There are many ways to explore the Hawaiian islands, but one way that is quickly growing in popularity is by air a la a helicopter tour. Helicopter tours offer a wonderful bird’s eye view of the area and some of its most fantastic landscapes. One top helicopter tour company to book with is Tropical Helicopter Island Adventures, also known as Paradise Adventures.
Tropical Helicopter Island Adventures is Hawaii’s largest locally-owned and operated helicopter tour company. This adventure-oriented outfitter has been led by the same owner, pilot Cal Dorn, and has entertained thousands over the last two decades, growing each year to offer more tours and more sophisticated helicopters, and even a small airplane. Today, Tropical Helicopter Island Adventures operates on three Hawaiian islands — the Big Island, Oahu, and Lanai — with six take-off locations and several fantastic tour packages as well as standard flight tours.
Of course, it is the full adventure packages that really make Tropical Helicopter Adventures stand out from the crowd. There are three genres or types of adventure packages that this flight company offers: Romance Adventures, Cultural Adventures, and Malama Eco Adventures. For each, you can choose different upgrades to personalize and really take your flight experience to the next level.
Take, for example, a look at the Romance Adventures offered by Tropical Helicopter Adventures. For this adventure, you can take off from either Maui or Lanai with the big destination being the smaller and wilder island of Molokai. This adventure, of course, includes soaring alongside Molokai’s famous sea cliffs as well as into the island where guests will catch sight of waterfalls and sweeping valleys. But the real unique part of the tour, something that sets this helicopter outfit apart from others, is that the package includes both a landing at a secluded location overlooking the sea cliffs and a full gourmet picnic lunch back on Maui. You can also opt for a professional photographer to join you on your journey.
In addition to the more sophisticated adventure packages, Tropical Helicopters Island Adventures also offers several tours on all of the islands they depart from. On the Big Island, a few of the choices you have include:
Doors-Off Lava & Rainforest Adventure Tour
This breathtaking tour departs from Hilo Airport and takes guests across an almost otherworldly landscape of frozen lava that was left from the most recent eruption of Kilauea Volcano. The pilot will also take guests across Mauna Loa and into the lush Puna rainforests where some of the best Hilo waterfalls can be seen.
Kohala Coast & Waterfalls Tour
Cooled lava flows are fascinating, but this tour is the better choice if you and your travel group are more drawn to lush rainforests and stunning coastline landscapes. Here, your pilot will showcase the beauty of the Big Island’s southern coastline and add a thoughtful narrative about its physical history and the cultural history and significance of the valleys within.
Kohala Coast Waterfalls & Remote Hike Tour
This tour strikes a lot of similarity with the one above, insofar as the helicopter portion will take you across many of the same areas, but with a key addition: Some on-the-ground hiking. Here, your Tropical Helicopters pilot will land at a remote and secluded location deep within the Kohala mountains and then lead guests on an exciting half-mile hike deep into the forest.
We recommend booking your helicopter tour in the morning as this is when the weather tends to be the clearest with the lowest risks of rainfall, at least overall. Heavy winds and rain can require the tour company to cancel or rebook your flight. This also makes it a good idea to book any helicopter tour a day earlier in your vacation, making it, so you have plenty of opportunities to reschedule. Never book a tour on the last day of your vacation for the same reason!