Kauai Helicopter Tours – A Bird’s Eye View of Paradise
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Explore Kauai’s Natural Wonders With a Helicopter Tour
Kauai, the Garden Isle, is a paradise like no other. With its lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and stunning coastline, it’s no surprise that this island is a favorite destination for visitors to Hawaii. While there are many ways to explore Kauai’s natural wonders, there’s one experience that stands out from the rest: a helicopter tour.
Kauai is a rugged island with many inaccessible areas that can only be reached by helicopter. With a Kauai helicopter tour, you’ll be able to fly over parts of the island that are otherwise hidden from view. The views from a Kauai helicopter tour are simply breathtaking. You’ll soar over towering cliffs, deep valleys, and lush rainforests, and see some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. You’ll also get a bird’s-eye view of Kauai’s stunning Na Pali coastline, with its hidden coves and secluded beaches.
When you book a Kauai helicopter tour, you’ll be accompanied by an experienced pilot who knows the island inside and out. They’ll be able to point out hidden gems and landmarks that you might have missed on your own, and share their knowledge and passion for Kauai’s natural wonders. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you have about the island’s history, geology, and ecology, making for a truly educational and engaging experience.
Kauai Helicopter Tour Costs
The average cost of a Kauai helicopter tour is typically around $275 to $500 per person for a 45-60 minute tour. Some tour operators may offer shorter or longer tours at different price points. Other factors are also important to consider for costs. Single, middle-seat options can sometimes be found for $100 while “First Class” seats next to the pilot can cost $800 or more, for example. Additionally, many tour companies charge extra for passengers weighing over 240 pounds. So it’s important to shop around and compare options before making a booking.
Whether or not a Kauai helicopter tour is worth the cost ultimately depends on your priorities and budget. While the price tag may seem steep, a helicopter tour offers a unique and unforgettable way to experience Kauai’s natural wonders. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and don’t mind spending a bit more, a helicopter tour may be well worth the cost.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling on a tight budget or prefer to explore at a slower pace, there are plenty of other ways to see Kauai’s natural beauty. Hiking trails, scenic drives, and boat tours can all be great options for experiencing the island’s landscapes at a lower cost.
In the end, the cost of a Kauai helicopter tour is just one factor to consider when planning your trip. Whether you choose to take a tour or explore on your own, the natural wonders of Kauai are sure to leave you awe-inspired and rejuvenated.
Are Kauai Helicopter Tours Safe?
Kauai helicopter tours are generally safe. Tour operators take extensive precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers, including using well-maintained helicopters and employing experienced and highly trained pilots.
All helicopter tour companies operating in Hawaii are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and must adhere to strict safety standards. This includes regular maintenance and inspections of the aircraft, as well as compliance with FAA regulations regarding flight routes, altitudes and other safety protocols.
Additionally, pilots who fly Kauai helicopter tours must hold a commercial pilot’s license and undergo extensive training before they are allowed to operate these tours. They are trained in emergency procedures and are equipped with state-of-the-art communication and navigation systems to ensure that they can safely navigate the island’s terrain.
Despite these precautions, it’s important to note that helicopter tours do carry some inherent risks. Flying in a helicopter can be a bumpy and turbulent experience, and accidents can occur in rare cases. Kauai presents several inherent challenges for helicopter pilots, including flying over rough terrain and flying in wet and unpredictable weather. However, the overall safety record of Kauai helicopter tours is excellent, and tour operators take great care to minimize risks and ensure the safety of their passengers.
Kauai Helicopter Tour Tips
Choose the right time of day
The time of day you choose for your Kauai helicopter tour can have a big impact on the quality of your experience. Early morning flights tend to offer the clearest views and the calmest weather conditions, while midday flights may be hotter and more turbulent. Late afternoon flights can be a great option for capturing the island’s stunning colors during the Golden Hour. Consider your personal preferences and what you hope to see when choosing the time of day for your tour.
Choose the Best Seat
Front seats, next to the pilot, usually have the best viewing opportunities, but these seats often cost more. Middle seats should be avoided. Since most tours navigate clockwise around the island, a seat on the right side of the helicopter provides the best views overall for several notable waterfalls and the Na Pali Coast. Door’s off tours are the best option for photographers.
Before the Flight
If you are prone to motion sickness, do not eat or drink before the flight and consider taking a medication such as Dramamine before boarding to prevent or reduce motion sickness symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Arrive on Time and Bring Necessary Items
Arrive 30-45 minutes before your scheduled departure. Be sure to bring your government-issued ID. All passengers are weighed before the flight.
