More than 230 years ago, Capt. James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, unleashing a torrent of Western culture on a kingdom that had never before been indulged by Continental delights.
Today, most people have heard of or visited Waikiki and Maui. But sandwiched in between, the tiny island of Molokai – and its 42 miles of deserted beaches – is home to 5,000 people, one functioning hotel and no traffic lights.
Our beachside condo, on the island’s West End, is in the Kaluakoi Resort complex, a dormant resort. Visitors are invited to stay in beachside rentals with gorgeous ocean views – ours included – and watch the surf crashing on the beach and the whales spouting in the channel.
Molokai is home to the historic Molokai Ho’e, the world-class ocean-kayak race, the Kalaupapa Leper Colony and a plethora of delights in nearby Maunaloa, Kualapu’u and Kaunakakai.
The East End of the island features some of the world’s most remote beaches, the Halawa waterfall, and gorgeous mountain hikes overlooking the Molokai Channel and Maui.
The resort itself, though dormant, boasts excellent accommodations and access to a variety of beaches – the thundering surf of Papohaku breaks on almost five miles of endless sand.
About two miles of off-roading (or hiking) leads you to Kawekio, our favorite hidden beach where deep water breaks heavily on the shore, the snorkeling is perfection and the sunset is framed in the entrance to the cove.
Kiawe, a spiky mesquite-like wood, grows all over the island and adds depth to fresh-caught fish cooked over an open fire.
Late at night, the stars are visible from anywhere – light pollution is as foreign as traffic on the island. We advise our guests to rent a 4WD vehicle at the one of the airport’s two rental desks (reserved in advance) to truly enjoy the Friendly Isle.