Aerial views of Diamond Head carter, Waikiki and Oahu mountains.

7 Best Waikiki Helicopter Tours in Oahu (2024)

Affiliate Disclosure for Destination Checkoff

Are you looking for the best helicopter tour in Waikiki, Honolulu?

Oahu island of Hawaii is well-known for its lush landscapes, jagged mountains, and pristine beaches. On our family trip to Oahu, I was in complete awe of its beauty, and Waikiki was my favorite place on the island.

 If you’re spending time in Waikiki, taking a helicopter tour is the best way to enjoy aerial views of Oahu, as most of the island can only be seen by air! They can be a little pricey, but they are definitely worth the expense.

You’ll get to see parts of Oahu that most travelers won’t. See the peaks of mountains, volcanic cliffs, valleys, waterfalls, and iconic landmarks like Diamond Head from the sky. 

Stunning views, paired with the adrenaline of a helicopter ride? Sounds like a win to me! Plus, you’ll get amazing photographs. Want even more excitement? Opt for a doors-off tour and watch the ground fall away as you rise into the sky.  

It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you’ll see plenty of places to which you wouldn’t be able to drive (or even hike). I have taken a helicopter tour and loved every minute of it.

I’ve researched various helicopter tour offerings in Honolulu and compiled a list of the top 7 best Waikiki helicopter tours, so you don’t have to do the work!

Don’t have time to read the whole article?

➡ My top pick is this Doors On or Off
Royal Crown of Oahu – 60 minute helicopter tour over Oahu
to get a complete circle island tour of Oahu.

Whether you want a private tour, a circle island flight, or a quick 20-minute flight, there’s a tour option below. Let’s get into it!

My Top 3 Picks: Best Waikiki Helicopter Tours

#1 Top Pick

Resort buildings in Oahu, Waikiki Beach, ocean and Diamond Head crater in the backdrop.

Royal Crown of Oahu
✔️ 60 minutes flight over Oahu
✔️ Helicopter Doors on or off

#2 Top Pick

7 days in Oahu itinerary

Isle Sights Unseen
✔️ 45 minutes flight over Oahu
✔️ Helicopter Doors on or off

#3 Top Pick

Views from Nuuanu Pali Lookout Oahu

Path to Pali Passage
✔️ 30 minutes flight over Oahu
✔️Helicopter Doors on or off

7 Best Helicopter Tours in Waikiki, Honolulu

Each of the seven tours below is highly rated and offers something different. Some are more comprehensive and provide full island tours; others explore the south shore, and a few offer extras to make your experience even more special. 

Booking your flight at the beginning of your trip may help you decide what places you want to return to in the future. 

Worried about turbulence? Book a flight early in the day to get the best light and the least amount of wind. You can also head out in the evening and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the sky.

1. Royal Crown of Oahu

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 60 minutes |   Group max: 15 people 

Helicopter Doors: On or Off 

Book it!

Resort buildings in Oahu, Waikiki Beach, ocean and Diamond Head crater in the backdrop seen from Waikiki helicopter tours.

There’s no better way to explore Oahu by air— and the Royal Crown of Oahu’s Helicopter tour is one of the best on the island!

This tour offers multiple departure times, so you can easily fit it into your schedule. Choose whether you want the doors on or off for your flight, then strap in!

You’ll get a complete overview of this gorgeous Hawaiian island. Starting in Honolulu (right at the airport), you’ll see all the important landmarks.

Keep your eyes peeled as you pass by Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

You’ll see everything from gentle beaches, stunning volcanic cliffs, and the pristine forests and jagged cliffs of the Ka’a’awa Valley. 

On the way back, the helicopter will pass over the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor.

This full-hour tour is truly an incredible experience! In fact, previous guests have said it was the best excursion they did during their entire time on Oahu.

Anu’s Pro-Tip – If you take a doors-off flight, you’ll want to wear closed-toe shoes, a jacket, and tie your hair back tight.

Our pilot Tony was great. He was pointing out all of the attractions and sites below and ensured that we were all comfortable on our ride. While it was expensive, the sights and experience are life long memories. Well worth it. By the way, DOORS OFF

– Nicholas (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Royal Crown of Oahu – 60 minute helicopter tour over Oahu

2. Isle Sights Unseen

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 45 minutes |   Group max: 15 people 

Helicopter Doors: On or Off 

Book it!

