World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.1 (129 votes)

Ballooning in Costa Rica

Listed under Flying, Gliding & Ballooning in Costa Rica.

  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
  • Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
Photo of Ballooning in Costa Rica
Photo by Photography: Phil Dunnington
Pin It

Ballooning in this tropical Central American country is one of many adventure sports available including rafting, tubing, canyoning, horse-back riding, canopy walks and off-road driving. There are two centres, both run by an American-owned company, at Turrialba and near the volcanic region of Arenal. Both are within a couple of hours’ drive of the capital San Jose, which is best reached from Europe via Miami. Pilots are American-trained and the balloons British-designed.

This is a year-round destination, though there are periods of greater humidity and rainfall. Countryside is a combination of primary jungle and sugar cane and pineapple plantation interspersed with roaring rivers and active volcanoes. There’s nearly always a crowd of enthusiastic cane-cutters to welcome your arrival when the balloon lands.

Accommodation is in bunkhouse-style rooms at the horse farm or in rather grander (but more expensive) hotels nearby. Flights are early-morning and offer either a ride down the narrow ravines above white water rapids or a rather more sedate drift over parrot-crowded jungle where howler monkeys screech at the balloon occupants as they pass only metres above. The smoke of volcanic activity is never far away and each flight is followed by a typical Costa Rican breakfast of black beans and fried bananas washed down with beer or cane spirit.

Written by  Phil Dunnington.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Skeleton Coast Flying Safari

    Rugged and raw, Damaraland is home to spectacular scenery, desert elephant and black rhino. Combine this with a flying trip up …

  • Paragliding around Oludeniz

    It’s the mountains rising just off the coast that make for great paragliding conditions in Oludeniz. The thermals are fairly c…

  • Paragliding in Central Tanzania

    Africa may not be an obvious choice when it comes to paragliding but the scenery is spectacular and the contrast of your high t…

Nearby Experiences

  • Irazu volcano

    Irazu is Costa Rica's tallest volcano. You can drive to the summit which is 3432 meters above sea level. On a clear day you can…

  • San José Serpentarium

    One of Costa Rica's scaled inhabitants goes by the name of the Jesus Christ Lizard. It got the name because it can walk on wat…

  • San Jose

    Warm temperatures year-round, inexpensive bars and clubs, and the Teatro Nacional, you know the way.

Related links

Contribute to this page