Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

In June 2015, I had my first international solo travel experience. I had done a lot of research and tried to work out what would suit me best, but eventually settled on a Contiki Tour! I looked extensively into which specific tour I wanted to do, and ended up opting for the Best of USA! If you’re unfamiliar with what Contiki is all about, essentially they’re a tour company for people from all over the world, aged between 18 and 35. So as long as you’re within that age bracket, you can enjoy everything that Contiki has to offer!

What stood out to me with this tour, was New York City and Las Vegas. I had always wanted to visit New York. It was a childhood dream of mine. And I wanted to go back to Las Vegas, since the previous time I visited, I wasn’t 21 yet! The last time I visited Las Vegas, I was with my family. I was two weeks away from turning 21, and actually got asked to move away from the casino area multiple times!

Contiki Tours offer a broad range of extras available for an added cost. One of those was the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour, which is a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, with a champagne lunch at the bottom! As soon as I saw this, I immediately knew I wanted to do it. The Grand Canyon is incredible, and I think it’s one of those must-see-before-you-die places in the world. It’s difficult to explain just how surreal it feels to be there, so you’ll either have to take my word for it, or book a tour yourself!


On our second full day in Las Vegas, a few of us woke up bright and early and caught the shuttle bus to the helicopter terminal in Boulder City. I remember it being a scorching hot day (that’s Nevada during summer for ya), and I was sweating up a storm from the second we walked out of the wonderfully air-conditioned terminal. Once I saw our awesome, bright red helicopter though, I forgot about the heat! Well, kind of.

Our pilot (who’s name I cannot remember, sorry!) was super friendly and explained the tour in great detail. We got given noise cancellation headphones, and weren’t shy in taking selfies with us wearing them. I was lucky enough to be given the front seat, right next to the pilot. This was awesome, except for the the burning sun that was hitting my legs the whole time! But hey, I can’t complain too much. I had un-restricted, panoramic views of the beautiful Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Once we were in the sky, we flew over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, before finally seeing the Grand Canyon in all its glory. It’s pretty hard to describe just how impressive the Canyon is. I’m sure you’ve seen tons of photos, from every angle possible. But you can’t really imagine how insanely large and incredible it is until you’re there. In my opinion, spending some extra money to be flown over the Grand Canyon, is the best way to see it. After all, everything is even more impressive from the sky, right?

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

After some awesome photo opportunities of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, the helicopter began to descend and we eventually landed 4,000 feet below the rim of the Grand Canyon! Once we were all out of the helicopter, everyone began snapping away on their phones and cameras. Photos were being taken from every direction, and I made sure to grab as many selfie opportunities as I could.

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

After everyone had finished taking photos, we all sat down to a champagne picnic lunch under shaded park benches. It was pretty incredible, eating lunch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It’s not really a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, because I’m sure you could do it again and again if you want to. But I definitely think it’s something that everyone should consider when visiting Las Vegas.

Once lunch was over, we had one last look around the Canyon and snuck in some last minute photos. I made sure to not only take a photo of our bright red helicopter, but also have a selfie in front of it!

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

I had an awesome morning on the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour, and it was definitely worth the cost! If seeing the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list, consider crossing it off in the coolest way possible! You won’t regret it. The pilots are all super friendly, and will answer any and all of your questions! I’m so glad Contiki gave me the opportunity to do this, as I probably wouldn’t have thought of it myself! So that is why I am sharing this super important information with all of you! #youarewelcome

Here are the basics about this particular Canyon tour

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour by Papillon
Cost: starting from $314
Approximate duration: 4-4.5 hours
Departure: shuttle pick up from (most) major Las Vegas hotels

Helpful Tips

  • Make sure you bring your ID (passport, drivers license etc)
  • This particular tour is pretty popular, so make sure you book your tickets in advance so you don’t miss out!
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera!
  • Wear sunscreen if you are visiting during summer

For more information about this tour, click here!

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Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon



  1. May 20, 2017 / 9:53 am

    This looks so incredible! The photos are amazing to say the least and the thought of a champagne picnic just tops it all off! I’d only ever really thought about hiking or paddling in the grand canyon, but this tour seems fantastic!

    • May 20, 2017 / 9:56 am

      It’s definitely a great option for people who want a less ‘active’ way of seeing the Grand Canyon. Not that I’m not an active person, I simply jumped at the opportunity to see the Canyon in such an awesome way!
      Thanks for your comment 😀

    • May 20, 2017 / 10:13 am

      It was a lot of fun! Super hot though, haha.
      Maybe one day you can go back and take the helicopter ride 😀

    • May 20, 2017 / 10:48 am

      Contiki Tours are a great way to see a new place, and meet new people! And you get to do awesome things like this! I never would have thought of doing a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon if it wasn’t for Contiki! 😀

  2. Jean
    May 20, 2017 / 10:36 am

    This looks anazing! I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon from above. Or maybe just in general I’m desperate to see it.

