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Hilo: Doors-off Lava & Rainforests Adventure


4.97 (33 reviews)

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Hilo: Doors-off Lava & Rainforests Adventure


Departs:  Hilo Airport Duration: 40 min*



Narrated, Beach, Black Sand Beach, Waterfalls, Volcano, Rainforest, Doors Off


THE MOST EPIC EXPERIENCE EVER! That’s what many of our guests say after taking a ride in our Hughes 500 helicopter without doors over what was one of the most active volcanoes in the world! After over 35 years of activity, be one of the first to discover what Kīlauea Volcano has left in the wake of its recent historic eruptive episode. Witness otherworldly landscapes like the incredible 8-mile river of frozen lava from Fissure 8 to the Pacific Ocean, the newest black sand beaches on earth, and enormous craters created by these recent events!

Along the way, view Mauna Loa’s vistas, the beauty of lush Puna rainforests and mesmerizing Hilo waterfalls. With no windows to look through, there is no better way for you to share amazing photos and video of your experience than flying on this doors-off tour!


Current activity at Kilauea Volcano
Tropical rainforests of Puna
Waterfalls of North Hilo


Current activity at Kilauea Volcano
Tropical rainforests of Puna
Waterfalls of North Hilo


Check-in: 1-hour prior to tour


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Route Map

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Tour Notes

For answers to common questions please read our faq.

* Tour Duration typically varies from 35 – 45 minutes, all of which is flight time.

Check-in: 1-hour prior to tour

  • Two-way communication between you, your pilot, and your group
  • Warm clothing suggested as flight is cool and windy
  • All cameras including cell phones must have straps
  • No hats permitted on flight
  • Closed-toe shoes required
  • Self-Pay parking

Activity Level

Easy: Suitable for adults, children and seniors.


Free round-trip transportation for tours departing from the Kona International Airport.

  • Free transportation is limited and based on availability.
  • Please reply to your confirmation email with a request for transportation and hotel name.
  • Paradise Helicopters will confirm availability for your date via email and/or phone.
  • Pick up and drop off locations are limited to the Kona Coast including the Hapuna area – North and the Keauhou area South.
  • Exceptions and other restrictions may apply.
  • Free transportation only applies to Air Adventures purchased directly from Paradise Helicopters.
  • May not be combined with other offers.

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33 reviews for Hilo: Doors-off Lava & Rainforests Adventure

  1. Joe C

    We did the “doors off” helicopter tour. There’s no active lava right now, but it was still super cool! It was great to have an unobstructed, open view of the scenery. We got to see part of the Kīlauea Volcano- the most recently active crater/vent that caused a lot of destruction last year. We got to see the coastline, the devastation that the lava caused, and some waterfalls as well. Really great. Our pilot Joyce was really knowledgeable and explained what we were looking at, also answered all our questions that came up during the flight.

  2. Mary Thoen

    This was the most amazing 2 hrs of our entire visit to Kona. Our pilot and guide was Collin, he was engaging with everyone in our group of 5, showed us the best of the Big Island, gave us history, humor & skill. He took us deep in the beautiful valleys, close to the waterfalls, over volcanoes & beautiful farms. Thank you Collin, and all the staff at Paradise Tours!
    Mary & Greg – Mankato MN 2/4/19

  3. Tracy Mc

    I took a doors off lava flight in mid-July and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I’ve seen some amazing things. Everything about the flight was pretty perfect. The helicopter seemed modern and safe (my first helicopter ride so I wasn’t sure). My high praise for the pilot: when hovering above fissure 8, I wasn’t afraid of falling in. She circled around everything so everyone got a good view. The volcano cooperated. I spent a lot of time comparing companies and am glad I did. I believe this is the company that was giving free rides to volcano victims so they could check on things.

    I love their little overflight videos over the volcano. I’ve watched all of them I think. Check them out!

  4. Danny Yarbrough

    You simply cannot pass up the opportunity to see Kilauea from an open door chopper. Magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime event. Our pilot, Pete, was excellent in not only his flying skills, but his knowledge of the volcano and the surrounding area of Hilo. This is a must-do excursion that will “wow” you!

  5. Lisa

    My family and I took this amazing tour with Charlie on a “doors off” flight over the erupting Kilauea Volcano. After checking in and being given a very complete safety briefing we were taken out to the flight line and given head phones to talk to Charlie, our pilot, and each other. We flew along the coast line up to the fissures and then in land to see other fissures. The sight of the bubbling lava was something we will never forget. There were some clouds (Charlie told us that the volcano can create it’s own weather) and VOG, but he made sure that we were all able to see the lava fields and fissures. He gave us helpful and interesting information on what was going on with the local people and businesses due to the volcano eruption. This is a once in a life time tour you should take if you can. Who knows how long Kilauea will continue to give us these breath taking sights.

  6. Amy

    Fantastic experience! Matt did a great job with our flight. He was very knowledge in explaining the sites, different kinds of lava, and answering all of our questions. He always made sure that everyone was able to view the sites no matter where they were sitting.

    We were very happy that we were able to go on our tour since there had been some bad weather on previous days. We had to wait on our fellow passengers since they didn’t seem to understand what time they needed to be there and slept in/went to breakfast. After a period of time Paradise actually let us go on our own for our tour which was nice. I only wish I could get that hour plus of sleep back.

