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August 14, 2005
I purchased our certificates online through Hawaiisavers on Ebay for $215 a pair. I called ahead to make our reservations since we were traveling in peak time.
Although the helicopters take off from the airport, you check in at their office near Hilo Hatties. They shuttle you to the take off-site. Seating is prearranged by weight of the travelers, and each helicopter seats six.
We chose Kauai for the helicopter ride because of the NaPali coastline. It is only visible by air or sea. They videotape your takeoff and arrival and fill in with a typical air tour for your option to buy a DVD or VHS recording of your trip. They showed ours on the ride back, and we ended up purchasing it.
The ride is breathtaking. You wear headsets, through which the pilot explains what you are seeing and offers history about the island. Ours was a little light-spoken and sometimes hard to hear. There is no explaining the beauty of the view. Don't be disappointed if it is overcast on your scheduled day. Rain fills the waterfalls and adds in the sun for a rainbow. We saw a beautiful one, but I wasn't sure if my flash was turned off yet, so I didn't get a picture. You can really only take pictures out your one side, but most of the time, the pilot will face both directions before leaving that area.
Having done this once, I would not do it again, but I would recommend it for a one-time splurge.
From journal First Hawaii Trip - Kauai - Week One
St. Louis, Missouri
July 7, 2002
This is the best way to see all of Kauai! The colors are unbelievable! The Napali Coast is awesome from the helicopter---as well as the canyon and east side. This is also the only way you'll be able to see the many waterfalls throughout the canyon and the wettest point in the USA, Mount Waialeale which gets up to 400 inches of rain per year. When we flew over it, it was raining lightly, just enough to make a beautiful rainbow! We also flew over Wailua Falls --- made popular in the show Fantasy Island. You'll also be able to see where parts of South Pacific, Jurassic Park, Outbreak, North, and other motion pictures were filmed.
We got a buy one, get one free helicopter ride from Pahio for touring the resort. Regular price is $165/person for just under an hour tour. Their phone number is 1-888-245-HELI (1-888-245-4354) .
From journal Kauai--the Garden isle
July 3, 2002
As you take off you feel like your floating in mid-air over the ocean. The pilot put on all different kinds of music which set the pace of the tour. As we flew into the valley were Jurassic Park was filmed the movie's theme was playing. It was a sensation like no other. We then went on to the Na Pali Coast. The scale of the aircraft was miniscule compared to the towering cliffs. The whole experience is very humbling. Two thumbs up for the helicopter ride.
From journal Wornderful Kauai Vacation