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See Costa Rica from a Hot Air Balloon

Updated: Dec 11, 2018

If you're planning all inclusive travel to Costa Rica, you'll no doubt have a memorable time, but booking a hot air balloon ride can really bring your family vacations to new heights. The lush landscapes of this Central American paradise are stunning whether you're touring local towns, climbing through rainforest canopies or soaring high overhead, & there are plenty of opportunities to explore the country during your visit.

Ballooning is a relatively new addition to tourism in Costa Rica, but there are already a few different skyward journeys you can try. Serendipity Adventures, the only hot air balloon operator in Costa Rica, offers a few different routes to try.

Arenal Volcano Float up into the sky above San Carlos, 20 miles away from the Arenal Volcano, until you're high above the clouds. Serendipity's website stated that with the right cloud cover, the world disappears & you're alone with the peak of the volcano. You won't get too close, because it is active, but the view of the smoking volcano is indescribable. You'll then float back down below the clouds to see the rainforests, rivers & lands of Costa Rica from a whole new angle.

Naranjo ​If you're staying in San Jose, Tourism Costa Rica recommended the Naranjo flight, which floats across the towns, farmlands & coffee plantations toward the Turrialba Volcano. This peak hasn't erupted in nearly 150 years, according to Costa Rica Journeys. If you choose, you can return after your balloon ride & actually go inside the volcano itself. This journey will also lead you across the skies above the ancient city of Guayabo. The historic ruins are even more impressive when seen from a bird's eye view.

The rides themselves take less than two hours, & you can book a trip for up to five people. It's not ideal for small children, as everyone in your party should be able to easily climb in & out of the basket, but the charter service will provide a staff member for kids under 10 for safety's sake. The balloons take about 45 minutes to fully inflate, & trips start very early, so you'll have to be out of your 5 star resorts & ready to be picked up by 5 a.m. When all is said & done, the trip takes about five hours start to finish, & it won't be one you'll soon forget.

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