Helicopter tours in Oahu – prices, tour duration, what to expect

Helicopter tour over Oahu

Image: Bluehawaiian.com

A helicopter tour of Oahu is a fantastic way to get your bearings if you have just arrived in Hawaii, or it can be a grand finale to your vacation.

During your air tour, you are sure to be mesmerized by Oahu’s most beautiful beaches, mountains, waterfalls, valleys, and other landmarks such as Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial.

Oahu Island is so beautiful that Hollywood has shot scores of films and television series, such as Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, George of the Jungle, Pirates of the Caribbean III, Lost, etc., amongst its lush greenery.

In this article, we share everything you must know before booking your helicopter tour of Oahu.

Cancellation policy

You can cancel your helicopter tour of Oahu Island 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.


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Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu

Fly aboard an open-door helicopter over Oahu for unobstructed views of the island on this tour. 

You get to see Oahu’s lush valleys, mountains, and waterfalls. 

Feel the high-flying wind in your hair even as you fly over sights like Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Harbor, Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole, Waikiki Beach, Arizona Memorial, etc.

If you prefer, you can purchase a video of your flight at the end of your tour.

On this Oahu helicopter tour, you can choose between first-class seats and regular seats. 

Tour Operator: Magnum Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 50 minutes

Cost of Regular Seats: $311 per person

Cost of First Class Seats: $355 per person


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Complete Island Oahu Helicopter Tour

This one-hour air tour over Oahu is a great way to see Hawaii from the air.

You see unparalleled views of the azure waters, lush greenery, and cascading falls. 

You make a complete circle island tour to see all the beautiful natural landmarks, including the extinct volcano of Diamond Head, the coral reefs at Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, etc. 

All through the tour, your pilot, who is a State of Hawaii certified tour guide as well, narrates the island’s history and stories. 

At the end of the tour, you can buy a DVD or photos of your flight to keep the memories alive. 

Tour Operator: Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 60 minutes

Cost of tour: $430

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters also offers a 45-minute Blue Skies of Oahu ECO Helicopter Tour, which works out better if you are on a budget holiday. 


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Unseen Sights of the Oahu Island

This 45-minute scenic helicopter ride over Oahu is ideal for a special occasion or a romantic moment. 

While booking the tour, you can choose if you want it to be a ‘doors on’ or ‘doors off’ flight.

Get bird’s eye views of famous Oahu sights like Sacred Falls, Diamond Head, Maunalua Bay, the Ko’olau Mountains, Ka’a’awa Valley, Pearl Harbor, and more. 

The breathtaking helicopter experience ends with emotional moments over the iconic Pearl Harbor site before you head back to the airport.

If money is not an issue but experience matters, you can opt to go for the private tour, in which only your group will be in the chopper.

Tour Operator: Rainbow Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 45 minutes

Cost of Shared Tour: $325 per person

Cost of Private Tour: $488 per person

Rainbow Helicopters also offers a 60-minute long heli tour called the Royal Crown of Oahu.


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Path to Pali Passage – the mountains tour

During this 30 minutes helicopter tour, you explore the Oahu island’s stunning peaks, such as Diamond Head, Mt. Olomana, and Nu’uanu Pali. 

Fascinating views of the island’s white-sand beaches, coral reefs, rainforests, and volcanic cliffs will be etched in your memory forever as well.

Just before you circle back to the Honolulu International Airport, you take in spectacular views of the famous USS Arizona Monument.

Tour Operator: Rainbow Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 30 minutes

Cost of Shared Tour: $275 per person

Cost of Private Tour: $410 per person


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City-by-the-Sea Tour

During this short 20-minute helicopter tour over a section of Oahu Island, you see Honolulu city skyline, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Punch Bowl Crater, and Pearl Harbor.

We recommend the doors-off option to get the best possible photos from your guaranteed window seat.

Tour Operator: Rainbow Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 20 minutes

Cost of Shared Tour: $240 per person

Cost of Private Tour: $360 per person


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Sunset Helicopter tour over Oahu

This once-in-a-lifetime sunset experience in Oahu is perfect for romantic couples and special occasions.

