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We want to share with you our incredible experience of seeing the Grand Canyon from above!
Seeing the Grand Canyon was the sole purpose of us travelling to Las Vegas. It has always been something we wanted to do and this was literally a dream come true.
Most people choose to fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, although this is a wonderful option, it can be very costly.
We were invited to join Papillon’s Highlights Air Tour which is a 70 minute flight over the Grand Canyon West Rim in a small airplane. If you are not a big fan of heights and helicopters, I would definitely recommend taking a small plane. It is much more stable and it feels very much like a normal commercial flight.
Watch our short video below in HD!
Details of the tour
Cost: From $104/person
Duration: Approximately 4 hours (70mins flight duration)
Pick up: Free pick up service for most major hotels in Las Vegas
Views: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River and Grand Canyon West
We were staying in the MGM Grand Hotel and we were picked up by a small van at 6:30am at the West Wing Entrance. Our van took us to another hotel a short drive away where we changed to a bigger bus and made our way to Boulder City airport.
The check-in process was very short and simple. All you need is an ID and your confirmation letter/email. There is a shop available at the airport where you can pick up souvenirs, warm clothing, food, drinks and use the restroom.
We waited around 30 mins before we were given a ticket with our seat allocations on it. We were then escorted to our plane and we got on board. The small plane can fit around 17 passengers but because our tour wasn’t full, most people had a window seat. The windows were large and everybody had a decent view.
It took under 30 mins to get to the Grand Canyon by plane but it didn’t feel long at all because the view on the way there was incredible. We caught the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and we were able to see the Colorado River from above! We were also given headphones with audio guides.
Then the moment arrived…. Our first sighting of the Grand Canyon!! We were able to get a clear view of the West Rim and see the different layers of the canyon. The morning sun casted provided the perfect lighting. That view was really one of a kind!
After flying for over an hour, our tour came to an end. We were still filled with awe on our bus journey back to our hotel. We were back to our hotel by 10am, which meant we still had the whole day to explore Las Vegas!
This was a great way to see the Grand Canyon for the very first time. We were well looked after by the Papillon staff and the whole tour was seamless. We love the morning tour because it meant we had more time to do things afterward. The only thing that disappointed us was the fact that we were not able to fly higher due to the windy speed that day. I do suspect you can get an even better view if you fly in a helicopter but you have to be willing to pay extra for it.
- Wrap up warm! Layering is key as it can get a bit windy up there if you are sat near the door
- If you are travelling in a party of 2, one of you is guaranteed a window seat
- You can pre-book a window seat for $10. Window seat makes all the difference and you definitely want to be by the window to soak in the view
- Bring a camera to capture the breath-taking sight
Papillon means ‘butterfly’ in French which is a very fitting name for the company! It was founded in 1965 and they offer air tours across Nevada and Arizona. They tours available in 16 languages and 364 days a year. Visit their website to find out more HERE.
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? What is your favourite view of it? Share with us your experience in the comment section below!
If you want to try this tour out- click HERE
** Disclaimer: We were welcomed as guest on this tour by Papillon but all opinions and photographs are our own **