Kalaupapa is an extremely isolated place, surrounded on three sides by ocean and two-thousand foot cliffs on the fourth. Consequently, there is no road access into the peninsula. Kalaupapa cannot be reached by automobile. To get to the park visitors must travel by one of the following methods:
By Air: The park can be reached by air from O'ahu, Maui, and Ho'olehua, Molokai. Scheduled small aircraft serve Kalaupapa Airport (LUP) daily from Oa'hu through Makani Kai Air (877.255.8532 toll free) or (808.834.5813). Charter air service can also be arranged through Makani Kai, Molokai Air Tour (808.553.5296), Molokai Outdoors (877.553.4477 toll free) or (808.553.4477), and Hawai'i Expedition and Adventure Company (808.349.3006).
By Mule: Descend the 2,000 foot sea-cliffs riding on the back of a sure-footed Molokai mule. Contact Kalaupapa Rare Adventure, LLC (800.567.7550 toll free, or 808.567.6088) for information about rates and reservations. The mule-ride operation is located on topside Molokai off Highway 470 near Pala'au State Park and the Kalaupapa overlook.
At the bottom of the trail, visitors must connect with the commercial tour. Father Damien Tours, owned and operated by a Kalaupapa resident offers visitors a tour of Kalaupapa Settlement and Kalawao (808.567.6171). The mule-ride operation can also arrange your place on the tour and allow you to walk down.
By Boat: It is prohibited to come within 1/4 mile of the Kalaupapa shoreline. Access by boat within the quarter mile offshore park boundary requires a special use permit. For More information regarding this offshore closure please contact the Kalaupapa National Historical Park or the State Department of Health at Kalaupapa.
Did You Know?
Father Damien and patient helpers enlarged St. Philomena Catholic Church, a tiny wooden structure built in 1872, by adding a nave in 1876. After the steeple collapsed in a wind storm, he began constructing the larger masonry and wood main nave in 1888, which is the church seen at Kalawao today.