GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Hot-air ballooning has become nearly as popular in Taos as in Albuquerque, with a handful of outfitters offering rides, most starting at about $240 per person.
Eske's Paradise Balloons. This reliable company thrills participants with a "splash and dash" in the Rio Grande River as part of a silent journey through the 600-foot canyon walls of Rio Grande Gorge. Taos, NM. 575/751–6098. www.taosballooning.com.
Pueblo Balloon Company. This is one of the most popular outfitters in town for balloon rides over and into the Rio Grande Gorge. Taos, NM. 575/751–9877. www.puebloballoon.com.