Kauai by Helicopter: Waterfalls, Canyons, and Coasts

We had a few things on our list we wanted to do when we were in Hawaii, and taking a helicopter ride in Kauai was at the itty bitty top.

It was turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of our lives- worth every penny (and we spent a whole lot of pennies on this!)  It was truly magical. I’ve never been so in awe of nature than when we flew into the valleys and really got close to the waterfalls.

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

Zipping in and out and throughout the mountains with beach and coastline in view is surely something you will never forget.  It’s a surreal experience.  No words can describe it.

It was an experience to remember- and I even got to play co-pilot (although I wasn’t allowed to push any of the buttons/controls, better off that way!)  Our pilot took his time to give us a top notch tour and we learned so much about the beautiful island.

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

As we flew up into the white puffy clouds for the first time, with only blue skies ahead of us, it felt like I was literally flying.

Looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows we could see the entire island.

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

And then the BEST part (shhh don’t tell the sea turtles) ↓↓↓

JURASSIC FALLS LANDING ADVENTURE

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

One of the unique parts of our helicopter ride in Kauai was the landing at Manawaiopuna Falls, or better known as “Jurassic Park Falls“, seen in the popular Steven Speilberg movie, Jurassic Park. (Dinosaurs not included!)  The waterfall (and it’s mist!) is so powerful, and landing in the deep interior of Kauai is the only way to experience this.  Inaccessible to the public, Island Helicopters made this little girl (me!) pretty giddy.  It was super rainy by the waterfall, but that was to be expected! Thankfully our pilot had some umbrellas stashed in our ride!

We literally landed next to the waterfall.  Talk about epic.

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

WAIMEA CANYON

After leaving the waterfall and drying off a bit, we headed towards Waimea Canyon, dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.  A few photos for your viewing pleasure 😉

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
 
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

NA PALI COAST

THIS is what everyone talks about when they talk about the beauty of Kauai.  This coast line right here ↓

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
 

During our flight, I felt entirely safe and comfortable admiring the views below. 

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

INLAND (and beyond!)

Look how green Kauai is!

Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

“This is so cool”, was all I could think.  The entire time.

I mean, just look at that waterfall and tell me buzzing around in a helicopter isn’t one of the most coolest things in the whole world.
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com

From Waimea Canyon to the Na Pali coast, everything just screamed Hawaii. It was amazing having a birds eye view of this spectacular island, and the Jurassic Park theme song in my ear made it even more real.

By the end of the flight we were literally speechless; it was an epic way to start our Kauai vacation.  It was the coolest, most surreal travel experience of my life. Not sure how we are ever going to top this one.

WHY TAKE A HELICOPTER RIDE IN KAUAI?

Um, why not?!?! Silly question!
Since approximately 65% of Kauai cannot be seen by foot, taking a helicopter tour was an absolute must if we wanted to see the island right.  And plus, helicopters can fly as low as 500ft (opposed to airplanes which are restricted to fly no lower than 1000 and 1500), which just means you can be that much closer to the waterfalls and canyons!
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Know before you go:
  • I opted for a door-on experience.  It surely seems crazy adventurous to go all open, but when it’s rainy near the waterfall (and it probably will be, it’s a waterfall…), you will get wet sitting in the open helicopter.  And so will your camera.  Meaning you can’t take pictures with your DSLR.  Not cool. See all that rain in the photo below – that would be on your lens instead!
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
  • When taking a helicopter ride in Kauai, the companies suggest wearing black or very dark clothing.  This way, your reflection won’t impede any photos you or others are taking.  Actually, someone on our tour had on a logo on his shirt and he had to wear it inside out.
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
  • If you are going back and forth between choosing a airplane over a helicopter, just shell out the extra dough.  A helicopter ride in Kauai is an EPIC experience- as I’ve been saying numerous times!
  • We chose Island Helicopters.  There a bunch of reputable companies out there, but they are the only one with the possibility of descending down to the base of the waterfall.  It did cost more than the others, but for a longer tour and this extra amazing experience, we thought it was worth it.
Taking a HELICOPTER ride in Kauai >> an EPIC thing to do in Hawaii | www.apassionandapassport.com
Is taking a helicopter ride in Kauai on your bucket list?
Have you ever flown in a helicopter before?!

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