Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa

4.5
#2 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
159 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 26, 2017
    Most people we saw took mule rides down the cliff. I hiked. There are a lot of switch backs so it doesn't feel too steep. The view is breath taking. The 1.5 hr hike is fulfilling. I didn't feel rushed...  more »
  • August 24, 2017
    We wanted to go to the little town of Kalaupapa to see where Father Damien ministered to the people with leprosy or Hansen's Disease. There are only 3 ways to get there...ride a mule, be flown in, or ...  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    We flew in and out of Kalaupapa on Makani Kai Airlines and made use of Damien Tours while on the peninsula. Kalaupapa is beautiful and memorable for its incredible sea cliffs and its tragic history. T...  more »
Google
  • June 6, 2017
    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.
  • March 6, 2017
    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.
  • May 16, 2017
    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.
  • April 18, 2017
    Somber and interesting place of great historical significance... So many sad stories and yet beautiful
  • June 4, 2017
    Interesting how ignorance of disease ruined life for so many. Beautiful place, tho isolated.

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