With approximately 50% of its population having native Hawaiian ancestry this island is the most traditional of the islands that are accessible to tourists. Untouched by high rise developments there are no traffic lights, shopping complexes or fast food chains.
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However, what Molokai does have to offer is 260 miles of natural beauty framed by a necklace of ancient fish ponds along the southern shore. It has the world's highest sea cliffs rising an awesome 3,000 feet above the coastline, Hawaii's longest waterfall and also its largest white sand beach three miles long. Lacking modern entertainment venue, Molokai boasts numerous cultural and family events and the locals guard their laid-back lifestyle with pride.
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In the heart of the island is Kaunakakai, a one street town lined with small family-run businesses which have changed little since the 1920s and resembles the set of an old Western movie. Earlier this century, pineapples were shipped in their millions to Honolulu canneries from here.
Probably Molokai's best known visitor attraction is Kalaupapa, site of the ministry of Belgium missionary Father Damien De Veuster. Now a National Park, this five square mile peninsula was once a place of exile for sufferers of leprosy. Separated from the rest of the island by huge cliffs, it is reached by mounting a mule for the three mile ride down the 1,600 foot cliff trail, or alternatively by one of the world's shortest flights (five minutes) departing from Molokai's main airport. It is also possible to hike the trail, but a permit is required.
Other offerings include sailing or kayaking around the coastline, deep sea fishing, playing golf, or if you are feeling active, hiking the Kamakou Preserve, a tropical rainforest - home to rare birds and plants, insects, and land snails.
Allow a full day for a round trip drive along the southern shore to Halawa Valley, where along the way you will see quaint Churches, beautiful beaches and the largest concentration of ancient fish ponds, some dating back to the 13th century.
Ancient Hawaiian history says that the hula was created by the goddess Laka on the mountain range near Maunaloa and today the major annual event on Molokai is the celebration of the birth of the hula. It is held on the third Saturday of May each year and features performances of ancient hula, traditional Hawaiian crafts and lectures and tours to significant historical sites.
Unspoiled and unhurried, Molokai is the perfect destination for families, those interested in cultural and eco-tourism, and those simply wanting to relax without feeling guilty.
For More Information Contact:
MOLOKAI VISITORS ASSOCIATION
Molokai Travel and Accommodation Guide