This isolated peninsula on the north coast of the island of Molokai is surrounded by sea and high cliffs—and not easy to get to. Visitors must pre-arrange access, then hike a steep three-and-a-half-mile trail to get to the entrance, beyond which there are no dining or shopping facilities. The reward for all of this advance preparation, however, is an ecological paradise with natural beauty as well as a fascinating history. Kalaupapa was once an isolated colony for Native Hawaiians suffering from Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy; in addition to lush, rare flora and fauna, the park preserves many archaeological features dating back to ancient times and historic buildings and relics from its once-exiled residents.
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Magazine Article Exiled to Paradise Kalaupapa National Historical Park celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over Hansen’s disease.