Big Island Air Tour is Highlight of Hawaii Vacation

Categorized as Big Island Vacation Information

Volcano Views Provide Stunning Look At Natural Forces

Air tours over the Big Island offer great views of erupting lava on Kilauea Volcano. As if that isn’t enough, you will also see lush rainforests, huge waterfalls and remote areas not accessible any other way.

You can fly from Hilo or Kona, though an air tour from Hilo will provide the closest access to the volcano. The morning is generally the best time to take an air tour as windy afternoons sometimes make for a bumpy ride.

Looking to take a tour out of Hilo? Stay nearby in one of our Hilo vacation rentals.

A Big Island air tour may be on an airplane or a helicopter. While an airplane travels faster and covers a bigger area in a quicker time, a helicopter moves slower, allowing closer views.

If you are a pilot then you might want to rent your own Cessna 172 from Koa Air (808-326-2288), and for an extra fee a company pilot will accompany you.

Nine-passenger planes are used by Big Island Air (808-329-4868) to fly from Kona around the island or on a shorter volcano-only tour. Four-person planes run by Island Hoppers (808-969-2000) fly you from either Hilo or Kona and circle the whole island.

If you prefer to stay in Kona, please check out our Kona vacation rentals.

If you want to take a helicopter ride instead of a plane ride then your choices include Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (808-961-5600) which offers two hour tours from Hilo over the volcano as well as the Hamakua Coast. Blue Hawaiian also flies out of Waikoloa in the Kohala Resorts area. They use Eco-Star helicopters.

On a Tropical Helicopters (808-961-6810) flight out of Hilo you can take a one hour or 45-minute flight on their Bell Jet Ranger helicopters. You can fly from either Hilo or Kohala with Sunsine Helicopters on a 50-minute flight that will take you to Kilauea Volcano.

If you want to fly in state-of-the-art helicopters book a trip with Safari Helicopters in their ASTAR 350 B2-7s featuring big viewing windows and soundproof, air-conditioned cabins. They also use four separate cameras to record your trip from different angles.

No matter which air tour you choose you will be thrilled by the volcanic landscapes that will unfold before your eyes. The vast lava fields crater-strewn landscape is punctuated by plumes of steam and veins of red lava flowing down the volcano and exploding into the sea.

Also look for the home of Pele, the volcano goddess who protects her sacred fires at the volcano’s summit crater which is more than 2.5 miles across. Within the summit crater is the formidable Halemaumau Crater which is hundreds of feet deep and emits huge plumes of steam from its black rock floor.

Big Island air tours often fly over the Royal Gardens and Kalapana where the you can get a close up view of the area where many homes have been destroyed when the community was inundated with lava.

Another interesting part of many Big Island air tours is flying over Hilo Bay where you can get a great aerial view of the the town of Hilo.