Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Maui Island & Molokai Helicopter Tour with Air Maui

I’m no stranger to flying, but helicopters are a rare treat! For our 10 year anniversary we took a trip back to Maui where we had spent our honeymoon and I wanted to do some of the same activities we enjoyed the first time. On our honeymoon we had taken a short flight over Haleakala Crater and it was great. This time we were able to take the longer 60 minute flight around the entire island and it was even more amazing.

As we drove to the heliport we noticed it was quite cloudy and we were worried it would ruin the flight. When we arrived to Air Maui we were told it was extremely foggy in the valleys and they’d have to slightly re-route along the shoreline or we were given the option to fly to Molokai along with West Maui. We and the other passengers all agreed to see Molokai and that turned out to be a great decision. We soared over the sugar cane fields and across the ocean to Molokai where the mountains and valleys were covered with lush greenery and the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. The pilot got close in for an amazing view, doing a 360 to ensure everyone had a good photo opportunity. Just as I was enjoying the flight we flew over a cliff for a roller coaster dive over the edge. I felt as though we were leaping off the mountain into the ocean, what an amazing feeling! Our pilot (Al) was funny, informative and narrated the entire tour with Hawaii legends and tales. It was one of the best helicopter rides I’ve taken.

TIPS: If you’re planning to take a helicopter ride with any company be sure to bring your camera and sunglasses, and everything else is usually left in your vehicle. Your weight will be required when booking in order to be sure the helicopter is properly loaded and you should be given safety instructions before your tour. If you tend get motion sick, take the shorter flight through Maui (half hour). The Valleys can be a little bumpy and even for someone like me who is not easily motion sick; I had a couple moments I was starring at the barf bag wondering if I’d have to use it. I’ve never had that feeling in a helicopter ride but possibly the longer, slightly bumpier ride was the reason. Lastly, bring a couple dollars cash, the Maui heliport charges for parking, about a dollar per hour, and if you want to tip your pilot as well that’s at your discretion. ShareThis

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