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“A unique and wonderful experience”

Mauna Loa Helicopters Tours
Ranked #3 of 34 Tours in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Centennial, Colorado, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A unique and wonderful experience”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We have never been in a Helicopter before. What a great choice to make it a first on Kauai. In the hands of Chris (our pilot) and the rest of the staff of Mauna Loa Helicopters we could not feel anything else but safe.
The views as well as explanations while flying were priceless.
A MUST if you are traveling to Kauai.

Visited November 2013
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Thank Urte L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Montreal, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wow!”
Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic tour over Kauai on a fabulous day! We got really lucky on the weather so Fabrizio (our pilot) was able to show us all the beauty of this Island with some REAL close-ups of the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and Manawaiopuna Falls (Jurassic Park Falls). The doors-off tour is not for the faint of heart, but it is highly recommended to get the maximum out if this unique experience. Just do it!

Helpful?
Thank Isa_and_Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Mind-blowing experience”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This is the first time I've ever been up in a helicopter at all, let alone on an island tour. So I have no way of knowing how this particular tour compares to their competition on the island. But it's hard to imagine anything better than this.

We chose this particular company because their small helicopters only had two passenger seats in the back, meaning that me and my girlfriend got perfect views out the open doors. With no middle seat, we didn't have to share the copter with anyone else or get stuck without a door seat. My original inclination was to go with a company with bigger helicopters, but then my girlfriend pointed out that if we did, we'd have to share the ride with others. So I'm particularly glad that she made that suggestion, because we had the time of our lives, just us and the pilot up there in the tiny copter.

I was enjoying myself so much and not wanting to miss a second of the experience, that I stopped using the intercom button to have conversations with my girlfriend and the pilot. I was rendered speechless for most of the flight.

We did a "Doors Off" flight which I highly recommend. If you do this, please understand that you will be buffeted by high wind for much of the flight, so don't wear anything with open pockets, or anything that will blow off. I bought a strap for my sunglasses, and wore fleece with zippered pockets. The temperature got down to about 55 degrees F at the coldest part of the flight, so we were uncomfortably warmly dressed on the ground, but perfect up in the air.

Our pilot was fantastic, flying skillfully to give us incredible views, while simultaneously pointing out lots of details about the things we were flying over and in and around. At no time did I feel unsafe, even though we were banking steeply at times, with nothing but air between me and the mountains below. I felt completely safe the entire time.

For photography, I do not recommend bringing anything with a big lens that's too fiddly, like a DSLR. I had a small automatic happy-snap camera with a maximum 4x zoom, and was very happy with what I got. I also strapped a GoPro to my forehead with a secure head strap designed specially for that purpose. I recommend the head strap instead of the chest strap because that allows you to pan it around. I wouldn't have been able to satisfactorily pan it to see outside the helicopter if it had been strapped to my chest.

Some notes about the GoPro: I'm 5'11" tall and the GoPro was very near the ceiling of the copter in its forehead-mounted position. For most of the flight I was looking downward out the door, so that wasn't a factor, but the couple of times where I wanted the GoPro to loop up to capture the cloudbottoms touching the tops of the mountains, tilting my head up just got the inside of the copter ceiling. Also I have long hair, and though I had tried to mousse it back, the wind made it whip around a lot, so some of the GoPro shots have my hair in them. Finally, if you use a GoPro, TURN OFF THE WIFI FEATURE, its battery won't last the whole flight. I thought I was going to get a chance to check the aim with my iPhone during the flight and I just didn't have the time to do that. So all the Wifi feature did was drain the battery and make it stop recording about 10 minutes short of the end of the flight.

All in all, an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tony F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great experience!!”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We had a great tour and would definitely recommend the doors off tour. Our pilot was awesome and shared some great tips about the island. I decided to bring a zoom lens for my camera with us instead of the regular lens, my only suggestion would be to take a regular lens so you can capture the entire island. Lots of fun!!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lindsay T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
“Doors off!!”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We did this tour with the doors off and to me that is the only way to do this. It really is a once in a lifetime trip across one of the most beautiful places on earth. Everything from reservation thru check-in and pre and post flight were very professionally handled and our pilot Andrew exceeded our expectations. We told him we had never been in a helicopter before and that both of us hate roller coasters so he took very good care of us and we had a care free fun informative time. We took this trip in the morning around 10am and had a relatively smooth flight. Then later that afternoon we took a fixed wing airplane tour with another company and it was much bumpier. Between the two I would urge everyone to do the doors off helicopter. You get much closer and see a lot more than you can with an airplane. And the air coming into the cockpit helps alleviate any worries about motion/air sickness.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank michaelsop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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