My sister and I booked this day trip having read Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, and falling in love with the island of Molokai and its history. After a beautiful flight from Oahu be prepared for a tiny airplane, we arrived at the Kalaupapa Airport. While there is some downtime waiting for other tour members, we just enjoyed the idyllic setting of the island and the true peace and quiet that can only come from a place like Molokai. Our tour guide, Norman, was the most authentic human being I've ever met. The tour was a little slow off the start, and I was anxious to get to more of the history and story of the island, but that came eventually. If you haven't read the aforementioned book before booking this tour, do so. You will have a greater appreciation for all that you are seeing and experiencing. I re-read the book immediately afterward and fell in love with the history all over again and especially loved having true scenery to connect to what I'd read. A very special experience!
The flight to and from Mololai was a great experience, providing the three of us with some great views of Honolulu and of Molokai. A bonus benefit was meeting at the Kalaupapa airfield an old friend of mine whom I had not seen for forty years, plus a couple of other folks from our home state of Michigan . We were joined on the bus tour by the hikers and the mule riders who made the trip up and down the trail instead of flying in and who joined us for the bus tour. The gentleman tour guide and driver of the 1992 school bus was very informative, insightful, and inspiring. All in all, I consider this day trip the highlight of my entire ten days in Hawaii.
Very well done. Could tighten up on time spent at airports waiting for other groups to join our tour.
A great way to spend a day not far from Oahu. The historical aspects of the old leper colony and Father Damien was outstanding. The only complaint is the waiting time for the scheduled aircraft to take us back to Honolulu. There could be "filler" activity to allow tourists to enjoy Kalaupapa's beauty. As an example a donkey ride up the trail to a vantage point that overlooks the National Park.
A very interesting and enjoyable trip, start to finish. You will learn a lot about the history of Molokai on this venture! Scenery is beautiful as well.
Joyce F USA
It was everything I could have hoped for - and more. The flight over was smooth, the pilot gracious, and the tour operator at Kalapaupapa very knowledgeable and engaging. I would certainly recommend this trip to others.
Unique experience that put a visual picture to what I have read about the history. Wonderful guide and nice plane ride with locals added to my understanding of life there and the park service.
The trip was outstanding in every way. From the plane trip to Molokai and back to Oahu will always be treasured memories that I will cherish for years to come. Our guide was simply great making the day educational, enjoyable, and a privilege. Well worth the cost and time.
Michael G USA
Great trip and compassionate tour guide. The flights with Garrett from Makani Kai were exceptional and provided additional overview of Honolulu and Molokai.
Loved being there but way too much dead time, waiting was about half of the trip, 40 minutes after landing, then waiting for hikers, then waiting for mules riders, then waiting for the plane to fly another group to topside then fly us back
The tour was inspiring and informative, it would have been 5 star if timed more efficiently thanks
The tour was very interesting and informative. The plane trip to Molokai was picturesque. The beauty and serenity of the island was more than I could have imagined. The picnic lunch was fantastic.
The tour of Kalaupapa was wonderful and we would recommend it. However, we were dropped at the airport in Kalaupapa at 9am and we were not briefed about what to expect. Our group was alone at the airport until the tour guide showed up at 10am. Apparently that is the usual pick-up time because the tour waits for hikers from top-side Molokai. Some information about that would have been helpful.
We were at least an hour late in taking off because the pilot hadn't fueled the plane and because of a couple of other problems. Since we were on a tight schedule, the trip was partially spoiled for us because of worrying about getting back on time.
The tour around the peninsula of Molokai was very nice. We got a lot of history of the leper colony and walked in the footsteps of the unfortunate people who were forced to live there.
We did get back to Oahu on time although we had to wait again on Molokai for our pilot to show up and then for him to deliver a couple to the upper part of the island.
I was picked up promptly at my hotel, and the flight to Molokai was very good. The tour guide at Kalaupapa was excellent, really great. We waited for some passengers who were not on time for take off on the return trip, and we did NOT do the flight-seeing view of the island that I had looked forward to doing. That was a disappointment. Otherwise, it was a good day.
The trip was not exactly what I expected. We spent half the day just waiting - we were the first to arrive in Molokai and then had to wait for the plane to go pick up others on the Island then we waited some more for those who rode the mules down the mountain. When our tour actually began we were loaded into an OLD school bus which broke down and so we waited again while a couple of people tried to fix it before someone came along and gave our driver a ride to go get another OLD school bus. The tour of the Leper Colony and Molokai was probably only about 90 min as much of it has burnt down. Then we were dropped back off at the airport where we waited again for the pilot to take others back to their location and then return for us. Out of an 10 hour day, we received a 90 min tour.
There's a lot of waiting time built into this tour: you wait to be picked up at the airport in Molokai, you are driven to wait for the people who hiked or rode a mule, you wait again at the tour operator's refreshment store...
This should be a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. Luckily I had borrowed an 80 page book that I had the chance to begin and finish during all my waiting. It contained all of the pictures and most of the stories that were told by the tour guide. While the tour guide was friendly, she admitted at the start of the tour that she didn't know a lot of the history of the place but instead came about being a guide because she used to drive around the owner. Honestly, without stories about what happened there it is just a bunch of poorly documented sites.
I guess Father Damien tours is the only way to go to Kalaupapa right now. Hopefully someone will come in maybe the NPS and start to do a better job telling the story of what happened here.
They put us on the wrong trip. It got a 1 star only because our tour guide was good
I wanted a helicopter tour. When we were picked up we learned it was a fixed wing tour. Did not go. Would not recommend this company.
There was too much "downtime," When we arrived at the little Molokai airport at not quite 9:00 a.m., we were told the tour would not begin until 10:00. By 10:30, we were still waiting, and got picked up sometime after that. The nearest we could figure out is that the mule driver (who was also our tour guide) had to bring the mule riders down first (they were already on the school bus when we were picked up and participated in our tour). The tour itself was very nice, but when we were brought back to the airfield, we had to wait another two hours for our return flight to Oahu. Mind you, we were in the middle of nowhere so its not like we could browse through town. The trip was supposed to have been 6 hours, but we were gone for 9 hours. Unexceptable and not up to Viator standards! We have been all over Europe with Viator trips and have NEVER experienced this.