My family came out to visit, and I had heard that the best way to really understand all that the Garden Isle has to offer you have to see it by Helicopter. With both my father and brother being helicopter pilots we went with the company with the highest safety reviews as well as the experience that allows you to have the doors off while you fly for the most thrilling views and perspective while flying.
The route of our flight took us through Waimea Canyon, Mt. Waialeale, the Na Pali Coast and throughout some of the most breathtaking cascades of waterfalls we have ever seen. 5 minutes into your flight you will realize why Kauai is named “The Garden Isle" pretty quick.
“The Flight takes around one hour and takes you throughout the rugged splendor of the Na Pali Coast, the deep colorful gorges of Waimea Canyon, magnificent Manawaiopuna (“Jurassic”) Falls, and, weather permitting, the breathtaking Mt. Waiale’ale Crater, which is the site of Kauai’s last volcanic eruption 1.5 million years ago.” - Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours Website.
When you visit Kauai no matter what you do everyday will feel like the highlight of your trip but if you only have one or two weeks I can almost guarantee a helicopter flight with Mauna Loa will be #1. The pilots are professional and have wonderful conversations with you the entire flight.
The MLH pilots give you the lay of the land and educate you on all things regarding what areas are public and private and some of the more intimate facts about the island you might not be able to read in a brochure or online review. In just under an hour (the duration of the flight) you will get a fantastic Hawaiian history lesson with a bird’s eye view, a rocking playlist, and a pilot that clearly loves his job.
The best part about booking with MLH is having the opportunity to be guaranteed a window seat to experience the breathtaking beauty. This means you won’t be stuck in a middle seat sandwiched between people you might not know. The doors off option is absolutely the way to go, not only does it give you the best photo experience, it makes everything feel so much more immersive. Make sure you wear a long sleeve top when the doors as it can get a bit breezy sometimes.
My favorite section of the island is The Napali Coast. All of the valleys, beaches, caves and waterfalls on the Na Pali Coast are inaccessible by land, which is why a helicopter tour is the best way to see it all. The Na Pali Coast has some of the most pristine blue ocean beaches as well as the most dramatic coastline I have ever seen. Make sure to either book a sunset cruise or a helicopter to see the coastline in all its beauty.
All in all it was a great trip and hopefully after reading this it will make you want to plan a trip to support the Kauai economy once they open up their travel restrictions. The MLH staff is amazing and they made our helicopter tour educational and the views were breathtaking.