A helicopter tour is the best way to see Kauai, which many consider to be nature’s masterpiece.
Also called ‘Garden Isle,’ this Hawaiian island is made up of lush green valleys, evergreen jungles, sea cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and long winding rivers.
More than 70% of Kauai Island is inaccessible by road, and as luck would have it, it is these parts where the most stunning sights exist.
Around 100 helicopters take-off every day, ferrying excited tourists over Kauai’s scenic attractions.
Table of contents
- Cost of Kauai helicopter tours
- Deluxe Waterfall Safari
- Ultimate Kauai helicopter ride
- Kauai ECO Adventure helicopter tour
- Private Kauai helicopter tour with no middle seats
- What to expect in Kauai
- Kauai open-door helicopter tours
- Departure point
- Timings of the tours
- Best time for a helicopter tour in Kauai
- Restrictions strictly followed
- Exclusions of the air tour
- Accessibility of the tours
- Map of Kauai Island
- Cancellation Policy
Cost of Kauai helicopter tours
The cheapest helicopter ride in Kauai will cost approximately US$285 per person.
The most popular heli tour in Kauai is priced at US$358 per person.
At the higher end is the Private Kauai helicopter tour, the tickets of which can go up to US$368 per person.
Helicopter rides can be a costly affair.
So, it is important to know the tour costs in advance to plan your trip and factor it in with other considerations.
But there is no doubt that a Kauai heli tour is a perfect addition to your trip over this island.
Deluxe Waterfall Safari
The Deluxe helicopter tour in Kauai allows you a magical sightseeing tour of the island within an hour.
You will look upon the popular landmarks of Kauai, such as the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, waterfalls, and more.
Explore much more than a land tour in a doubly thrilling way.
Tour Operator: Safari Helicopters
Cost of the tour (2+ years): US$309 per person
Ultimate Kauai helicopter ride
The Ultimate Kauai heli ride is a joyride taking you over Kauai’s most scenic attractions, such as Mt. Waialeale, Waimea Canyon, and Na Pali Coast.
Get an aerial view of the Alakai Swamp, home to several rare species of flora and birds, and Bali Hai, where “South Pacific” was shot.
This helicopter tour in Kauai spans 45 to 55 minutes, has a guide to answer all your queries, and is designed for sightseeing with large viewing windows.
The Ultimate Kauai helicopter ride comes with two flight options.
This tour allows you to purchase souvenir photos and a DVD of your flight.
Tour Operator: Sunshine Helicopters
Cost of the tour (2+ years)
WhisperStar Luxury Helicopter: US$349 per person
FXStar Standard Helicopter: US$294 per person
Kauai ECO Adventure helicopter tour
The ECO Adventure Kauai heli tour is the most popular tour of its kind.
You go up in a new Eurocopter Eco-Star helicopter and take in the diverse terrain of the island.
You will have the privilege to witness everything from the rain-soaked Mt. Waialeale and the waterfalls of Waiapuna to the dry red ravine of Waimea Canyon and the breathtaking emerald spires of the Na Pali Coast.
Lose yourself in the beauty of iconic spots like Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Park Falls), Hanalei Bay, Kapaa, and Princeville.
The 50-minute Kauai heli tour also offers the “early bird or late bird option” at a lower cost price.
Since this is the latest model of tourism helicopters, you enjoy business class-style seats, full windows, two-way radio communication with the pilot, and noise-reduced engines.
Tour Operator: Blue Hawaiian*
Cost of the tour (2+ years)
Kauai ECO Adventure: US$389 per person
Early Bird or Late Bird Option: US$349 per person
Every year since 1998, Blue Hawaiian’s maintenance engineers have earned the FFAA’s Certificate of Excellence ‘Diamond Award.’ No other helicopter tour company in Hawaii has received it even once.
Private Kauai helicopter tour with no middle seats
Since this Kauai helicopter tour is a private tour, you get the whole helicopter to yourself.
You will get a bird’s-eye view of the Manawaiopuna Falls, the Olokele Canyon, Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali coast, the North Shore, and the Wai’ale’ale crater.
This 1-hour heli tour in Kauai guarantees a window seat and no middle seats.
