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Helicopter Tours of Kauai, Kauai, Hawaii
Concierge.com's insider take:
Kauai is a place where filmmakers come for the scenery: Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blue Hawaii, and South Pacific were all filmed here. And there's no better way to appreciate the beauty than by helicopter, which can get you to places that are impossible to reach by car or on foot, including the crater of Mount Waialeale, a massive, Edenic green gorge surrounded by walls of weeping waterfalls—one of the most beautiful places on earth. Most island outfits run similar circuits around the island, but Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (800-745-2583 [toll-free] or 808-871-8844) and Heli USA Airways (866-936-1234 [toll-free] or 808-826-6591) both have EcoStars, a chopper that's more environmentally friendly than most. Island Helicopters now has exclusive rights to land at the Jurassic Park waterfall—you can get out and walk around for 25 minutes as long as you don't mind wearing shoe booties to protect the native plant species (800-829-5999 [toll-free] or 808-245-8558). But the most unique offering comes from Niihau Helicopters, which offers tours of the "Forbidden Island" of Niihau, a privately owned island located off Kauai's west coast (877-441-3500 [toll-free] or 808-338-1234).—Updated by Cathay Che
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