Top 5 Oahu Helicopter Tours

When you think of towering waterfalls, lush mountain ranges, and miles of white-sand beaches, the island of Oahu might not be the first place that comes to mind. While islands like Maui and Kauai are known for their lushness, on Oahu, Waikiki’s cosmopolitan streets garner most of the attention. However, Waikiki only takes up a fraction of space on Oahu. Beyond the city, the island is home to craggy sea cliffs, verdant mountains, miles of beaches, and the occasional 1,000+ foot waterfall (no biggie). Yet, the blend of both manmade and natural beauty are what makes Oahu helicopter tours so appealing. On a single trip, you can peer down into the metropolitan heartbeat of the island, and mere minutes later, find yourself deep within a narrow valley.

Top Oahu Helicopter Tours

There is a good reason why these tours are praised as a must-do. But don’t take it from us, take to the skies yourself, and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.  Here are our top 5 picks for the best helicopter tours on Oahu:


The Oahu Experience VIP Private Tour


Top 5 Oahu Helicopter Tours Air Views

When it comes to Oahu helicopter tours, this VIP excursion is truly the ultimate Oahu experience. With a maximum of three passengers, this tour explores Oahu from top to bottom- from the mountain to the ocean, from the windward to the leeward side.

Departing out of Honolulu Airport, the excursion begins with a flight over the tropical metropolis of Waikiki en route to the windward side. This route passes over the ancient volcanic puʻus of Diamond Head and Koko Head before reaching Makapuʻu Point, home to the iconic Makapuʻu Lighthouse.

Beyond Makapuʻu, Oahu’s entire windward coast is spread out before you. As the flight heads north, you’ll be treated to views of the gaping Kaʻaʻawa Valley (made famous by Jurassic Park), Chinaman’s Hat, and even Sacred Falls, which has been closed to the public since 1999. From here, you’ll speed over to the north shore, or as surfers call it, the Seven Mile Miracle. Here you can take in views of famous surf breaks like Waimea Bay and Pipeline.

Last but not least, this flight concludes with a slow flyover of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial before heading back to Honolulu Airport.

Know Before You Go:

● Flight time totals about 55-60 minutes. Comparatively, it would take an entire day to complete the same route by car!
● This tour can be booked doors on or doors off at no extra charge.
● This flight can accommodate a maximum of three passengers. There are no middle seats on this tour!



Oahu Pro Photography Flight

Top 5 Oahu Helicopter Tours Air Shots

Are you a photographer looking to get the most creative, awe-inspiring shots while you’re on Oahu? Put the drone away; we’ve got a better suggestion. This hour-long Oahu Pro Photography Flight tours the island sans commentary (which you’ll usually get from the pilot on standard helicopter tours) and visits some of Oahu’s most famous landmarks, like the Kaneohe Sandbar and Kaʻaʻawa Valley (i.e., Jurassic Valley)

This also gives professional photographers a chance to capture off-limit sites, like the Stairway to Heaven- a 3,922-step staircase that climbs the Koʻolau Mountain Range- and Sacred Falls, which was once a state park but has been closed to the public since 1999.

Know Before You Go:

● This is a customizable flight for pro photographers. The tour company will work with you to find the right light and positioning and help you obtain permission to visit private areas.
● Loose items are prohibited on doors-off flights, so don’t expect to be changing camera lenses mid-flight. However, you are free to use loose items if you can secure them to your wrist via a strap. No one wants to get hit by a flying lens that came plummeting down from a helicopter!
● This tour can carry a maximum of three passengers and a minimum of two.



The Magnum P.I. Experience Private Tour – (Not Currently Running)

Magnum PI Helicopter Tour

If you’re a Magnum P.I. fan, you probably remember scenes of T.C.’s chopper speeding over different areas of Oahu. The tropical scenes in this iconic T.V. show have inspired generations of travelers to visit Oahu. Now, thanks to this Magnum P.I. Experience Tour, you can live out a scene from one of the most iconic television shows filmed in Hawaii.

This tour circumnavigates the entire windward side of the island, starting from Honolulu Airport. After a quick pass over Waikiki, the flight heads over the rugged east side, dotted with bays and beaches like Hanauma Bay and Makapuʻu. From there, you’ll skirt along the windward coast towards the shimmering waters of Kaneohe Bay and the gaping Kaʻaʻawa Valley. Countless scenes from Magnum P.I. were filmed in this valley, which was made famous by Jurassic Park.

After you travel over steep waterfalls, deep valleys, and broad bays, you’ll buzz over to the north shore to check out some world-class surfing locations. Then, when it’s time to head back to the airport, you’ll conclude with a relaxed flight over the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Know Before You Go:

● To get the authentic Magnum P.I. experience, book this tour doors off! This excursion operates doors on or doors off at no extra cost.
● Flight time ranges from about 45-50 minutes.
● This tour can accommodate three passengers max, making for an ultra-private experience.


South Shore Experience

Top 5 Oahu Helicopter Tours Waikiki

Waikiki has long been the Pacific city of dreams, home to glittering beaches, the iconic Diamond Head Crater, and towering skyscrapers. Here, metropolitan life and raw natural beauty blend to create one of the most famous cities in the world and one of the globe’s most popular vacation destinations.

This 25-minute helicopter tour explores both the linear beauty of Waikiki and the natural wonders that lie just beyond the fabled city. You’ll buzz past Waikiki’s skyscrapers and beaches, keeping your eyes peeled for surfers in the water before heading around the southern flank of Diamond Head. The city fades to reveal the ragged east side, home to Hanauma Bay’s famous snorkeling spot and the towering Koko Head. Before long, this craggy coast reaches Makapuʻu Point, home to a lighthouse, rocky sea cliffs, and a golden strip of sand. From the air, you’ll also be greeted by views of Oahu’s windward coast spread out before you as you begin your flight back to the airport.

Know Before You Go:

● This tour is entirely private and only takes passengers within the same party. The maximum number of guests is three.
● Have a particular time of day in mind for your flight? This tour is offered throughout the day, but you’ll need to book well in advance to secure your preferred spot.
● Doors on or doors off? It’s up to you! There is no extra charge for either


Complete Island Oahu


Top 5 Oahu Helicopter Tours Oahu

On this complete island air tour of Oahu, no stone is left unturned. This excursion visits Oahu’s most famous and recognizable sites, from the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor to the sweeping views at Kaʻaʻawa Valley, also known as Jurassic Valley. In the span of an hour, you’ll visit Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Kaneohe Bay, Kaʻaʻawa Valley, the North Shore, Dole Plantation, and the Waianae Mountain Range- that itinerary would take days to complete on the ground. Not to mention, you’ll also have the best seat in the house.

Know Before You Go:

● Your pilot will also be your tour guide. In fact, pilots on this tour are also State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides.
● Only the best choppers are used on this tour. You’ll be flying in either an Airbus EC130 or an Airbus ES350. Both are top of the line in comfort and safety.
● This is a shared tour. Individual seats can be booked.



Looking for something else?

Check out what to do while visiting Oahu.

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