View of Waikiki from Diamond Head Creater

Look no further than this highly-rated tour with Isle Sights Unseen for incomparable views of the island. 

For 45 minutes, you’ll cruise above the tiny island of Oahu and get a bird’s eye view. Choose from doors on or doors off tour when booking.

Cruise over the south shore, above the iconic Diamond Head monument, and then head towards the vibrant reefs of Hanauma Bay on the island’s eastern side.

You’ll see the tiny lighthouse above the cliffs of Makapu’u before heading inland. See the stunning Ko’olau Mountains and the magnificent Ka’a’awa Valley. 

As you explore the dramatic mountains, you’ll come upon Oahu’s highest waterfall, Sacred Falls. Soak in a complete, panoramic view of the cascading waters before turning back and heading over to the Dole Plantation.

Last but certainly not least, you can expect to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial before landing back at the airport.

The pilots for this tour know their stuff! So come prepared with questions— or at least just your camera! 

A phone strap for safety will be provided. 

Excellent people and pilot! Best experience of my life. Would do it again if we come back to Oahu. Cost vs experience is outstanding.

– Beverly (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Isle Sights Unseen – 45 minutes helicopter tour over Oahu

3. Path to Pali Passage

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 30 minutes |   Group max: 15 people 

Helicopter Doors: On or Off 

Book it!

Views from Nuuanu Pali Lookout Oahu

For a super fun 30-minute helicopter ride, this Path to Pali Passage tour is absolutely fantastic.

 Start your trip with views of the Honolulu skyline before heading towards the rugged mountains.

You’ll fly over the brilliant emerald-green waters of the Pacific for a view of the reefs of Hanauma Bay. 

Next, harken to days long past as you soar over volcanic cliffs and ancient volcanic outcroppings.

You’ll pass the three sharp peaks of Mount Olomana and then head towards the lush Nu’uanu Valley. 

Finally, finish your time in the air with a pass by Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. 

This is a fabulous way to tour Oahu’s vibrant scenery and enjoy parts of the island you might not see otherwise.

Plus, you can choose whether to keep the doors on or off for this tour.

Anu’s Pro-Tip: If you choose to keep the doors on, wear dark-colored clothing to keep it from reflecting off the window and obstructing your views. 

Our pilot was excellent! The views were absolute stunning! This tour was absolutely amazing!! This is a must do!

– Whitney (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Path to Pali Passage – 30 minute helicopter tour over Oahu

4. Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 50 minutes |   Group max: 4 people 

Helicopter Doors: Off 

Book it!

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay in Oahu

For a truly unforgettable experience, look no further than this open-door helicopter tour over Oahu. With a maximum of 4 people in a state-of-the-art helicopter (with no doors!), you will have a unique, intimate experience.

All 4 seats offer fantastic views, and you’ll learn about the sights you’re flying over through your pilot’s narration.

Like most tours on this list, you’ll start by flying over the south shore. As Waikiki fades, you’ll head towards the picturesque Waimanalo Beach. 

Next stop? Jurassic park! Just kidding— but you will see Ka’a’awa Valley, where the cult classic and other movies were filmed.  

You’ll also be flown to Sacred Falls, an 1100-foot-tall waterfall you can’t visit on the ground (at least not legally). Soak in the views of arguably the most gorgeous waterfall on the island before returning to the airport.

On the way home, you’ll head to the pineapple sea- the Dole Plantation. 

The pilots on this tour are professional, and you’re guaranteed a smooth flight. 

Want to take home more than just memories? Professional photos and a recorded video of your flight are available for purchase afterward as an additional souvenir. 

What an amazing experience. We are so glad we booked this tour. Seeing the entire island in all its beauty. The team is extremely professional and the experience with them was the highlight of our trip. Andrew was an amazing pilot with a wealth of knowledge. Don’t pass this up, it’s a must!

– Benjamin (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu

5. Private 60 Minutes Helicopter Tour in Honolulu

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 60 minutes |   Group max: 3 people 

Helicopter Doors: On 

Book it!

You won’t regret taking this private 60-minute helicopter tour. Spend a full hour seeing the famous landmarks, valleys, waterfalls, and mountains that draw so many visitors to the Gathering Place. 

You’ll see 7 different landmarks and areas on this gorgeous island. Start with an overview of Honolulu Harbor and the Ala Moana Beach Park. 

