Kona lies in the shadow of the island’s third-largest and the third most active volcano in Hawai’i – Hualalai Volcano. In 1801, fast-moving lava erupted from craters downhill into the ocean in just two short hours. On this doors-off tour, you’ll have an unobstructed view into Hualalai’s craters including a small pit crater called Luamakami, which is one of the deepest structures of its kind anywhere in the world.
Hualalai Volcano is an important ecological site, home to several rare species which are protected by a nature reserve and a national historic park. Native stands of Ohia and Koa grow on the western and northern flanks of Hualalai, endemic trees that feature prominently in Hawaiian culture and provide vital habitat for wildlife.
After Hualalai, your pilot will head South over Kona Coffee Country and rich agricultural zones. Learn about the ancient Hawaiian land subdivisions of ahupua’a, strategically shaped to include many different elevations ranging from mountaintop to shoreline. This variety of climates enabled inhabitants to grow a wide variety of crops that flourished under different growing conditions, and access freshwater as well as the bounty of the sea.
Fly over the Marine Life Conservation District of Kealakekua Bay where you can look for the white obelisk of Captain James Cook Monument, marking the site of the first recorded European contact with the Hawaiian people. You’ll soar over the snorkeling hotspot of Kahaluu Bay, beautiful beaches and coves, and the ancient Heiaus (temples) of Hapaiali’i and Ke’eku.
Enjoy views of Historic Kailua Village and downtown Kona which were inhabited for centuries by ancient Hawai’ian nobles – this area housed several royal complexes throughout history. Hulihe’e palace in downtown Kona still stands, and the bay’s waters are now famous for hosting the Hawai’ian International Billfish Tournament and the Kona Ironman World Championships.
Want to know why your sushi yesterday tastes so fresh?! Right outside of the Kona International Airport you will get a view of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority, an innovation park hosting cold-water aqua farms raising Hawaiian Kampachi, Abalone, Lobster, and more. You may have even tried a bottle of ice-cold desalinated deep ocean water that came from a depth of 3000’ and took 1000 years to travel halfway across the world to reach the Kona depths.
There’s no better way to see Hualalai Volcano and learn about Kona’s rich and intriguing history.
- Hualalai Volcano and Puhia Pele or Pele’s Pit
- Kona coffee district & surrounding tropical farms
- Historical Kailua Village, Hulihe’e palace and downtown Kona
- Keauhou, Kealakekua Bay & Captain James Cook Monument
- Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
- Natural Energy Lab and coastal tech and research facilities
- Approx.30 minutes* total air tour flight time in Bell 407 helicopter (seats up to 6 guests)
- Two-way communication between you, your pilot, and your group
- Availability: Daily
- Tour time: Morning, Afternoon
- Duration: 30 Minutes*
*Approx. 1-hour duration (includes 30 min check-in time and 30 minute flight time)
- Warm clothing suggested as flight is cool and windy.
- Guests should not go SCUBA diving less than 24 hours before their flight departure time.
- Children under the age of two (2) fly free when seated in the lap of a paying adult – proof of age required for lap children under two (2). Children 24 months and over require an individual full-fare seat.
- Children must be at least 12 years old to sit next to an open door while aircraft is in flight.
- For passengers above 265 lbs., fees are charged during check out or at check-in. The guest will be guaranteed a window seat. All guests between 265 lbs – 300 lbs (when weighed at check-in), will be assessed a Capacity Surcharge of $50 on our Hughes/MD 500 or $100 on our Bell 407. They will be guaranteed a window seat. All guests weighing over 300 lbs are required to purchase a second, cabin comfort & safety seat at a discounted price. They will be guaranteed a window seat. Accurate weights at the time of booking are essential to ensure comfort and safety of all guests. If a passenger is unable to fly due to an inaccurate weight provided at the time of booking, no refund will be made. By maintaining proper weight and balance in our aircraft we can provide guests with a safe, smooth and comfortable Experience on Paradise Helicopters.
- Picture ID matching the credit card used for the purchase will be confirmed at check-in.
- We will not cancel a flight due to the weather unless it is unsafe to fly. Weather can change quickly so our pilots are checking weather continuously for safety and visibility concerns, and any decision to cancel due to weather is not made until right before a flight departs. We will fly if it is raining, but not if the visibility is poor.
- Cancellation Policy is 48 hours prior to your tour time.
- For Doors-Off Flights:
- Please bring a jacket as the cabin will be cool and very windy.
- If you wish to take photos during the flight, your camera or phone must have a strap and be secured to you.
- No hats or other loose accessories such as scarves are permitted on the flight.
- We will ask you to empty your pockets before your flight to remove anything that could potentially become airborne, including camera lenses or personal items.
- Closed-toe shoes required and may not have open backs
- Prescription glasses and sunglasses may be worn on doors-off flights as your 2-way communication headset will pin them securely to your head. If they are not worn, we will ask you to leave them behind.
- If you have longer hair, we recommend tying it back.
- No ipads or selfie sticks are allowed.
Location: Paradise Helicopters, Kona Airport
Address: 73-341 Uu St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/CpPMk2b9Xpa4iKvZ7
Parking: Self-Pay parking at Kona Airport.
- Please arrive 1 hour prior to your tour time.
- Easy: Suitable for adults, children, and seniors.