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Helicopter tours in Big Island, Hawaii – prices, duration, what to expect

The Big Island is the largest island in Hawaii.

It has many natural attractions such as green-colored Papakolea beach, black-colored Punalu’u beach, lush rainforests, and active volcanoes like Kilauea and Mauna Loa. 

Since most of these sites are best seen from the air, helicopter tours of Big Island are popular with tourists. 

These helicopter tours come in many flavors and take off from Kailua-Kona, Hilo, and Waimea.

This article shares everything you must know before booking a helicopter tour of Big Island, Hawaii.

Helicopter tours from Kona

Kailua-Kona is a town on the west coast of the Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island.

Since it offers better weather, beaches, snorkeling, the latest resorts, and more nightlife, most tourists prefer to stay in Kailua-Kona. 

Big Island helicopter tours from Kona depart from different terminals of Kona International Airport.

Address: 73-200 Kupipi St, Kalaoa, HI 96740, USA. Get directions

Most Kona heli rides are operational throughout the week.

The Big Island Experience and the Kona Coast Helicopter Tour do not run on Sundays.

Depending on the tour you have selected, the first batch of heli rides in Kona starts take-offs as early as 8.30 am.

The tours may continue departures in slots up to 5.30 pm.

We list these tours below – 

The Big Island Experience

Helicopter tours in Maui
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Get a luxurious treatment on this private 4-passenger helicopter tour of the Big Island from Kona.

If you want to take your Hawaii vacation to the sky, this two-hour air tour is the perfect experience.

Your pilot explains the terrain below, including valleys, waterfalls, coastline, and—of course—an active volcano. 

You will head straight to Kilauea via the saddle running between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, Hawaii’s tallest mountains.

Cost of the tour (7+ years): US$672 per person

Kona Coast Helicopter Tour

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This private heli tour of Big Island is the best helicopter tour to explore Kona Coast from the air.

You will fly from Kona Airport (Southbound) past Honokohau Bay, Kona Town, Keauhou to the famous Captain Cook or (Northbound) to the famous Kua Bay, Kiholo Bay, Hapuna Beach, and Kawaihae. 

This 30-minute heli tour gets even more popular during the whale season because you get to spot whales from the top. 

Cost of the tour (7+ years):  US$241 per person

Volcano and Kohala Landing Helicopter Tour

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Experience the breathtaking scenery of Hawaii’s Big Island from the air, the way it was designed to be seen.

On this fantastic 3-hour helicopter trip over Big Island, soar over the Big Island’s rocky coastline, active volcanoes, and phenomenal waterfalls.

While taking in the airborne views of the Kilauea Volcano and magnificent mountains and sea cliffs of the Kohala Coast, listen to expert narration from your pilot.

Land on a remote rarely visited section of the island and explore the quiet tropical paradise.

After you have had your fill, hop on the helicopter to continue your flight over Hawaii’s natural landmarks. 

Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$799 per person

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Helicopter tour from Hilo

Located on the northeastern side of the island of Hawaii, Hilo offers breathtaking natural beauty.

Helicopter tour over Big Island from Hilo takes off from Terminal 2 of Hilo International Airport.

Address: 2450 Kekuanaoa St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA. Get directions.

The tour has fixed-time take-offs at 2.30 pm and 1.15 pm.

Below is the most popular heli tour from the Hilo –

Lava and Rainforests Adventure by Helicopter 

This Big Island helicopter flight from Hilo is a must-do for adrenaline junkies.

On this 1-hour aerial adventure, you fly over the island’s volcanic landscape and peer into craters, and spot lava. 

During the tour, you also enjoy stunning waterfalls and other natural features of the Big Island.

Seating upgradation is available for an additional fee.

This tour also comes in the doors-off option.

Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$399 per person

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Helicopter tours from Waimea

Waimea is known for its lush green hills, its proximity to the impressive Waipi’o Valley, and the beautiful white sand beaches on the north Kona and Kohala coast.

Helicopter tour from Waimea takes off from Waimea Kohala Airport.

Address: 62-100 Kaunaʻoa Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA. Get directions

The tour has fixed-time take-offs at 7.30 am, 9.30 am, and 11.30 am.

Below is the most popular heli tour from the Waimea –

Big Island’s Volcano Helicopter Tour

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This deluxe helicopter tour of Big Island is the ideal experience to explore Hawaii in a short time.

You will see the steam vents and fiery lava streams of Kilauea and marvel at the Hamakua Coast’s rain forest. 

View Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa while soaring over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Hover above waterfalls cascading from the cliffs of Kohala.

After this 1-hour 45-minute tour is over, you can purchase souvenir photos and HD flight videos on USB. 

Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$639 per person

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Doors-Off Tour of Kohala Valleys and Waterfalls

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This open-door helicopter tour of the Big Island takes you deep into the heart of Kohala.

Treat yourself to the mind-blowing views of the Kohala’s valleys, waterfalls, and cliffs along the coast.

It is the best way to behold the scale of the island’s valleys and waterfalls.

This 35-minute tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feel the scorching heat of volcanic lava.

The tour is operational only once in a week – on Fridays.

A two-way headset provides live commentary, guaranteeing that you don’t miss a thing.

Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$360 per person

Kohala and Hamakua Coast Flight

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On a helicopter flight over Big Island’s east coast, see the island from an all-new perspective. 

This 45-minute experience provides an excellent aerial tour of valleys and waterfalls along the Kohala/Hamakua Coast.

View the island’s wide valleys, sheer ocean cliffs, old mountains, and magnificent waterfalls from a bird’s-eye perspective. 

Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$324 per person

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Inclusions of the air tours

Heli tours of Big Island, Hawaii, include ground safety briefing, pilot personal narration and choreographed music recorded on the live digital video.

The flights will also provide you stereo aviator headsets with individual volume control, custom built digital recording system, polarized bubble windows, air-conditioned climate control, and custom interiors.

All taxes, fees and handling charges and fuel surcharge is also covered in your ticket price.

Big Island heli tours do not include food and drinks and hotel transfers.

Photos for souvenirs, HD video of actual flight on USB, items of a personal nature, and gratuities are excluded from your ticket.

Restrictions strictly followed

Weight limits apply for safe and comfortable helicopter rides over Big Island. Any passenger exceeding the weight limit will require a comfort seat. 

A minimum and maximum number of passengers are required on these tours, failing which, they will be canceled.

Infants and children are allowed onboard, but infants must sit on the caregiver’s lap throughout the flight.

No scuba diving 24 hours prior to helicopter tour departure time

Big Island helicopter tours are not advised for guests with heart problems or other serious medical conditions.

Due to safety concerns, guests are not allowed to bring any personal items on the flight.

Only some heli tours over Big Island are wheelchair accessible.

A valid photo ID is required.

No pets are allowed onboard except service animals.

Check in at least 45 minutes early.

Flight times are approximate based on winds, weights, and conditions.

Seating arrangements may often be in the hands of the tour organizers for a safe and stable flight.

Cancellation policy

You can cancel your helicopter tour of Big Island, Hawaii, up to 24 hours before the experience for a full refund. 

All air tours over Hawaii require good weather. 

If it is canceled due to poor weather (heavy rain, low cloud ceilings, lightning, or extreme winds), you will be offered a different date or a full refund. 

Failure to show up for your appointment without notice will result in the cancellation of your tour without a refund.

Related Reading

# Helicopter tours in Kauai
# Helicopter tours in Oahu
# Helicopter tours in Maui
# Helicopter tours from Honolulu
# Helicopter tours from Kona
# Helicopter tours from Lihue
# Helicopter tours in Hawaii

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