If you’ve decided to take a guided tour to the Grand Canyon, the next choice you have to make is what type of guided tour you want to take.
You have a number of options, from traditional bus tours to luxurious helicopter adventures! We’ve outlined some of the key differences between tour types to help you make your decision:
Bus tours are the most straightforward tour type available to Grand Canyon adventurers. Simply hop on your bus, enjoy the ride to the Grand Canyon (including the stops along the way), and hop back on after you explore the Rim!
Bus tours are ideal if you:
- Have a full day to explore the Southwest and the Grand Canyon
- Prefer not to fly
- Enjoy seeing the landscape up close
- Are on a tighter budget
Airplane tours are perfect for those who want to add an element of excitement to their Grand Canyon adventure. It takes less time to fly to the Grand Canyon than it does to drive, so you can look forward to having more time to explore the Rim and its many scenic overlooks.
You should take an airplane tour if:
- You have evening plans in Las Vegas or other nearby cities
- You’d rather spend more time exploring the Grand Canyon
- You want a bird’s eye view of the Southwest and the Grand Canyon
Helicopter tours are one of the most thrilling guided tour options for visiting the Grand Canyon. Soar over the Grand Canyon is a specially designed sightseeing helicopter, or even descend below the Rim to the Canyon floor.
Helicopter tours are ideal if you:
- Are a thrill-seeker!
- Love flying – helicopters are less stable than airplanes, which can make uneasy flyers uncomfortable.
- Want to explore the Canyon floor
Grand Canyon boat tours are tranquil and relaxing. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy a leisurely float down the Colorado River in a pontoon boat!
Hop on a boat tour if you:
- Want to relax on your trip to the Grand Canyon
- Are comfortable with helicopters – you’ll be flying in one to reach the Canyon floor
- Want to explore the Canyon floor – some boat tours include lunch in the inner Canyon
If you can’t decide what kind of tour you want to take, combine them! Combination tours include a mix of different transportation methods, including buses, airplanes, helicopters, and boats.
Book a combination tour if:
- You want to sample a little bit of everything!
- Members of your travel party have different tastes and preferences
Whitewater rafting is the ultimate Grand Canyon adventure. Get up close and personal with the Colorado River and the inner Canyon as you make your way through class 3 and 4 rapids with the help of a professional rafting guide.
Rafting tours are perfect if you:
- Don’t mind getting a little wet!
- Are craving an adrenaline-pumping, heart-racing adventure
- You have a full day to visit the Grand Canyon – rafting tours start very early!
The Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide
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Getting to the Grand Canyon
While You're There
Download the Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide for guides to each Rim, packing lists, travel tips and more.