Molokai Travel Guide

Molokai Sports & Activities

Molokai’s shoreline topography limits opportunities for water sports. Sea cliffs dominate the north shore; the south shore is largely encased by a huge, taming reef. Open-sea access at west-end and east-end beaches should be used only by experienced ocean swimmers, and then with caution because seas are rough, especially in winter. Generally speaking, there’s no one around—certainly not lifeguards—if you get into trouble. For this reason alone, guided excursions are recommended. At least be sure to ask for advice from outfitters or residents. Two kinds of water activities predominate: kayaking within the reef area, and open-sea excursions on charter boats, most of which tie up at Kaunakakai Wharf.

Activity vendors in Kaunakakai are a good source of information on outdoor adventures on Molokai. For a mellow round of golf, head to the island’s only golf course, Ironwood Hills, where you’ll likely share the greens with local residents. Molokai’s steep and uncultivated terrain offers excellent hikes and some stellar views. Although the island is largely wild, all land is privately owned, so get permission before hiking.


Cyclists who like to eat up the miles love Molokai, because its few roads are long, straight, and extremely rural. You can really go for it...

Body Boarding and Bodysurfing

You rarely see people body boarding or bodysurfing on Molokai, and the only surfing is for advanced wave riders. The best spots for body boarding...

Deep-Sea Fishing

For Molokai people, as in days of yore, the ocean is more of a larder than a playground. It’s common to see residents fishing along the shoreline...


Molokai is not a prime golf destination, but the sole 9-hole course makes for a pleasant afternoon. Ironwood Hills Golf Course. Like other...


Rural and rugged, Molokai is an excellent place for hiking. Roads and developments are few. The island is steep, so hikes often combine spectacular...


Molokai’s south shore is enclosed by the largest reef system in the United States—an area of shallow, protected sea that stretches over 30 miles...

Scuba Diving

Molokai Fish & Dive is the only PADI-certified dive company on Molokai. Shoreline access for divers is extremely limited, even nonexistent...


During the times when swimming is safe—mainly in summer—just about every beach on Molokai offers good snorkeling along the lava outcroppings...


Although Maui gets all the credit for the local wintering humpback-whale population, the big cetaceans also come to Molokai December–April....


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