Molokai - Kalaupapa

Molokai

Hawaii’s hideaway, Molokai embodies the word “getaway.” Life moves at a leisurely pace on this fifth-largest island, which gives meeting groups the aura of “old” Hawaii. There are no big buildings — none, in fact, taller than a coconut palm tree —  no stoplights or sprawling shopping villages, but Molokai’s 800-year-old fishponds and 19th-century churches and historic buildings are awe-inspiring.

The more than 170 overnight rooms on the island are all casual in style, but with the ferry ride from Maui taking just 90 minutes, Molokai can easily be worked into programs as a way to help meeting attendees clear their minds, nourish their spirits and recharge.

Hawaiian at Heart

Almost half of Molokai’s population is of Native Hawaiian ancestry, and the language and traditional culture thrive here. Molokai is said to be the birthplace of hula, and aloha aina (the love of the land) remains a guiding principle. Fisherman, farmers, and the quaint main town of Kaunakakai make it easy to imagine life on the island a century ago.

Historic Highlights

The hike or mule ride down the cliffs to remote Kalaupapa National Historic Park has 26 switchbacks, leading to the renowned spot where Saint Damien treated quarantined Hansen’s disease patients in the 19th century and is an attraction well worth the trek. Halawa Valley’s history dates back to Polynesian settlers in 650 CE and features an ancient heiau (temple) ensconced in a landscape of towering waterfalls and lush flora.

Natural Wonders

  • The highest sea cliffs in the world rising 3,900 feet above the water’s surface — are found on Molokai’s northeast coast
  • A 28-mile continuous fringing reef, the longest in Hawaii, is a mecca for sea turtles, stony coral, snorkelers and scuba divers on the island’s south shore
  • Papohaku, or “Three Mile Beach”, is Molokai's white-sand paradise