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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/04/20
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Doors On Hilo's Fire & Falls Adventure

Reviewed by: Bonnie, 2015/03/30

I had been somewhat apprehensive as had never been on a helicopter before but I loved it!! What a way to see the volcano and surrounding area!! I was accompanied by my sisters and their husbands and it was enjoyed by all!!

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Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2015/03/03
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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2014/09/23
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The only way to see lava

Reviewed by: Pilot01, 2014/07/28

This is exactly as described, a 40 minute helicopter tour of the volcanoes on the eastern side of the island of Hawaii and the area around Hilo. The staff are very friendly and the entire operation is well run and safety oriented. Our pilot Joyce was informative and did a great job of piloting so that everyone on both sides of the helicopter got good views of everything. Considering that there are no active lava flows at the current time. This is the only way to see molten lava. While it is through "sky lights" looking down into lava tubes, it is still quite exciting to see the bright pink/orange glow of lava.

The helicopter company offers the option to fly with the doors off the helicopter. I would recommend this for optimum viewing and picture taking. However, be aware that it is pretty chilly with the doors off and make sure to wear a warm jacket.

As a final note, when booking a helicopter tour, be aware that there are two airports on the island (Hilo and Kona). Make certain that you are booking a tour from the airport that is on your side of the island. I made a mistake and booked a tour out of the wrong airport. It was completely my fault and I did not realize my mistake until the day before the tour. The folks at Veltra and at the helicopter company went out of their way to get us booked on this tour at the last minute. They also worked hard to find someone else to take our seats on the tour that I had originally booked. They were only able to fill one of the two seats that I had booked, but at least they were kind enough to refund that portion of the fee.

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Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2014/07/25
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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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Calleja Family-From Fresno, California

Reviewed by: John A. Calleja, 2014/06/26

Peter and the crew at the Hilo Airport provided not only a safe but exciting flight.

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Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2014/06/17
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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.

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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2013/12/17
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GREAT FLIGHT

Reviewed by: JOHN & MELANIE, 2013/08/04

IT WAS THE BEST HELICOPTER TOUR WE HAVE BEEN ON, (OUR 3RD ONE)
THE POILOT NEW WHAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR AND MADE SURE WE SAW WHAT WE CAME FOR. THE DOORS OFF WAS MORE FUN THAN WE HAD THOUGHT WE LOVED IT!

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2013/07/20
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Paradise Helicoptor Vocano & Waterf

Reviewed by: Karnuth4, 2012/08/20

The pilot was very knowledgeable of the area and specifics around the volcanic activities as of late. All 4 of us fully enjoyed the flight! We got some great close-ups of the volcano and the remnants of the village that once was there. We didn't see as many waterfalls as I thought we would but it didn't take away from the trip. I would recomend this to any friend or family member.

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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A wonderful perspective

Reviewed by: Tammy R, 2012/07/24

Marco was our pilot and he was fabulous. My 13 year old was a bit nervous with the doors off and he made her feel right at ease.
The view you get and the knowledge passed down by Marco was great! You cannot truly appreciate the volcano and what it can do unless you see it from above. The big picture and unique view from above is priceless.
We saw lava the day we went and that was a bonus, but even if you cannot see the the lava, it is still a wonderful way to view the landscape and truly see the devastation the lava flow can do.
We have done another helicopter tour in the past on Kauai and it is the best way to see the islands. You can go places a car cannot and that is worth it!
Thank you Marco and the rest of the staff at Paradise Helicopter...you were wonderful and we had a great trip!

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Attended as:Families
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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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Attended as:Couples
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Worth the money

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2012/04/07

I did this helicopter ride with my husband and 12 yr old son. It was fantastic! We got lucky and had a sunny day, and the views of the island were amazing. We saw some lava flows, we saw waterfalls, and the pilot shared lots of information. We saw a house that had recently been destroyed by lava flow, and all that was left was a bit of roof. We had never done a helicopter ride, and I was a bit nervous about it. We rode with the doors on. It was very smooth, and the views made me forget to be nervous. I felt very safe actually. Our pilot (Aaron) was completely competent and friendly and knowledgeable. I got to sit in the front, next to the pilot. My husband and son sat behind us and they had a great time. Its expensive, but its worth doing at least once. You'll get a view of the island that you can't see any other way.

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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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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Attended as:Couples
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Excellent Tour

Reviewed by: John Johnson, 2011/10/26

I took the doors off flight and I was totally amazed.
This is the best experience you could even imagine.
Ranks equal to or even better than riding my Harley through the Rocky mountains in Colorado.
Of coarse you can tell that I highly recommend this flight and especially with the doors off.
The pilot on my flight (Dillon) (hope I spelled your name right) was skilled and competent and ready to answer all questions with knowledge and completness.

Just do it!!! A. L. (John) Johnson Englewood CO







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Attended as:Friends
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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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Highly recommend!

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2011/02/21

This was an extremely unique experience. Some of the views can only be experienced from a helicopter. Waterfalls, lava flows, flights deep into the valley are just some of the sights on this tour. The pilot/guide is extremely knowledgeable and makes the trip fun as well. Well worth the cost and would highly recommend for any individual or group. I can only imagine that each trip would be different due to environmental conditions such as lava flows and rainfall so it is perfect for first timers and repeat guests.

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Attended as:Friends
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Be Aware!!

Reviewed by: crfolgate, 2011/02/04

This would be a great trip IF you don't get stuck in the backwards seats. These seats are a total rip off since you don't get to see where you are headed and when there is something cool to see well too bad it's already past. Pilot does a good job of trying to circle around so everyone see's but there's no way for the backward seat folks to see anything really well. If you decide to go I STRONGLY recommend that you get guarantee's that you get a front seat or front looking seats only. My wife and Mom had great seats and enjoyed the views I'm happy about that but I wish I had saved the money and sent them up without me since it was two hours of flying backwards and barely seeing anything. You have been warned. :O
**** Also you should also be aware that the photo's of all the cool lava flows are really old. We saw very little lava and after the flight we found out they use old photo's for advertising. Pretty views are to be had but not much lava.

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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Best bang for buck of heli tours

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2011/01/19

The staff was fantastic - friendly, helpful, and safe. Let alone the views and vistas you get to see - this is the best bang-for-the-buck of helicopter tours, with a full 2 hours in the air. The pilot, Koji, was very knowledgeable of the area and led an incredibly informative and fun talk over the intercom. Koji also provided a very comfortable ride that was much more mellow and safe than I was expecting (I'm afraid of heights and I LOVED IT, so don't let your fear of heights worry you, you'll be fine with these guys). Excellent work from everyone and I'll be back soon : )

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Attended as:Friends
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Helicopter

Reviewed by: Jerald Fox, 2010/12/31

Everyone shoud do this tour in the first few days of vacation. Fantastic experience and the best way to see the island!

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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Great experience with one caution

Reviewed by: Dawn, 2010/11/26

Had a fantastic time! Our guide, Jesse, grew up on the island and was a wealth of information about not just what we saw on the tour, but also about other activities on the island. Word of caution: if you book through a third party like we did, after you receive confirmation, call Paradise to verify your group size. We showed up as scheduled to discover that someone (don't know if it was Paradise or Hawaii Activities) incorrectly entered the size of our group as two instead of three. We couldn't take the tour on our scheduled day because the group was overbooked. Luckily we were able to go the next day and Paradise had availability. They took great care of us once the error was discovered, but if you're on a tight schedule, don't risk missing out. Call ahead! Inconvenience aside, this is something you should do and was well worth the cost!!

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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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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