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. There's a significant discount if you pay with cash. Taos, New Mexico. 575/751–6098;

Pueblo Balloon Company. This is one of the most popular outfitters in town for balloon rides over and into the Rio Grande Gorge. 926 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos, New Mexico, 87571. 575/751–9877;

Find a Hotel