Next, peer into the volcanic tuff cone Diamond Head, one of the most famous landmarks on the island of Oahu. 

Then, you’ll soar into the volcanic cliffs and jagged mountain ranges. See Sacred Falls and the Halona blowhole, Chinaman’s Hat, and more.

This tour even provides a cell phone lanyard so you can take pictures without fear of losing your device from several hundred feet in the air. 

If you’re flying during whale season (December to March), you may even get the chance to see a majestic humpback whale from the air! 

Amazing experience! Our pilot was incredible! He gave an amazing tour of the island and pointed out so many landmarks! We loved seeing the waterfalls and turtles!

– Frances (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Private 60 Minutes Helicopter Tour in Honolulu

6. City By The Sea Helicopter Tour Doors Off or On

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 20 minutes |   Group max: 15 people 

Helicopter Doors: On or Off 

Book it!

views of sandy beach, ocean and rock stacks

This 20-minute City by the Sea tour offers a quick but fantastic helicopter flight with an aerial view of Oahu’s South Shore. 

Choose whether you want the doors on or off for this flight, then hop aboard and buckle your seatbelts! 

You’ll fly over the Honolulu Harbor and the south shore of Oahu. See the white sand of Waikiki surfers catching waves and the busy shops of the Ala Moana Center.  

No helicopter tour on Oahu would be complete without a spin around Diamond Head State Monument, where you can wave at hikers on the ridge beneath you and peer into the iconic volcanic cone.

You’ll also pass over Punchbowl Crater and the U.S. National Military Cemetery of the Pacific before heading to Pearl Harbor. 

It’s truly a fantastic experience, and you’re guaranteed to get amazing photos. 

Absolutely amazing, Highly recommend , our pilot was great ,we chose to have the doors off .I would definitely try again in the future.

– George (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
City By The Sea 20 Minute Helicopter Tour Doors Off or On

7. Private 45 Minute Helicopter Tour with Romantic Landing

Rating: 5/5  |  ⏳ Flight Time: 60 minutes |   Group max: 15 people 

Helicopter Doors: On or Off 

Book it!

View of the Diamond Head Crater from the top of the hike

Nothing says romance more than a little bit of adventure! This private helicopter tour with romantic landing is perfect for anyone celebrating a momentous occasion with their special someone. 

First, you’ll get to enjoy a gorgeous flight over Oahu. See Diamond Head, the South shore, and the Crystal clear waters of Makapu’u Point. Look forward to seeing Chinaman’s Hat, the three peaks of Mount Olomana, and the stunning Ka’a’awa Valley. 

Then, you’ll land in a private oasis. Here, you’ll be greeted with leis, chocolates, and champagne. Enjoy an intimate moment away from anyone else in a scenic location.  

Once you’re done there, you’ll head back to the airport. Along the way, see the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor. 

Whether planning this as a surprise or a special activity, this is a wonderful romantic excursion.

Harley and the rest of the rainbow crew were amazing! They helped make my proposal unique and memorable. The views and knowledge of the crew were outstanding. Enjoyed the whole trip!

– Stephen (See more reviews)

➡ Check rates and availability for the
Private 45 Minute Helicopter Tour with Romantic Landing

FAQs about going on a helicopter tour in Oahu

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about taking a helicopter tour in Honolulu on Ohau Island:

Girl sitting in a helicopter
Me about to take off on a helicopter tour

Are helicopter tours in Oahu safe?

Absolutely. The helicopter tour companies we recommend in Honolulu adhere to strict safety standards and regulations. They have experienced pilots, well-maintained helicopters, and excellent safety records. Rest assured, you’ll be in good hands as you soar above the stunning landscapes of Oahu.

Is a helicopter ride in Oahu worth it?

A helicopter ride in Oahu is definitely worth it for the spectacular views of lush green rainforests and waterfalls, access to remote areas that you cannot reach otherwise, unforgettable memories, and incredible photo opportunities. I believe a helicopter ride to be a bucket list experience for an island as beautiful as Hawaii.

How much do helicopter tours in Hawaii cost?

The cost of helicopter tours in Hawaii can vary depending on factors like the duration of the tour, the type of helicopter, and any additional services or add-ons you choose. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 per person for a memorable helicopter tour experience. Keep in mind that the price is a reflection of the incredible views and experiences you’ll enjoy.

What’s the best time to take a helicopter tour in Oahu?

