minor changes in temperatures (consistent at 75º F to 75º F). Temperatures do tend to vary depending on elevations however. Hikers should keep in mind that at higher elevations, it can get a bit cooler and wetter. Also, the West End of Molokai is dryer while the mountainous East End is wetter and greener.
Getting Around Molokai
As one may expect, there is no public transportation on Molokai. In fact, the island doesn’t even have a single traffic light. As such, renting a car is essential. However, rentals are often limited, so making reservations in advance may be a great idea.
Still, the island is relatively easy to navigate with only one two-lane highway stretching across it. In addition, for travelers planning to visit the rugged Kamakou Preserve or the Molokai highlands, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is required. In fact, most excursions require the use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Accommodations on Molokai vary from rental condos to cottages as well as bed and breakfasts in Kaunakakai and Maunaloa.
There are no major resorts here, only the Aqua Hotel Molokai located on Kamiloloa Beach. The Molokai’s Kalualoi Villas offers an good option with its comfortable condos, studios, etc. Still, accommodation options do offer the modern luxuries of today’s world.
Molokai is place where Hawaiian culture thrives. As the people preserve their rural lifestyle, every visit is an experience of authentic Hawaiian traditions and excellent points of interest.
- Kalaupapa Peninsula/ National Historical Park: This is one of Hawaii’s most remote settlements where visitors can enjoy deep, rural lifestyle. As the park sits at the bottom of several high cliffs, it’s an awe aspiring ride along the ridges overlooking the Pacific.
- Whale watching: Watching hunchback wales as they swim in to give birth or mate is a popular pastime in Molokai. The season begins in December and ends in May or April.
- Kaunakakai: In the central town of Molokai which takes visitors back to the early 1900s featuring several historic landmarks as well as unique shops and eateries reminiscent of a simpler time.
- Snorkeling: Snorkeling is a major pastime in Molokai. In fact, there are 28 miles of pristine barrier reef along the island’s south east cost, well suited to diving and snorkeling with vibrant marine life, including various types of marine fish and coral.
- Papohaku Beach: One of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches, Papohaku is approximately three miles long. It’s a large beach that sees small crowds and thus highly suited to romantics or those seeking seclusion. This beach is great for sunbathing; however caution must be taking when swimming during high surf.
- Alii Beach Park: Another great choice, Alii Beach Park is just east of Kaunakakai and is great for families with picnic facilities and other amenities.
Other popular beaches include Kiowea Beach Park, Papohaku Beach Park and Kapukahehu Beach.
Beyond the mentioned, sports and fishing adventures are available at Kaunakakai Harbor. Further, there are stunning natural flora and fauna to experience at Molokai’s botanical preserves.
“Hawaiian by nature,” the island of Molokai remains true to its island roots. Indeed, this island is for travellers looking to quiet their spirit in indescribable beauty.