A trip to the island of Moloka’i could very well convince you that time travel is possible. A stark contrast to the modern accouterments of neighboring Maui and O’ahu, Moloka’i is secluded and unspoiled, ostensibly impervious to 21st-century trappings. Refer to our photo gallery to see more images of Moloka’i.
Thirty-eight miles long, ten miles wide and encompassing a land area of 261 square miles, Moloka’i, known as the "the friendly isle," is the fifth largest of Hawaii’s six inhabited islands. What sets Moloka’i apart from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands is its rustic tranquility and exceptional natural beauty. Little seems to have changed over the decades. Accessible only by boat, ferry or small plane, the island has been left virtually untouched by time. The friendly isle boasts pristine beaches, towering sea cliffs, serene coastlines, rugged landscapes, and Hawaii’s largest reef system.
Moloka’i’s largest town, Kaunakakai, offers a snapshot of 19th century Hawaii, with several original structures and storefronts that have stood the test of time. Kaunakakai’s business district is a mere three blocks long and is located just a few miles from the island’s single airport. With a pair of gas stations, one art gallery and a handful of charming "mom and pop" establishments it is no surprise that visitors to this remote island find themselves transported to another time and place.
To say that Moloka’i is a quiet place is an understatement. Yet, in the absence of shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, and traffic lights, this sleepy island will awaken the senses with its distinctive charm and character.
The idyllic, agrarian way of life, fishing, farming, and ranching has existed for generations on Moloka’i. Today, it is the island’s economic mainstay. The island may be diminutive in size, but there is no shortage of cultural, archeological, natural and recreational wonders. From a guided mule ride into Kalaupapa National Historical Park to aneco-tour showcasing endangered native plants and birds within the Kamakou preserve, it is little wonder that Moloka’i has become one of Hawaii’s most treasured destinations.
With only one resort, Hotel Moloka’i, prospects for overnight accommodations may seem scarce. However, with a bevy of campgrounds, bungalows, condominiums and bed-and-breakfasts scattered across the island tourists are never short of accommodations.