Molokai, the fifth-largest Hawaiian island, is home to the state’s tallest waterfall, Kahiwa Falls. Sometimes reported as reaching 1749′ in height, the falls actually reaches an astonishing 2165′ feet and includes six tiered drops before finally emptying into the sea. Though Kahiwa Falls are often mistaken for their neighboring Papalaua Falls, they are located slightly west in Kahiwa Gulch.
Kahiwa Falls tumble down weaving coast along Molokai’s remote and isolated north shore. Therefore, unless you’re an extreme hiking enthusiast or an adrenaline junkie daredevil, the best way to see Kahiwa Falls is by helicopter tour. Imagine yourself soaring over the sheer cliffs, viewing the towering falls from above, as only a bird can. You’ll watch as the powerful blue waters and white foam rush down the ragged cliffs, pouring gallons into the Pacific Ocean every minute.
Those sea cliffs that Kahiwa Fall weave through? They’re the tallest sea cliffs in the world. And that’s not all that Molokai has to offer its visitors: Halawa Valley is one of the most pristine, green, and beautiful areas in all the world. Access is by foot, and as you hike in with your guide, your jaw will fall agape at the simply incredible vistas that surround you. Rainbows arc through the sky, playing hide-and-seek behind mountain peeks. Burning red, deep purple, and spicy pink flora dot the landscape, setting your eyes on fire with the sheer color of it all. Rare animals tiptoe through the grass and trees, quietly sidestepping humans but not afraid, as we are a rare sight there. And as you come to the end of the well-delineated hiking trail, you’ll find yourselves craning your neck at the up 250-foot, doubled-tiered, Mooula Falls, a thundering watery attraction.
Another one of Molokai’s famous scenes is the Kalaupapa National Historic Park. You’ll traverse the 2.9-mile trail to Kalaupapa on top of a mule, perhaps the first time you partake in this unique and quirky form of transportation. Up on top of these sea cliffs, you’ll see the sapphire-blue Pacific waters stretch out endlessly to the horizon line, surely farther than your eye can see. The sheer beauty of the scenery around you will make your breath catch in your chest and you will know what it is to truly appreciate nature.
After riding for 90 minutes and traversing 26 switchbacks along the trail, you’ll arrive at the national park. Established in 1873 as a home for Belgian missionary Father Damien, the priest befriended and gave hope to victims of Hansen disease who had been exiled to this remote location. Today, visitors pay homage to his memory by visiting his grave at St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church and visiting his statue in front of the State Capitol on Oahu.
As a member of the Hawaiian archipelago, Molokai also boasts the famous Hawaiian hospitality (you’ll get “lei’d”), near-perfect weather, simply gorgeous blue skies only matched by the depth and hue of the celestial water, and delectable cuisine best-sampled at one of the traditional luaus. Pack your bags and hurry on over; Molokai awaits you.