Kauai Helicopter Tour – Review

I wanted to “wow” my girlfriend on this trip so I booked us a Kauai helicopter tour. Did it do the trick? Big time. She’s been raving about it ever since we got back to the mainland.

Ground tours of Kauai are phenomenal. But nothing compares to an air tour. In under and hour, you can pull off a circle tour. You can’t do that in a car as there’s no road that let’s you cruise the Nepali Coast or the west shore.

Cheap Kauai Helicopter Flights

I booked our flight before we arrived on the island. This cut the price and guaranteed that we got the morning flight we wanted. Last time, I bought through our concierge. Mistake. He over-charged us and got us on a chopper that looked “family owned and operated.”

Our flight took off from the Lihue heliport. It’s an awesome setting. The weather was perfect. I planned it that way because I insisted on an early morning flight because that’s when visibility is best.

Safety Check

Our pilot introduced himself. He explained how he flew helicopters for years in the military and that Kauai was his dream job. He led us on a walk-around of the chopper and carefully explained what we were looking at.

He distributed waist pouches. My girl had no idea what they were until I told her they were flotation devices. Kauai air tours are as much ocean as land. We climbed aboard and put on our headsets, which let you talk to your pilot and fellow passengers and vice versa.

Whale Sightings by Helicopter!

Off we went. We took the coastal route to Poipu. Out the window, we spotted a humpback clearing its blowhole. Then he broke water. He had to be huge if I was able to see him so clearly from above. This was the first of several whale sightings.

Our chopper banked inland to Waimea Canyon, known around the world the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. We cleared a ridge and there it was: A deep, endless gorge punctuated by numerous cascading waterfalls. Absolutely beautiful. My girl was giddy and nearly squeezed my hand off.

The Nepali Coast

West Shore came into view. It’s very desolate. The island of Nihau was off to the left. I made a note to book a scuba trip when we landed. The waters looked very promising. I broke from my reverie as my pilot announced that the Nepali Coast was fast approaching.

Nepali, which translates into “The Cliffs,” is a sight to behold. It’s a 22-mile stretch of uninhabited shoreline that can only be reached by foot. Our chopper headed into the heart of a reclusive valley. Immediate adrenaline rush. This, for me, is what a helicopter tour is all about.
Wettest Spot on Earth

The chopper now headed to Mt. Waialeale, the wettest place on the planet. It was raining, but we got close and pierced the mist before heading to Wailua Falls and hovering over its crystalline pool. I had visited the area yesterday. Seeing it from above made it that much more profound.

Best Helicopter Ride – Ever!

We touched down at the Lihue heliport. It was hard for me to imagine that we had had just circled Kauai in less than 60 minutes. I thanked our pilot. I felt bonded to the other passengers in my group. We all met up later at a luau and recounted our amazing journey. If you get the chance to do a Kauai helicopter tour, go for it. It’ll be the highlight of your trip.


  1. Spencer Chase says:

    Incredible…the pilots fly super close to the mountains…sometimes I caught myself leaning back!

    My pilot was John. Said he’s been flying Kauai for years. Knew every inch of the island.

    Our helicopter tour was totally worth it. The aerial views were superb. It’s something I’ll remember forever.

    Don’t leave Hawaii w/out doing a Kauai helicopter tour!

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