Molokai may well be the most Hawaiian of the Hawaiian islands, and as far away from the rat race as one can get. It was one of Hawaii’s first islands to be inhabited, yet, in the absence of any resort development and the “modernization” process that accompanies it, it remains largely in its natural state, with pristine rain forests, dry expanses of ranch land, and one of Hawaii’s largest, most uncluttered beaches.
The Islands of Hawaii
Dubbed the “Friendly Isle,” Molokai is the fifth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, 38 miles long and 10 miles wide, more or less slipper shaped. And like Maui, it, too, is made up of two distinct, volcanic land masses, East Molokai and West Molokai, the first formed by Mt Kamakou, elevation 4,970 feet, and the second by Pu’u Nana, elevation 1,381 feet, joined together by a dry plain that makes up, at least for touring purposes, Central Molokai. East Molokai is the wet side of the island, and takes in virtually the entire segment of the island east of Molokai’s principal town, Kaunakakai. West Molokai comprises, primarily, the arid slopes of Maunaloa that drop off onto a sandy, sun-baked coastline. An appendage at the north of the island, the Kalaupapa Peninsula, juts straight out into the ocean, beneath some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world, around 2,000 feet high.
Even though Molokai is the least developed of the Hawaiian islands, with no major resorts and no building on the island taller than a palm tree, it does offer hotel and condominium accommodations, a restaurant or two and a handful of eateries, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, including swimming, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and golf. Did we mention kite flying? Or doing the hula? Well, there’s no better place for it than here, for this is where the hula was born.
Molokai lies 8 miles northwest of Maui, 9 miles north of Lanai, and 25 miles southeast of Oahu.
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