Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

I am not, by nature, a super emotional person. I can think of only a few times, so far, in my life where I’ve cried tears of happiness. My engagement/wedding day, a couple of other milestones and the are all on that list. Another much more recent one? A helicopter descent on our Island Helicopter Tours ride to Manawaiopuna Falls – aka Jurassic Park Falls. Because you can’t see more than 20% of Kauai unless it’s from the air, we were grateful for the opportunity to make most of our trip. Sure, there are plenty of companies to choose from when it comes to Kauai helicopter tours, but here are my 5 reasons to check out Island Helicopters Kauai!

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Although Island Helicopter Tours generously provided this helicopter tour experience, I only share experiences and products I know my audience would love – and the waterworks during the waterfall landing was definitely not part of the plan. ????

Okay, okay – I am getting a little ahead of myself here. I’m sure you want to know what in tarnation could have caused me to make a fool of myself in a very intimate, enclosed space in the company of Riley and 5 other strangers. Here’s a quick recap of our tour experience!

As I mentioned, I was initially drawn to because I was Googling ‘helicopter tours kauai’, as one does, and the words JURASSIC PARK WATERFALL popped out at me in all their cinematic glory – and I soon found that Island Helicopter Tours is the only one that can land at the site. We were doing this tour. . We were DEFINITELY doing this tour.

Chief pilot Gary posting pre-flight.

Tour day finally arrived and we headed to the Lihue airport on a beautiful, sunny and slightly brisk morning. We arrived 45 minutes early per check-in instructions and were welcomed by the team. We signed waivers, read over the FAQ, used the restroom and went through the guided safety procedures. We filed into the aircraft and met chief pilot Gary, who cheerfully greeted us and gamely posed for a picture for me.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Then we took off. There is nothing like the feeling of being in a helicopter – it’s similar to being closer to the road while in a sports car; you feel like a bird. We were treated to some spectacular views and a bit of history of the island while taking in the beauty from above.

Catching our early morning shadow just before our epic descent.

Then, the roller coaster dip. All of a sudden we were nose-diving into a valley – it was apparent our pilot Gary had definitely done this before. The ride was one of the most cinematic, graceful things I’ve ever seen .

And then the music. We were all wearing headsets so Gary could talk to us and share his amazing playlist. All of a sudden the iconic bars of the Jurassic Park theme song wound its way into my ears, mirroring the dips and turns of the helicopter through the valley – and I sort of lost it. I had my phone time-lapsing in one hand, my camera in the other and tears were on my face because it was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever seen.

We landed in a tidy little spot you’d miss if you blinked and marched in our blue surgical booties through the Hawaiian rainforest to the waterfall. After some time for admiration and a couple of photos, we filed back into the chopper.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

We then enjoyed the rest of the tour – over the Waiamea Canyon, through the countryside, and in and out of the Na Pali Coast itself . It was all over much too soon – but definitely left a lasting impression!

The beginning of our journey in and out of the massive accordion folds of the Na Pali Coast.

So obviously, making the incredible trip into a lush, protected habitat via helicopter and getting to experience nature, in real life, in all its glory was a huge part of why you might want to check out this tour – but here are some of the other top reasons to fly with !

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Pick Island Helicopter Tours

Post-flight photo op with pilot Gary

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

They’re family-owned and run.

Island Helicopter Tours is proud to be distinguished as the longest operating helicopter tour company on the island of Kauai. Because of the longevity, one of the owners, Curt, has come to take on essentially all of the movie scouting happening on the island. He taught Harrison Ford to fly a helicopter and was the one to introduce Steven Spielberg to the falls… and we know what happened after that!

As Linda went through the incredibly rich history of the company with me, she also shared that all the pilots are highly trained and Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135-certified. This is no joke – according to my research, FAR Part 135 is a much more regulated type of certification than, let’s say, a FAR Part 91. It also requires compliance to much a higher standard of safety requirements. Also our pilot, chief pilot Gary, had flown the trip something like 15,000 times. From his handiwork, you could definitely tell – we felt safe!

They’re the only one of the Kauai helicopter tours licensed to land at Manawaiopuna Falls.

I knew this going into the tour – but little did I really know about how much work this licensing took. Many years of paperwork and training were required. Island Helicopter Tours even brings in environmental specialists on an annual/bi-annual basis to inspect the site and ensure protocols are being followed, the site isn’t being disrupted, etc. Additionally, part of the reason they were able to secure this was because of their impeccable safety record.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

It’s the best way to see Kauai.

