There are several ways to explore Kauai, but only one leaves you feeling on top of the world.
Kauai and helicopter tours are a natural fit. It’s said that more than 80 percent of the island’s terrain is inaccessible by car; thus, there is no other way to view all the beauty and splendor of Hawaii’s romantic Garden Isle.
Check out our Hawaii Helicopter Crash Report before choosing a tour company.
Some of Kauai’s most famous natural attractions are perfectly suited for helicopter adventures. On the island’s west side, for example, there’s Waimea Canyon, 10 miles long, a mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep. Carved thousands of years ago by numerous floods and rivers flowing down from Mount Waialeale, Waimea Canyon was dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain.
Na Pali Coast
The isolated Na Pali Coast is also ideal for helicopter excursions. Inaccessible by car, the Napali encompasses spectacular cliffs that rise thousands of feet from the ocean’s floor. Helicopter tours also take you to Hanapepe Valley, providing views of Manawaiopuna Falls; Mount Waialeale, considered to be the wettest spot on the planet (with an average of 466 inches of rain per year); Hanalei Valley on the North Shore; and many more exotic Kauai locations.
Rides generally last from 45 minutes to over an hour, depending on the itinerary. Routes may vary due to weather conditions. Flights are fully narrated and are usually videotaped (you have the option of purchasing the tape after the tour is completed). Of course, you’ll want to bring a camera and high-speed film (ASA/ISO 400 or 800) to further capture your experience.
Need To Know
Federal Aviation Administration has imposed strict guidelines regarding helicopter seating assignments. The aircraft must be balanced by weight (and sometimes by height), and you will be asked to provide your weight when you place your reservation. Even if you don’t get a “window seat,” rest assured that visibility from any seat is excellent. There are no obstructions to block your views. However, if you want a helicopter excursion all to yourself, most companies offer charter flights.