West End Molokai

The island of Molokai was said to have been borne out of two ancient volcanoes that joined together a long time ago. Though these two opposite sides of the island are joined together, they are polar opposites when it comes to the terrain and the weather. While the north east is home to lush and green valleys, the south and the west ends are arid and dry.

The west end may not be as verdant as its eastern counterpart, but this hasn't stopped the people of Molokai from reaping the bounties of their island on this side. The west end has its fair share of sand beaches, some of which are almost deserted. There's a time when you can have the entire beach almost to yourself.

In recent years, more and more attention has been focused on the many places of interest in the west side of Molokai. Here are just a few of the venues that you could explore and enjoy while on this part of the island.


If you're a beach bum, the west end will surely be paradise on earth for you as you can walk on seemingly endless stretches of white sand without having to trip over a soul. The west end area is widely known for its sheltered coves and immaculate beaches that attract more of the local population than the tourists. Now that you're in the know, you can do as the locals do and just chill out and relax under the tropic sun and not worry about parking space or getting run over by a crowd of beach-goers.

Papohaku Beach

The west end is where the famous stretch of white sand known as Papohaku Beach can be found. You can reach Papohaku by taking any of the entry points from Kaluakoi Road. Though there can never be a very large crowd of beach-goers to be found here, amenities such as picnic tables, outdoor showers, and grill areas are also available for use.

On Papohaku, you can find the serenity that characterizes the atmosphere of Molokai, with the seemingly endless expanse of smooth white sand and clear blue waters. Papohaku is actually deemed as one the widest beaches. In fact, the sand here is so bountiful that some of it has actually been sent to Oahu to create what we now know as the Waikiki Beach. Though its waters may seem inviting, caution must always be observed as Papohaku is known for its strong undertow. Whatever beauty you may behold on the beach is all that you can get from Papohaku, as the reefs and the condition of the water isn't recommended for snorkeling.

Dunes can be found in the area of the Lauhue access point. The beach from this end is at its widest, while in Papapa entrance, you can access the area where the Ka Hula Festival is held every May.

Make Horse Beach

Surfer dudes can experience the much-needed thrill in this area. The swells in Make Horse Beach are just perfect for the watersport. Many locals and tourists flock here to practice their surfing skills. However, Make (pronounced mah-kay) Horse Beach is also shrouded in mystery. Make, is a Hawaiian term for “dead,” and horse stands for the massacre of many horses by the native Hawaiians in this area in the late 1800s. However, this gruesome past has been long forgotten; the beach is now reeling in more visitors, with its growing popularity as a premier surfing spot on the island.

Aside from surfing, the locals find this spot to be a perfect base for catching the biggest fish on the island. Visitors who want to save up on their food expenses and taste the freshness of the sea can just bring their fishing gear and catch themselves a couple of mahi-mahi for lunch or dinner.

Dixie Maru Beach

For those who want to enjoy what's beneath the waves as well as the perfectly circular sheltered cove on land, set off to Dixie Maru Beach in the west end. Here, a much more secluded spot can be found as the area is surrounded by rocks and ample vegetation. The sand is fine and clean, and you can enjoy a peaceful solitude while enjoying the quiet crash of small waves on the shore. The reef in Dixie Maru Beach is also a paradise of bright colors from the various fish, corals, and seaweeds that can be found beneath the waves. Snorkeling here is open 24 hours; however, caution is always advised as the condition of the water can be unpredictable. The presence of licensed lifeguards and even of other people is not assured, since Dixie Maru is a secluded beach.

Hale O Lono Harbor

If you want to see the famous Molokai World Championships, head off to the Hale O Lono Harbor to witness teams from different parts of the world nearly exhaust all their energies to win the canoe race. The race starts at the Hale O Lono Harbor and ends all the way up to the Waikiki Beach on Oahu. Though it seems impossible to cover the distance between Oahu and Molokai, many brave and strong participants have already done so for the past 50 years. It is free to watch the competition form Hale O Lono Harbor, which can be easily accessed via a road from the Molokai Ranch and Lodge. The road turns east as you pass the Kaupoa Beach of Molokai Ranch on the right. It ends on a quiet beach, where picnic tables and public restrooms can also be found.

Aside from the Molokai World Championships, Hale O Lono Harbor is also a great place for surfing as the swells that break on the left are just right for the watersport. Surfing throughout the day seems to be a good idea here.

Molokai Plumeria Farm

If you want to take a break from riding the surf and combing the endless expanse of white sand beaches, you can take a trip to a more refreshing venue. Sink into the largest fields of plumeria flowers on this side of the island. Visitors can go on a tour around the Molokai Plumeria Farm to see how these fragrant and fruity flowers are planted, raised, and harvested. Experience making your own lei using plumerias, anthuriums, and other blooms that are as exotic as Hawaii itself.


For a glimpse of the old Hawaii, you may head off to Maunaloa. It used to be a pineapple plantation. To the delight of tourists who come visit this old town, tjere are now shops and galleriesn that can be found here. There's even a triplex theatre.

Aside from beaches, there are also gardens, ranches, farms, and golf courses to be explored in the west end of Molokai. This part of the island is where you'll best enjoy sightseeing without minding the crowd of tourists. Though it makes less noise compared to other Hawaiian Islands, it doesn't mean that you'll be burrowed in tranquility. In fact, there are lots of activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a water baby or a sports fanatic, a little exploration to this part of the island will take you sites that offer the activities you have in mind, be it kayaking, golf, surfing, riding a mule, or helicopter trips.

Tourists are well advised to find suitable accommodations in places that will keep them closer to sites they wish to see minus the travel inconvenience. This is so they will have enough time for fun and aimless exploration.