Note: Oahu has not been impacted by the West Maui wildfires. The Hawaii Tourism Authority asks that travelers be mindful during their visits as residents navigate the aftermath of the tragic event.
After exploring Oahu’s land attractions and snorkeling in its waters, see the island in all its glory from the air on a helicopter ride. Consulting both traveler sentiment and expert input, U.S. News identified the following Oahu helicopter tours as some of the best. Whether you’re indulging your adventurous side and flying with the doors off or simply along for the ride (and the views), you’ll enjoy varied and beautiful scenery along with expert commentary from your pilot.
Rainbow Helicopters – Royal Crown of Oahu
Price: From $395
Duration: 1 hour
Rainbow Helicopters’ Royal Crown of Oahu tour provides an overview of some of the island’s most sought-after sights and attractions. During the hourlong trip, passengers may see Lanikai Beach, the Makapu’u Lighthouse, Sacred Falls, the Dole Plantation and many other gorgeous sights. Along the way, pilots offer commentary about various points of interest – an element of the once-in-a-lifetime experience that tour-takers appreciate. Adventurous flyers also recommend opting for the doors-off option for its unobstructed views.
Prices start at $395 per person. Flights depart Honolulu International Airport hourly each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., though exact times may vary by day of the week. Rainbow Helicopters also offers 50-minute sunset tours, among other flights.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters – Blue Skies of Oahu
Price: From $349
Duration: 50 minutes
These approximately 50-minute trips offer passengers an aerial view of the island’s top sights, such as Diamond Head State Monument, Hanauma Bay, Waimanalo Beach, the Nuuanu Valley rainforest and more. Pilots, who are also certified guides, share information about the island’s natural wonders, and they generally win praise for their knowledge and insight.
Flights take off several times each day starting at 8 a.m., though exact departures times may vary by day. Ticket prices start at $349 per person. Hoping to book a longer flight? Blue Hawaiian also offers 65-minute tours, as well as private helicopter tours.
Magnum Helicopters – The Doors Off Helicopter Adventure
Price: From $350
Duration: 50 minutes
Ideal for thrill-seekers and photographers who want an unobstructed view of Oahu’s beauty, this helicopter flight offers visitors the chance to fly with an open door. The 50-minute trip promises a panoramic view of popular historical attractions, such as Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri Memorial and the Natural Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, as well as Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Ko’olau mountain range and the Ka’a’awa Valley. Pilots double as guides, and reviewers consistently call their commentary informative and engaging.
Tickets start at $350 and flights leave several times Monday to Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Flights can accommodate four passengers. Magnum Helicopters also offers this tour with a mountaintop landing (fees apply).
Honolulu Helicopter Tours
Price: From $359
Duration: 1 hour
During this 60-minute flight, you’ll explore everything the North Shore and South Shore of Oahu has to offer. You’ll not only see craters and historic sites like Pearl Harbor, but also Kaneohe Bay and the Sacred Falls. Riders not only rave about the views, but also praise the pilots for sharing many interesting facts.
Fees start at $359 per person. If you wish to have this ride as a private experience, you can do so for an extra fee. Tour departures can vary, but you can expect departures from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Honolulu Helicopters also offers 18- and 30-minute flights around the island.