WRITTEN BY: KRISTINE HANSEN

Hana Helicopter Tours: Tips for Your First Time on a Helicopter Tour

Driving the “Road to Hana” is among the top phrases you’ll hear from travelers who have visited Maui. But what if you could see this 52-mile-long highway from above? Imagine lush greenery buffered by the rugged coastline in this idyllic town.

Located on the eastern edge of Maui, Hana—both the region and the town—is among Hawaii’s most beautiful natural wonders. However, the drive can take a long time (between two and four hours) with hairpin turns and one-lane bridges. By taking a helicopter tour in Maui, you quickly bypass those hassles.

If this will be your first time experiencing a helicopter tour, what can you expect?

Here are some tips to relax and enjoy this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Tip #1: Don’t forget to breathe. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold our breath in, which creates tightness in the chest and makes the mind run wild. Take a deep breath and prepare to be mesmerized!

Tip #2: Dress appropriately. Save your cute dress and favorite flip flops for another excursion. Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing while boarding—and experiencing—the helicopter. Several items are a “no,” including sandals; flip-flops; dangling jewelry (basically, anything but earring studs and a wristwatch); and sunglasses. Helicopter pilots have been known to advise leaving cell phones and keys behind.

Tip #3: Listen closely. As you fly over picturesque Hana, be sure to pay close attention to the pilot. Often a helicopter excursion will include a safety briefing before taking off and then during the flight, the pilot serves as an experienced guide to the area.

Remember, there is no need to be afraid about your first helicopter tour. Although nervous jitters are common as the prospect of flying at such extreme heights, helicopter pilots, as well as those who set up the tours, are highly skilled in navigating these choppers. They have logged hours of experience and know the route of your trip very well. And if the weather conditions aren’t right, they will not fly.

ShoreTrips offers several amazing opportunities to see Maui from the sky:

Helicopter Tour – Hana and Haleakala Spectacular – During this 45- to 50-minute ride in a helicopter above Hana, you’ll fly above the Haleakala National Park (including the park’s crater), the town of Hana, rainforest preserves, the Manawainui gulch and the Oheo Gulch, (“Seven Pools”) which is perched on the Road to Hana. As you take this all in, the pilot will narrate sights along the way.

Haleakala Flightseeing with Upcountry Land Tour – Receive a 30-minute bird’s eye view of Maui’s forests and coastline.

Hana by Land and Sky – This 3 ½ hour limo/van tour is narrated by a certified guide and includes a 36-minute flightseeing tour aboard an A-Star Jet helicopter.  A delicious Pacific-Rim cuisine lunch will be served beachside. 

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