If there is only one thing you do in Kauai, take the Jurassic Falls flight with Island Helicopters! It is the best way to see the whole island and SO worth the money.
Island Helicopters is right beside the airport (pictured to the right). We took the earliest flight that day and the weather was nearly perfect. The entire staff was incredibly helpful and friendly.
You'll check in then hop on a scale to check your weight. They do this to comply with FAA regulations and (I'm pretty sure) to also balance the helicopter evenly. You'll hang out at the building until all of the passengers arrive then head over to get the rundown of the flight. You'll also get little white slipper booties that you'll wear to walk around the property of Jurassic Falls.
There are two rows of seating in the helicopter. We had the thrill of riding in the front! I was seated in between the pilot and JD then a family of four sat in the row behind us. We recommend requesting sitting in the front when you reserve your flight.
We took photos with our Canon EOS Rebel T5 and videos with JD's iPhone. We wish that we'd purchased a GoPro before this trip!!
Our pilot, Gary (pictured to the right), was the best!! Definitely request him if you're able! He created a playlist for the tour so (not to ruin any surprises) as we took off, the theme song for Mission Impossible began to play in our headset. It was the coolest thing!! Call me lame for saying this, but we felt like secret agents. Haha! As we began flying over the river leading up to Jurassic Falls, the Jurassic Park theme song began to play. I'm not embarrassed to say that we both started to shed a few tears. As soon as the crescendo hit, the Falls were in sight. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences in either of our lives.
We landed for some photos, gawked in amazement, then boarded the helicopter to continue the tour. As soon as we took off, it began to drizzle a bit but we were still able to see the views perfectly. Waterfall after waterfall after waterfall, including the Mt. Wai'ale'ale (the second wettest spot on Earth).
We just happened to hike the Canyon Trail the day before so when we flew into the Canyon, we were able to see the places we hiked the day before. It was so neat being able to see the views from standing at the top of the Canyon as well as flying through the middle of it!
We continued the tour over the Na Pali Coast with exhilarating views of the landscape and ocean (scroll through the photos below). It was also around this time when motion sickness hit me pretty hard. Fortunately, there was a stack of bags sitting in front of us in case that happened. JD looked over at me, checked to make sure I was okay then took the camera from around my neck lovingly and kept taking photos while I peered over my bag, still in sheer excitement. True love at its finest. Sickness wasn't going to stop me from enjoying the ride!! Side note: I recommend picking up a tin of "For the Weary Traveler" tea from Island Soap and Candle Works in Old Koloa Town and drinking a cup before flying. Unfortunately, we didn't know about this tea until after the flight but it's helped in several other instances!
Even with the sickness part, this was absolutely the most exhilarating thing we've done on our travels!! We hope you'll have the chance to enjoy it too! Feel free to ask any questions or tell us about your experience in the comments below or contact us here.