Welcome to Molokai, a beautiful and serene island located in the Hawaiian archipelago. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and friendly locals, Molokai is a destination unlike any other.

Exploring the island is a must-do for any visitor, and there are many transportation options available to help you get around. Whether you decide to rent a car, use public transportation, or explore the island on foot or bike, there are plenty of ways to experience all that Molokai has to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Molokai offers unique experiences and stunning scenery
  • There are various transportation options for getting around the island
  • Exploring Molokai’s authentic culture and natural wonders is a must
  • Safety measures and tips should be considered while traveling in Molokai

Exploring Molokai’s Transportation Options

When it comes to getting around Molokai, visitors have several transportation options to choose from. From renting a car to using public transportation or hiring a taxi service, the island has various modes of transportation that cater to different needs and preferences.

Renting a Car on Molokai

Renting a car is a popular choice among visitors who want to explore the island at their own pace. Several car rental companies are available on Molokai, with a range of vehicles to choose from. It is recommended to book in advance during peak travel season to ensure availability.

Rental CompanyContact Information
Alamo Rent-A-Car1-800-462-5266
Avis Car Rental1-800-321-3712
Budget Rent-A-Car1-800-527-0700
Hertz Rent-A-Car1-808-567-6381

Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. It is important to note that many of the island’s roads are narrow, winding, and unpaved, so driving requires caution and a bit of skill. Visitors should also be aware of the prevalence of wild animals on the roadways, such as deer and wild pigs.

Public Transportation on Molokai

Visitors can also use the island’s public transportation options, such as buses and shuttles, to get around Molokai. The Molokai MEO Bus provides service to various locations on the island, with routes and schedules available on their website. Visitors can also use shuttle services provided by several hotels and resorts on the island.

Fares for public transportation are affordable, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers. Visitors should note that public transportation may not be as frequent or reliable as private transportation options, so it is important to plan accordingly.

For visitors who prefer not to rent a car or use public transportation, alternative options such as biking, walking or using rideshare services are available. However, these options may be limited in certain parts of the island.

Regardless of the transportation option chosen, visitors should prioritize safety when getting around Molokai. Road conditions can be challenging, and weather conditions can change quickly, so it is important to exercise caution and stay informed.

Renting a Car on Molokai

One of the most popular transportation options for getting around Molokai is renting a car. It provides the flexibility and comfort to explore the island at your own pace, with the freedom to stop at any point of interest along the way. However, there are some important things to bear in mind when renting a car on Molokai.

Car Rental Companies on Molokai

Molokai has a small airport and limited car rental options, so it’s essential to reserve a car well in advance of your visit to avoid disappointment. The island’s main car rental companies are Alamo, National, and Molokai Car Rental. Do some research and compare prices to find the best deal for your budget and needs.

Requirements for Renting a Car on Molokai

When renting a car on Molokai, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and a credit card to secure your reservation. In some cases, you may also need to be at least 25 years old to rent a car. Make sure to check the specific requirements of your chosen car rental company before making a reservation.

Navigating Molokai’s Roadways

Molokai’s roadways are narrow and winding, with limited street lighting and signage. While driving, it’s essential to stay alert and focused, especially when navigating sharp turns and steep inclines. Speed limits can vary, so make sure to adhere to posted signs and keep an eye out for pedestrians and wildlife.

It’s also essential to plan your route carefully and take into account the limited gas stations and restaurants on the island. Fill up your tank and bring snacks and water to avoid getting stranded without provisions.

Public Transportation on Molokai

For those who prefer not to rent a car, public transportation on Molokai offers a convenient and affordable option for getting around the island. The Molokai Princess is the main shuttle service, offering transportation between the airport, hotels, and major attractions.

There is also a local bus service, which runs along the main highway from Kaunakakai to Maunaloa. The bus makes several stops along the way, including at popular beaches and tourist destinations. The schedule can be found online or at the local tourist office.

For those planning to visit Kalaupapa National Historical Park, a shuttle service is available that departs from the park’s visitor center. The shuttle runs twice a day, except on Sundays and holidays, and reservations are required.

