The best way to appreciate the raw natural beauty of Kauai in its entirety is from the sky. Here are five top helicopter and plane tours that help you experience the Hawaiian island.
With its volcanic origins and lush vegetation, owing to the tropical climate, it’s no surprise that many of the filming locations for Jurassic Park were located on Kauai. This is the stuff of prehistoric legend and you can experience it all from the air on one of the island’s many plane and helicopter rides. The range of tour options is dizzying so we have compiled a broad list of the best, taking into account important factors such as the value for money, duration, itinerary and regions of the island you’ll get to see from the sky.
Kauai Sightseeing Flight over Na Pali Coast
An excellent-value way to see Kauai from the sky is on this stunning hour-long plane ride. You will soar over the Na Pali coastline and witness parts of the island that are completely inaccessible by land transport. You’ll fly over red earth, plunging waterfalls, sheer, green cliffs and turquoise ocean along the way. Free shuttle transfers for cruise ship passengers are provided as part of the fee. This tour runs from Mon-Sat, and you can select from five daily departure times between 10am and 4:30pm. From $145 per person.
25-Minute Scenic Helicopter Tour
For more of a Jurassic Park vibe, a helicopter is the way to go and Maverick Helicopters Hawaii run excellent flights over western Kauai. You will fly over the dappled red and green earth of Waimea Canyon, the agrarian Hanapepe Valley, and past Manawaipuna Falls, the very waterfall made famous in the revered movie Jurassic Park. This 25-minute helicopter ride operates once a day at 11am, five days a week. Operation days may vary, but are usually Thu-Mon for much of the year. From $199 per person.
Kauai Shore Helicopter Excursion
This 50-minute helicopter adventure offers up magnificent views of some of Kauai’s visual gems, including Manawaiopuna Falls (aka Jurassic Park Falls), Bali Hai and the Waimae Canyon, which is also regarded as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The flight sets off from Lihue, with transfers to the airfield included for those who have arrived in port by cruise ship. The precise route is dependent on the weather and it is worth bearing in mind that Kauai is home to one of the wettest places on the planet. There are various departure times available. From $320 per person.
Vintage Biplane Tour of Kauai
If a normal light aircraft or helicopter just doesn’t quite hit that high note for you, then how about hopping into a bright yellow, vintage biplane? The cockpit, located behind that of your pilot, fits up to two people. After takeoff you’ll soar over the beautiful Kauai countryside for an hour-long flight. What’s more, the pilot provides narration about the natural wonders of the island, adding context to the visual splendor. Flights depart Mon-Sat from Lihue Airport. Morning flights are priced slightly lower than those around midday or afternoon. From $560 per group.
Kauai Eco Adventure Helicopter Tour
Exploring and comprehending the magnificent natural beauty of Kauai is the main aim of this helicopter tour. From rainy Mt. Waialeale to Waiapuna Waterfalls you can experience the island from a unique perspective from the comfort of a business class seat. Watch the Na Pali Coast unfurl below you and, weather permitting, head into the crater of Mt. Waialeale to experience the 3000-foot waterfalls there. Please note that this helicopter tour doesn’t always operate on Sundays. Flights last approximately 50 minutes. From $335 per person.