You also have the doors off option for this tour.
Tour Operator: Ali’i Air Tours & Charters
Cost of the tour (7+ years): US$409 per person
What to expect in Kauai
Highlights of most helicopter tours in Kauai include the 27 km (17 miles) long Na Pali Coast in the North and Waimea Canyon, which is also known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’
Other than these two, the other sights you see include Jurassic Park Falls, the Hanapepe Valley, the Hanalei Valley, Mt. Waialeale, etc.
Kauai open-door helicopter tours
These are also known as Kauai doors off helicopter tours because these involve choppers that don’t have doors.
The only advantage of a doors-off helicopter tour is the more unobstructed view because of the lack of glass between you and what is on the ground.
Kauai helicopter tours take off from different terminals of Lihue Airport.
ECO Adventure Kauai heli tour takes off from 3730 Ahukini Rd #8, Lihue, HI 96766, USA. Get directions
Note: Check-in is an hour prior to tour time for check-in, safety briefing and boarding for an on-time departure. Late arrivals will not be accepted and non-refundable. You must allow ample travel time to the tour base in case of traffic delays.
Ultimate Kauai helicopter ride departs from 3730 Ahukini Rd, Lihue, HI 96766, USA. Get directions
Private Kauai heli ride starts its journey from Lihue Airport Commuter Terminal, 3745 Ahukini Rd, Lihue, HI 96766, USA. Get directions
Deluxe helicopter tour in Kauai takes off from 3225 Akahi St, Lihue, HI 96766, USA. Get directions
Note: The heliport is across from Hilo Hattie. You are required to check in 30 minutes prior to departure time.
All Kauai air tours end back at the meeting point.
There are multiple take-offs daily, so book early to get your preferred time slot.
Timings of the tours
Kauai ECO Adventure helicopter tour runs daily between 8 am and 3.30 pm.
Ultimate Kauai helicopter ride operates at 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm every day except Sundays.
Private Kauai heli ride takes off between 7.30 am and 4.15 pm every day.
Kauai deluxe helicopter tour takes place between 8.25 am and 3.50 pm on all days of the week.
Best time for a helicopter tour in Kauai
Since a helicopter tour over Kauai island is a visual experience, it is best to take off between 12 noon and 3 pm when the light is much better and the skies are clear.
Since Kauai’s valleys, canyons, and Na Pali Coast are full of shadows and ridges, you need the intense afternoon light to make a better sense of what you are seeing.
The best time of the year
The best time of year for a helicopter tour in Kauai is summer.
You are more likely to avoid the storms, which can often delay or cancel flights.
Winter is also not a good time for doors-off helicopter tours as the weather gets a lot more unpredictable.
Besides, once you are up in the air, the wind can be freezing even on a warm day.
Not to mention, you could get exposed to rain in case it drizzles.
Tour operators such as Mauna Loa Helicopters, Air Kauai Helicopters, Airborne Aviation Tours, and Ali’i Kauai Air Tours and Charters offer the doors-off option.
The prices are a bit higher for the doors-off experience than for doors-on helicopter tours.
Check out Jackson’s experience on a doors-off helicopter tour in Kauai.
Restrictions strictly followed
Weight limits apply for safe and comfortable helicopter rides over Kauai.
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 within 24 hours of departure.
Bags, large cameras, extending selfie sticks are not allowed on Kauai heli rides.
A valid photo ID is required.
No pets are allowed onboard except service animals.
Check in at least an hour 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.
Exclusions of the air tour
Kauai heli tours do not include hotel transfers and food and drinks.
HD video of the actual flight on USB (available to purchase) and refreshments are excluded from your ticket.
Your ticket price is also not inclusive of gratuities and parking fees at the heliport.
Accessibility of the tours
The aircraft, transportation, and surfaces are completely wheelchair accessible, preventing any inconvenience for the guests.
Map of Kauai Island
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before your tour date.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, a 100% percent cancellation fee is applicable.
No changes are allowed within 24 hours of the experience’s start time.
Helicopter tours require good weather.
If the tour is canceled due to poor weather or non-fulfillment of the minimum number of passengers, you may be offered a different date or a full refund.
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