As I mentioned before, you actually cannot see 80% of Kauai unless it’s from the air. Because of the dormant volcano in the center and the ruggedness of the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and all the varying altitudes and terrains, the valleys are basically inaccessible. Plus, many of them are highly protected by the Department of Natural Resources

It’s basically the only guaranteed way to see the Na Pali coast – especially in the colder months.

Because we decided to in the winter month of February we knew that the weather was going to be kind of iffy. It’s a well-known fact that the northern side of the island tends to not only get the most rain, but also wind – which can mean that the surf on that coast gets INSANE. Like 40 to 60-foot swell insane . So, boats are not even guaranteed to be able to go out. Plus, even if you do take a boat tour, you’re far away. When you take a helicopter tour, like Island Helicopter Tours, you actually weave in and out of the coast – which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

FAQs About Taking a Helicopter Tour

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

In addition to these facts, I also put together a couple of easy-reference FAQs I know will be helpful as you’re planning your trip, considering one of the Kauai helicopter tours or even any helicopter tour in the world!

What do you wear on a helicopter tour?

For the best photo results, it’s best to wear DARK clothing. I went the safe route and showed up wearing all black – because I didn’t want anything to jeopardize my shots. I wore shorts, a tank top and a mesh hoodie; the cabin was climate-controlled so I didn’t need much else besides that. Island Helicopter Tours will actually provide a clean, dark shirt for you if you’ve forgotten this part . I also wore the required close-toed shoes.

Can I bring a backpack? What about a purse?

Per the rules of IHT you cannot bring bags or backpacks of any kind with you – along with drones, selfie sticks or super zoom lenses. However, you can bring a small purse – I was fine with my cross-body which had some extra camera goodies in it – but if you can wear something with pockets it’ll give you less you have to mess with.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

You would see that reflection on the glass in almost every one of my photos

if I hadn’t used a polarizing filter.

On this tour they encourage it! Remember though, to wear dark clothing – otherwise it will show up in the reflection and could create a lot of glare. The other important thing I am so glad I thought of is that if you have a camera with a lens on it, it is SO IMPORTANT to bring a polarizing filter. Otherwise you will get a LOT of reflection from inside the cabin in your shots! iPhones do take pretty good pictures, but again, if you have a camera with a removable lens, get a filter for it!

Learn More About Kauai Helicopter Tours

Want to learn more about ? Head over to their website here. You can also follow along with them on and !

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Happy Planning: Pin This To Your Hawaii Board – Kauai Helicopter Tours | 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Hawaii

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

I am not, by nature, a super emotional person. I can think of only a few times, so far, in my life where I’ve cried tears of happiness. My engagement/wedding day, a couple of other milestones and the are all on that list. Another much more recent one? A helicopter descent on our Island Helicopter Tours ride to Manawaiopuna Falls – aka Jurassic Park Falls. Because you can’t see more than 20% of Kauai unless it’s from the air, we were grateful for the opportunity to make most of our trip. Sure, there are plenty of companies to choose from when it comes to Kauai helicopter tours, but here are my 5 reasons to check out Island Helicopters Kauai!

Although Island Helicopter Tours generously provided this helicopter tour experience, I only share experiences and products I know my audience would love – and the waterworks during the waterfall landing was definitely not part of the plan. ????

Okay, okay – I am getting a little ahead of myself here. I’m sure you want to know what in tarnation could have caused me to make a fool of myself in a very intimate, enclosed space in the company of Riley and 5 other strangers. Here’s a quick recap of our tour experience!

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

As I mentioned, I was initially drawn to because I was Googling ‘helicopter tours kauai’, as one does, and the words JURASSIC PARK WATERFALL popped out at me in all their cinematic glory – and I soon found that Island Helicopter Tours is the only one that can land at the site. We were doing this tour. . We were DEFINITELY doing this tour.

Chief pilot Gary posting pre-flight.

Tour day finally arrived and we headed to the Lihue airport on a beautiful, sunny and slightly brisk morning. We arrived 45 minutes early per check-in instructions and were welcomed by the team. We signed waivers, read over the FAQ, used the restroom and went through the guided safety procedures. We filed into the aircraft and met chief pilot Gary, who cheerfully greeted us and gamely posed for a picture for me.

Then we took off. There is nothing like the feeling of being in a helicopter – it’s similar to being closer to the road while in a sports car; you feel like a bird. We were treated to some spectacular views and a bit of history of the island while taking in the beauty from above.

Catching our early morning shadow just before our epic descent.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Then, the roller coaster dip. All of a sudden we were nose-diving into a valley – it was apparent our pilot Gary had definitely done this before. The ride was one of the most cinematic, graceful things I’ve ever seen .

