Only 264 square miles in total, you could drive around Molokai in a couple of hours. Its main town, Kaunakakai, spans three blocks and has no traffic lights or fast-food restaurants. Instead, you'll find unparalleled natural beauty, a colorful past, and a lifestyle that most closely resembles old Hawaii because it has the largest percentage of native Hawaiian residents in the state.
North Molokai's Kalaupapa peninsula - hemmed in on one side by a 1,500 foot cliff and on the other side by the Pacific ocean - was established in 1866 as a place of exile for people suffering from leprosy (Hansen's Disease). Father Damien (aka Joseph de Veuster), who recently acquired sainthood, arrived in 1873, devoting the last 16 years of his life to providing comfort to the lepers before he too died of the disease at age 49. Today a small group of former Hansen's patients still choose to live in Kalaupapa of their own free will, occasionally guiding visitors through their secluded community. East of Kalaupapa is Kahiwa Falls, at 1,750 feet the highest sea cliff in the world. One of Molokai's most famous attractions is a two hour mule ride down this vertical cliff to Kalaupapa Peninsula.
Meanwhile, to the West, the goddess Laka is said to have given birth to the art of hula somewhere near Maunaloa. For this Molokai is often referred to as 'Ka Hula Piko' - literally, 'the navel of hula' or the center of the dance (Hula).
People generally go to Molokai to fish, hike, or just relax and have fun. Molokai is so laid back and unpopulated, there are no traffic lights on the island! Most of the properties on Molokai are basic 2-3 star accommodations although there is one luxury lodge.
The longest and richest barrier reef of all the Hawaiian islands is located in the South Shore of Molokai.