    • May 20, 2017 / 10:44 am

      I hope you get to see the Grand Canyon one day! It’s amazing, no matter how you experience it! 😀

  3. May 20, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Think this is definitely something I’d factor in to my budget if I am ever over that way! Looks like you had a fab time. Just out of interest, what else was included alongside he champagne?

  4. Jamie
    May 20, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    Can you believe I was lucky enough to grow up just an hour and a half from the Grand Canyon?! I always took it for granted. Maybe a helicopter ride would make me appreciate it again?! And champagne at the bottom?! Yes please!! Sounds like you had a great time on this trip. It truly sounds spectacular!!!

    • May 20, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      You are lucky! Sometimes it’s easy to overlook things that we’ve grown up so close to. I was the same about my hometown after moving to the middle of nowhere! haha
      If you happen to visit one day, definitey consider the helicopter ride! Thanks for reading, Jamie! 🙂

  5. May 20, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    This looks amazing, Rhiannon! And actually, given that it was a 3-4 hour trip, I didn’t think it was too horrendously overpriced! I would love to explore the Grand Canyon and some of the national parks around that area one day. Love your pictures; they definitely inspire me to visit!
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  6. May 20, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    This looks so beautiful. I am definitely adding this to my things to do while visiting the Grand Canyon. Your pictures are so pretty 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Such a cool way to experience the Grand Canyon! Definitely worth the money, in my opinion 🙂
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Kelly
    May 21, 2017 / 6:39 am

    I have heard great things about Contiki and this tour looks stunning. I live in the US and have never been to the Grand Canyon. This encourages me to get thete and see it through the window of a helicopter. Thanks!!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:54 am

      Contiki is awesome, especially if you want to meet new people in a safe and everything-done-for-you way! I hope you do visit, it’s awesome, especially from the sky! 🙂 Thanks for reading 😀

  8. May 21, 2017 / 10:38 am

    This is awesome!! Despite living so close I’ve actually never been to the Grand Canyon, believe it or not. Helicopter views are some of my favorite views so I’d definitely go this route if I were to visit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:55 am

      Oh wow, you definitely should go! They’re amazing, aren’t they? I’ve done two helicopter rides, this one and one over New York City! Soooo worth the cost 🙂 Thanks for reading! 🙂

  9. May 21, 2017 / 11:00 am

    That is really cool! I visited the hoover dam briefly and spent a couple days at the Grand Canyon this past October. It was so amazing and I can’t wait to go again, but seeing it from the air must be really incredible! I loved your pics from the helicopter, wow, what a different and impressive angle!

    • May 21, 2017 / 11:04 am

      The Hoover Dam is very impressive, isn’t it! Seeing it from the sky is definitely something you should consider. Such an awesome experience. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  10. May 21, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    That is an awesome way to see the Grand Canyon! I’ve only seen it from an airplane, but this is a much better view. Helicopter rides super freak me out, but I convinced myself to do one in Hawaii over the volcanoes and ended up enjoying it, so I’d def give this a go!
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  11. May 21, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go on a helicopter ride and the Grand Canyon looks like the perfect place to do one! I’ll definitely consider this company when I go there. 🙂

  12. May 22, 2017 / 5:33 am

    Wow such an amazing experience! I didn’t do this the time I visited Grand Canyon in 2014. I’m a bit scared of helicopter rides but maybe next time I try it. I also want to go back to Las Vegas, I was 20 when I visited.

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:36 pm

      Helicopters can be pretty scary if you’ve never been in one, but the view is worth it! Oh that’s disappointing! I hope you get to go back one day soon! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Ivana 🙂

  13. Rosie Fluskey
    May 22, 2017 / 7:08 am

    Wow, what an epic way to tick off your bucket list! It sounds incredible. I think being a helicopter, below the rim of the canyon would freak me out a little. I’d be worried about the champagne too, what if you need a wee on the way back lol.

    • May 22, 2017 / 10:35 pm

      It definitely was an amazing experience! Haha, well the flight isn’t too long, so it won’t matter too much if you drink a bit too much and have to wee! 😛
      Thanks for reading, Rosie!

  14. May 27, 2017 / 11:29 pm

    The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list for a while and it seems like you had lots of fun! Very motivational post, Rhiannon!

    • May 28, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      I hope you get to visit one day soon! Thanks for reading 🙂

  15. June 2, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    I travelled around America with Trek America and although I did the helicopter ride, we didn’t land in the Canyon so that’s awesome! Instead I hiked in and nearly died hiking back up hahaha

    • June 3, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Oh wow that would have killed me for sure! haha. Super impressive that you managed to hike back up to the top! Thanks for reading, Eppie 🙂

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