The Ultimate Guide To Helicopter Tours

From a sunset over the Grand Canyon to the morning mist rising off Maui's volcanoes, there's no denying that some of nature's most spectacular views are best seen from above. There is no better way to take in these aerial vistas than on a helicopter tour. Whether you're looking to add a touch of adventure to your beach vacation or want to check an item off your 'bucket list,' a helicopter tour is an activity the whole family can enjoy.

Plus, there are helicopter tour operators in just about every corner of the world, meaning wherever your travels take you, chances are you'll be able to find a tour that takes you soaring. Ready to lift off? Here's everything you need to know about booking a helicopter tour.

How Do You Choose a Helicopter Tour?

With so many operator choices and itineraries available, deciding on the right helicopter tour can feel overwhelming. To help narrow down your options, consider the following factors:

  • Location. Will you be taking your tour in Hawaii, Alaska, Kashmir, or someplace else entirely? It's important to choose a tour that takes place in an area that interests you so you can make the most of your time in the air.
  • Duration. Helicopter tours can range from 30 minutes to several hours. Choose an itinerary that matches your timeframe and budget. Keep in mind that longer tours will usually cost more.
  • Group size. Due to size limitations, most helicopter tours accommodate groups of six people or less, which makes them ideal for couples or small families. However, if you're traveling with a larger group, some operators offer custom charters for larger parties.
  • Intensity level. Are you looking for a leisurely sightseeing experience or something with a bit more adrenaline? Adventure junkies will want to look for helicopter tours that include activities like heli-skiing, while those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground can opt for a calmer sightseeing tour instead.

Once you've considered all the above factors, it's time to start shopping for helicopter tour operators. For the best selection and prices, book your tour at least a few weeks in advance.

What Are Some Popular Places to Take Helicopter Tours?

  • Grand Canyon. One of the most popular places in the world to take a helicopter ride, the Grand Canyon offers several different types of tours, including flying over the North and South Rims as well as dipping below the canyon rim into the Dragoon Corridor, which is the widest and deepest section of the canyon.
  • Maui. Helicopters are one of the only ways to see Maui's inaccessible coastline and volcanic peaks up close. In addition, most operators offer doors-off flights for an even more immersive experience.
  • New York City. A helicopter ride is one of the best ways to get an aerial view of all five boroughs and see landmarks like Central Park, Ellis Island, and Yankee Stadium from above. If you're short on time or are on a budget, consider opting for a shorter ride rather than a longer tour.

A helicopter tour is the perfect way to add some excitement and breathtaking views to your next vacation. With so many amazing locations around the world offering tours, there's sure to be one that's perfect for you.