The Grand Canyon is unquestionably one of the destinations that everyone should have on their bucket list. I have visited the Grand Canyon before driving from Phoenix but this time we decided to take a new approach! Grand Canyon Tours by Papillon Tours.
There are several tour companies to pick from in Vegas. We decided to go with this one since it seemed to offer the most amazing package of them all. I’ll be honest, I did not do extensive research on the different companies.
The tour we booked was Grand Canyon Sunset Tour. The tour featured a limo ride to LAS airport, landing on the canyon floor with champagne and light refreshments. The tour lasted roughly 4 hours. The price of the tour is a little expensive at $478 per person.
The website suggests wearing comfortable clothing. As expected the terrain in the canyon is rough. I decided to wear sneakers and jeans. I would not suggest wearing sandals on an excursion like this one.
Our tour began with the limo picking us up at 2:55 for a 4:00 departure from the airport. The limousine was promptly on time! The limo did make several stops prior to arriving at the airport. There was little social distancing going on in the limo. The mask policy was lenient as well.
After arriving to the airport we go inside the terminal. The clerk checks us in, takes our temperature and weighs us. Fortunately for us we got to sit in the front seat of the helicopter, which usually costs $50 extra per person, for free! We have to sit through a short safety presentation about how to put on our personal flotation devices (PFD).
We board a shuttle over to where the helicopters are.
One thing about the terminal is that masks were required but they didn’t seem to be particularly strict on the masks there either. I am only noting this because some of the guests had the mask underneath their noses.
Our pilot Janina was very informative and an amazing pilot. Each time I’ve ever flown in a helicopter there was a female pilot which I love. The tour features some amazing views. We start by flying over the Las Vegas Strip. Then we fly over the valley and Lake Mead until we get to the Hoover Dam.
Continuing on our journey we get to the West Rim of the canyon. This is first look at the Grand Canyon. Seeing the Grand Canyon from a helicopter is a totally different experience than seeing it on the ground.
After arriving at the Grand Canyon we land right near the Colorado River. An amazing experience. The views were incredible. We did have about 30 minutes on the ground before we had to depart. We spent most of our time taking photos but we did have a chance to eat our snacks and enjoy a glass of champagne.
The other helicopters were there as well. Our helicopter consisted of only 6 guests and the pilot. My boyfriend and I sat in the front, as I mentioned earlier so it was not cramped for us. There was an empty seat between the pilot and me.
On the way over the pilot was very knowledgeable and pointed out many different towns and points of interest along the way.
We have a unique experience at the canyon floor and then depart to a nearby airport for fuel. We all have to exit the aircraft while our pilot puts fuel in to get us back to LAS. The sunset was bright and I forgot my sunglasses so if you ever do a tour like this make sure to remember them! The sunset was as beautiful as the canyon.
After about 30- 45 minutes or so we are back into Las Vegas airspace. We approach over the valley and fly over Freemont Street. Freemont Street is the original Downtown Las Vegas featuring the casinos like The Golden Nugget, Binions and The Grand. To wrap up the tour we fly over The Strip once more. I’ll have to say I thought it would be lit up but it was still rather light outside and the Eiffel Tower a long with other hotels were not lit up yet. Needless to say the experience was amazing!
After arriving back at LAS we show our pilot appreciation with a generous tip (she was an amazing pilot/tour guide!) We board back on the shuttle to the terminal.
The limousine service used by the company was not particularly great. When we arrived back after the tour we had to wait 15 minutes for the limo to arrive, and even then it would only drop us off at the Bellagio, and not the hotel we were staying at! (Check out my review though of the Bellagio penthouse from last years Vegas trip!)
The poor post trip experience is what made my experience with the company not quite as good as it could have been (but it had nothing to do with the helicopter tour itself)
Outside of the transportation issue the tour was perfect! A romantic tour for couples, I would not suggest it for families. There are other amazing Grand Canyon tours for families!
How was your Grand Canyon experience?
Overall Nena’s Rating: 4.5/5
*All opinions are my own*
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*All IMAGES AND VIDEOS USED IN THIS POST ARE MY OWN*
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