The strictly limited access to Kalaupapa National Historical Park requires prospective visitors be aware of several critical pieces of information before planning their visit.
- All visitors to Kalaupapa must have pre-arranged permits to enter the settlement. For tourists, this means signing up for a tour through Damien Tours, a Kalaupapa resident owned and operated company. For those flying into Kalaupapa airport, hiking the pali (cliff) trail, or riding a mule as part of the tour, permits may have been arranged in advance. Check with your transportation provider and tour company operator on the status of your permit. For guests of residents, this means submitting the proper permit application to the Board of Health Office. Any persons who have not properly secured a permit into the settlement will not be admitted entrance.
- Persons under 16 years of age are not permitted to visit Kalaupapa.
- There are no medical facilities available in Kalaupapa Settlement. Any emergency medical response requires a helicopter flight to O'ahu or Maui.
- There are no dining or shopping facilities available in Kalaupapa Settlement. All food and sundries must be brought in and all trash taken out. The mule ride ride concession provides lunch to its customers. Visitors flying or hiking in must bring their own lunches. Guests of residents need to bring their own food supplies. Snacks and soft-drinks are available to visitors at the local bar.
- Photography of patient-residents and their property is strictly prohibited without their express written permission.
- The 3.5 mile trail to the park is extremely steep and challenging with uneven surfaces. Rock and mudslides on the trail are not uncommon. Hiking the trail is physically demanding and careful consideration should be given to your physical fitness level before beginning the hike. Read more about trail safety here.
- Overnight accommodations are available only to guests of residents.