NAME: Kalaupapa
ISLAND: Molokai
CLIMATE: Nice and warm all the time.
COMMENTS: On the North shore of the island at Makanalua Peninsula.
REMAINS: Many original buildings among a few remaining residents.

Kalaupapa was a colony for those who had leprosy. It was founded in 1866 and was largely run by a Belgian priest Father Damien. He died of the disease in 1889. In 1969, the quarantine restrictions were removed from the colony but some still remain today. - Ghosttowns.com

Kalaupapa is on a sea level peninsula that is completely isolated from the rest of Molokai by a sheer mountain face. Kalaupapa can only be reached by a very small airplane, or by hiking or riding a mule down the almost vertical trail. Hiking down is great, going back up is not for wimps. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed and adults are only allowed if they are invited as guests by the residents. You can take a guided tour of the town for a fee. In addition to the Hansen's disease colony, there are also remains of early Hawaiian inhabitation such as a heaiau or temple site. Kalaupapa is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is also the location of a terrifying history of neglect of a people and the tragedy of ignorance. It is the last "Leper Colony" still in use that I know of. Although, the residents are now free to leave Kalaupapa (and many of them have become world travelers with Las Vegas being a favorite destination) most of them choose to remain living in the colony. Kalaupapa has a very strange atmosphere about it. With tiny "getaway" cottages interspersed between rows and rows of tombs, the living and the dead seem to mingle with ease. On the surface, Kalaupapa looks like a picturesque Hawaiian village which has remained oblivious to the passage of time and the infection of modernity, but everywhere, there are constant reminders of Kalaupapa's grim and brutal history. - Submitted by Elizabeth Fagin.