Hawaii helicopter tours – the best way to explore the beautiful islands of Hawaii. The feeling of being up in the air is an experience that cannot be matched by land or sea travel. The exhilaration, the elevation, the thrill of it all, plus the most amazing view you can ever get.
A vast majority of the Hawaiian Islands are not accessible by land travel due to rugged terrain, lack of roads, or high elevation. A bird’s eye view is the greatest way to see Hawaii’s beaches, volcanoes, and mountain ranges. If you do not know the best locations for helicopter tours in Hawaii, this article will give some suggestions, so read on.
Photo: Edmund Garman/flickr
Best Locations for Hawaii Helicopter Tours
MAUI HELICOPTER TOURS
The beaches of Maui are considered as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world by many travel websites. Tourists flock to this area for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing.
Photo: Sue Salisbury/flickr
There is also a “big” reason why you should consider having a Hawaii vacation in Maui. The 40-ton Humpback Whales can be seen migrating from their feeding grounds in Alaska. The best time to see the gentle giants is from December 15 to April 15.
See the famous Hana Highway from high up, a long stretch of road which cuts through the forests of Hawaii and traverses the mountains’ edge, just a few feet away from the Pacific Ocean.
OAHU HELICOPTER TOURS
Enjoy unbelievable aerial views of the Waikiki Beach, the bustling city of Honolulu, and the historic Pearl Harbor. Oahu is a place where the beauty of native Hawaii meets the glamor of the modern city.
The Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii. Beachfront hotels line up the coast, and the white sand beach is alive with people and tourists. At the edge of the beach, you can see the Diamond Head, a dormant volcano that provides a dramatic backdrop to the beach’s skyline.
The historic Pearl Harbor is one of the most important battlefields during World War II. The US Navy bravely fought off the invading Japanese warplanes. The USA and Japan, difficult as it may seem, were able to move on from this event. We all hope that we can all learn from the lessons of the past and eventually world peace can be a reality.
These places are great locations for Hawaii helicopter tours. But wait, there’s more. Fly over lush mountain peaks, remote valleys, and hidden waterfalls! See surfers as they ride the big waves of the North Shore.
Witness the charm of the Hanauma Bay as the mighty waters of the Pacific Ocean kisses the beach. Get fantastic views of the valleys of the Ko’olau Mountain Range, the Sacred Falls, and the Makapu’u sea cliffs on the south shore of Oahu. Nice!
BIG ISLAND HELICOPTER TOURS
A helicopter tour over the Big Island is special. Aside from being the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, it is also where you will see three of the most famous volcanoes in the world. The Mauna Loa is the largest volcano (when it comes to mass and volume) in the world.
Kilauea is probably the most active volcano on the planet, with its last eruption beginning on January 3, 1983 and still continues up to this day (that’s 33 years and counting). Learn how volcanoes shape the landscape of Hawaii as red-hot lava spews out of the crater and into the Pacific Ocean.
If you include the part of the volcano that is below sea level, Mauna Kea is the tallest volcano on the planet (from base to summit). Elevation is usually defined as the height above sea level. But if you consider the height from base to summit, Mauna Kea is not only the tallest volcano; it will be the tallest mountain on Earth.
There are other places to see aside from the Hawaiian volcanoes. The Rainbow Falls of Wai’anuenue will welcome you with its colorful rainbow, formed when sunlight hits the mist of the waterfalls. Marvel at the rainforest of Hilo, the island’s sea cliffs, and the black sand beaches.
KAUAI HELICOPTER TOURS
Kauai is blessed with picturesque sceneries, lovely coastlines, and majestic landscapes. Because of its beauty, it was used as a location for several blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, King Kong, and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
From the helicopter, you can see the Waimea Canyon, a 16 km long and 3,000 ft deep wonder of nature. It is dubbed as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Originally, the color of the landscape is black, but over time the basaltic rock turned into red.
Tha Napali Coast provides a stunning backdrop for a helicopter tour. See the amazing sea cliffs as it meets the mighty waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Helicopter Tour Tips
Photo: Hawaii Discount/vimeo
- Before choosing a particular helicopter tour package, compare prices so you can get value for your money. Most Hawaii helicopter tours start at 200 US dollars and can go as high as 1,700 US dollars, depending on the destination and length of time in the air.
- Make sure that the company is reputable and has a good safety record. The pilot should be experienced and has the necessary flying hours. The helicopter should be well maintained and has undergone safety checks.
- Know where you will be sitting before the flight. Excluding the pilot, the typical number of passengers is six (in the case of the A-star and Eco-star helicopter). In the case of the Hughes 500, the total number of passengers is four.
On a six-passenger helicopter, the passenger configuration is two people in the front, two at the middle, and two at the back. Those at the front will have the best view. On the Hughes 500, some companies have the option to fly with the doors off, giving the passengers a better panoramic view.
Most helicopter companies fly clockwise when approaching an island. If you can request to be seated on the right side, it is advised that you do so. The best views are usually on the right side of the helicopter.
- Make sure that you listen to the safety instructions before the flight. Take note of what you can wear and what you can’t like earrings (you will be wearing headphones during the flight) and hats.
- Decide beforehand which islands you want to see for your Hawaii vacation. Each island has its own features; some have beautiful beaches, some have majestic volcanoes, and others have awesome landscapes. Whichever island you choose, it will definitely be worth it.
- If you plan to take photographs, wear dark-colored clothes to reduce glare. Also, use high-speed settings for your camera. But, if you really want to savor the helicopter tour, it is recommended that you minimize the time spent taking pictures and concentrate on the stunning sceneries.
A helicopter tour in Hawaii is a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to see the beautiful islands of Hawaii up in the air is an exciting, enjoyable, and memorable experience. See the mighty Pacific Ocean, the white and black sand beaches, the majestic volcanoes, and the awe-inspiring landscapes. Enjoy your vacation!