The 3 Best Helicopter Tours on Kauai

Kauai is one of those places in the world that, no matter where you’ve traveled, no matter what you’ve seen – it never fails to take your breath away.

The sheer natural beauty is near indescribable, and why so many people choose to travel here every year and go on one of these amazing Kauai helicopter tours. Imagine a floating garden in the middle of the Pacific, so vast, rugged and unspoiled that it could’ve been tended by ancient giants.

Towering cliffs blanketed with lush jungle, majestic waterfalls and volcanic rainforests – it’s little wonder that the island is referred to by locals and visitors alike as The Garden Isle. Kauai truly is spectacular in every sense of the word.

Given its primeval terrain, almost 70% of the island is inaccessible by land – Kauai helicopter tours are by far the best, if not the only way to experience the unforgettable sights of Kauai. Due to this being commonly accepted knowledge, it also makes these excursions the most popular type of excursion on the island.

Check out some more info on Kauai Helicopter Tours:

Comparison Table

For your convenience, we’ve created a comparison table of the top rated Helicopter Tours in Kauai, which you can see below:

IMAGE Tour DETAILS

  • Length:  55 Minutes
  • Highlight: Floor-to-ceiling panoramic views
  • Max Occupancy:  6 People
  • Price: $$
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  • Length:  60 Minutes
  • Highlight: Private and Personal Tour
  • Max Occupancy: 3 People
  • Price: $$$
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  • Length:  60 Minutes
  • Highlight: Option to select first class for front two seats
  • Max Occupancy: 6 People
  • Price: $$
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At any one time there can be as many as ten different companies operating tours with roughly 100 flights being run each day. Knowing which of these flights you want to be on for the best possible experience can be a daunting task for some! If you’re lucky you’ll get to fly aboard a Hughes 500, an incredibly fast and nimble helicopter which makes it ideal for helicopter tours.

When it comes to the sights, prices, flight-times and the helicopters themselves, we’ve had the pleasure of personally reviewing a number of these popular aviation companies, and will break down the best ones the island has to offer. Let’s get into it, call today to book your Kauai Helicopter Tours!

The Top Helicopter Tours on the Island of Kauai

1. Kauai Helicopter Eco Adventure (55-minutes)

blue hawaiian eco adventure kauai helicopter tour view

Starting with the longest, most established company on the island, the Eco Adventure has been treating customers to amazing Kauai tours for many years. All-in-all it’s a hard helicopter tour to top. In the 25 years since it began its island adventures, Blue Hawaiian helicopters have received awards, been enlisted by Hollywood to take aerial photography for box-office breaking movies and even developed its own helicopters. See Kauai like so few have seen it before.

 

 

When boarding the new state-of-the-art Airbus Eco-Star Helicopter, you instantly feel part of a first-class experience. With 23% more interior room than other helicopters, and flight technology designed to give the quietest possible ride, the Eco-Star is the first helicopter designed specifically for touring (refer to sunshine helicopters). This air flight is flown in a doors-on environment. Although some people may opt for other companies that offer doors-off flights, you’ll still get sweeping views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, enabling you to capture every minute of travel time.

Flight time clocks in at around the 55-minute mark, though it’s often reported that flights run a little shorter, around 51-minutes of travel time. Taking off from Lihue Airport, you’re flown to the stunning Hanapepe Valley before being taken to the iconic Mana Waiapuna waterfalls – commonly referred to as “Jurassic Park Falls”.

Then it’s on to Olokele Canyon to warm you up for one of the highlights, Waimea Canyon. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of some of the most majestic waterfalls in the world. Heading away from the interior, you’re flown over the Na Pali Coast (which you can learn more about on our Na Pali Coast tours page), and then towards the Bali Hai Cliffs and onto Hanalei Bei to soak up the views of sparkling clear waters and pristine beaches. Finally, depending on weather conditions, you’ll be treated to a visit to the famed Mount Waialeale crater. Officially the wettest place on earth, you can expect to be dwarfed by towering walls peppered with cascading waterfalls, a truly unforgettable sight.

