Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Island” for a good reason. The island has lush vegetation, vibrant flowers, towering cliffs, glistening waterfalls, and massive canyons. All of which is surrounded by azure Pacific waters. When visiting Kauai, you will no doubt do some sightseeing. But since 80% of Kauai is unreachable by car, the best way to see the island is from above. To be more specific, in a private plane or helicopter.
Ali’i Air Tours and Charters has served the islands for over 32-years. Ali’i offers airplane, helicopter, and charter services which we’ll explore in more detail. Their helicopter packages are attractive because all tours are private, and seating is limited to three, one of which is the pilot. Passengers sit side-by-side and have window views. For an incredible sensation of flying, the helicopter can operate with doors off. Now don’t panic. This is perfectly safe and legal.
Regarding their airplane, Ali’i Air Tours & Charters is the only air charter company on Kauai that uses a twin-engine plane. So what? Well, the FAA requires commercial airplanes operating over water to have dual engines. The logic being that if one engine fails, the plane can fly to safety with the working engine. Ali’i uses the Partenavia P68 five-seater airplane whose wing sits on top of the fuselage. Along with the aircraft’s large windows and passenger’s having a window seat, everyone has a clear view.
Let’s explore their tour options:
Kauai Air Tour
The flight lasts 60-minutes and passengers wear headsets to cut down on prop noise and to listen to their pilot narrate the flight. This tour flies over iconic landmarks like the Napali Coast with 4,000 ft. sea cliffs, Waialeale Crater, and Manawaiopuna Waterfall, better known as Jurassic Falls.
Kauai & Nihau Air Tour
The flight lasts 90-minutes and takes in Kauai’s beautiful features and the island of Nihau that’s 17-miles off the west coast of Kauai. What makes this small island mysterious is that it seems to be untouched by time. Less than 200 natives live there with no roads, electricity, or other modern conveniences. They survive by hunting, gathering, and crafting beautiful shell leas that are cherished the world over.
Pearl Harbor Air Tour
The one-day tour gives you a bird’s eye view of Pearl Harbor at 1,000 ft. as you start to land at Oahu. Price includes round-trip airfare and a guided tour of Pearl Harbor.
Hawaii Five Island Tour
This tour is for those that want an aerial view of all five Hawaii islands. The flight lasts 5 hours, and you’ll need to call Ali’i for price information.
Kauai Helicopter Tours
The advantage helicopter tours have over airplanes tours is that they can fly lower and can hover. Add in the fact that they may fly without doors, and you’re in for an adrenaline-laced, beautiful ride of a lifetime. Like the airplane tours, the Kauai Helicopter tour passes over Kauai’s breathtaking natural wonders allowing you to take amazing pictures or footage with your GoPro or phone. Flights last for 60-minutes.
Kauai Helicopter Photo Flight
By far the most expensive tour available, this 60-minute flight is geared more for professional photographers or those wanting the perfect photo angle. Your pilot will narrate and maneuver the helicopter for you to get the shot of a lifetime.
Hawaii Private Air Charters
Skip the lines and the check-in hassles by booking a private flight to any of the other islands. Seating is limited to five along with luggage, and flights can be scheduled any time of the day or night.
If you’re in search of a tour of a lifetime with bird-eye views of Kauai’s breathtaking wonders, we suggest booking a tour with Ali’i Air Tours & Charters.
It’s common courtesy to tip your pilot. We found that in 2019, customers tipped pilots $10 per person for a 60-minute tour. For stellar service, guests tipped $20.