World’s 10 Best Helicopter Experiences
Going up as high as possible is one of the best ways to enjoy the views of some of the most beautiful places in the world. A helicopter ride will give you the complete view of any place you are visiting – from the world’s tallest skyscrapers to the magnificent mountain tops. Here are ten best places in the world for a helicopter tour that will be well worth the splurge.
Iceland is known for having sprawling contrasting landscapes. Such is the beauty of Iceland with its many volcanoes and geothermal activity, glittering glaciers, elegant national parks, and roaring waterfalls. You will always find the mention of Iceland in some of the best helicopter rides in the world.
Begin your helicopter ride with the magnificent views of the country’s tallest waterfall Glymur. From dramatic mountaintops to the ice-covered valleys and many dormant volcano craters, fly on to get the best view of Langjokul, the second largest glacier in Europe. Explore Thingvellir National Park’s raw plate tectonics from the air, then land at Hengill geothermal ( Mt. Hengill volcano ) area where boiling mud and steaming springs are hidden, bear in mind this is not a common tourist place so with a helicopter ride in you are truly getting a unique experience of Iceland.
2Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe
One of the most breathtaking aerial adventures you can take is a helicopter tour of the Victoria Falls located at an intersection between Zambia and Zimbabwe. This spectacular waterfall is the largest globally at over 5,600 feet wide and 350 feet deep. It sprays more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute over an edge that plummets into a gorge more than hundred meters below, causing the sound of the falls to be heard from a distance of up 40 kilometers.
In fact, it is so big that the only way to view the waterfall in its entirety is from the air. If you are lucky, you can also spot some of the continent’s famous wildlife, such as elephants, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, and hippos during your helicopter tour. If you can’t get enough of the view, you can head on further downstream to see the Batoka Gorges and the animals roaming around in the Zambezi National Park.
3Glacier Country in New Zealand
Located on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers together are known as Glacier Country. The Glacier Country’s enormity is best captured through an aerial view, and it is often touted as being one of the best helicopter rides in the world.
Franz Josef glaciers extends for 12 miles and is one of the fastest moving glaciers on earth which can be easily accessed by helicopter. Helicopter tours of the Glacier Country typically include snow landings on either one of the glaciers but and some flights will take in both the Fox and the Franz Josef. If you want to upgrade your trip, you can also include an aerial tour of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki or Mount Cook.
4Great Barrier Reef in Australia
Another one of the best helicopter rides in the world takes you through the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Most of the helicopter tour operators will take you over Australia’s tropical rainforest and the wild outback, allowing you to witness the country’s most exotic landscape.
Different helicopter tour companies follow other routes to also include sites like the Whitehaven Beach, the outer reaches of the reef, the Low Isles, and the Heart Reef. Some of the longer helicopter routes will also take you over the Baron Gorges, the Daintree Rainforest, and the Cairns Highlands.
5Mount Everest in Nepal
Climbing Mount Everest is not everyone’s cup of tea. For those who have no plans to make the arduous trek up the mountain, a helicopter tour is a perfect alternative to visit this awe-inspiring natural wonder. This once-in-a-lifetime journey is touted as being one of the best helicopter rides in the world.
A helicopter ride will take you around the Himalayan mountain range and show you the Everest Base Camp, The Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, and the Khumbu Glacier. Many tours also take you through the Bhotekoshi River Basin areas, the Dudh Kosi River, and the Gokyo Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6Grand Canyon in the United States
Grand Canyon is one of a kind immense chasm carved by the Colorado River in Arizona. This 70 million years old formation is decorated with with red rocks that give an insight into the ancient geological history. Spreading over 11 kilometers (18 miles) and one mile deep, the colorful formations, spires, and buttes are a sight to behold from above and one of the best helicopter experiences in the world. It is only on a helicopter tour that you can best see how the mighty Colorado River and its many tributaries have made their mark and cut their way through the stunning red canyon. You can also spot the famous Vegas Strip, the Hoover Dam and the Mojave Desert from up here. Some helicopter companies have permission to land in the canyon for a riverboat ride or a stroll on the adrenaline-rush-inducing Skywalk.
7Niagara Falls on the Canada-US Border
Even while flying in a helicopter up high, you will still be able to hear and feel the thunderous roar of the Niagara Falls, one of the most magnificent waterfalls in North America. This waterfall lies on the border between Canada and the United States. It is made up of three separate waterfalls, the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls.
The helicopter tours over Niagara Falls typically take off from Victoria Avenue and take you downstream of the Niagara River. You will be able to spot the Rainbow Bridge, the Whirlpool Rapids, and even the Queen Victoria Park as you fly along.
8Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
The capital city of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, is a popular tourist destination. One of the best ways to view this beautiful and ancient city is to opt for a helicopter tour. Most helicopter companies in Rio offer a breathtaking 360-degree view of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.
The aerial view of Rio de Janeiro will give you a spectacular view of the sandy white beaches, the granite peak Sugar Loaf Mountain, and a survey of the Olympic Village and the Maracana Stadium. Even from the air, the Christ the Redeemer statue seems larger than life.
9Cape Town in South Africa
Cape Town’s mountainous landscape interspersed with the many striking natural features, make for a jaw dropping helicopter ride experience.
The shorter helicopter tour itineraries include the entire city’s views, a visit to the flat-topped Table Mountain, the historic Robben Island, and the Twelve Apostles. The more extended tours will also include the Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, the Noordhoek suburbs, the Cape Point Nature Reserve, and Cape Point itself, which is the southernmost tip of the African Peninsula.
10Iguazu Falls on the Brazil-Argentina Border
Located on the border between Brazil and Argentina, the stunning Iguazu Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the world’s natural wonders. The one way to truly capture the magnificence of the falls is to take a helicopter tour of the place.
Popularly known as the Overflight Falls tour, this is a ten-minute tour that takes you over the 250-foot falls three times as wide and twice as tall as the Niagara Falls. The more extended helicopter tours also include spectacular views of the Iguacu River, the Parana River, Itaipu Dam, and the Three Border Landmark.