It’s important to note that public transportation on Molokai may not be as frequent or extensive as in other cities, so it’s recommended to plan ahead and check schedules in advance. It’s also worth considering other transportation options if you plan to explore more remote parts of the island.

Exploring Molokai on a Budget

While Molokai can be an expensive destination, there are plenty of ways to explore the island without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for getting around Molokai on a budget:

  • Consider using public transportation, such as the Molokai bus or shuttle services, which offer affordable fares and convenient routes.
  • Renting a bicycle is another budget-friendly option for getting around Molokai, allowing you to explore the island at a leisurely pace. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as some areas can be quite exposed.
  • Many of Molokai’s best experiences are free, such as hiking to the breathtaking Papohaku Beach or visiting local farmers’ markets to try delicious fresh produce.
  • For budget-friendly accommodations, consider camping at one of Molokai’s public campsites or staying in a hostel or vacation rental. These options can provide a unique and affordable experience while getting around Molokai.
  • When dining out, opt for local food trucks or markets, which offer delicious and affordable cuisine. You can also save money by preparing your own meals using local ingredients from Molokai’s grocery stores.
  • Take advantage of free attractions, such as the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center, which provides insights into the island’s rich history and culture.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your Molokai experience without breaking the bank.

Getting Around Molokai without a Car

While renting a car is the most convenient way to get around Molokai, there are alternative transportation options for visitors who prefer not to drive. Biking and walking are popular choices for exploring the island, especially in the more populated areas.

Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are also available on Molokai. While pick-up times may be longer than in larger cities, they can be a convenient option for shorter trips.

For those looking to venture further afield, tour companies offer a variety of options for exploring the island, including guided hikes and cultural tours. Public transportation is also available, with buses and shuttles operating on specific routes across the island.

Exploring Molokai by Bike

Biking is a great way to explore Molokai’s scenic beauty and charming small towns at a leisurely pace. Rentals are available at various shops throughout the island, with prices ranging from $25 to $35 per day. Helmets are required by law, and riders are encouraged to bring plenty of water and sunscreen for their journey.

The Molokai Bike Path is a popular route for cyclists, running from Kaunakakai to the Molokai Ranch. Along the way, riders can enjoy stunning ocean views and stops at cultural sites such as Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove and the ancient fishponds at Kalokoeli.

Walking Tours and Hiking Trails

Walking tours are a great way to experience Molokai’s authentic culture and history. Guided tours are available through several companies, or visitors can opt to create their own self-guided tour using online resources and travel books.

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, Molokai offers a range of hiking trails to suit all skill levels. Popular trails include the Kalaupapa Trail, which descends over 2,000 feet to the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula, and the Halawa Valley Trail, which traverses through lush rainforests and offers stunning waterfall views.

Whether by bike, foot, or tour, visitors to Molokai can explore the island’s natural and cultural wonders without a car.

Exploring Molokai’s Scenic Drives

With its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, Molokai is a paradise for road trippers. Here are some of the most scenic drives you can take while exploring the Friendly Island:

The East End

The winding roads that lead to Molokai’s east end offer some of the island’s most spectacular scenery. You’ll pass by lush green valleys, towering sea cliffs, and stunning beaches, including the famous Halawa Beach and Papohaku Beach. Make sure to stop at the overlooks along the way for some incredible photo opportunities.

The West End

Driving to Molokai’s west end will take you through the island’s quaint towns and villages, each with its own unique charm. You’ll also get to see some of the most dramatic coastline on the island, including Kepuhi Beach and the towering cliffs of Maunaloa. Don’t miss the chance to explore the charming town of Maunaloa, which is known for its macadamia nut farms.

The Molokai Forest Reserve

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle, a drive through Molokai’s Forest Reserve is just what you need. The lush greenery, sparkling streams, and serene hiking trails will transport you to another world. The reserve is also home to several rare species of birds and wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Pali Coastline

The road that winds along Molokai’s Pali Coastline is famous for its stunning views and hairpin turns. As you drive, you’ll see the rugged sea cliffs dropping into the ocean, with the turquoise waters of the Pacific stretching out to the horizon. Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales, which are often spotted in the area.

Whichever scenic drive you choose to take, make sure to take your time, stop often, and soak in the beauty of Molokai. You won’t regret it!

