Father Damien helped the people of Kalaupapa by creating farms and schools
Breathtaking views of Kalaupapa as you descend & ascend on mules
Makani Kai Air flights depart from Maui and Oahu a few times every day
Molokai's sea cliffs -the tallest in the world - rise up 4,000 feet high
St. Philomena Church at Kalawao where Father Damien was first laid to rest
Two miracles have been attributed to Father Damien's posthumous intercession
Original grave of Father Damien at St. Philomena Church in Kalawao
Father Damien was a "martyr of charity" - giving his own life in service to others
Your local guides share info about Molokai’s history and geology
Select a date to start reservation!
Largely untouched by the grandiose resorts of Maui or the high rises of Oahu, Molokai offers a taste of Hawaii unlike any other island. When you visit Molokai, you get a glimpse into Hawaii’s past. The population is about 7,000 hearty residents, and it is the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian islands.
The Molokai Tours from Maui gives you the chance to travel down to Kalaupapa. Discover the beauty and history unique to the island, and the stunning cliffs show nature’s grandeur. The peninsula was first inhabited from about 650 AD and people survived by fishing on outrigger canoes on the rough oceans with nets and spears. They also farmed the harsh volcanic soil with taro, onions, and sweet potatoes. Throughout Kalauapapa there are low rock walls that created thousands of small lots. Historians believe they were built as windbreaks for growing crops, pens for raising pigs, and property boundaries and land divisions. The Hawaiians also built heiaus for making offerings.
When Hansen’s disease (aka leprosy) was introduced to Hawaii, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the Kalaupapa, a small peninsula on Molokai’s north shore. It provided the perfect isolated enviroment because it is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific ocean and cut off from the rest of Molokai by 1600-foot (488m) sea cliffs. Father Damien arrived in 1873 and dedicated and sacrificed his life to serving the Hansen’s patients. He was canonized a Roman Catholic Saint. Kalaupapa is now a National Historic Site, but access is very limited. It is home to approximately 122 residents, including just a handful of former patients. The quarantine was lifted in 1969, and there are no longer any active cases of Hansen’s Disease. A few residents who were once afflicted with the disease still live in Kalaupapa.
Kalaupapa is an 11-thousand acre unincorporated community bordered by some of the highest sea cliffs in the world, and it can be reached by air or by way of the trail descending the 1,600-foot-high (488m) cliffs. Along its course, there are 26 switchbacks that corkscrew in and out of canyons and ravines. The 4-hour guided ground tour of the Kalaupapa Peninsula includes all notable historic sites including Saint Philomena Church, the Bishop Home for Girls, lunch at the scenic Kalawao overlook, and the grave of Saint Damien. We offer 3 tours that fly you to Molokai and you choose how you’d like to journey into Kalaupapa.
Fly In Fly Out
Fly from Maui to Molokai, and experience the beauty & history of Kalaupapa.
Check in: 8:45am at Makani Air at Kahului Airport General Aviation (1 Keolani Pl, Kahului, HI 96732 - Click to view map)
Hike Down Fly Out
This tour is a perfect combination of adventure and breathtaking views!
Check in: 6:50am at Makani Air at Kahului Airport General Aviation (1 Keolani Pl, Kahului, HI 96732 – Click to view map) and you will have to arrange to have a cab take you from the airport at Ho’olehua to Molokai Mule Ride (290 Pu’u Kapele Avenue – Click to view map), which is near the trail head.
Kalaupapa Tour: The total distance of your hike is approximately 3.2 miles. You should plan to be at the bottom of the trail at the mule corrals no later than 10:15 a.m. The bus tour starts there, and let the bus driver know that you are on a Hike down / Fly out package with Makani Kai Air Charter. At the end of the tour, you will stay on the bus and be dropped off at the Kalaupapa Airport.
Note: If there is inclement weather, please stop at the mule barn topside prior to starting down to check if there are any reports from Kalaupapa. It is rare, but once in a great while, bad weather will preclude you from making the hike to avoid unnecessary risks.
Experience Kalaupapa in a unique way, and descend and ascend on mules. On this tour you’ll be able to take in the panoramic views.
Check in: 6:50am at Makani Air at Kahului Airport General Aviation (1 Keolani Pl, Kahului, HI 96732 – Click to view map) and you will have to arrange to have a cab take you from the airport at Ho’olehua to Molokai Mule Ride (290 Pu’u Kapele Avenue – Click to view map).
Kalaupapa Tour: The bus tour starts at the mule corrals at the bottom of the trail.
What to Bring & Wear: Closed toed shoes and long pants or long shorts are required.
Restrictions: The maximum weight for the mule ride is 250 pounds.
Note: If there is inclement weather, please stop at the mule barn topside prior to starting down to check if there are any reports from Kalaupapa. It is rare, but once in a great while, bad weather will preclude you from riding to avoid unnecessary risks.
Tour includes: Transportation, guided ground tour in a bus, lunch & bottled water.
Plane: Makani Kai Air uses nine-passenger turboprop Cessna Grand Caravans to fly to Kalaupapa.
Restrictions: Persons under the age of 16 are prohibited from going to Kalaupapa by the Hawaii State Department of Health.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations require a 48-hour notice for full refund.
Cruise Ship Passengers
Sorry, Molokai Tours from Maui do not fit the itinerary of any of the cruise ships because the flight times are too early.
To really see these cliffs, and the tallest waterfall in the state of Hawaii, also consider doing a helicopter tour of Molokai which leaves from the Kahului Airport on Maui. The channel crossing can be bouncy at times, especially in the afternoon when the stiff trade winds kick up. Those who know they have motion sickness issues should bring along medicine, especially for the ride back when the ferry is typically traveling upwind. One final thing … don’t confuse Molokai with Molokini. Molokini is a tiny crescent shaped island two miles off the south Maui coast and is a favorite destination for snorkel tours. Molokai is a large inhabited island northwest of Maui.