The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

By Holly Johnson, ContributorJune 14, 2019
By Holly Johnson, ContributorJune 14, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

Most of Kauai's beauty is inaccessible via land. A helicopter tour from Blue Hawaiian will help travelers see the island in all its glory.(Courtesy of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters)

The Hawaiian island of Kauai features lush green mountains, dramatic coastal landscapes, crystal-clear ocean waters and unbelievable scenery everywhere you look. However, it's hard to take it all in from a car or even a boat – there's just too much to see, and much of the island isn't accessible on land. That's why Kauai helicopter tours are so popular, because they let visitors see all the island's attractions from the air, making it easy to scale the highest cliffs, enjoy a bird's-eye view of Kauai's many valleys, and take in all the beauty and wonder this island paradise exudes. Using both traveler opinion and expert input, U.S. News tracked down five of the best helicopter tours in Kauai. Don't leave the island without experiencing one of these tours.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours – Kauai Eco Adventure

Blue Hawaiian's Kauai Eco Adventure affords travelers the chance to see the beauty of Kauai from an otherworldly perspective. Narrated by the pilot, who's also a certified guide, this 50-minute trip takes you to Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as "Jurassic Park" falls, Olokele Canyon, through the beautiful Waimea Canyon, and along Kauai's north shore, which features the stunning cliffs of the Napali Coast. Depending on the weather, you may also be able to view Mount Waialeale, a dormant volcano known as the "wettest place on Earth," that receives around 450 inches of rain each year. Reviewers report that the tour is excellent, fun and a must-do in Kauai. Tour prices start at $269 per person. Blue Hawaiian also offers a tour of the Princeville area of Kauai.

Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours – The Kauai Experience

Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours offers private tours of the Garden Island with up to three people on each flight. The small group means you're guaranteed a window seat for spectacular views. The Kauai Experience tour takes you to see the beauty and wonder of the Napali Coast, the splendor of Waimea Canyon, and if the weather permits, Mount Waialeale. Travelers say the views are fantastic. Visitors who chose to fly with the doors off of the helicopter call the excursion a little terrifying at first, but exhilarating. Tickets for the hourlong tour cost approximately $325 per person. The company also offers a specialized photography tour during which travelers dictate the flight path so they can cater it to their interests.

Sunshine Helicopters – Ultimate Kauai Adventure Tour

This helicopter tour takes you through all the most beautiful regions of the island, including Wailua Falls in Wailua River State Park and filming locations of "South Pacific," such as Hanalei Bay. Each helicopter has room for up to six riders and you can expect your flight to last approximately 50 minutes. Reviewers say the trip is a must-do on the island, although a handful of travelers lament they can't ask the pilot questions in-flight due to the one-way communication system. The Ultimate Kauai Adventure Tour starts at $254 per person, but you can pay an additional fee for a guaranteed front-row seat.

Safari Helicopters – Deluxe Waterfall Safari

Travelers call this tour the highlight of their Kauai vacation. The tour lasts around 60 minutes and covers more than 100 miles, featuring lush mountains, dramatic gorges and canyons, waterfalls, and more. Expect to see the unmatched beauty of the Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon and many of the most famous natural wonders on the island. Tickets for this tour cost approximately $240 per person. Safari also offers a Refuge Eco-Tour, which includes a 40-minute stop at the Kauai Wildlife Refuge.

Jack Harter Helicopters

Jack Harter Helicopters' tours will keep you in the air at least 60 minutes so you can see all of Kauai's natural beauty. What's more, the helicopters are equipped with a two-way communication system so that you and your pilot can discuss the scenery during the flight. Along the way, you'll fly over Ke'e Beach, Manawaiopuna Falls, Waimea Canyon and more. Tickets for this tour start at $289 per person, though you can opt for a helicopter without doors for an additional fee. Visitors say this tour is a thrill and several recommend opting for the doors-off version. Jack Harter Helicopters also offers 90-minute air tours.

Holly Johnson, Contributor

Holly Johnson writes about travel, credit cards, personal finance and frugality for a wide ...  Read more

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