Aloha, fellow Oahu adventurers!
Let me tell you, I’ve spent countless hours researching and experiencing the best helicopter tours in Oahu to help you make the most of your trip. You see, my boyfriend and I have been vacationing on this beautiful island for years now, and we just can’t get enough of those breathtaking sights from above!
I know firsthand how challenging it can be to choose the perfect helicopter tour. With all the options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by safety concerns, price points, and making sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. But fear not – I’m here to help guide you through this decision-making process.
Being an adventurous spirit myself (and a bit of a thrill-seeker), I’ve tried many of these tours firsthand with my lovely partner-in-crime. We’ve soared over stunning rainforests, volcanic fields, historical sites, botanical gardens, and pristine beaches – you name it! Trust me when I say that we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a great helicopter tour fly high above the rest.
Warning: Once you experience Oahu from above like we have time and time again (my boyfriend still has trouble keeping his jaw shut during our flights), don’t be surprised if you find yourself daydreaming about your next helicopter adventure!
So buckle up as I share with you my top 4 helicopter tours in Oahu that offer exceptional value for your money while delivering unbeatable service and unparalleled views of this heavenly paradise below us. It’s time to start creating unforgettable memories within those mesmerizing skies!
#1 Oahu to Big Island Volcano Helicopter Tour & Hilo 1-Day Tour
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Address: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport 300 Rodgers Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96819
The most comprehensive and once-in-a-lifetime tour from Oahu to the Big Island and Hilo is the volcano helicopter tour. This is an all-day breathtaking tour perfect for learning about volcanic history and observing through stops at Kilauea Iki Crater, the Thurston Lava Tube, and Volcanoes National Park. It’s also perfect for those who have done shorter tours in Oahu already, and are looking to explore an additional area (make the most of your vacation!)
The tour includes a complete 4-hour tour of Hilo, a 45-minute helicopter ride, and a visit to the biggest Japanese-styled garden outside of Tokyo (Liliuokalani Gardens). This is an amazing place to see all the exotic vegetation of the island.
I loved that the helicopter ride provides incredible bird’s eye views of jungles, waterfalls, beaches, and the ocean. There is also a land part of the tour with great cultural details and stunning panoramic views.
The tour is pricy, but it includes all the entrance fees needed on the tour, a professional tour guide, and refreshments. It’s an opportunity to island hop from Oahu to the Big Island with an amazing tour and helicopter ride. The pictures are amazing and you will see some of the most important landmarks of Hawaii.
This is the best helicopter tour offered on Oahu because:
- It’s an all-day trip with the opportunity to island hop and visit some memorable sights with a tour guide.
- You get to experience the volcanic history at Kilauea Iki Crater, the Thurston Lava Tube, and Volcanoes National Park.
- There are also great views of waterfalls, beaches, and rainforests.
- Admissions to all attractions are included in the price including the stunning Liliuokalani Gardens and Rainbow Falls.
#2 Royal Crown of Oahu – 60 Min Helicopter Tour – Doors Off or On
Duration: 1 hour (approx.)
Address: Rainbow Helicopters 155 Kapalulu Pl #197, Honolulu, HI 96819
We enjoyed this tour because it’s a comprehensive and complete tour of the island visiting all the major sites. It takes about an hour and you don’t feel rushed as you enjoy the views and pictures (many, many pictures, if you are like me!)
The tour offers a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous and lush rainforests including inaccessible areas and those not for tourists. My favorite sights were the Sacred Falls and Diamond Head. History buffs will also love the aerial view of Pearl Harbor.
There is plenty of opportunity no take stunning pictures, especially of Waikiki beach and its skyline, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and Mokoli’i Island. Fans of the Makapuu Lighthouse trail and hike will love seeing it from the air.
The pilot is professional, safety oriented and there are options to do the tour with the doors open or closed. There are morning and afternoon flights available, and I prefer the morning. Make sure to book ahead, they sell out.
Royal Crown of Oahu is a great helicopter tour pick because:
- It’s an opportunity to see many diverse and important landmarks from all over Oahu, including Mokoli’i Island, Sacred Falls, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbor.
