One of the fastest and most popular ways to see Hawaii – especially the parts that are more remote and inaccessible – is by taking a helicopter tour. There are countless companies offering helicopter tours in Hawaii, so your dilemma won’t be in finding one to take you for a ride, it’ll be finding one that will fit your budget and schedule.
In addition to the prices of the Hawaii helicopter tours you are considering, other things to think about include the company’s safety record, how many passengers are on each trip, whether you’ll have the ability to talk to the pilot during the tour, and whether you’ll be in a position to take photographs (if that’s your intent). Travel light on the day of your tour, because there are strict limits on weight for these trips, so you probably won’t be able to bring a big backpack with you. Speaking of weight limits, you’ll need to get to the heliport early in order to check in and be weighed. It’s a good idea to wear dark clothing so that it doesn’t show up as a reflection on the helicopter windows (which would ruin your pictures), and don’t forget to tip your pilot!
Kauai in particular is a popular island for helicopter tours, mainly because so much of the island is difficult to see otherwise. Most helicopter tours in Kauai run about an hour, leaving from Lihue Airport and flying in a counter-clockwise direction around the island. Some of the sights you can expect to see are Manawaiopuna Falls and Waimea Canyon. On Oahu, most of the helicopter tours leave from Honolulu International Airport and take in the southern coasts of the island; some companies leave from the northern side of the island instead, and offer views of the Windward Coast.
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To find some companies offering helicopter tours of Hawaii, all you need to do is type “helicopter tours in Hawaii” into your friendly neighborhood search engine and you’ll get lots of results (it could be argued that it’s too many results, even!). For more personal recommendations, ask the concierge at the hotel or the staff at your hostel for their opinions. And don’t be afraid to ask the various companies for their safety records and any testimonials from prior customers.