10 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World 2022
For more than two centuries, humans have used hot air balloons to launch into the atmosphere and observe the world below from a unique perspective. However, the exhilarating experience of riding a hot air balloon safely and comfortably has never been more accessible than now.
Today, adventurous travelers from all corners of the world can enjoy jaw-dropping views of the most spectacular landscapes and oldest civilizations, gaining a new appreciation for the beauty and diversity of planet Earth.
Situated in Turkey’s Anatolia region, the high Cappadocia plateau is dotted with rock formations formed by volcanic eruptions shaped by thousands of years of wind and rain.
Known as “fairy chimneys,” some of the limestone Spiers became home to the region’s first inhabitants. Later populations carved ornate temples and underground cities into the rock.
Hot air balloon flights are very popular here, and the operators are very experienced, often guiding the baskets deep into the valleys to see the rock structures up close.
The most popular tourist destination in Myanmar, Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire between the 9th and 13th centuries.
Once described as the “golden city,” Marco Polo was home to around 13,000 Buddhist temples at its height in the 11th century.
Today, visitors can float above the thousands of preserved temples, stupas, and pagodas, including the famous Ananda Temple with its glittering golden spires. Hot air balloon rides are available from November to March when winds rarely exceed 25 km (15 miles) per hour.
3. Napa Valley
California’s Napa Valley has known the world over for its picturesque vineyards. A hot air balloon ride offers visitors the perfect way to take in the serene beauty of the countryside.
Environmentally conscious vineyard owners and residents are dedicated to preserving the natural environment in all its glory so that passengers can enjoy uninterrupted views of the landscape.
The mild year-round climate makes Napa Valley ideal to fly in a balloon in any season. Local operators enhance the experience with information on world-famous wineries in the region.
4. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
It is no wonder that the hot air balloon rides on the outskirts of the luxurious city of Dubai are some of the most luxurious in the world. Passengers are picked up from hotels at dawn at the nearby Burj Khalifa and transported to the take-off location, where they receive safety briefings before departing on an hour-long flight.
The balloons soar 1,200 meters above the rolling dunes and green oases, where visitors can see camels, gazelles, and the iconic Arabian oryx. The baskets can hold up to 24 people, but exclusive “tailor-made” experiences are also offered, such as the balloon flight for couples.
Home to the world’s largest mammal migration, the Serengeti stretches from Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. A hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti guarantees numerous animal sightings in any season of the year.
In addition to the more than two million wildebeest, gazelles, and zebras that pass through the region during the Great Migration, there are also lions, hippos, giraffes, elephants, and other large game animals in abundance.
The best balloon operators use low-noise burners that allow balloons to float over wildlife undetected.
6. Yarra Valley
Located an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is known for its world-class wineries. A hot air balloon ride offers visitors a safe and serene flight over rolling hills and gullies with a mosaic of orchards, vineyards, and farms, with the distant mountain peaks of the Great Divide setting the scene.
Ballooning is a prevalent pastime in the Yarra Valley. Many operators start and end their flights at local wineries, where visitors can toast their memorable experience with their favorite wines.
Home to the largest concentration of hot air balloons and aviation enthusiasts globally, Albuquerque is the ideal place to witness the breathtaking beauty of hundreds of balloons floating in the clean air of the Midwest.
Every October, the largest city in New Mexico hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which includes concerts and fireworks, and massive balloon launches during the day and night.
Many people attend the event to view the exhibit from the ground, but the city allows licensed operators to also offer hour-long rides to visitors during the festival.
Located about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Mexico City, the pyramids of Teotihuacán are the astonishing archaeological remains of what was once the largest city in North America. A hot air balloon flight gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the City of God’s site.
Although the breeze dictates the trajectory of the typical hour-long flight, passengers can expect to enjoy views of the Temple of Quetzalpapalotl and the Avenue of the Dead, as well as the massive Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.
Angkor Archaeological Park is most famous for the Angkor Wat temple complex, considered the largest religious monument on the planet. Built in the early 12th century, the temple is an example of classical Khmer architecture and is Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction.
It is also the perfect place for visitors who may be shy about embarking on their first hot air balloon experience. The hot air balloons remain here tied to a cable for optimal safety. Visitors can enjoy affordable ten-minute walks on days when the winds are calm.
Situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, facing the four thousandth ancient cities of Thebes, Luxor is considered the largest open-air museum in the world.
Hot air balloon rides allow visitors to soar above famous archaeological sites such as the Great Hypostyle Hall at the Luxor Temple with its lattice of thick carved columns and the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues Amenhotep III.
The accredited operators’ flights offer safe and comfortable trips lasting up to two hours, giving visitors plenty of time to soak up all the historical sites and monuments.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Hot Air Balloon Rides
Where is it best to go on a hot air balloon?
Arizona’s out-of-this-world beautiful red-rock country around Sedona is another of the world’s best places to visit to take a hot air balloon ride. The larger-than-life scenery is best appreciated in full from above as the sun rises and makes the rocks glow crimson in a pink- and purple-tinged sky.
What are the chances of dying on a hot air balloon ride?
Most forms of air travel are considered safer than driving a car. Going by injury and fatality statistics alone, this may also be true of hot air balloons. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), only 16 people have died while hot air ballooning between 2002 and 2016-about 1 person per year.
Can a bird pop a hot air balloon?
Basically nothing happens when a bird hits a hot air balloon. First of all a balloon is pretty big and pretty slow. So it’s nearly impossible to surprise a bird with a balloon. In the rare case that it happens, the bird will fly into the balloon and bounces right out.
Which is safer hot air balloon or skydiving?
However, hot air balloons are relatively safe, reported NBC News. Over that time, 70 people were killed in ballooning accidents. In comparison, deadly skydiving accidents are about seven times more prevalent. Nevertheless, you should take precautions if you are going up in a hot air balloon.
Where is the balloon capital of the world?
Clear blue skies, calm winds and mild temperatures are the norm in Albuquerque, encouraging year-round hot air ballooning for more than 300 resident balloonists, more than any other state in the U.S. Why Albuquerque?
How long is a hot air balloon ride?
A hot air balloon ride with us lasts for around an hour, depending on prevailing weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, but you should allow at least four hours for the whole experience.
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