Helicopter rides not only provide visitors with a truly unique view of a city or an area, but they are also a thrilling and entertaining experience. In addition, helicopter tours are often the only way visitors can enjoy viewing more remote areas of a region. For example, 70 percent of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is inaccessible by land, so flying is the only way that a visitor can view large portions of this beautiful piece of paradise. An overview of the most amazing helicopter rides on the planet:
10. Sydney[SEE MAP]
Australia’s most populous city is particularly beautiful when viewed from high above. Helicopter tour passengers will be able to enjoy spectacular views of sparkling Sydney Harbour, the Taronga Zoo, the iconic Sydney Opera House as well as the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Some tours will fly over Sydney’s breathtaking coastline, including Bondi Beach, while others can fly up towards the lovely Blue Mountains and its Megalong Valley.
9. Fox Glacier[SEE MAP]
New Zealand has a reputation for having some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and its Fox Glacier is a must-see in a land filled with unbelievable sites. The Fox Glacier is an 13-km (8-mile) long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Passengers on this helicopter tour will get a bird’s eye view of the peaks and crevasses of the glacier as well as of majestic Mount Cook before they make a landing in the snow. Visitors can also opt for the two-glacier tour, which will not only fly them over Fox Glacier, but also over the Franz Josef Glacier.
8. Everest Base Camp[SEE MAP]
For most people, visiting the Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal will be an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even for those who have no plans on making the arduous trek up the 8,848-meter (29,029-foot) mountain, this is a journey well worth taking. Guests on this helicopter ride will get to fly through the majestic Himalayan mountain range and then land at the famous Everest Base Camp, which is located at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet). This stunning location, at the base of the highest mountain on earth, is truly like no other place on earth.
7. Victoria Falls[SEE MAP]
These spectacular waterfalls, which are arguably the largest in the world, straddle the border between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. Victoria Falls is approximately 1,708 meters (5,604 feet) wide and about 108 meters (354 feet) tall, making it the biggest sheet of falling water in the world. It is so big that about the only way that a person can view this waterfall in its entirety is by air, making a helicopter ride a perfect way to see this natural wonder. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some of Africa’s famous wildlife, such as hippos or elephants, during a helicopter tour.
6. Cape Town[SEE MAP]
How about this for a bucket list item? On a Cape Town helicopter ride, visitors can view two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic, both on one tour. Lucky fliers can also zip through the amazing Twelve Apostles mountain range and around scenic Table Mountain, which is one of the greatest natural wonders of Africa. As they fly over Cape Town’s Muizenberg Beach, helicopter riders might even get a chance to spot the area’s famous and frightening great white sharks.
5. Iguazu Falls[SEE MAP]
There are few sites in the world as spectacular as the Iguazu Falls, which is located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu Falls, which is actually made up of about 275 separate smaller falls spread out over 2.5 km (1.7 miles), is was one of the great wonders of nature. It is also one of the largest waterfalls in the world. A helicopter tour is definitely one of the best ways to view this huge and powerful waterfall. Flying over the falls, visitors can get a bird’s eye view of its famous Devils’ Throat area, as well as the gorgeous verdant jungle that surrounds it.
4. Hawaii[SEE MAP]
Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands can choose from a number of different helicopter rides. For example, there are flights that will take guests over lava flows and spewing volcanoes as well as stunning waterfalls on the Big Island of Hawaii. As they cruise over this island’s pineapple plantations, Keehi Lagoon, Hanauma Bay and the stunning Sacred Falls, visitors on Oahu can see a side of this island that many other tourists never bother seeing. In addition, a helicopter tour is the best way to get to view the gorgeous island of Kauai and its 23 km (14 miles) of spectacular and sheer sea cliffs. Kauai is also famous for its many beautiful waterfalls. For most visitors, a helicopter ride will be the only way they can see many of these gorgeous sites, as a large number of them are inaccessible by ground travel.
3. Rio de Janeiro[SEE MAP]
Visitors to Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, should definitely consider to view this sprawling metropolis and the surrounding area from the air. From high above Rio de Janeiro, visitors will be able to see Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches and pass by the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain. They will also get to see Maracana Stadium, which will be the site of the opening ceremonies for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
2. New York[SEE MAP]
Because of its huge skyscrapers, New York City can make a person feel like he is walking through concrete tunnels. To get a better perspective of this vast and amazing city, visitors should opt to take a helicopter ride, which can whisk them high over such famous landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the George Washington Bridge as well as the amazing green oasis of Central Park. A helicopter tour is also one of the best ways to view New York City’s famous skyline.
1. Grand Canyon[SEE MAP]
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is unbelievably vast. It is over 11 km (18 miles) wide and approximately one mile deep. Because it is so huge, the only way travelers can fully appreciate the spectacular beauty of the canyon’s colorful formations, buttes and spires is by air. It is also by air that visitors can best see how the powerful Colorado River and its tributaries have cut their way through the canyon. In addition to flying over the Grand Canyon National Park, helicopter tours typically also include passes over nearby Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.