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Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa

(4.3/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
When leprosy began to spread through the Hawaiian Islands King Kamehameha V was faced with an agonizing decision. Pressured by the Western-influenced Board of Health, he signed "An Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy" in 1865. This law mandated all persons afflicted with the disease, or showing symptoms, to be arrested and forcibly exiled to the Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of the island of Molokai. The policy of isolation tore apart many families and Hawaiian society.

Since 1866 more than 8,000 people, mostly Hawaiians, died at Kalaupapa. The discovery of sulfone drugs in the 1940s rendered the disease (now called Hansen's disease) inactive. The policy of forced isolation ended in 1969, but for many of the patient-residents Kalaupapa is home and have decided to live out their lives in the settlement. Once a prison, today Kaluapapa is a refuge from a world still largely ignorant about this misunderstood disease.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • After doing numerous hikes on Maui, I would first like to say the drive to the trail head was a piece of cake! Signage is limited, but when you see a cattle gate that states enter with Permit Only you...  more »
  • We hiked down to the leper colony in Kalaupapa Valley. It was a muddy hike and slippery and strenuous (but we are from Colorado so we did it anyway) 3.5 mile hike down steep switchbacks. The local air...  more »
  • On Dec. 10 flew topside with Makani Air and hiked both ways with bus tour at bottom. Trail was nearly impossible due to recent rains and mule traffic. Ankle-high mud holes at every step! Promised lunc...  more »
Google
  • Soo Country, old school, aw so beautiful and spiritual
  • It's a very difficult round trip hike. When you come to the bottom you MUST have an individual resident sponsor you as a guest, or you can purchase a sponsor through the mule company. Riding the mule down and back costs extra.
  • We walked the trail down which is very arduous. It is WORTH IT! This is an awesome tour and well worth your time. You can fly out ONE way and if you add up the cost it is CHEAPER to walk down and fly out rather than ride the MULES. DO NOT go to Molokai and miss this.
  • Kalaupapa National Historical Park - Michelin's recommendations 2 * "This unique site encompasses a 13.6sqmi peninsula separated from the rest of Moloka'i by a 1,600ft cliff, to create an isolation colony for victims of Hansen's disease (leprosy), Molokaians were relocated from the beautiful windswept promontory in 1865, to be replaced the following year by banished lepers. "
  • Nice scenic but not good for leisure walk