According to Lupércio Lima, the best Brazilian ranked in the International Aviation Federation, placed third in the World Hot Air Balloon Championship, Boituva (SP) is the best destination for beginners.
Pirenópolis, in Goiás, suits better advanced balloonists.
Boituva (Sao Paulo)
Brazilian ballooning HQ has a good number of instructors and balloons available, constant winds - despite being a flat ground - and many landing areas.
To help you engage in the sport, the town of Rio Claro (100 km away from Boituva) hosts several ballooning events and championships.
BEST TIME dry season (from April to October), but it can be practised all year-round
FROM US$ 120 per person
WHO TAKES YOU Chico do Balão: (+55 15) 98134-4365; Aeromagic: (+55 11) 2684-1206; Escola Brasileira de Balonismo: (+55 11) 2894-5380
PACKAGE two nights US$ 407; includes breakfast, ballooning and tandem skydiving. Meu Mundo Viagens: (+55 11) 5041-3962.
The city's flat ground is surrounded by the Pirineus Hills that provides good wind conditions with large variations.
It increases steer ability and gives the pilot better conditions to manoeuvre. It also provides a good number of landing areas. The flights can go as far as Brasilia and Chapada dos Veadeiros
BEST TIME all year-round
FROM US$ 200 per person
WHO TAKES YOU BlueSky: (+55 62) 3142-9040
PACKAGE two nights in a double room during the weekend at Suprema B&B US$ 140. Breakfast included. Reservations: (+55 62) 3331-3360; POUSADA SUPREMA
Excerpts by GUSTAVO SIMON from FOLHA DE SAO PAULO