Get a Bird’s-eye ViewMaui
HELICOPTER TOURS have become one of Maui’s signature attractions. Here, it is possible to lift off from a heliport, quickly bypass populated areas and, in minutes, leave civilization behind. Look down, and you’ll find yourself flying low over deep, impossibly tangled, uninhabitable CANYONS where inland WATERFALLS drop hundreds of feet right outside your window.
Now and then, the helicopter will hover before a unique geographic or legendary site, and the pilot, like a guide standing before a masterpiece in an art museum, will fill in the details. Noise-canceling headphones wipe out the roar of the helicopter rotors; instead, music, like the soundtrack from a movie, sets the mood.
Most helicopter tours offer views of the lunar-like surface of HALEAKALA CRATER and the waterfall-laced coastline of the NORTH SHORE RAINFOREST. Some companies fly to MOLOKA‘I, where towering waterfalls and 3,000-FOOT VERTICAL SEA CLIFFS provide a spectacular sight.
BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS (bluehawaiian.com) also takes flight on its award-winning tours around the Valley Isle, even to neighbor islands Big Island and Moloka‘i. Romantic private tours can be arranged for special occasions like weddings, honeymoons, proposals and anniversaries. Other providers include AIR MAUI (airmaui.com), SUNSHINE HELICOPTERS (sunshinehelicopters.com) and MAVERICK HELICOPTER (maverickhelicopter.com).
In general, tours depart from the heliport at KAHULUI AIRPORT and vary in destination, length and cost, with airtime fluctuating from 30 to 90 minutes. As a rule, morning is the best time to fly, as cloud cover tends to increase throughout the afternoon.
The seating configuration in most tour helicopters on Maui is similar, with two passengers seated up front with the pilot and four more in the seats behind. Because tour helicopters resemble airborne glass bubbles, the view is generally excellent no matter where you sit.
If you have a hankering for high-flying, but wish to travel a little farther—perhaps even to a neighbor island, jet off with BIG ISLAND AIR. As the oldest air tour company on Hawai‘i Island, Big Island Air offers VIP air adventures that start and end on Maui in Cessna Caravans (TURBINE-ENGINE, JET-PROP TOUR PLANES). The nine-passenger planes fly over some of the best SITES ON MAUI AND HAWAI‘I ISLAND, including Haleakala Crater, Kilauea Volcano, Lana‘i and so much more! En route, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of valleys, mountains, rivers, towns, volcanoes, ocean and neighbor isles. Visit bigislandair.com to learn more.