Yesterday, we took a beautiful helicopter trip over and through the island of Molokai. Molokai is the fifth largest island in the Hawaiian island chain. Hawaii, as a whole, seems to invoke ideas of a simplified life – in touch with the beauty of nature. Molokai is absolutely no different. In fact, it’s one of the least inhabited islands in Hawaii, with only about 8000 residents living on the island. Thanks to this, it’s largely untouched and untamed by humans, aside from the few native Hawaiians that reside there. The residents of Molokai have a minimal impact on the environment, leaving the island to its natural beauty. This is probably why Molokai is considered one of the most beautiful natural wildlife and wilderness areas – not only in the US, but in the entire world!
The Sea Cliffs
While Molokai on the whole is a breathtaking beauty, there are some star players on the island. One of those is Molokai’s sea cliffs. To say these cliffs are large would be the understatement of the century. In fact, Molokai is home to the largest sea cliffs in the world. The cliffs range from 3000 to 4000 feet and are scattered throughout Palau State Park and Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Although there may be other ways to experience the island (like a hike, boat trip, or mule ride), we chose a helicopter ride to take in the beauty.
From inside the helicopter, we could see everything. It seemed surreal to see the towering, emerald sea cliffs rising up out of the aqua ocean waters. From time to time, we could catch glimpses of waterfalls crashing down the cliffs into the sea. Looking at the views was like looking at a painting. It also really puts into perspective just how tall the cliffs were when we could see clouds just sitting at the top of them. Truly a breathtaking experience.
However, we know helicopters aren’t for everyone! Maybe you’re wondering if Molokai is worth the visit for you. Good news. If helicopters aren’t your thing, or you’re looking to switch up your point of view, you could do a boat tour instead! The island of Molokai also offers visitors the opportunity to take a boat out to the sea cliffs. Imagine staring up into the face of a 3800 foot sea cliff! Absolutely incredible.
Quarantine at Kalaupapa
Another interesting piece of Molokai’s history is that it was once considered a leper’s colony. Back in the 1850s, Hawaii as a country was struggling with Hansen’s disease – referred to at the time as leprosy. In desperate need of a safe place for quarantine, Hawaii turned to the small villages in the Kalaupapa peninsula. Sick individuals were brought out to this area as those that had lived there previously relocated. After a cure for the disease was found in the 1940s, many chose to stay in their new home. Although the town is no longer considered an exiles’ colony, visitors can come visit and take in the history. There are many ways to do this, since it’s in Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Many choose to hike the park, while others choose to ride mules in and out.
Overall, we really enjoyed Molokai and the breathtaking scenery we found there. If you ever make your way out there, we know you will, too!
Click here to check out some of our other awesome experiences during the Big Guy Big World Hawaii trip!
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.