guests stand in the middle of the Grand Canyon atop the Skywalk Bridge

How to Plan Your International Grand Canyon Excursion

If you're visiting Las Vegas for the first time, especially as an international traveler, you may not be aware that the Grand Canyon is just a short distance away. In fact, you can visit the Grand Canyon West or Grand Canyon National Park on a day tour from Las Vegas with plenty of time remaining to enjoy the Strip casinos and attractions. No matter which rim of the Grand Canyon you'd like to see, Papillon can get you there on bus tours, helicopter tours, and air tours aboard a sightseeing airplane. This guide will help you plan the perfect Grand Canyon tour while you're visiting the United States.

What to Consider Before Planning Grand Canyon Excursions From Las Vegas

There are several factors to consider when planning your Grand Canyon excursion from Las Vegas. However, with proper planning and packing, your trip can be the most memorable experience of your lives! Here are our top tips for first time international visitors to the Grand Canyon:

Which Rim of the Grand Canyon to Visit

The Grand Canyon is divided into two primary regions: the West Rim and the South Rim (which is also known as the official "Grand Canyon National Park"). Both locations offer fantastic sightseeing, but very different experiences.

The Grand Canyon West Rim is the better location for those seeking a more rugged, closer to nature experience. You won't find any fences or guardrails at rim of the Grand Canyon here! This is also the home of the Skywalk Bridge, and the only area of the canyon where a helicopter tour can land on the very bottom. You can also enjoy boat rides along the Colorado River through the canyon walls.

The Grand Canyon South Rim is far more developed than the West Rim. Here you'll find dozens of souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants and dining options, as well as museums, art galleries, and historic buildings. The South Rim contains some of the most world-recognizable sights of the canyon and the deepest and widest gorges. Here you can enjoy helicopter tours, airplane tours, and Hummer excursions along the rim.

several visitors stand on the very edge of a Grand Canyon National Park lookout point

How Long to Spend at the Grand Canyon

No matter how much free time you have on your Las Vegas holiday, you can still experience the Grand Canyon. You can reach the West Rim on a helicopter tour in about 35 minutes, and you can fly to the South Rim in just over an hour. Papillon offers dozens of tours of varying lengths, ranging from 3 hours to full-day adventures, so the possibilities are endless!

What Time of Year to Visit the Grand Canyon

Although the Grand Canyon is nestled deep within the Arizona desert, the region actually experiences a variety of seasons and weather types. In the summertime, temperatures can soar over 35 degrees C and the sunlight can be very bright. Late July and August is also typically monsoon season, so expect possible rain showers. If you visit in the summer, ensure that you have light clothing that covers your skin from the sun as well as sunglasses and a hat, and drink plenty of water.

During winter, snowfall at the Grand Canyon is a relatively common occurrence. The snow-covered Grand Canyon is perhaps one of the most beautiful sights in the world, but if you plan to visit in winter remember to bring warm clothing and be advised that some activities may be unavailable and that some hiking trails will be closed.

The most popular times to visit the canyon are in the spring and fall, as the temperatures are far more moderate and the sunlight isn't too powerful.

When to Book Your Grand Canyon Tour

Papillon offers daily departures to the Grand Canyon and other locations like Antelope Canyon. When you're planning your Las Vegas holiday, it is always advised to book your Grand Canyon tour as early as possible to ensure your choice of adventure does not sell out. You can find our best prices on our website or you can contact our reservations department with any questions.

What to Do at the Grand Canyon

There are plenty of activities and unique ways to experience the Grand Canyon and both of the popular destination points. Use our Guide to the Grand Canyon West and our Guide to the Grand Canyon South Rim to plan your full itinerary no matter how long you plan to stay!

a pontoon boat floating down the Colorado River between the walls of the Grand Canyon West

Papillon’s Grand Canyon Excursions from Vegas

How do you determine which tour is best for your group? If your party is large, an airplane tour might be best to accommodate everyone. If you're a smaller group, a helicopter tour is an exhilarating experience you'll never forget. You'll also need to consider the amount of time you have available - should you spend an entire day at the Grand Canyon or just a few hours to capture photos? No matter what you decide upon, Papillon has the perfect tour for your group.

All of our Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas feature aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the stunning Southwest desert scenery. Most of our tours also offer upgrade options to enhance your sightseeing experience, including rafting excursions, open-air Hummer tours, and access to the Skywalk Bridge. Here are our most popular tours, sure to delight visitors of all ages!

This helicopter tour from Las Vegas sets off over the Mojave Desert to the Grand Canyon West, where it will land all the way on the very bottom! On the canyon floor, you'll make a short trek to the bank of the Colorado River where a pontoon boat will be waiting for you. You'll enjoy a peaceful float between the towering walls of the Grand Canyon and feel the refreshing spray of the water. Your helicopter will return you to the canyon surface and you'll have plenty of time to explore the most famous viewpoints before your return flight to Las Vegas. This tour can also be upgraded to include VIP access to the Skywalk Bridge!

Travel from the Las Vegas area to the Grand Canyon South Rim aboard a sightseeing airplane, designed with comfortable seating, climate control, headset narration, and oversized windows for photography. Upon arrival at the national park, you'll board a customized open-air Hummer vehicle for transport to multiple scenic lookout points. You'll have time at each location to explore and take photos during the Hummer tour. You can also upgrade this tour to include a helicopter flight over the deepest and widest regions of the Grand Canyon!

Experience the entire West Rim from top to bottom! This Grand Canyon helicopter tour leaves from the Las Vegas area and travels across the desert to the West Rim, where you'll land at the very bottom between the colossal canyon walls. On the canyon floor, you'll walk down to the bank of the Colorado River to an awaiting pontoon boat to enjoy a gentle ride. You can snap photos of the massive stone walls on either side of you! Your helicopter will return you to the canyon rim, where you'll have front-of-the-line entry onto the Skywalk Bridge!

a pilot poses happily im front of a red helicopter at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Book Your Grand Canyon Excursion Today!

If you're planning a Las Vegas holiday, visiting the Grand Canyon is an absolute must-do. Whether you'd like to spend the day at the Grand Canyon National Park or you'd like to experience the West Rim, Papillon has the perfect tour for you. We offer daily tours of the Grand Canyon and have been the world's oldest and longest-running air tour operator since 1965!

Locally Owned & Operated

Since our first day in business, we have been proudly family owned and operated, with air terminals in Las Vegas, the nearby Boulder City, at the Grand Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon West, and in Page AZ - home of Antelope Canyon.

Over 600,000 Happy Passengers Every Year

We are delighted to bring visitors from all over the world to the most beautiful landmark in the United States - the Grand Canyon. Most of our air tours offer headset narration available in a variety of languages, so all international guests can enjoy learning about this beautiful location. We look forward to sharing this magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience with you!