Exploring Molokai’s Authentic Culture

One of the most unique aspects of Molokai is its emphasis on preserving its authentic Hawaiian culture. As you explore the island, you’ll encounter numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the rich history and traditions of the Hawaiian people.

A must-visit cultural site is the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where visitors can learn about the history of the leprosy settlement on the island and its impact on the community. Another site of cultural significance is the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center, which showcases the island’s history through exhibits and educational programs.

For those looking to experience local culture in a more immersive way, attending a Hawaiian cultural festival or event is the perfect opportunity. The Molokai Ka Hula Piko Festival, held annually in May, celebrates the importance of hula in Hawaiian culture while providing an opportunity for visitors to learn and participate in this traditional art form.

Local Experiences

In addition to attending cultural events and visiting local landmarks, there are plenty of opportunities to experience Molokai’s culture in your day-to-day activities. The island is home to many locally owned businesses, such as the Kanemitsu Bakery which offers their famous hot bread to locals and visitors alike.

Another way to experience local culture is by trying traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Molokai is known for its delicious poi, which is made from taro root and eaten as a staple in many Hawaiian households. The Kanemitsu Bakery also serves an assortment of Hawaiian plate lunches, which are a great way to sample the island’s unique cuisine.

As you explore Molokai’s authentic culture, it’s important to be respectful of the traditions and customs of the Hawaiian people. Take the time to learn about Hawaiian language and cultural protocols, such as asking for permission before entering sacred sites or using traditional Hawaiian greetings when meeting locals.

Exploring Molokai’s Natural Wonders

Molokai is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Hawaii. From stunning beaches to lush rainforests, the island’s diverse landscape offers countless opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure. Here are some of the top natural attractions to check out while getting around Molokai:

Papohaku BeachThis three-mile stretch of pristine beach is one of the largest and most beautiful in Hawaii. With its clear waters and white sand, Papohaku Beach is the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
Kamakou PreserveLocated in the heart of Molokai’s rainforest, the Kamakou Preserve is home to over 200 rare and endangered plant species. Visitors can hike along the preserve’s trails to experience the lush flora and fauna up close.
Halawa ValleyThis remote valley on Molokai’s east end is accessible only by foot or boat, but the journey is well worth it. The valley is home to two stunning waterfalls, as well as ancient Hawaiian cultural sites.
Kalaupapa National Historical ParkThis park on the north shore of Molokai is a poignant reminder of the island’s history. Visitors can explore the former leper colony and learn about the lives of the patients who were exiled there.
Honokohau FallsThis stunning waterfall is only accessible by air or on foot, but the view from the top is well worth the effort. Visitors can take a helicopter tour or hike the trail to experience the full majesty of the falls.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful escape, exploring Molokai’s natural wonders is an experience like no other. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the island’s stunning beauty for yourself.

Safety Measures and Tips for Getting Around Molokai

While exploring Molokai can be an incredibly rewarding experience, it’s important to take certain safety precautions when getting around the island. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear a seatbelt and obey traffic laws when driving on Molokai’s roads.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
  • Keep a safe distance from the ocean, as waves and currents can be powerful and unpredictable.
  • Stay hydrated and bring sufficient water and sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

It’s also a good idea to have a basic understanding of Molokai’s geography and the locations of emergency services, such as hospitals and police stations. Additionally, staying connected with a fully charged cell phone can be crucial in the event of an emergency.

By following these simple safety measures and tips, you can enjoy a worry-free and unforgettable exploration of Molokai.


In conclusion, Molokai truly embodies the spirit of the Friendly Island with its welcoming locals, rich culture, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Transport yourself to this Hawaiian paradise by car, foot, bike, or public transit and uncover scenic drives, stunning vistas, and cultural immersion.

As you plan your Hawaiian escape, use the safety tips and recommendations in this guide to ensure smooth travels. The natural wonders, history, and local hospitality waiting to be discovered on Molokai are unmatched.

Let Molokai’s beauty and welcoming community envelop you in an authentic Hawaiian experience. Book your tickets today and start your Friendly Island getaway. Download the Molokai Travel Guide Molokai Travel Guide now to begin your Molokai adventure! Allow this island’s spirit to capture your heart.

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