And then the music. We were all wearing headsets so Gary could talk to us and share his amazing playlist. All of a sudden the iconic bars of the Jurassic Park theme song wound its way into my ears, mirroring the dips and turns of the helicopter through the valley – and I sort of lost it. I had my phone time-lapsing in one hand, my camera in the other and tears were on my face because it was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever seen.

We landed in a tidy little spot you’d miss if you blinked and marched in our blue surgical booties through the Hawaiian rainforest to the waterfall. After some time for admiration and a couple of photos, we filed back into the chopper.

We then enjoyed the rest of the tour – over the Waiamea Canyon, through the countryside, and in and out of the Na Pali Coast itself . It was all over much too soon – but definitely left a lasting impression!

The beginning of our journey in and out of the massive accordion folds of the Na Pali Coast.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

So obviously, making the incredible trip into a lush, protected habitat via helicopter and getting to experience nature, in real life, in all its glory was a huge part of why you might want to check out this tour – but here are some of the other top reasons to fly with !

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Pick Island Helicopter Tours

Post-flight photo op with pilot Gary

They’re family-owned and run.

Island Helicopter Tours is proud to be distinguished as the longest operating helicopter tour company on the island of Kauai. Because of the longevity, one of the owners, Curt, has come to take on essentially all of the movie scouting happening on the island. He taught Harrison Ford to fly a helicopter and was the one to introduce Steven Spielberg to the falls… and we know what happened after that!

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

As Linda went through the incredibly rich history of the company with me, she also shared that all the pilots are highly trained and Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135-certified. This is no joke – according to my research, FAR Part 135 is a much more regulated type of certification than, let’s say, a FAR Part 91. It also requires compliance to much a higher standard of safety requirements. Also our pilot, chief pilot Gary, had flown the trip something like 15,000 times. From his handiwork, you could definitely tell – we felt safe!

They’re the only one of the Kauai helicopter tours licensed to land at Manawaiopuna Falls.

I knew this going into the tour – but little did I really know about how much work this licensing took. Many years of paperwork and training were required. Island Helicopter Tours even brings in environmental specialists on an annual/bi-annual basis to inspect the site and ensure protocols are being followed, the site isn’t being disrupted, etc. Additionally, part of the reason they were able to secure this was because of their impeccable safety record.

It’s the best way to see Kauai.

As I mentioned before, you actually cannot see 80% of Kauai unless it’s from the air. Because of the dormant volcano in the center and the ruggedness of the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and all the varying altitudes and terrains, the valleys are basically inaccessible. Plus, many of them are highly protected by the Department of Natural Resources

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

It’s basically the only guaranteed way to see the Na Pali coast – especially in the colder months.

Because we decided to in the winter month of February we knew that the weather was going to be kind of iffy. It’s a well-known fact that the northern side of the island tends to not only get the most rain, but also wind – which can mean that the surf on that coast gets INSANE. Like 40 to 60-foot swell insane . So, boats are not even guaranteed to be able to go out. Plus, even if you do take a boat tour, you’re far away. When you take a helicopter tour, like Island Helicopter Tours, you actually weave in and out of the coast – which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

FAQs About Taking a Helicopter Tour

In addition to these facts, I also put together a couple of easy-reference FAQs I know will be helpful as you’re planning your trip, considering one of the Kauai helicopter tours or even any helicopter tour in the world!

What do you wear on a helicopter tour?

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

For the best photo results, it’s best to wear DARK clothing. I went the safe route and showed up wearing all black – because I didn’t want anything to jeopardize my shots. I wore shorts, a tank top and a mesh hoodie; the cabin was climate-controlled so I didn’t need much else besides that. Island Helicopter Tours will actually provide a clean, dark shirt for you if you’ve forgotten this part . I also wore the required close-toed shoes.

Can I bring a backpack? What about a purse?

Per the rules of IHT you cannot bring bags or backpacks of any kind with you – along with drones, selfie sticks or super zoom lenses. However, you can bring a small purse – I was fine with my cross-body which had some extra camera goodies in it – but if you can wear something with pockets it’ll give you less you have to mess with.

You would see that reflection on the glass in almost every one of my photos

if I hadn’t used a polarizing filter.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

On this tour they encourage it! Remember though, to wear dark clothing – otherwise it will show up in the reflection and could create a lot of glare. The other important thing I am so glad I thought of is that if you have a camera with a lens on it, it is SO IMPORTANT to bring a polarizing filter. Otherwise you will get a LOT of reflection from inside the cabin in your shots! iPhones do take pretty good pictures, but again, if you have a camera with a removable lens, get a filter for it!

Learn More About Kauai Helicopter Tours

Want to learn more about ? Head over to their website here. You can also follow along with them on and !

