The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (in October) is a great time to watch (and ride in) hundreds of colorful balloons as they take flight over Albuquerque. It’s a magical event, but we promise a hot air balloon ride will be just as magical any time of year. As Albuquerque is basically the hot air balloon capital of the US, there’s no better place to enjoy a birds-eye view of the city and surrounding mountains.
Hot air ballooning is a popular activity all around the world, with many festivals taking place throughout the year all across the United States and even internationally in countries like Canada, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. However, there’s one place that’s known as the hot air ballooning capital of the world and it’s right here in the United States: Albuquerque, New Mexico. So, why is Albuquerque known as the hot-air-ballooning capital of the world?
The Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival in the World
Because of the conditions and the landscape, people would often hot air balloon in Albuquerque, but it wasn’t until 1972 that something special started. That year, a small group gathered in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Albuquerque for a balloon ride that would grow to what is now the biggest hot air balloon festival in the world: the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Because of the unique, pristine ballooning conditions that Albuquerque offers, casual ballooning was able to evolve into the biggest balloon festival on the planet and crown the Southwestern city as the hot air balloon capital of the world.
The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation proudly raises awareness, involvement, and funds for the Balloon Museum. Our goal is to uplift the Museum through project collaboration, artifact donations, and shared information and resources. The Balloon Museum Foundation also holds special events during The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year, which is the world’s largest balloon festival that lasts nine days at the beginning of October. The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Foundation hosts the best seat in the house for Balloon Fiesta 2023.. Find out more about the Fiesta and how you can support our efforts by becoming a member, donating, volunteering, or purchasing a wall tile today.
Conditions at Hot Air Balloon Festival
Albuquerque has the optimal weather conditions for hot air ballooning, which include wind conditions and air temperature. Both of these factors contribute to successful hot air ballooning and Albuquerque has the perfect mix. Albuquerque’s predictable wind patterns, known as the “Albuquerque Box,” make it easy for balloon pilots to navigate in the Rio Grande Valley. The area’s cool air temperature in the early morning also helps the balloons rise faster and handle better.
Hot Air Balloon Festival Landscape
The area offers a stunning landscape with plenty of open space for balloons to take off, land, and float through the sky with breathtaking views of New Mexico’s one-of-a-kind landscape.
We meet about 30 min. before sunrise. The exact meeting time will be included with your balloon ride confirmation.
A hot air balloon flight is dependent on wind speed and direction, so every flight we make in Albuquerque is different and our landing sites vary from day to day.
We have a Fleet of balloons at World to accommodate your needs. You can book a smaller private balloon for 2-4 people a larger balloon for groups up to 12 plus the pilot. You can participate in a shared group flight (at a reduced cost) or have the entire balloon all to yourself and your group or team.
Ballooning is an outdoor sport activity, so you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in and the type of clothing that you would expect to wear for a walk in the countryside on the day you fly. For women, climbing into the gondola will be very awkward in a dress or skirt. It is strongly recommended that all shoes worn should have flat soles. Please do not wear flip-flops or open-toed shoes.
Safety of Hot air balloon in Albuquerque
- Pilots – Experience and proven safety record.
- 50 Years in New Mexico – Celebrating our 50th year serving Albuquerque as the ORIGINAL Hot Air Balloon Ride company.
- New Mexico Owned and Operated – We are not a huge corporation in multiple states, we are NM true!
- Equipment – The Best Available in the Industry.
- Training – Constant Pilot Education and Training.
- Interactive Experience – At World Balloon, you pick how much of an interactive experience you want. Stand back and watch us assemble the system, or get some gloves on and give us a hand.
- Education – All of our pilots are also student flight instructors! In the balloon, along with learning about our beautiful scenery and state, you will learn how hot air balloons work. You can also ask any question about the equipment, pilot training, or navigation.
- Professionalism – We are fully licensed, insured by the best US insurance carriers, and members of the Balloon Federation of America in good standing.
- Our 5-Star Reviews – Our certified Aeronauts (Soon to be you!) and friends say it best! (See Our Reviews).
- Safety, Safety, Safety – Watch us prepare for flight and you’ll see the many safety checks we make. Read more about our safety protocols.