Molokai Travel Guide

The tiny Hawaiian island of Molokai has been called the 'island that the world has left behind'. It's largely untouched by tourism and development, and there are no highrise buildings, traffic lights or fast food outlets, even in the main town of Kaunakakai.

As small as it is (visitors can drive from tip to tip in a couple of hours) this authentic paradise boasts Hawaii's longest white-sand beach and other black-sand stretches; the only barrier reef north of Australia; a lowland desert, some rainforests and ancient Hawaiian heiau (temples). The island was once a place of refuge for those who violated the Hawaiian kapu (taboo) system, and many visitors are drawn by the mana (spiritual power) that still seems to infuse this naturally beautiful spot.

Kahiwa Falls, the world's highest sea cliff, lies east of the Kalaupapa peninsula and to the north of the island. The peninsula itself used to be a leper colony in the mid-19th century though, today, Molokai's main claim to fame is as the place where the famous Hawaiian hula dance was born.