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“Must do tour”

Mauna Loa Helicopters Tours
Ranked #3 of 33 Tours in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Must do tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

We had a 3 pm tour with Guy. Checkin was off site at 2:15 - eh. We were then shuttled over to the airport and waited a few min in the shade in chairs. Guy did the required safety talk and then we loaded up for our doors off ride. My DH remembered feeling a bit queasy after a previous heli ride and didn't come this visit since there were only 3 seats. Guy warned of some bumps over the ridge but none of us felt remotely queasy this ride - very smooth flying with no sudden moves. We didn't have jackets - 14 yr old in jeans and T and 12 yr old and I in slacks T's and long sleeve shirts. Guy put on heat (which blows out) but it was enough that we were comfy. I had my DSLR camera and found it a bit hard to see to take pics out my side due to wind but easy looking past my son on the other side. My 12 yr old in the front took some a GoPro videos. Guy was happy to chat and answer questions that mostly came from my 12 yr old. He did a great job explaining in a way the kids enjoyed. The tour was fantastic - such a pretty island. So far the kids are rating it favorite activity of our vacation. I loved the doors off for the great photos but I might consider doors on another time as it would be easier to look out. But was well worth doing at least once!

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1 Thank bktw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Worth every penny!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

We took a 55 min tour with Guy as our pilot on June 9th, 2014. Seeing Kauai from the air with the ability to get super close and hover is really a treat and entirely worth a fairly steep price. Guy was a true expert, sharing much about the island that was missed in other tours we had taken. He understood a lot about the geology and formation of the island, has lived on Kauai for most of his life, and even took the additional steps of doing extensive cultural/historical research on island history. He was a true professional in every way.

Two thoughts for would be travelers: 1) if you are mulling over whether it is worth paying the extra for a helicopter tour vs a small plane tour I emphatically encourage you to go with the chopper; you get deeper in the canyons and can hover closer to what you want to see; 2) if you closely read the negative reviews of helicopter companies in Hawaii, you will note that the majority of the bad experiences occurred because someone had a bad seat. This is precisely why you should go with Mauna Loa. They only fly four seated choppers (pilot +3) and everyone has a great view. They will also show you the sites from both sides of the aircraft turning 180 degrees so everyone gets a good extended view.

This is a great opportunity!

Visited June 2014
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2 Thank wordav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Well Worth It! An Absolute Must!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2014

First let me say... I get motion sickness in the back of the car. So I went into this with the mindset that I could do ANYTHING for an hour. My husband and I opted for the doors off tour! (If you are going to try to take any pictures.. doors off is a MUST!) We did get our tour cancelled two times prior to actually going. However, I didn't mind. The weather wasn't great and this company cared more about my safety than their profit! I appreciated that. We finally went up on try #3. It spit rain and was a little foggy but was still much better weather than the other attempts.

Our pilot was Guy! He was amazing. He felt like someone you had been friends with for a long time and he was just telling "stories". It made the time fly. I didn't feel well most of the trip and even asked Guy to land a little early. Even though we ended it early, I don't have a single regret about doing it. It was some spectacular views that the pictures don't capture.

My advice, spend the money, do the private tour, go doors off and enjoy! Next time we are back -- I will take more Dramamine and try it again!

Visited April 2014
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1 Thank ValerieH291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“ABSOLUTELY!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

Honestly, you can spend all this time, days, going around the island, but nothing compares to the one hour you spend touring around by helicopter.
there is just no way to see more than a third of the island.
apart from the necessity of the helicopter, doing it open doors is the way to go. what a great and exhilarating experience.
We went with the company because they were very friendly on the phone. They were located in a perfect spot for us. we were driven to the airport just a few minutes away once we did our paperwork.
the pilot was exceptional. we loved her. so sweet and knowledgeable.
i'm really happy with our decision to go with mauna loa. i am sure there are other good companies out there, but in the end, our experience couldn't have been better.

Visited May 2014
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1 Thank pete b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
98 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Amazing!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

My husband and I did the doors off tour in May 2014 at 11:30. The weather that day was perfect; we even got to go into Waialeale Crater!! Our pilot was Guy, who was super nice and made sure that we had a great time!! It was nice that we were the only ones on our tour. Highly recommend flying with Mauna Loa!!

Visited May 2014
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Thank Duvey711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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