Waterfalls & Volcano Doors-off Air Tour with Paradise Helicopters (from Hilo) reviews, Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com

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Waterfalls & Volcano Doors-off Air Tour with Paradise Helicopters (from Hilo)

Overall Rating

4.60 4.60 / 5

Reviews

96 reviews
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Eye opening

Reviewed by: GingerBeardNYC, 2019/02/07

We intend to do this everywhere we travel now. We loved it that much.

  • Both above and below the clouds we flew

Reply from activity provider

Aloha GingerBeardNYC,

Mahalo for your review! We are happy to hear you enjoyed your Doors off Lava & Rainforests Adventure. Our Doors-Off flights are definitely one of our most popular flights, it is an indredible way to see the landscape from a new perspective.

Thank you for choosing to fly with us, we hope to see you back soon!

Mahalo,
Paradise Helicopters

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2019/02/03
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Awesome experience!

Reviewed by: Theron, 2018/06/19

Rob was an excellent pilot. Everything was well organized and went smoothly. The view was awesome. Could have stayed up there all day.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2018/06/16
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An awesome doors-off experience

Reviewed by: Mr.Anonymous, 2018/06/05

The cool thing about this helicopter flight is that you get to see a lot of volcanoes national park in a relatively little amount of time. Especially since the lava wasn't flowing a lot that day, flying over the greyish lava wasteland made it a lot easier to spot minor lava flows (see picture).

Since it was raining that day, there was too much steam for us to fly directly over the caldera, but otherwise the flight was great. If conditions are stable, I definitely recommend a helicopter flight as the best way to see the volcano. There's a lot you can only see from up in the sky.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
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Fantastic

Reviewed by: Deborah, 2018/05/16

WE were very fortunate to have our tour just after the eruption. An unforgettable experience that lasted not long enough

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/05/03
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We changed it to Doors-off at the last minute

Reviewed by: Pedro, 2017/11/06

I can't give a feedback regarding Doors-on because we changed it at the last minute. Of course we paid the difference, but it worth it. Actually, after flying without doors, I could said that I wouldn't take the Doors-on option: the whole perspective is incredible and with doors that view wouldn't have been possible...ok, maybe warmer than withoug doors, but that's it.
However, it would habe been nice to be informed that the middle seat it's only for people who are not so tall: my girlfriend really REALLY wanted to be at the window seat, and I gladly would have given it to her, but it was not possible due to my height. We were told about this the moment before boarding. She was really dissapointed.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/10/25
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Amazing

Reviewed by: Caryq, 2017/10/13

Best thing we did in Islands. Great staff. Doors off small helicopter was of course windy, but also awesome.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/10/10
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special feeling!

Reviewed by: Rene and Pattatiya, 2017/09/10

We enjoyed the flight a lot. The flight without doors is realy special. The pilot flight direct over the crater with magna and we can made beautiful pictures and feel the cold wind and the hot magna!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/09/07
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Open door laba helicopter tour

Reviewed by: Bengisu, 2017/08/07

It was an amazing experience to see the beautiful view of big island from above and observing the bubbling lava inside the crater of an active volcano together with a great crew before during and after the flight.

  • Silver lava

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2017/07/30
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AMAZING

Reviewed by: BOB W, 2017/07/03

MY 12 YEAR OLD GRANDSON AND I WENT ON A DOORS OFF VOCANO TOUR WITH ROBERT AS OUR PILOT. AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING EXPERIENCE, TOTALLY UNIQUE AND WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT OF THE COS, FROM CHECK IN TO DEPARTURE. SOMETHING THAT BOTH OD US WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER. THANKS FOR A DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE!!!

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
Activity Date:2017/06/29
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Awesome pilot and fabulous flight!

Reviewed by: Darcy S, 2017/02/08

My husband and I loved the doors off heli ride over the Kilauea volcano lava flow! Would highly recommend it!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/01/31
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Door off Helicopter Tour Adventure

Reviewed by: The Leiths, 2016/09/10

We would like to thank the staff of veltra for their outstanding services with helping making our dream vacation a reality, we really enjoyed the Helicopter Tour - the staff were perfect, sights were great! It was a little foggy so we couldn't complete whole tour but were offered a refund which was very nice.

Thanks Again,

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2016/08/28
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Great trip

Reviewed by: Ian, 2016/08/31

Really excellent trip, would recommend it to anyone.

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
Activity Date:2016/08/28
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Great trip, life experience!

