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Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours
Ranked #3 of 35 Tours in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Kauai’s most beautiful geographical wonders are inaccessible by roads or trails, and can only be viewed from the air! Discover the awe-inspiring beauty of this hidden paradise in comfort and style. All flights feature removable doors for any of our individual passengers. Our private helicopter tours of Kauai are for 1-3 people, guaranteeing that each passenger has a window seat. Don't share your helicopter experience in Kauai with anyone but your own special friends. Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours "The Private Helicopter Tour Company"
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Chose them after reading many reviews & info, both here on T.A. as well as Y**p. Decided for small size, private tours only require minimum 2 people, they offer doors-off, they have GREAT reviews, and awesome on safety - they aren't afraid to cancel "income" if conditions are less than safe. Not true of all the chopper tour companies...

I booked late a.m. based on recommendation of reviews AND the people who answer the phone. It was sunny, then we went thru rain, then sunny again - none of it mattered, it was AMAZING.

I can pretty much say "ditto" to everyone else's stellar review. Drove right up the the heli-pad now that their office is in a big bus right at the pad. My 16-year old and I took this tour, he reports it's the highlight of his Hawaii trip. First time in a chopper for both of us, VERY glad we did it in this small helicopter, doors off. Saw the big boys on nearby heli-pads, they were loading 4 ppl across in the back seat. We for sure would have been in the middle seats. What's the point?

We have already driven the island from end to end over the past few days, so having Chris, our pilot, point out all the towns and points along the coast was great, as it all fit together. Could be good the other way too - overview now, then drive later.

I chose back right with my camera, son up left front next to pilot (right front). Had on a couple of layers and was comfortable. At times the pilot would turn in a way that got really windy for me, but I'd just lean a bit toward his front seat and it would shield me just fine. Headphones & mic worked great to talk to each other. Detail, but I wondered about my hair that wouldn't make it into the ponytail holder driving me crazy - LADIES (& guys with longer hair), the headset will keep your bangs out of your face during doors-off, no worries.

If you really care about PHOTOGRAPHY, like everyone says, DO DOORS OFF. I took a few shots thru the window on the other side of me, and they are flat & I have reflection in them. Wide angle was really best, I had very little reason for telephoto, except maybe to get a few close-ups of some waterfalls. But it's the big picture, literally, that is most "wow" form the overhead perspective. I was using a 28-300 lens, and would have liked to have wider...

Whatever we may have saved in money had we had taken a big, "comfy" lots-of-people-together helicopter tour, would NOT have been worth it! A ride around the island is no place to skimp - save money elsewhere while here.

Thank TravelPhotoWriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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944 - 948 of 1,366 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2013

One of the best experiences I've had. A great pilot who really made the tour special and definitely a one in a lifetime experience. I would pick this company again, we loved our very personal 2 person doors off flight.

1  Thank Beth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

After talking to a lot of people and locals about all the differences of helicopter rides available on Kauai, we chose Mauna Loa. Most everyone that had gone only once on a helicopter tour loved their tour, but those that had been with more than one company, talked almost exclusively of Mauna Loa. For a totally private tour with just my wife and I, with some of the best copters out there it was great. All window seats too!! We chose, actually I chose first and then my wife finally agreed when we got there to do the doors off. You have to do it that way! The pilots are great and it is not scarey and the views are to die for. I am so glad we did a lot of research from previous customers because the ads for another seemed better, but after finding this one from a local, we could not have been more happy.. It was incrediable from the booking all the way to saying goodbye. Totally professional and friendly. We even opted for the video. We actually will fly with them again on our next trip, no exceptions!

3  Thank KansasIslandhoppers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I spent a few weeks on/ off reviewing all helicopter companies, types of helicopters (primarily for cabin & viewing), price, etc. for Kauai. In the end, Mauna Loa - although most expensive - was the absolute right choice. The seating is perfect for two (or three, max) with each person getting a window seat. No crowding of 6 guests and possible seat assignments in middle (back) seats of other common tour helicopters. I followed other highly recommended suggestions: do the doors-off tour, period. It is safe and the unobstructed views of Kauai's magical beauty is like nothing else on earth. Your pictures will tell the whole story without the glass obstruction. My wife was initially very hesitant for doors-off like many other reviews, but within seconds of lift-off was extremely thankful we did.

Final notes... Mauna Loa's safety track record is impeccable. This was an expensive decision, but one of the bet experiences of a lifetime and well-worth the investment.

2  Thank Ted M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We have been on a helicopter once before, in New Zealand, and while it was spectacular, it’s wasn’t great sitting between people (one I didn’t know). This company makes it private - just the two of us and the pilot (ours was Pete and he was great.) We booked this for early in our week on Kauai because we understood that, if the weather’s not good, they’ll cancel. Be prepared to have them cancel when you arrive - this happened to us. On the one hand, it was really annoying as the traffic had been horrible (we stayed in Princeville) and it took us over two hours to get there (we were late). On the other hand, it was a relief because the weather was atrocious. We rebooked for the next day and left in plenty of time (2 hours before) and we arrived early but Pete was able to take us up almost right away (we had done our paperwork/weigh-in the day before). We did doors off so I could get the best view/photos possible. I had a wrist strap for my Canon SLR - worked a charm. It gets REALLY windy and cold so dress appropriately. If you have long hair, make sure it’s secured well. I had a scrunchy - not enough, needed an elastic. You’ll want eye coverings - sunglasses or regular glasses - have them secured to you. I wore a fleece which let the wind right through - wear something more windproof or have long sleeves on underneath. With the extended tour, Pete took us in to see waterfalls that aren’t part of the regular tour - I only had a zoom lens and we got so close that the pictures can’t really capture the waterfalls in their entirety. But, the zoom was perfect for Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali coast. Decide which is more important for you and plan appropriately. Really terrific tour.

1  Thank Marnie99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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