For its price, the Eco Tour may be suited to families looking to view the island’s wonders in comfort without breaking the bank. The cheapest of our selected flights, you’re guaranteed a comfortable experience narrated by pilots who are certified Tour Guides. Though thrill-seekers may want to choose a different company that offers a doors-off flight, or one that offers a longer duration to savor the experience, this is most definitely a tried and tested excellent option from Blue Hawaiian that offers unforgettable views.

Pros

Most affordable tour

Views of Hanapepe Valley, Manawaiapuna Falls, Waimea Canyon

Flown over Na Pali Coast

Floor-to-ceiling panoramic views

Narration by pilots

Live recording of flight – can purchase after flight

Cons

Doors off not an option

Live recording costs extra

2. Private Island Adventure Helicofapter Tour (60-minutes)

island helicopters tour HI

A younger company that takes the utmost pride in their quality of pilots is the Private Island Adventure Tour. What began as a flight training school has turned into a highly reputable company that offers private tours in the incredibly reliable and energy efficient Robinson helicopters. Soar over Kauai in style.

What sets this tour apart from the Eco-Star Tour is that passengers are given a private tour and the option to fly with the doors off. This feature undoubtedly gives you a completely different experience, where you can expect to feel like an adrenaline-junkie swooping over mountainous jungles, garden isle, manawaiopuna falls, and more, with the wind in your hair and a grin on your face.

The flight lasts for around 60-minutes and the helicopters are slightly smaller, seating 2-3 passengers. The smaller ride does give for a more adventurous feel, and not to worry, the smaller size is no reflection on the tour itself – the same awe-inspiring sights of the island are still covered in full. Expect to be taken on a similar route to the Eco-Tour, swept through the Waimea Canyon, along the Na Pali Coast and over the Manawaiopuna Falls.

You won’t be disappointed with the finale either as you explore the breathtaking Mount Waialeale crater. Flying through this natural marvel with the doors off in a smaller helicopter is without a doubt the thrill-seekers option.

Pros

Private tour (2 – 3 guests)

Private tour can accommodate one guest

Doors on or off option (doors off at no extra cost)

Unrestricted view of Kauai’s Natural Treasures

Views of rainforests, valleys, waterfalls, mountains, cliffs, and canyons

Live recording and narrated tour

Cons

Must pay for a minimum of two seats

Minimum age of 7 years

3. Ultimate Kauai Adventure Helicopter Tour (60-minutes)

view of kauai island from cockpit

With open and first class seating available, this amazing six passenger excursion is perfect for small groups/families. Whether you board the FX-Star or the Whisper Star you are sure to participate in an experience of a lifetime as you fly over the breathtaking landscape. For those who choose first class seats, you will be up close and personal with the pilot and get front row seats as you explore the island.

Regardless of where you sit though, you’re bound to have a great time as you venture to hidden places only seen through air. Some of the sights you’ll see include the famous “garden island”, Waimea Canyon, the breathtaking NaPali Coast, and more.

One thing we loved about this tour was the view of Mount Waialeale, which is known as the wettest spot on earth. That plus Wailua Falls made this air safari one we couldn’t forget. Overall, the pilots seemed very experienced, and knew the best spots to explore on Kauai. If you are ready for some of the most incredible views you have ever seen, grab your seat now.

Pros

Views of the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Mount Waialeale

FX-Star an Whisper Star helicopters

Option to select first class for front two seats

Support passengers upto 290 lbs.

Views of rainforests, valleys, waterfalls, mountains, cliffs, and canyons

Live recording and narrated tour

Multiple options depending on what you want to see

Cons

First class seats cost extra

Seat assignment determined by weight and balance (for open seating)

A Helicopter Flight You Won’t Soon Forget

So, there you have it – after flying with some truly inspired aviation companies we managed to get a beautiful insight into this vast Hawaiian wonderland. No two flights were exactly the same and that made the experience all the more enjoyable! We hope you’ve got an idea of which helicopter tour is right for you – the Garden Isle is so rich in jaw-droppingly beautiful sights that you can literally fly again and again and be amazed every time. Trust us, we’ve tried!

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