A Honolulu helicopter tour is a must on your trip to Oahu. A helicopter ride is something a lot of people have on their bucket list and Hawaii is the perfect place to do it.
There are so many different options when looking for a helicopter tour, how do you choose the best one? Which options are worth the splurge?! Let's go over what you need to know and what to book.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, special thanks to Magnum Helictopters!
The price of a Honolulu helicopter tour varies from about $169.00 - $339.00 plus tax and fuel charge. With all fees included you are looking at $230.00-to $440.00. This depends on the length of the flight and where they fly from.
Shorter trips are cheaper and leaving from Honolulu airport tends to be cheaper as the airport has space for many different tour providers.
Why take a Honolulu helicopter tour?
Okay, now that the sticker shock has hit, why should you even consider doing this?! Well, I think that it's worth doing at least once for everyone.
Hawaii is stunning from the ground, but from a helicopter? It's even better. You can take in the best views of the natural wonders and landmarks all across the island. Choosing the right tour, you'll see all of Oahu's top attractions from above. The water also looks incredibly beautiful. There's really nothing like it.
If you love adventure, then you'll love this experience. There are many different doors-off helicopter rides as options for a better view and a more exciting flight. We did this option on our trip and it was really scary but also fun! There are plenty of safety measures in place to make sure you feel comfortable during the flight.
Want to learn more about the island? Helicopter tours also provide an opportunity to learn more about the island from your pilot. If you choose the right tour, your pilot will also double as a guide sharing more about the island, facts about the areas you are flying over, and answering your questions in flight. You'll get to fly over natural wonders as well as history places in Honolulu.
Best Tour Options
In my opinion, Magnum Helicopters is a clear choice when booking a helicopter tour in Honolulu. When I was researching, I looked for the following criteria:
Length of trip
Variety of sites on the ride
Magnum Helicopters came out on top. I found others that were cheaper, but they were much shorter. I found others that showed the same things on their tours, but they were more expensive. I also found Magnum Helicopters to be the most responsive when I was asking them for information and details about the trip leading me to feel that safety/proactive responsiveness from the beginning!
Below are the options for rides with Magnum Helicopters.
50-minute doors-off helicopter tour: see the top sites on the island of Oahu. Starting in Honolulu, flying over Waikiki, Diamond Head, Koko Head, around to Sacred Falls on the east side, over North Shore, then back through the center of the island. More on this tour below since it is the one we took on our trip!
Navy Seal Experience: This is the most adventurous Honolulu helicopter tour option they have! Go on a doors off trip with a Navy SEAL. Depart in your own private helicopter, take the plunge into the ocean below, then scuba dive into the breathtaking views of the underwater world with your own Navy SEAL Instructor/guide.
Mountain Top landing rides: This is the most romantic option. They take you to a private landing spot way up in the mountains, only accessible by helicopter. Enjoy amazing views from the ridgeline above Kualoa Ranch. Standing atop the dramatic ridges is breathtaking & inspiring. Lots of people use this trip as a proposal, to renew vows, etc. It includes refreshments and light snacks.
We chose the 50-minute ride which starts at $295 a person. This includes your ride, photos before flight, and narration in flight. They offer other add-ons like the Magnum PI experience, video of the entire flight, lanyards to hold your phone, and upgrading to "First Class" so you are guaranteed a seat in the front.
Highlights on the tour we took (50 minute ride over Oahu):
Tour begins with a beautiful view of Keehi Lagoon and continues over historic Honolulu Harbor, Aloha Tower, and the Natural Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. While flying over these beautiful landmarks, you’ll also get an incredible birds-eye view of the Koolau mountains, Ala Moana Beach Park, and Waikiki Beach.
Next on the tour are some of Oahu’s most stunning vistas, including Kaawa Valley, Sacred Falls, the North Shore, and more. Finally, your tour concludes with a breathtaking view of Oahu’s most historic sights, including Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, and the Battleship Missouri.
I sat in the middle in the front for our ride and WOW it was incredibly beautiful to be able to see those panoramic views of Oahu from a helicopter. If you can afford the upgrade to the first class seats, I do recommend it. I also felt a little safer ni the front right next to our helicopter pilot.
We absolutely loved every minute of our Honolulu helicopter tour over Oahu. I can't recommend this experience enough when you are in Hawaii! It deserves a spot on everyone's bucket list.