Happy Planning: Pin This To Your Hawaii Board – Kauai Helicopter Tours | 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Hawaii

Subscribe For New Moderately Exciting Guides Every Month!

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Leave this field empty if you're human:

Moderately Excited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Subscribe For New Moderately Exciting Updates!

Leave this field empty if you’re human:

Start Planning Your Next Trip With My Helpful Guides on Pinterest

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Moderately Excited.

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

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Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

I am not, by nature, a super emotional person. I can think of only a few times, so far, in my life where I’ve cried tears of happiness. My engagement/wedding day, a couple of other milestones and the are all on that list. Another much more recent one? A helicopter descent on our Island Helicopter Tours ride to Manawaiopuna Falls – aka Jurassic Park Falls. Because you can’t see more than 20% of Kauai unless it’s from the air, we were grateful for the opportunity to make most of our trip. Sure, there are plenty of companies to choose from when it comes to Kauai helicopter tours, but here are my 5 reasons to check out Island Helicopters Kauai!

Although Island Helicopter Tours generously provided this helicopter tour experience, I only share experiences and products I know my audience would love – and the waterworks during the waterfall landing was definitely not part of the plan. ????

Okay, okay – I am getting a little ahead of myself here. I’m sure you want to know what in tarnation could have caused me to make a fool of myself in a very intimate, enclosed space in the company of Riley and 5 other strangers. Here’s a quick recap of our tour experience!

As I mentioned, I was initially drawn to because I was Googling ‘helicopter tours kauai’, as one does, and the words JURASSIC PARK WATERFALL popped out at me in all their cinematic glory – and I soon found that Island Helicopter Tours is the only one that can land at the site. We were doing this tour. . We were DEFINITELY doing this tour.

Chief pilot Gary posting pre-flight.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Tour day finally arrived and we headed to the Lihue airport on a beautiful, sunny and slightly brisk morning. We arrived 45 minutes early per check-in instructions and were welcomed by the team. We signed waivers, read over the FAQ, used the restroom and went through the guided safety procedures. We filed into the aircraft and met chief pilot Gary, who cheerfully greeted us and gamely posed for a picture for me.

Then we took off. There is nothing like the feeling of being in a helicopter – it’s similar to being closer to the road while in a sports car; you feel like a bird. We were treated to some spectacular views and a bit of history of the island while taking in the beauty from above.

Catching our early morning shadow just before our epic descent.

Then, the roller coaster dip. All of a sudden we were nose-diving into a valley – it was apparent our pilot Gary had definitely done this before. The ride was one of the most cinematic, graceful things I’ve ever seen .

And then the music. We were all wearing headsets so Gary could talk to us and share his amazing playlist. All of a sudden the iconic bars of the Jurassic Park theme song wound its way into my ears, mirroring the dips and turns of the helicopter through the valley – and I sort of lost it. I had my phone time-lapsing in one hand, my camera in the other and tears were on my face because it was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever seen.

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

We landed in a tidy little spot you’d miss if you blinked and marched in our blue surgical booties through the Hawaiian rainforest to the waterfall. After some time for admiration and a couple of photos, we filed back into the chopper.

We then enjoyed the rest of the tour – over the Waiamea Canyon, through the countryside, and in and out of the Na Pali Coast itself . It was all over much too soon – but definitely left a lasting impression!

The beginning of our journey in and out of the massive accordion folds of the Na Pali Coast.

So obviously, making the incredible trip into a lush, protected habitat via helicopter and getting to experience nature, in real life, in all its glory was a huge part of why you might want to check out this tour – but here are some of the other top reasons to fly with !

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Pick Island Helicopter Tours

Kauai Helicopter Tours: 5 Reasons to Check Out Island Helicopters Kauai During Your Next Hawaii Trip

Post-flight photo op with pilot Gary

They’re family-owned and run.

Island Helicopter Tours is proud to be distinguished as the longest operating helicopter tour company on the island of Kauai. Because of the longevity, one of the owners, Curt, has come to take on essentially all of the movie scouting happening on the island. He taught Harrison Ford to fly a helicopter and was the one to introduce Steven Spielberg to the falls… and we know what happened after that!

As Linda went through the incredibly rich history of the company with me, she also shared that all the pilots are highly trained and Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135-certified. This is no joke – according to my research, FAR Part 135 is a much more regulated type of certification than, let’s say, a FAR Part 91. It also requires compliance to much a higher standard of safety requirements. Also our pilot, chief pilot Gary, had flown the trip something like 15,000 times. From his handiwork, you could definitely tell – we felt safe!

They’re the only one of the Kauai helicopter tours licensed to land at Manawaiopuna Falls.

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