During my search for the perfect helicopter tour of Kauai, and there are a few to choose from, I chose Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. They have the Green Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Services and they have been awarded the Six Star Diamond Award for 5 years in a row! The tour that I chose was the Kauai Eco Adventure (50-55 minutes). Blue Hawaiian Helicopters provides State of the Art EcoStar Helicopters that are climate controlled and on this particular adventure, we flew on a new American Europter ECO-Star.
Upon check in, you are weighed-do not worry, they do not blurt out your weight; this is just so that the helicopter does not go over the allotted weight and balance. Next, you watch a video about your adventure, but it mainly covers safety, including where the first aid kits are located onboard, as well as the fire extinguishers and how to use them. After the video, you are given life vests to wear around your waist. Again....safety.
My group was driven to the heliport, located at Lihue Airport, by Brian. The thing I loved most about Brian was his humor. I felt the humor was important because a few people were nervous and it helped to calm them down. Before exiting the van, Brian went over even more safety precautions, including, when to enter and exit the helicopter. He also told us that we would have a microphone to communicate with our pilot. They have onboard cameras and cameras outside the helicopter to record your experience.
Our pilot for the day was Joffrey. As we began our adventure and flew over the coast, Joffrey explained to us that the island of Kauai has been featured in many films, including, Pirates of the Caribbean, 6 Days & 7 Nights, more recently, The Descendents and most notably, Jurassic Park!
During your flight, you fly over the Garden Isle of Kauai, Hanapepe Valley, and then on to Mana Waiapuna, commonly referred to as "Jurassic Park Falls". Next up is the Olokele Canyon and then the Waimea Canyon, known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". You also fly over Na Pali Coast, Bali Hai Cliffs, and the pristine blue waters of Hanalei Bay and Princeville resort area.
Joffrey taught us that sugar cane fields are abundant in Kauai, as well as coffee fields; which happen to be the largest coffee fields in the United Stated. We also learned that the two valleys are actually privately owned by a family named the Robbins. Back in 1880, they purchased two valleys for $15,000; today, those two valleys are estimated to be worth over $1 billion.
We finished our flight in the wettest spot on earth, Mt. Waialeale, the heart of the ancient volcano. This part of the valley gets an average rainfall of 450-500 inches a year. When you fly into the crater, you do experience some rain, but it is worth it to see the many 3000 foot waterfalls surrounding you! It was truly awe inspiring. To our luck, we also got a chance to see a couple of rainbows!
Upon decent, Joffrey gave us more safety instructions on how to descend from the helicopter. After we deplaned, we were able to take pictures with Joffrey and beside the helicopter. When you return to the office, they play the video of your journey and at that time, you are welcome to purchase your own memories for a small fee of only $25. I highly suggest this option because photos can only tell a story to a certain point. The videos are clear, professional, and they also include all commentary and questions from inside the helicopter.
I am very glad I chose this company. I loved how they reiterated safety and the staff was extremely nice and professional. Thank you Brian, Nani and Joffrey at Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.