Big Island Experience
For those of you who want it all, the full island VIP adventure tour is for you! It’s all of our helicopter tours of the Big Island rolled into one, plus an active volcano!
The Big Island Experience Tour is sold as a private charter. We do not sell seats individually.
The R44 will comfortably seat 3 passengers and the R66 will take 4 passengers. Pricing for the tour is based on the helicopter being used – So the R44 (3 Passenger) will be sold at $1680 whilst the R66 (4 Passenger) will be sold at $2240. This is equal to $560 per person.
See Kilauea & More on Our Big Island Helicopter Tour.
Departing from Kona International Airport, we head straight to Kilauea by way of the saddle running between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, Hawaii’s tallest mountains.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on earth and has been continuously erupting since 1974. Here, we explore the East Rift Zone of Kilauea, including Kilauea Crater, Pu’u O’o Vent, and its lava flows that are currently entering the Pacific Ocean.
The tour then flies north up the windward side of the island passing Hilo town, the wettest town on earth, and the heavenly Hamakua Coast. Then we whisk you up north to explore the seven windward valleys of Kohala. The first stop is the windward side of the Kohala Mountains, where we fly the coastline of Waipio Valley and then move westward to Waimanu Valley. Waimanu can experience annual rainfall of up to 200 inches, fueling 1500-foot waterfalls, some of the tallest in all of Hawaii.
Following the valleys west, we fly over Honopue, Honokea, Honokane Iki, and the historic valley of Honokane Nui or Big Valley and Pololu. We climb and cross over the summit of Kohala, the oldest of the five volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii.
Your tour concludes with a beautiful coastline flight over sparkling ocean waters, ancient lava flows, and the spectacular luxury resorts that make their homes on the island’s leeward shores.
- Total weight per seat cannot exceed 275 pounds.
- Cancellations or delays to the flight are at the pilot’s discretion for safety reasons, which may include inclement weather.
- 24-hour notice for customer cancellations
- Minimum two (2)passengers, maximum three (3)
|Big Island Experience|
|Group of 1||$1,624.66|
|Groups of 2||$812.33|
|Group of 3||$541.55|
|Group of 4||$541.55|
Tours canceled after 24 hours prior to the flight, or passengers who fail to show up 30 minutes prior to flight time, will be billed the full price of the tour booked.
• Passengers who cancel their flight with less than 24 hours notice, but re-book their tour for another day, will incur a service charge fee of $100.
• Passengers who miss their scheduled flight time due to a late check-in (Check-in is 30 minutes prior to your scheduled flight time) will be charged a fee of $100 if they are able to reschedule. If they are unable to reschedule their tour, the passenger will be charged a fee equal to the price of the tour booked.
What are the advantages of a helicopter tour versus an airplane tour?
Because of their agility and small turning radius, helicopters can fly you right into the heart of Hawaii’s geological gems, such as the many lush valleys and sprawling canyons, while fixed‐wing aircraft have to circle above. Helicopters allow you a more intimate look at the terrain. Because our pilots can slow down and turn the aircraft around some of the famous highlights, you can take a more leisurely look and are given enhanced photo opportunities. Also, when was the last time you were in a helicopter?
When is the best time to go on a helicopter tour?
There is no short answer. Although Hawai’i enjoys plentiful sunshine year-round, we do experience summer and winter seasons. Precise flying weather conditions are often impossible to predict, especially in winter, because of the interplay of dynamic weather patterns and the island’s unique topography. Due to the combination of high mountainous peaks and shoreline throughout the islands, each hour of the day shows each island, literally, in a different light. Wind speeds and cloud formation also change throughout the day, resulting from variations in temperature. Ultimately, the time of day you book depends on your preference and itinerary, but we recommend choosing a tour date early on in your stay. This allows you more opportunities to find a different tour time with us should the weather not cooperate for the original flight.
Will there be other passengers on our flight?
Big Island Tours:
No. At Mauna Loa Helicopters, we feel that you should not have to share your flight. Therefore, we fly exclusively private tours for parties of two, three, or four. On our most popular tour for two, we purposely leave the third passenger seat vacant. This way you will not have to share the aircraft with any second party. This is your tour.
No, all bookings are private tours.
We offer both guaranteed VIP private tours and also the option of a cheaper shared-seating tour in our helicopters.
Proposal flights are only available on a private VIP tour.
I am traveling by myself. Can I take your tour?
Kauai and Big Island Tours:
Yes. The requirement is to pay for a minimum of two seats on our standard adventures. You can also privately charter the aircraft. Please call the phone number listed for the island you are visiting for more details.
We offer the option of single-seat bookings on all shared-seating tours in Oah’u.
What is better for me, a doors-on or doors-off helicopter tour?
Both options allow for optimal viewing, as each window seat has wide windows extending from the top of your head to your waist. The choice to fly with or without doors depends on your priorities and comfort level. In a closed aircraft, you are shielded from wind exposure and you will hear music and narration clearly. It is a very serene way of taking in the scenery through the large windows. If you are game for a more visceral experience or photography is important to you, our doors-off adventure is for you. Floor-to-ceiling openings allow you to look straight down into waterfalls and sea caves, and glare from windows in your photos is no factor. Because the helicopter is open to the elements, you will be exposed to wind and cooler temperatures caused by airspeed and altitude. For your comfort, please follow our recommendations on how to dress appropriately for your doors-off helicopter flight. The airframe does protect you and your camera equipment well during light showers or mist. If some members of your party would like the extra comfort of a door, we can remove some doors and leave others on. However, all seating arrangements are subject to weight and balance calculations. For doors-on and doors-off tours, please abide by our recommendations on how to prepare for your flight so you can make the most of it. We don’t charge any more either way you choose.
What will we see on our private helicopter tour?
On these magnificent islands, there is much to be discovered by air. Certain of the countless remarkable features have, deservedly, garnered special interest and are most popular for aerial viewing. Weather permitting, our pilots will explore with you all of each island’s most famous geological features as outlined in our tour descriptions. Sometimes, wind and weather conditions necessitate a deviation from the usual tour route. In these instances, our pilots will attempt to show off other spectacular scenery not normally included on the tours, as all islands offer more hidden wonders to please the eye than can possibly be covered on a single flight. We guarantee to showcase spectacular scenery and breathtaking views that are not obtainable by car or trail.
What if our flight gets canceled due to weather?
If you purchase your reservation online, full payment is collected at the time of the booking. If we cancel a flight due to weather, there is naturally no fee for you whatsoever, your payment will be returned, and you are not required to rebook your tour. We are happy to reschedule your flight based on availability.
What is the best seat for photographs?
On our aircraft, other than the R66 on the Big Island and O’ahu, there are no middle seats, so each passenger can enjoy the scenery to the fullest from his or her guaranteed window seat. Your pilot sits in the front right seat, which leaves the front left and a rear left and right seat for passengers.
Our pilots are skillful in selecting a flight path that affords passengers on both sides of the aircraft the same amazing views.
What is your safety record?
Flight safety is our principal concern, and we are proud of our impeccable safety record. We have a zero-tolerance maintenance policy, meaning any issue, regardless of its effect on airworthiness of the aircraft, is checked out promptly and thoroughly. With extensive training and flying experience, each of our pilots has acquired expert knowledge on the island’s unique weather and terrain considerations, and this knowledge is a key factor in making sound decisions and navigating the skies safely. For your added safety, we do not practice “hot-loading.” We shut down our aircraft in between all tours to allow for a thorough pre-flight inspection prior to each and every tour.