- There is a strong focus on safety and care for the passengers.
- You can do the tour with the doors open or closed.
- Additional sights to enjoy are the Waikiki beach, Makapuu Lighthouse, and lush rainforest.
#3 Doors-Off Valleys and Waterfalls Helicopter Tour
Duration: 40 minutes (approx.)
Address: Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku HI 96731
This is a great nature lover’s tour that guarantees that all seats in the helicopter are window seats. It lasts about 40 minutes and covers many areas inaccessible by car or even to tourists. The pilot guide is incredibly knowledgeable and provided us with in-depth and interesting information about Turtle bay, Sacred Waterfall, and Pearl Harbor.
My favorite part was the overhead view of the 1000-foot Kaliuwa‘a waterfall (Sacred falls) and the intense peaks of the Ko‘olau Mountains. The trip is full of breathtaking cliffs, wild natural scenery, and areas closed off to the public. It’s a one-of-a-kind picture-taking opportunity.
If you have visited the gorgeous Kāne‘ohe Bay sandbar (a must for a snorkeling boat trip!) you will love seeing just how beautiful and vast it is from the air. The crystal clear waters are unparalleled. This trip is not suitable for children under 12 years old. So please keep that in mind when booking. Also, book ahead.
Doors-Off Valleys and Waterfalls Helicopter Tour is an adrenaline adventure because:
- They offer a true adrenaline and unobstructed view experience in an open-air helicopter.
- The tour is diverse and visits important sights like Pearl Harbor, Turtle bay, and Kāne‘ohe Bay sandbar.
- It also takes you to completely inaccessible areas any other way and lets you see the true power of the rainforest through birds-eye views of the 1000-foot Kaliuwa‘a waterfall and Ko‘olau Mountain ridges.
#4 Path to Pali 30-Minute Doors On or Off Helicopter Tour
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)
Address: Rainbow Helicopters – 155 Kapalulu Pl #197, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA
This is a somewhat shorter but gorgeous flight offering paradise views of sandy beaches Waikiki skylines and more. Asides from being run by a safety-oriented and professional team, they have a live captain-commentated guided tour.
I felt super safe the whole time and the ride was much smoother than some of my other trips. They also have private or shared tour options, so it depends on how big your group is. Choose a door or door-off tour.
My favorite parts of the tour include Nu’uanu Pali cliffs, Diamond Head and Makapu’u Point, and Mt. Olomana. Put the most picture-worthy moment for me was Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve with eh most beautiful crystal clear water and a gorgeous reef that is home to over 400 types of tropical fish, eel, coral, and more. It’s a great snorkeling spot but also an amazing sight from the sky.
History buffs and those interested in the events of Perl Harbor will love the moving Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial. Even if you don’t know too much about it there is so much great information provided.
Path to Pali 30-Minute Doors On or Off Helicopter Tour is a top-notch tour because:
- The tour offers a comprehensive and safe tour filled with great information.
- There is a door-on or doo-off option for the tours, and multiple takeoff times.
- The tour includes aerial views of Nu’uanu Pali cliffs, Diamond Head, Makapu’u Point, and Mt. Olomana.
- Other highlights include the bird’s eye view of Hanauma Bay nature preserve.
- History buffs will get plenty of information and a great view of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial site.
Conclusion on the Best Helicopter Tours on Oahu
Taking a breathtaking helicopter tour in Oahu can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Views from above can change your entire perspective of this paradise island and give you access to areas forbidden and inaccessible to tourists.
Each tour provides something special including views of wild rainforests, cliffs, mountains, waterfalls, and pristine beaches along the shore. But some tours are better than others!
That’s why follow my guide and pick the perfect helicopter tour that specializes in your interests, excitement levels, and time limitations.
No matter what tour you choose (or if you are lucky several) this will be the highlight of your trip.
If you wish to know more about the safety procedures of the tours, contact the operators ahead so that you can get the information you need and feel comfortable. Also, check weight and age limitations.
Enjoy your trip and send us feedback! We would love to see your pictures!
Last Updated on April 8, 2023 by Brigitte