    A big thanks for the great tour. It was great getting a bird’s eye view of the island.

  7. Martine

    Expérience exceptionnelle !! Malheureusement un peu gâchée par le personnel au guichet (Mlle Adams aéroport de hilo) absolument désagréable prix annoncé au moment de la réserve 249 dollars au moment de payer 299 dollars . Pas un regard pas un sourire juste de dire sans nos regarder que « c’était Comme ça qu’on avait qu’a payer «  compte tenu du prix exorbitant le personnel pourrait au moins être aimable et souriant

  8. Rita

    This was our 30th wedding anniversary splurge. The doors off is the most incredible experience! We were able to see the lava inside the crater, and that was totally amazing! My only complaint is that we never got close to the waterfalls. We were so far up that we could barely spot them. Other than that this was a perfect trip!! I highly recommend it!!

  9. Penny (verified owner)

    We researched many companies & decided on the doors off volcano experience & it was fantastic! Make sure you have straps for your camera and cell & if you don’t the company sells cell phone straps for $2. The company was great & our pilot Pete was so fun! Also photography wise consider video because the photos are great but the moving experience is incredible. We were lucky & saw lava but weather & lava are variable & regardless of luck its incredible experience to see such primal landscape up close.

  10. Joan and Fred Lanphear

    We are sending feedback about our recent (4/22/2017) tour from Hilo. Every single item on the rating list gets 5 stars, more if I could. A helicopter tour has been on the bucket list for several years. To combine that experience with viewing emerging lava was wonderful. Matt was a thoughtful and experienced pilot, the ground crew were most kind and courteous, it was perfect! We are from New Jersey and found this tour by searching the internet and, of course, reviewed it on Trip Advisor. Most assuredly put these comments on your website, it was a terrific experience.

  11. Tracy F

    Amazing!!!! I know I didn’t thank Luka for the ride and for that I apologize! Thank you so much! This was my first helicopter ride so I thought why not and went without the doors. You will not be disappointed!

  12. Danette B.

    Loved the trip. Doors off is the only way to go!!!

  13. Edward B.

    Excellent Flight- Great experienced pilot. Saw lava breakout- Outstanding trip.

  14. Larry & Deanna

    Excellent! All smiles, nice way to spend our 40th Anniversary.

  15. Judy

    Amazing- my cheeks are still sore from smiling 🙂

  16. Robert

    Amazing! We’ve been on a helicopter tour 3 times but this was absolutely the best! Great doors off!

  17. Scott

    Would recommend to everyone. Best trip ever.

  18. Bob K.

    Great experience!
    First helicopter ride and you set the bar high!

  19. Sarah

    Fly with doors off, it’s the best! Nice weather. Great lava flows!! Nice waterfalls!

  20. Gordon

    Really loved this experience. Very professional from start to finish.

  21. Chuck Swanson

    Pete was a great pilot and tour guide we saw lots of lava. Paradise staff was great getting us an unforgettable adventure. Thanks!

  22. Harrison’s

    Awesome experience. ALL employees friendly and smiling!

  23. Steve Rowland

    So much fun, and the nicest staff!

  24. Donna F.

    Our pilot was so knowledgeable and friendly – He made the trip special. Ground crew also so friendly and helpful!

  25. Cory Dollear

    What a great time. Thank you for such a memorable experience.

  26. Pete M.

    One of the best flights I been on

  27. Diana & Gary K.

    Thank you! One more check on the bucket list we saw a lava flow!

  28. Dale & Val Palmer

    Overall experience was very good. Ground crew were very informative. 100% satisfied with the entire experience.

  29. Mick & Kathy White

    Thank you Jork. Great Flight!

  30. 2boystravelling

    Take the doors off tour for a great experience. The pilot was professional and found what lava was flowing to give us a great experience.

  31. Pragyan

    I want to see again and I love this volcano eruption

  32. Daniya T.

    We loved our No Doors Volcanoes & Falls tour. This was our first helicopter ride, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We were given great directions to the Hilo International Airport by email, good advice on what to bring (it is cold up there, so definitely wear long pants, socks, and a long-sleeve jacket), and staff were friendly and informative.

    There were only four passenger spaces on our helicopter, and no bad seat (you get assigned to your seat according to weight). The views are spectacular, and the pilot did an excellent job of making sure everyone got to see the same view from several perspectives. As long as you had your camera strapped, you could take pictures.

    The pilot was knowledgeable and told us about the landscape below. We flew over macadamia farms and on to the lava flows of the Kilauea Volcano. It is hard to predict what the flows will look like on any given day, but we were fortunate to see some molten lava streams, and it was breathtaking to watch them flow into the ocean. When we circled over the lava, you could feel the heat, an unforgettable sensation! (So glad we chose the no-doors option!)

    On the way back, you get a great view of Hilo’s harbor and a glimpse of the Rainbow Falls.

    Here’s what we saw on our tour:

    I’d do it again, and would certainly choose the no-doors option.

  33. B S

    With the doors off, we got some awesome snapshots of the lava from above! Was so amazing to feel the heat of the lava…. This tour is totally rad – a must see for anyone visiting the Big Island.

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