There is no public transportation on Molokai, so a rental car is your best bet. Other than that you can use a tour service or call a taxi. But most people choose to chauffeur themselves around the island, which is not tough since Molokai is less than 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. Mile marker 0, which is set in the center of town, divides the island into east and west, with one side featuring a jungle and the other a desert.

The village of Kaunakakai in the southern plain is home to most of the island’s 8,000 residents. This old-style rustic town is made up of clapboard houses with horses tied up outside. Eastbound along the coastal highway are cottages that reside near fishponds or on small coves. This is the place for great views of Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Maui, and a coral reef visible to the naked eye through the water. The West End is home to the island’s only resort, Kaluakoi, but the hotel is actually closed up. There is a gentrified plantation community with an upscale country lodge and dining room. And the 53,000-acre Molokai Ranch, which offers accommodations in the form of tentalows to adventure travelers, who come for the horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and white-sand beaches.

There’s also a backside to Molokai, which is really an untamed wilderness. Along the perimeter of Kaunakakai the land goes from sea-level fishponds to the Molokai Forest to the nearly mile-high summit of Mount Kamakou to the world’s highest sea cliffs, at 3,250 feet tall. The emerald-green cliffs span almost 15 miles along the north shore, which features five valleys—Halawa, Papalaua, Wailau, Pelekunu, and Waikolu. This is also the location of Kalaupapa, the 1860s leper exile.