Aside from the spectacular beaches and golf courses, the Dominican Republic is the only Caribbean destination that offers visitors the possibility of experiencing a ride in a hot air balloon.
The one-hour ride will provide passengers with a whole new perspective of the impressive Punta Cana region. Balloon rides take place at sunrise and one hour before sunset, offering passengers unique breathtaking scenes.
During the hour-long ride passengers will be able to enjoy the beauty of Punta Cana and nearby areas from a completely new perspective. An impressive view are the endless kilometers of sugar plantations, cattle-grazing land, nearby villages and Higuey, the region’s most important city and provincial capital. From up above passengers will appreciate the modern architecture of the Basilica of the Virgin of “La Altagracia,” one of the region’s most impressive buildings. The Basilica was visited by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. All tours are different, says the balloon pilot, because the routes are never the same.
The balloon takes off twice a day, at sunrise and sunset, from its base in the village of Verón, very close to the hotel circuit. This particular schedule gives travelers the possibility of enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. The “Dominican Balloons” tour company offers rides for fourteen, twelve, six and three passengers.
Reservations can be made through tour operators in the various hotels in the area, or by directly contacting “Dominican Balloons.” Cost per ride is US$275 per person. In all, the trip (including travel to and from the hotel) will take about four hours.
Prior to departure, travelers are given all the necessary safety and precautionary measures that must be followed during the flight. Comfortable clothing is recommended (preferably jeans), and lightweight shoes.
Passengers are offered a light snack before departure and, upon landing; everyone is treated to champagne and food in a Dominican-style outdoor terrace.
Sampling of the Dominican liquor known as “Mamajuana” – made from the roots of various trees, aromatic leaves and rum – is part of the package.
The experience is also offered at the corporate level for “team building” activities. The idea is to get participants involved in the entire process from assembling the balloon until it get off the ground, to identify and improve the experience of teamwork (www.dominicanballoons.com).