Welcome to the ultimate guide for helicopter tours in Kauai!
As a passionate traveler and adventure enthusiast, I’ve spent quite some time exploring the majestic and wild rainforest island of Kauai with my boyfriend. And let me tell you – it’s an experience like no other! But there’s one thing that can make or break your trip: timing.
You see, as someone who has taken several helicopter rides over Kauai at different times of day, I have discovered the best time for visibility, ride quality, picture opportunities – and trust me when I say it makes all the difference!
But don’t worry! In this article, not only will I be sharing my personal experiences about helicopter tours in Kauai but also everything else you need to know – from what to see on these tours to how far ahead you should book them.
Warning: After reading this article, you might find yourself itching to hop on a chopper and explore the stunning aerial views of Kauai!
Now hold onto your seatbelts; we’re about to take off on an adventure through paradise!
Useful information about Kauai Helicopter Tours
Kauai helicopter tours have a long tradition of quality tours, knowledgeable guides, and a focus on safety. Regardless if it’s your first helicopter tour or not, each tour company conducts a safety briefing and they will seat passengers according to weight and balance requirements.
There will usually be at least six other passengers on the helicopter unless you take a private tour. It’s important to make sure you are comfortable sitting for a long time, so wear comfortable clothing and even sun protection.
Is a Kauai helicopter tour “worth it”?
Kauai is the most jungle and rainforest-like island in Hawaii. The natural, untouched and underdeveloped canopy is stunning and intertwined with waterfalls, mountains, cliffs, and shorelines. Of all the helicopter tours I have done in Hawaii, the most beautiful ones are by far in Kauai. No wonder this naturally stunning island is called the Garden Isle.
Make sure to dress comfortably for your flight, keeping in mind that you will probably be sitting for about an hour. If you plan on taking your own pictures (some tours include their pro picture packages), make sure to wear dark clothing to reduce glare. The darker you dress the less noticeable the glare will be from the glass windows (pros like me take pictures where you can not tell there is a window at all!)
What’s the best time of day for Kauai helicopter tours?
I am a morning bird. Especially for activities in nature. Mornings are usually calmer, peaceful, and there are fewer tourists around. When it comes to helicopter tours, visibility is also better in the morning (though it is good in the afternoon as well.) Statistically, the chances of rain are also lower in the mornings, so sunny skies usually equal great views and opportunities to enjoy the sights.
If you choose an afternoon helicopter tour (because you love to sleep in like my boyfriend), try a tour in the early afternoon. The key is to do a tour when the sun is at the top of the sky, which reduces shadows, and accentuates the colors beneath you. This will guarantee the best views and pictures. Really anything before 3 pm is good.
Just know that wind and weather usually pick up in the afternoon, so some rain and wind might be possible. Still, the weather is generally unpredictable, and the tour guides are smart about following conditions.
What will I See on a Kauai Helicopter Tour?
Kauai is one of the few places left in Hawaii that is underdeveloped, wild and has a true rainforest and seaside paradise. Many of the spots are shielded from tourists and inaccessible by trails or rides. In fact, the best majority of sights to be seen deep in the jungle can only be accessed by a helicopter tour.
I will list later – the best helicopter tours available, and those well worth your time and money, based on our experience. But in general, most tours will cover several historic locations such as Manawaiopuna Falls (also known as Jurassic Falls, which is a remote 400-foot tall waterfall), Olokele and Waimea Canyons, and Wai’ale’ale Crater.
Each sight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a true off-the-beaten-path sight. Some of my additional favorites include Na Pali Coast, Hanalei Valley, and Wailua Falls. Na Pali Coast has some breathtaking cliffs, towering over 4,000 feet above the wild ocean waves crashing into its side.
It really showcases the power of nature. While Wailua Falls are an exotic and beautiful set of waterfalls cascading into a large watering hole. The falls are more than 173 feet tall and located on the South Fork of the Wailua River. As one of the most beautiful sights (and my favorite) they are famous for stunning views in shows such as Fantasy Island and many postcards. Personally, they are much more beautiful in real life, and pictures do not do them justice.
When is the best time to book your tour?
Many of the tours are in high demand and should be booked well in advance. I recommend 7 to 10 weeks before your trip. Many helicopter trips are done even when there is light rain, which does not influence visibility much.
In case there are weather restrictions the tours offer new booking dates (if it’s convenient for you) or a refund. So booking early is a sure way to secure an off-the-beaten-path rainforest adventure without any risk.
What are the recommended helicopter tours? (My top 3 picks!)
When choosing the right tour for you, there are several considerations to take into account. Make sure to find a tour that fits your schedule, and budget and covers the stops you want to see. Another factor to take into consideration is the duration of the tour, the guide experience, and safety information concerning the tour company.
Below are three best-quality tours that I highly recommend and have stood the test of time. Any of these will be the highlight of your trip to Kauai.
Doors Off Air Kauai Helicopter Tour
Duration: 50 minutes (approx.)
Meeting point: 3651 Ahukini Rd, Lihue, HI 96766
Kauai ECO Adventure Helicopter Tour
Duration: 50 minutes (approx.)
Meeting point: Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Lihue Airport, 3730 Ahukini Rd #8, Lihue, HI 96766
“PRIVATE” Kauai Helicopter Tours with “NO MIDDLE SEATS”
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes (approx.)
Meeting point: 3745 Ahukini Rd, Lihue, HI 96766
Conclusion on the Best Time of Day for Helicopter tours Kauai
Choosing the right time of day for your Kauai helicopter tour can help amplify your experience and truly make your paradise trip special. Since the island known as the Garden Isle is mostly undeveloped, the natural jungle and ocean beauty are unparalleled. But most of all, many of the sights are inaccessible without a helicopter.
That’s why, for the ultimate experience make sure to check out my advice which includes the right time of day, sights to see, and even actual tour recommendations.
So early birds get on the helicopter and enjoy one of my best-ranked tours on Kauai. And if you love to sleep in, there are good options for you too!
Whenever you choose to go, make sure to have fun and take lots of pictures!
Last Updated on April 30, 2023 by Brigitte