While most helicopter tour operators provide headsets and other necessary equipment, it’s a good idea to bring a few additional items with you. A camera or smartphone with a good camera is essential for capturing the stunning views from the air. Bring extra batteries or a portable charger to ensure that your camera doesn’t run out of power. Additionally, bring a small bag or backpack to carry your belongings, as loose items can be a safety hazard inside the helicopter.
It’s important to dress appropriately for your Kauai helicopter tour, as the temperature can vary depending on the altitude and weather conditions. Dress in layers so that you can easily adjust your clothing as needed. Wear dark clothing to minimize your reflection in the window. Avoid wearing loose items of clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the helicopter’s moving parts (earrings can get caught in headphones and hats are not permitted). Wear comfortable shoes with good grip to ensure safe footing when boarding and disembarking from the helicopter.
Listen to your pilot’s instructions
Your pilot is an experienced and highly trained professional who will provide you with important instructions and safety information before and during your tour. Be sure to listen carefully and follow all instructions, including those related to boarding and disembarking from the helicopter, fastening your seatbelt, and wearing your headset. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask your pilot for clarification.
Relax and enjoy the experience
Overall, remember to relax and enjoy the experience! A Kauai helicopter tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world from a unique perspective. Take in the breathtaking views, snap some photos and appreciate the incredible natural beauty of Kauai.
After the Tour
After the flight, tip the pilot at least $20 for each passenger in your party.
What to Expect on Your Kauai Helicopter Tour
Most Kauai helicopter tours start at the Lihue Airport (with a few tours starting in Princeville and Port Allen), and they generally follow a clockwise path around the island. Below is the flight path of a typical helicopter tour that departs from the Lihue Airport.
After lifting off from the Lihue Airport, the helicopter slowly rises to reveal the Kauai Lagoons area, Nawiliwili Bay and Kalapaki Beach.
Across the bay, the helicopter tour follows the Haupu Mountain Range with views of the Huleia National Wildlife Range, the Huleia Stream and the Menehune Fishpond (Alakoko Fishpond).
Soon the mountains give way to the verdant landscape of southern Kauai.
Next, the tour turns north and heads inland over Kauai’s rugged interior before eventually following the Hanapepe Valley in dramatic fashion to the epic Manawaiopuna Falls. Only tours with Island Helicopters land here at the waterfall better known as Jurassic Falls. The spectacular waterfall was famously featured in the movie Jurassic Park and is a must-see attraction for many fans of the movie.
The tour continues past Manawaiopuna Falls over more mountains blanketed with green and dripping with waterfalls. You will be amazed at the vastness of Kauai’s interior and wonder if humans have ever set foot on many of these ridge lines and valleys.
Several incredible ridges and valleys later, new colors emerge as Kauai’s vast Waimea Canyon dramatically comes into view. As you soar over the canyon, you’ll see the deep reds and oranges of the canyon walls contrasting with lush green vegetation.
The tour over Waimea Canyon lasts several minute due to its size. A view of the impressive 800-foot Waipoo Falls comes near the end of the canyon experience. Past Waimea Canyon, the helicopter tour continues over the forested Kokee State Park area. Anticipation builds as the island’s remarkable Na Pali Coast is slowly revealed in all its grandeur.
For several glorious minutes, the tour flies down the length of Kauai’s stunning Na Pali Coast. You will be left wondering how a place like this even exists!
Ke’e Beach marks the end of the Na Pali Coast, and it does not disappoint. The crystal clear waters of the beach’s protected lagoon are a sight to behold.
The views don’t stop after the Na Pali Coast! Rounding the corner at Kee Beach, the beautiful Maniniholo Bay, with Tunnels Beach and Haena Beach, comes into view. This is Kauai’s renowned North Shore.
The centerpiece of Kauai’s North Shore is the amazing Hanalei Bay and the surf town of Hanalei. After Hanalei Bay, the tour turns inland again for one last remarkable highlight.
The grand finale of many Kauai helicopter tours is a trip inside the half crater of Mt. Waialeale’s Weeping Wall (weather permitting). This incredible location, at the heart of the island, is one of the wettest spots on Earth.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience on your visit to Kauai, a helicopter tour is a must. With stunning views, expert commentary, and the chance to see the island from a whole new perspective, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure you’ll never forget