HAWAII TRAVEL BUREAU
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Komo Mai to Molokai - the Friendly Isle!
Aloha from Molokai - the best kept secret of Hawaiian islands ! This is genuine old Hawaii with its breathtaking natural beauty and charm, rain forests, deserted beaches. There are no traffic lights, no McDonald's, and no building is taller than a palm tree. Molokai is often called the most Hawaiian island - more than half of its 6,700 residents are native Hawaiians. Because of their friendliness to visitors, Molokai is also known as "the Friendly Isle". Molokai is a sanctuary that lets you rejuvenate among its ancient waterfalls, fishponds, valleys, forests and hidden trails.|
Molokai has a very special and various scenery. You can find some of the world's highest sea cliffs rising majestically to meet the clouds on Molokai's North Coast (Pali Coast). The ocean has carved away the old volcano as high as 3000 feet. There are several uninhabited valleys, the largest being Pelekunu and Wailau, with waterfalls cascading from nearly 2,000 feet to the sea. This untouched wilderness, accessible only by helicopter, by boat, or by foot, is a hiker's paradise. The numerous trails lead to spectacular overlooks, historic sites and secluded forest pools. The Pali Coast was the background for some scenes from the famous Jurassic Park blockbuster.
The most popular attraction on Molokai is Kalaupapa, the leprosy colony established in 1866 by Father Damien, a Belgian priest who dedicated his life to caring for the leprosy patients. The settlement lies on a peninsula jutting out from Molokai's north shore. Damien's church, St. Philomena's, stands near the settlement's old cemetery where a monument marks the martyr's gravesite. The most interesting, unique and unforgettable way to visit Kalaupapa is on a mule, with the Molokai Mule Ride.
West Molokai is rolling plains, winding country roads, missionary churches, the walls of ancient Hawaiian fish ponds, and more. Molokai's thickly-forested back-country lures the huntsmen with a variety of game, while isolated beaches and reefs delight skindivers and snorkelers. The entire western side of Molokai is lined with nice beaches, such as Kawakiu beach - a secluded and pristine beach in the far northwestern corner of the island, noted for many archaeological sites. West Molokai is also home to Kaluakoi Resort and Molokai Ranch.
One-third of Molokai is occupied by Molokai Ranch. Molokai Ranch was a working cattle ranch for more than 100 years, its Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage remains one of the island's most loved traditions. Now the Ranch is over 53,000 acres of land and mountain adventures, beach and ocean activities. There is also an amazing zoo with a lot of exotic animals, such as zebras, giraffes, rheas and elands. These Asian and African thrive in the 1,000 acre preserve with ideal climate and landscape. You can even go on an African safari there !
The few towns of Molokai are enchanting Hawaiian villages, homes of fishermen and farmers. There is Mauna Loa - a wonderful former pineapple plantation town in West Molokai that has been recently restored to include new shops, galleries and a pineapple museum. The main village of the island is Kaunakakai, located on the south shore. Kaunakakai's port used to be busy shipping pineapple, but since the plantations have been shut down, the port lost its significance. There is great diving on the only barrier reef in all of Hawaii which is located north of the town. 10 minutes walk west takes you to the beautiful Royal Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove that King Kamehameha V planted in remembrance of his birthplace.
Molokai's beaches are among the most idyllic and most deserted beaches of all islands. The scenery is fantastic. You have miles of sandy beaches all for yourself and can enjoy an unspoiled paradise. Papohaku Beach is 3 miles long and 100 yards wide, the largest white sand beach in Hawaii. All you will see are your own footsteps and the blue ocean, Papohaku Beach is a great place for jogging or a quiet stroll. At night you can catch a glimpse of the lights of Honolulu across the channel.
Molokai is the most non-commercial, non-touristy place you can ever imagine. Most of the island's action is concentrated on the west shore with Molokai's eastern and northern parts being dense wilderness, thrusting mountains, deep green valleys. Molokai is an island where the untouched, wild natural beauty, blended with unique Hawaiian traditions, has been preserved, and is now yours to share !
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