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12 of the World’s Most Beautiful Locations for Hot Air Ballooning

photo: Ian Dooley
Swiss Alps, the Serengeti, wine country, alpine lakes, deserts. All of these destinations and more are fair game for hot air balloon adventuring. From cruising over ancient city landmarks in Myanmar to spotting wildlife in the Serengeti, the sky’s the limit with these airborne adventures. Here are 12 of the most breathtaking locations around the world you can float away to. 

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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Hot Air Balloon Safari with Four Seasons Serengeti learn more

Exploring the Serengeti bush is something we typically associate with being on foot, but the perspective from the sky shouldn’t be ignored. Tanzania’s Four Seasons Serengeti offers sky-high tours of the great plains and wildlife spotting destinations.
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Photo: Sommer Tage
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Bagan

Myanmar
Holy sites and Buddhist monuments dot the skyline of Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan, making this destination extra special for a hot air balloon trip with Balloons Over Bagan. While Myanmar is undoubtedly a gorgeous place to go ballooning, there is a great deal of debate over safely and ethically traveling there. The people of Myanmar are facing ongoing persecution and violence. Recently, many experts, including Justin Francis,the CEO of Responsible Travel, have come out saying that avoiding the area would hurt the locals more than anything. Francis writes “If we can continue to benefit local communities and help keep Burma visible to the international community through tourism, then we’ll continue to sell holidays there.” Read about traveling to Myanmar here →
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Dubai

United Arab Emirates
These hot air balloons in the desert are not a mirage. In fact, Dubai is surrounded by desert landscape that’s easiest to explore via hot air balloon. Our pickHot Air Balloon Ride Dubai
Photo: Mahir Uysal
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Cappadocia

Turkey
Cappadocia is kind of known for being the “it” destination for hot air ballooning. Why? Because the setting is so magnificent. You’ll be floating above an ancient city that’s made of a soft volcanic rock, so you’re bound to see lots of pinnacles, cones, pillars and more amazing geologic formations that are best seen from above. Our pick: Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia
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Teotihuacan

Mexico
Launch just outside Mexico City to sightsee your way through the pyramids of Teotihuacan. Private flights are an option with Volare, just in case you’re planning something special.
Photo: kaye.philippa
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Jaipur

India
Most people who’ve been to India will tell you it’s a trip of a lifetime, so it only makes sense to complement such a journey with a hot air balloon adventure with Sky Waltz. Explore the heritage city of Jaipur and you’ll be able to see the Pink City and its surrounds in all their glory.
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Arizona

Fly over Phoenix’s Sonoran Desert with Float Balloon Tours and you’ll see acres upon acres of stunning sites, cacti included. And hey, if you fancy yourself a photographer, these guys do some great photography workshops from up above.
Photo: nomadica88
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Château-d’Oex

Switzerland
Enjoy the Swiss Alps from the vantage point of cloud-level with an Alpine tour of Grand-Combin, Matterhorn and the Jura. The hot air balloons that take off from Château-d’Oex operate year-round.
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Lake Tahoe

California & Nevada
Get a fresh perspective of Tahoe with a hot air balloon trip with Lake Tahoe Balloons. Views of the Sierras, the forests, the lakes, Emerald Bay, and Yosemite (on a clear day) make this spot epic for going all the way up. 
Photo: Tyler Garner
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Melbourne

Victoria, Australia
Urbanites can enjoy early mornings floating over Melbourne’s CBD or the winemaking region of the Yarra Valley with Global Ballooning. What will it be: Pastures and paddocks or skyscrapers and city views?
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Napa

California
Napa Valley’s impressive vineyards and hills are even more amazing when viewed from above. Napa Valley Aloft offers tours of Napa Valley, Pope Valley or the Vaca Mountain range near Putah Creek. Be sure you opt for a local sparkling wine to be served in-flight.
Photo: Alex Boolay
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San Diego

California
Planning a trip to San Diego? Or perhaps, a proposal? Check out Compass Balloons when you’re looking to put a ring on it, or simply go for a ride along the Pacific coastline.

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