For some people, a flight in a hot air balloon is a dream they've had for years, for others, it's something they've never even dreamed of. But for many visitors to Costa Rica, that dream has become a reality. And in Costa Rica, the excitement inherent in ballooning is complemented by unforgettable landscapes and close exposure to tropical nature.

Balloon flights have been offered to visitors for the past three years, with three possible flight routes to choose from. The Naranjo flight -- the only one that can be done from a San Jose hotel -- takes passengers over coffee fields, farms and scenic towns as on the slopes of Poas Volcano. The San Carlos option heads over a private rain forest reserve, where the balloon floats slowly through the tree tops past flocks of parakeets, toucans and troops of monkeys. The third option is a flight down the verdant Reventazon River Valley, over churning rapids and patches of wilderness. Multi-day packages can be offered. They combine ballooning with a variety of other outdoor diversions, such as rafting and mountain biking.