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Maui: Day 6

I had left our sixth and final day in Maui totally open, so I was thrilled when J suggested we use the day to take a helicopter tour of the islands.  I’d seen Jen’s photos at Pearls and Lace, so I knew the views would be spectacular.

We received a brief safely lesson before being lead out to the helipad.  I could barely contain my excitement when I found out that I had the front middle seat with a practically unobstructed panoramic view!  After donning earmuffs, we were cleared for take-off.

We cruised over West Maui, and then around Molokai, which is a scarcely populated, un-touristy island with breathtaking waterfalls that plunge thousands of feet.

The weather was a little hazy, but we could see well enough to appreciate the island’s beauty.  The pilot gave us a crash course in Hawaiian history/mythology as we cruised through the air.  For example, he told us about a cliff-diving king who would jump off the tallest rock in the photo above to prove his immortality to his troops.  It worked every time- they never lost a battle after one of his crazy leaps!

Above is Turtle Island (it looks like a turtle from far away, but I cut the head out of this photo).  The U.S. Government used it for target practice back in WW2, so now it’s a bird sanctuary (as in, humans beware: this rock is radioactive).

Our pilot took us down into these valleys where we got up close and personal with these amazing rainforest waterfalls.

Isn’t the reef amazing?  Talk about a snorkeler’s paradise!

So much of Hawaii isn’t accessible by car, you really have to go up in a helicopter to appreciate it (unless you’re a really serious hiker).  After basking in the island’s beauty for a week, I couldn’t believe she was hiding more radiance just beyond the next ridge, channel, or valley.  If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, I can’t recommend this enough.

Note: We went with Air Maui but there are at least 5-6 different companies that all operate out of the same heliport.

The BEST holidays

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