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Waterfalls & Volcano Helicopter Tour Doors-off & Doors-on Flights (from Hilo)


Attended as (Couples) Reviews

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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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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Great flight

Reviewed by: The Baker's, 2017/06/20

It was a very fun way to see the volcano. The pilot made sure everyone could see everything available.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/06/13
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Wow

Reviewed by: Megan, 2017/05/22

The ride was amazing. Very smooth and some excellent views of lava. Joyce, my pilot was very informative. I highly recommend this! Door off was really worth it!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/05/19
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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!




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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/01/31
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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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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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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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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

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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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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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Volcano Helicopter Tour

Reviewed by: shrikant jalukar, 2014/12/28

There was no lava erupting nor flowing. We had Door closed Ride. What Open Door Tour will experience ? Prior to our arrival at Hilo, I was told , " YES " you can see Lava , etc. Your office should give real truthful information. Some tourists come from too far away, like we came to Hawaii from Michigan, ( Main Land ) ... ... 1 ! !.

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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2014/12/04
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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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Beauty and Wonder

Reviewed by: Pilipo and Megan, 2014/07/20

Absolutely worth every cent. The front desk was friendly and accommodating. The ride was smooth and informative. The views were otherwise inaccessible. Take the trip. See what makes this island a living thing. Blessings!

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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2014/07/17
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Lava Chasing from the Air

Reviewed by: The Shepherds, 2013/12/27

Professional pilots and a well-coordinated organization combined to show us where the lava action was happening. We were safely strapped in and plugged into communications so we could get the most out of what we were seeing and trying to photograph. With an experienced pilot, everyone in the chopper got a good chance for the best views. The photography itself can be tricky; the higher quality pictures you try to take, the more you should have a good camera setup and practice from a vibrating platform. Overall: a rousing success.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2013/12/17
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Fantastic!

Reviewed by: Mr. Ritter, 2012/06/05

I can tell you that we were totally satisfied and happy with the helicopter tour. The weather was great and so the pilot could show us fantastic views. The pilot and the whole crew was friendly and helpful and we felt safe and happy. Five stars for everything. Thank you again

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Fantastic

Reviewed by: Christine P., 2012/03/25

It was phenominal. Incredible views and good commentary from the pilot. I would definitely recommend a wind breaker if going with the doors off.

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Awesome adventure

Reviewed by: Tom & Mindy, 2011/06/06

Totally awesome! Mark was full of interesting information and the trip was beautiful and amazing! We would highly recommend this adventure to anyone!!

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Attended as:Couples
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helicopter tour

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2011/03/02

We loved our helicopter tour! Our first time in a helicopter and we both had a few hesitations, but the ground crew was very helpful and supportive and Koji, our pilot, was wonderful. He made an effort to circle around each area so that everyone would have a great view of the area. The tour was awesome, we felt like we saw all the highlights on the island and really got a feeling of how the lava flows and how the island has changed over the years. We would definitely recommend this tour. The highlight of our trip to the Big Island.

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Attended as:Couples
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Doors off Helicopter ride

Reviewed by: Peter in Sydney, 2010/09/24

Well worth doing the helicopter ride and the Doors Off Experience is the way to do it. The ride itself is worth it but to then fly over the lava flowing into the ocean and seeing collapsed lava tubes is something else.

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Attended as:Couples
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Thanks again

Reviewed by: Aimee and John, 2010/06/10

John and I wanted to send this email thanking everyone at Paradise for a once in a lifetime experience on our vacation. We took one of your newer trips which flew out of Kona, over the valleys, drop off in Hilo for the day (with paid rental car), then over the Volcanoes, and back to Kona. We really enjoyed the entire day. In fact we hadn't originally thought we would get to visit the Hilo area since the drive from Kona is a couple of hours. So not only did we get to see beautiful valleys, waterfalls, and running lava from air but we got to explore the Rain forest national Zoo, The Volcano national Park, Rainbow Falls, and Akaka Falls all by land as well. Also our pilot Steve was so informative and friendly he really helped make our day just that much more special. I'm sure he flies the same routes every day, yet you couldn't tell. His passion for the land, and surroundings was contagious. Thanks again, we included some of our amazing trip photos.




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Attended as:Couples
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First-Timers

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2010/04/22

This is a great activity except if you're prone to motion-sickness then it is not for you. Two hours was way too long for us. I was doing well in the first hour when we were shown the volcanoes and mountains but in the second hour I could not keep my eyes open due to my motion sickness. And that sucked because in the second hour is when he shows you the beautiful valleys and waterfalls! Thank God my husband was able to record it for me but it still wasn't the same. I would recommend a 45-minute-1 hour tour but not the 2 hour tour.

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