The 5 Best Helicopter Tours In the World

Sometimes the best way to explore an area or enjoy the scenic beauty of the area is by air, and by air we mean helicopter rides. Sometimes the entire view and the true beauty of the location are impossible to appreciate from the window of a tour bus or the back of a bike.

You have to get up in the air, and when you do, you see the full view and the complete picture in one sweeping motion.

Before moving on with the list of helicopter rides that you must go on once in your life, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.

There will involve some preparation like having a headset to make sure that you enjoy your ride peacefully. Most commercial pilots and aviators go to a pilot shop for flight-specific instruments to reduce the impact of sound and enjoy a clear audio experience.

Editor’s Note: Far from the serenity of a hot air balloon ride, helicopters are bloody loud!

You will also need to get yourself a camera like a DSLR so you can capture the scenic beauty forever and a helmet and safety equipment that will be provided by your tour ride operator.

Victoria Falls, Africa

Victoria Falls acts like a border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a sheet of roaring water that runs 2 two kilometers while dividing these two countries.

Fed by the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls is often cited as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Truly stunning from the air or on foot, the Falls are also famous for the ‘Devil’s Pool’ where brave tourists can snap a photo at the literal precipice of the roaring falls.

 

Helicopter flights allow visitors to take in the true scale of Victoria Falls, and both short and long trips are available.

helicopter tour victoria falls

Victoria Falls as seen from a helicopter. Image courtesy of Gareth Williams.

Denali National Park, North America

Located in a remote corner of Alaska, Denali National Park is one of the United States’ most beloved national parks in spite of (or perhaps because of) it’s isolation. Home to Mt. McKinley and an accompaniment of glaciers, gorges, alpine tundra, and taiga forest, it is like nothing else you’ll find in the US.

At over 6 million acres and accessible by a single road, Denali is almost made to be explored from above where visitors can take in its beauty and its wildlife (including grizzly bears and wolves) from above.

muldrow glacier denali

The true scale of a glacier like Muldrow Glacier is best appreciated from above. Image courtesy of Pete Klosterman.

The Grand Canyon, North America

The Grand Canyon spreads across an area of around 277 river miles with the Colorado River moving in and out of sight amid the canyons in the wild deserts of Arizona.

It is not possible to travel beyond the South Rim area, and this is why most visitors often choose to go for a helicopter ride that allows them to witness the breathtaking view of the canyon with the river flowing through its heart.

While up top, you will also get to view the Vegas strip, the Mojave Desert, and towering Hoover Dam.

For those wanting to explore it from closer to earth, there is also a skywalk that is built above the canyon, the option to trek down into the canyon, and even kayak adventures through the canyon.

helicopter grand canyon

Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon let you see parts others never will. Image courtesy of Josh Janssen.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Stretching for more than 2,300 kilometres along the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism and the only one visible from space.

While it’s certainly a lot of fun to experience the reef’s myriad colours and its unique inhabitants from the safety of a glass-bottom boat or while scuba diving, seeing the Barrier Reef from above captures its scale in a way that you can’t appreciate from on deck.

Dotted with coral atolls and idyllic islands, the Barrier Reef is more than just a playground for swimmers.

barrier reef above

The Barrier Reef is simply too large to truly take in from the water. Image courtesy of FarbenfroheWunderwelt

New York City, North America

New York is a city unlike any other in the world. Though it is a city and you can travel and visit locations by the road too, the best way to see NY is perhaps by air. The city is divided into grids, and the patterns are clearly visible from above.

You will get to see the iconic Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial, and Wall Street. There are other scenic spots such as Yankee Stadium, Central Park, and the Lower Manhattan skyline that will make your day complete. The entire tour can be completed in a 25-minute long tour, leaving plenty of time to explore the urban jungle on foot.

new york aerial

New York from above is truly a different animal. Image courtesy of zqtouch.

So you see some places are best seen and explored by air and what better way to do it than a helicopter ride. Just make sure that you do not forget your camera!

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Have you ever been on a memorable helicopter tour?

Disclaimer: This post was contributed by Jane Brown. I have simply edited for content.

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