Reviewed by: ChuckBr, 2016/07/18

We had an amazing experience and will go again for sure!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/06/24
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Kilauea Helicopter tour

Reviewed by: Vicki Wales, 2016/04/07

We took this trip on monday with our pilot Pete and it was totally awesome! We saw bubbling lava and were indeed able to 'feel the heat'! Pete tailored our tour to us and made us feel very welcome. Many thanks! Highly recommended!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/04/04
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Doors Off Helicopter tour

Reviewed by: Diane Viands, 2016/03/12

I ended up with some great pictures. Wasn't sure if I was getting any because it was so windy. Not complaining as I knew that it was going to be windy. I did think that we were going to fly near the volcanoes, but perhaps I read the description wrong. It was a great tour and I am glad I did the doors off tour. Collin was great! Thanks so much for the great tour!

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2016/03/07
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Exciting and Smooth

Reviewed by: Going back to Hawaii, 2016/02/19

Very professional pilot. Incredibly smooth ride without stunts or surprises. However, the doors off was wonderful with nothing between us and the lava. We were high enough to not be at risk but the views of the lava flows, vents, as well as the area waterfalls and scenery were superb. Securely strapped in. Noise dampening headphones with mics allows two way communication, and the pilot was a knowledgeable and helpful tour guide. Worth the time and money.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/02/06
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Aaaaamazing!

Reviewed by: G from GA, 2016/02/06

An unforgettable experience! Viewing flowing lava burning trees, the spots where the lava begins to flow, the breathtaking coastline of the Big Island with its many waterfalls, humpback whales from overhead, and the wonders of the island with the unbelievable views of every hue in the ocean's water= memories that will last a lifetime! Add a fabulous staff and the best pilot ever, and that's what you can expect.

  • One of the lava vents.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2016/02/03
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Doors off is the only way to FLY!!!

Reviewed by: Alan, 2016/02/02

The doors off tour was incredible and well worth the price! I highly recommend this tour to anyone that wants to get a real helicopter volcano tour!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/01/09
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What the --, I can't ... OMG! I cried.

Reviewed by: Silas, 2015/10/14

Thank you to Jork our pilot for an amazing flight. After breakfast, me and my friends hit up the Volcanoes Winery for some wine tasting and then whipped through the Volcanoes National Park to get an idea of what we'd see from the sky before heading to the airport for our helicopter flight. The check-in was easy (I gained a few pounds from all the Hawaiian food I ate, but it was okay) and the ground crew was super friendly. Make sure you get a phone strap if you want to take pics with doors off, or you can't take your phone with you. I really didn't expect a lot but as soon as we were hovering over small lava ponds I cried a little bit. It was so epic - it looked like we were on another planet. The black lava landscape stretched to the horizon. It was cold up there but whenever we got over the bright orange lava spots you could actually feel the waves of warmth, so soothing! We finished with a fly over bubbling pots waterfalls and some of the towns. All the buildings and cars were so tiny and perfect like a miniature model city. Thanks again to Paradise Helicopters and HawaiiActivities.com. Definitely an unforgettable moment on the Big Island. Ah man!

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
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Not So Hot!

Reviewed by: GeeBee, 2015/09/22

Now being honest the weather was not good at Hilo, very wet and cloudy. But in spite of the weather the flight did go ahead. I do have to say doors off is definitely the way to go! We flew over several areas of coastline and lava flows and then headed up to the Puʻu ʻŌʻō, again the weather wasn't great but you could see the ground pretty well. Heading up the mountain we saw a small area of fresh lava but it was over in a flash and then we were heading back to Hilo.

Now I fully understand that when weather and visibility are not good you might not see everything but at no point did the pilot state what we would or would not see. Obviously the vent or flowing lava is the main part of the "show" and you keep waiting for that to appear. But it wasn't until a guest asked that we were told that we went as far as we could.

Feel the heat? No we certainly did not.

A word of warning for passengers with longer hair wear a beany or make sure your hair is tied back tight, due to the wind it ended up with my wife's hair being badly knotted around the headset.

Two stars - to be honest only for the fun aspect of the doors off.

It would have been so much better if we were kept informed of the visibility and weather (now on Hawai'i this might not be a normal issue) and what we would be able to see as opposed to not being told anything and not experiencing what the flight was all about and coming away with the slightly cheated feeling.

Would I go again - yes - but I would certainly be asking a lot of questions about the weather conditions, visibility and expected viewing. It is a lot of money to pay, and especially if you are not local to not "Feel the Heat" because why else would you fly "doors off"

In additional I have to say the staff at Paradise were very understanding when we raised our points.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/09/18
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Awesome, Breathtaking, Not Enough Great Words to Describe

Reviewed by: DWAungst, 2015/09/21

The flight was amazing, but we did not fly from Hilo. When our scheduled time (from Hilo) arrived, the weather was below minimum at the volcano. This was very disappointing since Hilo weather was nice. But, Hawaii weather is very volatile.

We rescheduled for the next day as a "reserve flight" (needed more people to "confirm" the flight). Before the scheduled time, Paradise Helicopters called to say the flight was still only "reserved", but they had an opening in a different, circle the whole island, flight from Kona. They would upgrade me for no additional cost to take that one. We jumped at it.

