Kalaupapa National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1980 and is currently managed by the National Park Service and the Hawaii State Department of Health. The National Park, located on a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai, includes two historic Hansen's disease settlements at Kalaupapa and Kalawao, the Kalaupapa peninsula, adjacent cliffs and valleys, and the submerged lands and waters out one-quarter mile from shore. Historic churches, homes, community buildings and cemetaries can be found throughout the park.
Kalaupapa peninsula was designated a Hansen's disease colony by the kingdom of Hawaii in 1866; the forced isolation of patients ended in 1969. Approximately 17 patients have homes and still reside in the community on a part time or full time basis. Out of respect for these residents, the number of visitors allowed to tour Kalaupapa is limited to 100 people per day.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park is home to two Catholic saints – Damien De Veuster and Marianne Cope, canonized in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Both worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those exiled to the settlements by providing medical care and organizing activities. Reminders of their life and work can still be found throughout the park.
Pacific Historic Parks' bookstore is located in Kalaupapa. The tour of the settlement includes a stop at the store. Proceeds from all purchases made at the bookstore support National Park Service projects at Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
Tours operate Monday – Saturday, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Visitors to Kalaupapa National Historical Park must be at least 16 years of age and booked with Damien Tours (808-567-6171) either directly or through a transportation company. All visitors must be part of a tour group in order to enter the park. Independent exploration is not allowed.
In order to reach the park, visitors must travel by one of the following options:
There are no public facilities—hospitals, hotels, restaurants, or campgrounds—at the park and overnight stays are limited to guests of residents.
To learn more about the Hansen's disease settlements at Kalaupapa and Kalawao, visit the National Park Service website.