The best time to take a helicopter tour in Waikiki is during the morning or late afternoon. These times offer the most favorable lighting conditions, allowing you to capture stunning photos of the island’s natural beauty. Additionally, the weather tends to be more stable during these hours, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable flight.

How long do helicopter tours in Waikiki typically last?

Helicopter tours in Waikiki can vary in duration, with options ranging from 20 minutes to over an hour. The duration often depends on the specific tour package you choose. Shorter tours provide a quick overview of the area, while longer tours allow you to explore more of the island’s breathtaking scenery.

What should I wear for a helicopter tour in Oahu?

Dress comfortably and wear lightweight, layered clothing. Hawaii’s tropical climate means that it can get warm, but the temperature can also drop at higher altitudes. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Most importantly, remember to wear closed-toe shoes for safety reasons.

Do I need to make reservations in advance for a helicopter tour in Waikiki?

Yes, it’s highly recommended to make reservations in advance. Helicopter tours in Waikiki are a popular attraction, and availability can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. Booking ahead of time ensures you secure your spot, and can plan your tour on a day and time that works best for you.

Can children go on helicopter tours in Oahu?

Yes, many helicopter tour companies in Oahu welcome children, but there may be age and weight restrictions. It’s advisable to check with the specific tour operator for their policies regarding children on board. Some tours also offer child-sized headsets, making the experience enjoyable and safe for young passengers.

What’s the cancellation policy for helicopter tours in Waikiki?

Cancellation policies can vary among tour companies, so it’s essential to review the terms and conditions when booking your tour. Typically, if you need to cancel or reschedule your tour due to unforeseen circumstances, there may be a window of time within which you can do so without incurring additional fees.

Do I need to bring anything specific for the helicopter tour?

Aside from dressing appropriately, bring a valid photo ID, as it may be required for check-in. It’s also a good idea to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views during your tour.

From personal experience, I know that wearing flowy dresses is not a good idea for ladies on a helicopter tour, especially on a doors-off tour, as its flying everywhere! Pants or shorts work best. Many tours provide secure storage for personal items while you’re in the air.

Are there weight restrictions for helicopter tours in Waikiki?

Yes, most helicopter tours have weight restrictions to ensure the safety and balance of the aircraft. These restrictions can vary, so it’s essential to check with the tour operator when booking. Some tours may also have additional fees for passengers who exceed weight limits.

More things to do in Waikiki

Now that you’ve discovered the perfect helicopter tour from the options above, be sure to explore these other unique things to do in Waikiki and add them to your itinerary for Oahu:

  • Take a Sunset Cruise in Waikiki – Enjoy breathtaking views of the Waikiki coastline and Diamond Head from the water while marveling at the sunset hues. This is my favorite thing to do in Waikiki as I love the epic views from the boat!
  • Experience a snorkeling tour in Oahu – Waikiki waters are renowned for their thriving turtle population and incredible marine life.

Where to stay in Waikiki

Selecting the ideal Waikiki stay is key to an unforgettable Oahu vacation. Here are my top picks:

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort
We stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort (mid-range) – A 22-acre beachfront paradise with pools, a lagoon, dining, and shops. Perfect for families and couples, and famous for Friday night fireworks. This is where we stayed, and we loved the resort and its proximity to Waikiki Beach and everything else in Honolulu!

OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel (mid-range) – Centrally located, modern rooms, a pool, and an on-site brewery. It is ideal for exploring nearby attractions and dining.

The Royal Hawaiian, Luxury Collection Resort (Luxury) – Iconic charm, modern luxury, ocean views, world-class dining, and impeccable service await at the “Pink Palace of the Pacific.”

Conclusion: Best Honolulu helicopter tours in Oahu

Helicopter tours are genuinely some of the most memorable experiences you can have. And Hawaii is the perfect place to splurge since so much of the island isn’t accessible any other way! 

As you soar through mountain peaks, over valleys, and past Sacred Falls, make sure to snap a lot of pictures— you won’t want to forget a thing. 

No matter which one of the best Waikiki helicopter tours you choose, you’re bound to have an amazing time.

Can’t decide yet which helicopter tour to take?

I recommend this Doors On or Off
Royal Crown of Oahu – 60 minute helicopter tour over Oahu
to get a complete circle island tour of Oahu.

More About Oahu

Check out these other posts about my trip to Oahu!