Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa

4.5
#1 of 10 in Parks in Molokai
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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Kalaupapa National Historical Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
172 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Highly recommend touring Kalaupapa - fascinating and tragic piece of history. We called Father Damien Tours directly to book the tour and hiked down the trail. It took us 90 minutes to get down and a ...  more »
  • Should not be wrong... There are two companies that organize guided tours of Kalaupapa. We really have to go (it is to do!), but we have to go with good company. There are DamienTours llc and Kalaupapa-Mule tour there. We got the phone number of the two companies in the tourist center of County ' i (but you can find them on the Internet) and we tried several times to join them, in vain. Finally, Kalaupapa Mule Tour responded to our e-mail. So we booked with them. Error! First, one charged us $ 79 to walk down and back up walk (my spouse) and $ 149 for feet and get back on the plane (me). Still, it's more expensive to go down and come up by mules or plane. Leave the car at the Mule barn and we walk a few meters on the road to begin the descent. Down alone and guides down with mules after the walkers. The entrance to the trail is visible and there is a gate that can be opened. It costs $ 60 per person for the tour if we go down and back to feet with Damien Tours. The guide waiting for us downstairs for this company too. The descent takes about 75 to 90 minutes. We had our boots and our trekking poles. It's good enough. Arriving at the bottom, there are toilets. Guides await us at the foot of the cliff. Easy to navigate. Damien Tours guide is a gentleman who has apparently done his thesis on Kalaupapa. It is apparently very very good, passionate. He talks about the architecture and the people who made the tour with him, school bus, were delighted with their day. Kalaupapa Mule Tour guide is not a guide. He doesn't know much history of Kalaupapa. He knows a few facts and repeats... He speaks very little architecture, or the life of the inhabitants of the peninsula. After having him on Wikipedia, I knew almost ' as much as him. In addition, when we arrived at the Church at the other end of the peninsula (Kalawao), he made us sit and he sang religious songs and then he did a long very religious sermon. After his performance, he remained fairly quiet for the rest of the day. We have seen just a few sites, passed soon bus most of the others, without explanation on his part. For dinner, we had a bottle of water, a Turkey sandwich to assemble oneself and a bar tender. We were very disappointed the historic part that was more a spiritual/religious visit as historic. And we weren't the only ones to be disappointed! My husband went to feet in 80 minutes. Me I got the plane because of a medical condition. Air travel is 8 minutes. The view is beautiful and pleasant in a small plane 9 places. So, Yes, this visit worth it. The history of the peninsula is fascinating. I don't know what I am in reading the book County ' i of Alan Brennert. What a great book to read before or after the visit. If you are fit enough, I recommend you to come down and climb to feet, but especially to the tour with Damien Tours. If they do answer your call, leave early (between 7:30-8: 00 am) and down the cliff. Arriving down, talk to the company Damien Tours guide and it will make the visit. The tour ends around 2: 00 and we go back after. You will pay at the end of the visit... US $ 60 cash. That's what I was told after...
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  • We hiked down and met Father Damien Tours at the bottom. The hike is not so bad, just a bunch of stairs. The trailhead is easy to drive right by! Oddly enough, the trailhead is marked ' Palau state pa...  more »
Google
  • Been here 4 times and this is the only place where all you here is the sounds of the ocean, the calming winds, the sounds the birds, and the peaceful tranquility of mother nature. This is #oldhawaii
  • Got to spend a day and night here. A truly remarkable experience.
  • Expensive hike with a very poor guide signs up for Damien tours LLC. Not father Damien tours. We chose the later and had a 90 year old man talk about 3 houses and then drive us to the "highlight of the tour"(his words)... lunch. However due to some glitch in their system we were not included in the lunch. If this were not a gorgeous hike and beautiful area this would get a 1 star. However the Damien tours looked like they were having fun and they actually learned about the site.
  • Wow. You've gotta go here if you get the chance. I went via a flight and tour package deal. I took an 8 seat Cessna plane from Oahu and then took the tour once I landed. Others on the tour had hiked or taken a mule from the cliff-top down to the settlement. Either way, everyone found the experience informational and enjoyable.
  • Super fun hike, regardless if you enjoy the history of Father Damien, which you will. Setting-up entry into the park is difficult and some hikers were turned around because they did not get a sponsor to enter Kalaupapa.

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1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Molokai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Molokai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM SPAIN July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Molokai BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Waialua, Honolulu & Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Waialua, Honolulu & Kalaupapa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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