The team behind Mauna Loa Helicopters Tour first started taking guests into the skies above Kauai back in 2006. Their special aloha spirit and fantastic flying experience (prior to 2006, the company began and operated as a flight training school; they still offer flight training under a different moniker) lent them to easily expanding operations, with them now offering exciting helicopter tours from Oahu and the Big Island as well. This review is specifically for Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours’ Big Island location.
Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii launch out of the Kona International Airport. Due to it being a major airport, getting here by car, bus, or resort shuttle is a breeze. This location just north of Kailua-Kona also puts it around many other exciting attractions and premier dining locations, offering a nice day adventure for those who are traveling here from another part of the island.
This Big Island helicopter tour outfitter is still relatively new to this location, but there are several outstanding reasons why you might choose them over a company with more history on this island. Most notably, as the company started as a flight school, it has remained a helicopter tour outfitter that consistently prioritizes flight experience and diligence in training. All of their pilots have significant experience adeptly flying helicopters and are well-versed in every necessary safety protocol. If you have any members of your tour that are a bit nervous about flying in such a small type of aircraft, then this is the exact tour and pilots you want for your adventure over the Big Island of Hawaii.
Another key reason to choose Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours – Big Island over a competitor is due to their advanced fleet of flying machines. All of the helicopter tours offered by this group take place in small, efficient helicopters that seat generally no more than four. Their choice of helicopters affords guests several fantastic benefits. First, you won’t be sharing the tour with any other party, it’s just you and your group. Second, everyone gets a window seat, offering continually amazing views. And finally, larger tour outfitters with larger helicopters sometimes will need to complete a 15-minute refueling mid-way on the tour. The smaller, energy-efficient helicopters Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours offers have no such restrictions.
In regard to what type of helicopter tour to take with this company, you have options! The most popular include:
Big Island Experience
This two-hour helicopter tour takes guests on a thrilling ride around the entirety of the Big Island. You will fly right over Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world, soar along the Hamakua and Gold coastlines, and thread your way deep into the island’s inner valleys where you can catch sight of 2,000 foot crashing waterfalls.
Magical Waterfall Tour
At 75 minutes long, this is a shorter tour but it focuses on getting passengers up close and personal to more fantastic waterfalls on the Big Island. You will explore seven of Kohala’s windward valleys and partake in some truly incredible waterfalls and ocean vistas.
-Mauna Loa Helicopters has a surprisingly very lenient cancelation policy. You can cancel or change your tour up to 24 hours prior to launch without incurring a fee. We recommend taking advantage of this and checking the weather as close to this time of scheduling to avoid going out on a windy or rainy day that might limit how close to certain attractions the pilot can get you.
-When booking you will see a minimum seat requirement, which is the minimum booking requirement. In other words, you can travel as a party of one or two but will need to pay for a vacant third seat. This does make Mauna Loa Helicopters overall a more expensive option compared to their competitors, but it also affords those luxuries of having a helicopter all to yourself and getting to choose the best seat without worry.