Watch as the sun melts into the Pacific from the perfect vantage point high above the island, soaking up the views of the Honolulu skyline, Pearl Harbor, and Diamond Head.

Long after your holiday is over, the Hawaiian sky painted in a glow of red, pink, and orange light will be etched on your mind forever. 

This experience is a complete package because it includes pick up and drop from your hotel.

Tour Operator: Rainbow Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 50 minutes

Cost of Shared Tour: $350 per person

Cost of Private Tour: $525 per person


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Private Helicopter Tour with Romantic Landing

During this 1-hour helicopter tour, you get to an exclusive landing spot at a stunning and private valley on the Windward coast of O’ahu. 

You take off from the island’s South Shore for a chance to see a birds-eye view of the famous Waikiki skyline and Diamond Head crater. 

You land in a private and lush oasis after cruising over Hanauma Bay, the Windward Coast, and Kualoa Ranch.

You and your partner enjoy 15 minutes at your picnic spot with Wailua chocolates, a champagne toast, and leis.

Once in the air again, the chopper takes you close to the lush green forests and emerald cliffs of the Ka’a’awa Valley and Sacred Falls, Oahu’s highest waterfall.

Tour Operator: Rainbow Helicopters

Duration of the experience: 60 minutes

Cost of Tour: $2100 per group (up to 3)

If you want to go one step further, check out the helicopter tour offering a ‘Marry Me’ Banner on the Beach.


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Helicopter tours from Kapolei

Kapolei is a planned community in Honolulu County, on the Island of Oʻahu. 

Locally it is known as the ‘second city’ of Oahu island, Honolulu being the first. 

If you are staying in or near Kapolei, you can choose from three helicopter tours – 

Helicopter TourCost
Diamond Head Scenic Tour$245
Legends of West Oahu Tour$245
Sunset Helicopter Experience$670

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Full day Hawaii tours with helicopter flights

If you are in Hawaii on a relatively short holiday, we recommend full-day tours of the islands, including a helicopter experience. 

If you can manage a 16-hour itinerary, check out the Air, Helicopter, Land Volcano Adventure from Oahu

First, you will take off to the sky and fly above Hawaii for incredible views of volcanoes, waterfalls, and tropical areas. 

Then you will go on a land expedition that includes Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Richardson black and green sand beach, and Rainbow Falls.

If you prefer a shorter full-day experience, check out the 8-hour long Big Island Volcano Helicopter Tour

Besides viewing Hilo’s stunning volcanoes from a chopper, you will also visit numerous attractions on land. 


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Additional information

  • The operator reserves the right to refuse service to passengers who are intoxicated or appear to be drunk. Such passengers will not fly but will be charged in full.
  • Jackets or sweatshirts, closed-toe shoes, and hair ties are required for doors off helicopter tours. Long pants are recommended.
  • When booking the doors off experience, your seat may or may not be directly adjacent to an open door.
  • Infants must sit on laps. All passengers 24 months and older must purchase a full-fare seat.
  • Due to FAA regulations, all passengers must be weighed at check-in. Each passenger weighing over 113 Kg (250 pounds) must pay a ‘comfort seat’ charge for an additional seat, payable directly to the tour operator on the day of the tour.
  • Please wear dark colors to prevent reflections in your photos.
  • Most travelers can participate. However, helicopter tours aren’t recommended for pregnant women, travelers with back problems, heart problems, or other severe medical conditions.
  • Participants must not have done scuba diving within 24 hrs of taking off. Read Why

Recommended Reading

# Helicopter tours in Kauai
# Helicopter tours in Big Island
# Helicopter tours in Maui
# Helicopter tours from Honolulu
# Helicopter tours from Kona
# Helicopter tours from Lihue
# Helicopter tours in Hawaii

Barkha Tiwari: She is a holidaymaker comfortable with vacations on sandy beaches or breaks where she is skiing in the snow. She mixes up her holidays with the right amount of activity and lazing around and believes that both are needed in the right amount to experience the world’s cultures and destinations. Favorite Cities: Prague, Budapest, Munich, Florence