Your Big Island helicopter tour begins at the Kona airport, where you’ll meet your pilot and board a luxurious Bell 407 helicopter. From the moment you lift off from the airport pavement, you’re instantly surrounded by fields of black lava that give way to sandy white coves, and the turquoise shoreline flecked with white waves is a stark contrast to the sea of black lava that’s seemingly frozen in time. Through the helicopter’s comfortable two-way radio set, your pilot is able to explain the surroundings and tell stories of sights down below, and you can also ask questions or just marvel at the coast at your feet.
While en route to Volcanoes National Park, you’ll fly over three of Hawaii’s tallest mountains: Hualalai, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa volcanoes loom stoically just out the window. As you descend the east flank of Mauna Loa volcano, the steam and 'vog' from Kilauea volcano will gradually come into view, and your pilot will assess the mountain’s activity and find a spot where the volcanic action can only be seen from the air. Watch below as the landscape steams and sends puffs of smoke towards the sky, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll even get the chance to see lava spilling directly into the sea. Next, fly to Hilo for a quick touchdown before boarding a comfortable coach, which will transport you to Volcanoes National Park to explore Kilauea on foot. This volcano has been erupting since 1983, and, on easy walks of up to two miles, your guide will help you navigate the rainforest that clings to the volcano’s slopes, and take you through the Thurston Lava Tube that weaves through a volcanic tunnel.
Over a picnic lunch at a scenic lookout, hear legends of how Kilauea volcano is home to the Hawaiian fire goddess, Pele. Once you’ve finished hiking the trails and exploring the mountain on foot, you’ll drive back to Hilo for a scenic flight home along the Hamakua Coast.