The flight was amazing. We got to see the whole island, in addition to the volcano and real, live, flowing lava. Our pilot was Koji and he was awesome. The weather over the volcano was mixed, but he was able to navigate through the clouds enough to maintain the FAA rules for height and get us over the actual volcano caldera. Then, we headed for the current eruption points on the southern slopes and saw even more lava in the second vent. Moving further to the new lava fields, he located some live, flow lava. "WOW!!!" is all I can say.

The rest of the flight was great, too. Flying low up the valley on the north shore was wild. Seeing all the waterfalls was also terrific.

  • "Captian Cook", his initial landing point on the Big Island.

  • Green Sand Beach

  • Main Volcano Laval Pool on the Caldera

  • Lava pool in the second vent on the southern slopes of the volcano.

  • Flowing Lava - we were hovering only about 50 feet off this, the heat wash from the lava made the ride bumpy but worth it.

  • More Flowing Lava, Oozing Out of a Crack

  • North Shore Cliffs

  • One of Many Waterfalls

  • Intrepid Adventurers (us), Post Flight

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
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Fantastic

Reviewed by: Miked, 2015/09/17

First helo ride ever and we had the doors off. It was fantastic! Our pilot Rob was great! Would definitely recommend this if you want a close up view of a volcano!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/09/14
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Awesome Flight!!!

Reviewed by: DWAungst, 2015/09/13

Weather cancelled booked flight. They upgraded me to a whole island tour for second flight next day. Bucket list item checked off - I saw real, flowing lava! Amazing flight. I wanna do it again.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/09/10
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Pretty cool

Reviewed by: K. Hayes, 2015/05/11

I would definitely recommend the doors off experience to the doors on. You are able to get much better pictures and video, in my opinion. There were only a few active spots for us to view, but our tour guide answered most of the questions we had and explained a lot about the landscape. The waterfalls were beautiful- I would recommend hiking to them if you are staying in Hilo for more than a day.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2015/04/14
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Wonderful!

Reviewed by: Tim and Jan, 2015/04/28

The helicopter ride and seeing the volcano steam pots was amazing! Wish we could have seen the waterfalls closer though.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/04/20
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Up, Up and Away

Reviewed by: Jeanne A, 2015/02/15

My husband wasn't too excited about coming to Hawaii but his one request was to fly in a helicopter to see the volcanos. His choice was the open door option. Neither having been in a helicopter before I at least had some trepidations. It was a blast! Our pilot, Rhys, a Kiwi, was very knowledgeable and a good pilot. Thank you!
And yes, you can feel the heat from the lava. Good times!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/01/30
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Kilauea experience

Reviewed by: Deb Stuckey, 2015/01/26

This helicopter trip was fabulous! Our pilot, Reese, was very informative, friendly and helpful. Gave us a great view of lava fields, the active Kilauea volcano and waterfalls. He was very attentive to BOTH sides of the helicopter, making sure everyone got a great experience. Well worth the money.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/01/21
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Worst helicopter experience

Reviewed by: Sandra, 2014/12/23

This was not my first doors off helicopter experience in the Hawaiian islands but definitely the worst. First, you should know that even though you pay full money for doors off you may get stuck in a cramped little seat between another passenger and the pilot in the front. You have no choice where you sit as you are assigned your seat. Good luck trying to get any pictures from that spot. The pilot takes you out the same way as he returns....over flat nothing. There is a tiny spec of lava (maybe) but it sure no spouting red flowing lava as advertised. You do not fly over the ocean at all so you dont see any ocean lava flow. There is definitely NO NO heat. There are fly zone restrictions so you cant get near the pahoa town they talk about to respect the privacy of the residents. You see a couple waterfalls from so far away... It is riduculous. Save your money... Go to Kauai..... Those doors off tours are true.... Everyone gets a doors off spot. Everyone can see. You fly right into the waterfall areas. You see things you will never forget. This was a wasted day of our vacation not to mention the huge cost..... To see nothing. At least they could have flown back another way over the coastline or something. I would not recommend this to anyone. Very disappointed and wasted money.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2014/12/16
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Lava

Reviewed by: Guest, 2014/09/24

The pilot was amazing and told a lot about the area. The overview over the volcano was incredible, I had just hoped to see a bit more lava.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2014/09/23
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The Most AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!

Reviewed by: Scott & Tammy, 2014/07/27

We selected the Doors OFF Helicopter Tour and it was the BEST decision we ever made!!! The Views were Breathtaking and when we arrived at the Lava Flow, the Lava Flow/Lake was Spectacular and the HEAT was Awesome!!! The Doors Off was the Best!!! Then we travelled to the Waterfalls North of Hilo and the Views were equally Breathtaking!!! Our Pilot and Co-Pilot were Awesome and Funny!!! They Made the experience even better!!! This tour was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2014/07/10
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