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“A great way to see the flowing lava.”

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters - Hilo
Ranked #7 of 43 Tours in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
St. Albert, Canada
Level Contributor
116 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“A great way to see the flowing lava.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters is very good. Their tours are top notch. This is my second trip with them and they do a great job with ensuring all seated in the helicopter (our family of 5, another couple and the pilot) can see everything. The pilot moved the helicopter and made 4-8 sweeps of certain areas to ensure everyone got equal views. They will also do a DVD or BluRay of the trip for $25. We saw flowing lava from the crater on the Big Island and followed it to the ocean. Amazing. My kids loved it. A little bit pricey though. About $200 each after some early booking discounts (need to book online, minimum 5 days in advance for 15% off). The drive to Hilo from Kona or Waikoloa is about 2 hours each way.

Visited February 2013
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Thank JimCelineSamZachZoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
431 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

Taking a helicopter ride to see the volancoes has always been on my bucket list. Now it has been crossed off. My husband and I took the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour of the volcanoes and waterfalls. There was a lot of cloud with some rain in the area which made the ride quite choppy and the helicopter shook a lot. My stomach was not feeling too good at times.

You have to check in 45 minutes prior to your flight in order to view a show and receive safety instructions, etc. You are not allowed to take any purses or bags (only cameras with no cases) on the flight but there is a place to store them (free of charge) just in case you don't want to leave valuables in the car. There is a charge for parking. The tour company takes every precaution to ensure your safety which I totally appreciated. They are a very friendly group. Oh and when you take this tour, be sure to wear dark clothing so that there is no reflection on the windows. If you forget, they do have t-shirts to lend you before you get on the tour.

The lift off was smooth and not all that scary from what I thought it may be (I was sitting in front row by pilot next to the door). We took off towards the ocean to where the lava goes into same. We hovered around a bit and then we were taken to a place where the lava had covered a town. Next we flew to see where lava was on its way to the ocean (it was still hot) and finally over to Kilaeua where you could actually see the lava pulsing in the crater. Unfortunately none of this was spectacular as the volcano was quiet but still we were able to say we saw a lava flow. Our pilot made sure that all of us were able to see what was below us. If one of us did not, he would circle again. He also answered all questions and gave us quite a bit of information.

From here we flew over to the waterfalls. This was a bit of a let down - not all that much to see here and everyone thought we would get lower and see more.

After the falls our pilot took us out over the ocean where we saw humpback whales playing in the water. As we got closer they went under the water and we were only able to make out their shapes in the water.

All in all, it was a good experience but I am not sure for the price (about $225 pp plus a bunch of taxes when you pay at airport) I would recommend same. I am glad I did it but for 50 minutes it is costly. We were lucky to have, for some reason, been upgraded from the helicopter I booked to another one.

If you are planning on doing a helicopter ride in any case, this is a very good company. They take good care of you. If you have a weak stomach, do not eat before you take the tour. It may also be wise to take some medication for nausea if your stomach is really bad. They do have what they call "comfort bags" which on normal airlines is called an "air sickness bag".

Happy travels!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Holly5_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Illinois
1 review
“What a great ride!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was a thrill. First time up and the copter was comfortable even with the pilot and 5 passengers. We all could see and the headphones cut out all the sound of the rotor. The pilot was very knowledgeable and we had mics so we could ask questions. Great way to see the PU'u O'o crater and the flow into the ocean. Very nice operation and good people to work with. Saw the water falls also.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jeffreyllovell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Salem, IN
Level Contributor
52 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice ride,just local weather affects”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

In Hilo it rains most every day,so the views you can get of the volcano weren't nearly as good as you would hope. but the courtesy of the group and the ride itself were very good, and got to see the Lava flow as well as you could hope.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank DBPTNT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Best way to see the lava flow and Pu`u O`o Crater eruption”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

DH and I just did the Blue Hawaiian tour out of Hilo last Friday afternoon (Jan. 25). We booked the Circle of Fire plus Waterfalls tour on an eco-star. It's a six-seater, but we were only 5 passengers. The seating is determined by the company and is weight-dependent (not 'first-come'). Two seats in the front and four in the back. Each couple is guaranteed one window in the back. I had a middle seat and found the visibility to be very good all around on the eco-star.

Our pilot, Jeremy, made sure that each side got at least two passes over the Kilauea's Pu`u O`o Crater and where the lava flowed into the sea. Be aware that helicopter tours are not allowed to overfly the caldera at Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater (the one by the Jaggar Museum overlook in Volcanoes National Park).

Both DH and I were thrilled with the experience and very glad that we had great weather on that day.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Free-to-wander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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