Witness hundreds of colorful hot air balloons take off in unison, providing a magnificent sight that is sure to leave you in awe at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Should Be On Your Bucket List
In my opinion, everyone should attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta at least once in their life.
I honestly thought that we were done going after our first trip there in 2019.
But then the 50th Anniversary came along last year and
we I decided we were going again.
However, it was too late to reserve an RV spot. Or so I thought.
After researching RV groups, I found Fantasy RV group and they just so happened to have a couple of spots available.
It wasn't exactly what I wanted to pay, but as the old saying goes, you snooze, you lose.
So if you want to get an RV spot through the Balloon Fiesta, be sure to watch their website early next year for reservations to open.
Which is what we did this year.
Yep, we are going again! The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is that AMAZING!
Third time's a charm? Right?
Here are 5 Reasons To Add The Balloon Fiesta to Your Bucket List
- Over 500 Hot Air Balloons of Every Size and Color
- Live Music, Delicious Food, and Amazing Views
- A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience to Remember Forever
- An Unforgettable Balloon Launch at Sunrise
- Two days of Special Shapes Hot Air Balloons
If you’re looking for a unique experience that will stay with you for a lifetime, look no further than the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Every October thousands of people from all over the world gather to witness hundreds of colorful hot air balloons take off in unison, providing a magnificent sight that is sure to leave you in awe.
What can I expect at the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Appreciate the Beauty of Hundreds of Colorful Hot Air Balloons Taking Off.
The heart and soul of the International Balloon Fiesta are watching hundreds of colorful hot air balloons take off in unison every morning.
Looking up at them as they drift off into the sky watching them glow against the backdrop of Sandia Mountains, is an experience that will surely take your breath away.
Even if you’ve never been in a hot air balloon before, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and appreciate their beauty up close.
You can book a hot air balloon ride which will allow you to fly over Albuquerque and learn about its history, and learn about the balloons from talented guides.
Enjoy Local Culture & Cuisine
There are plenty of food stalls located near the launch area offering an array of delicious local specialties such as green chile stew or Navajo tacos.
And don't forget about the hot air balloon pilot's favorite..breakfast burritos.
This is a great opportunity for visitors to get familiar with local culture and cuisine while having fun at the same time!
More Than Just Balloons
As well as admiring beautiful hot air balloons, visitors can also enjoy activities such as music, watching the wood carvers, checking out new RVs, and riding some amusement rides.
As well as enjoying delicious food from around New Mexico, visitors can also listen to live music performed by country stars.
Each year someone different performs.
A Special Shapes Rodeo - A Spectacular Event You Don't Want to Miss!
With approximately 120 special shapes that clearly depict characters like Yellow Bird (who resembles Tweety), Tom Cat, Witches, Humpty Dumpty, and Darth Vader, to the "Bees" which take flight as one unit.
Mama Bee, Pappa Bee, and Baby Bee are surely a site to see.
My favorite is the Red Heart balloon. Maybe because our anniversary is on Valentine's Day. 🤗
There's no shortage of excitement as more than half of the colorful giant "glowing" balloons launch in two waves into the crisp autumn sky during Mass Ascension days.
What is the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is a magical opportunity to combine the wonders of nature, adventure, and family-friendly fun.
Held annually in beautiful New Mexico, this remarkable event draws people from around the world who come to witness the captivating display of hot air balloons launching into the sky.
It's an unforgettable experience you won't want to miss if you're looking for some exciting outdoor fun!
From awe-inspiring balloon competitions and glows to rides, live music, artisanal food vendors, and more.
There’s something at this nine-day fiesta for everyone. As much as it offers a visual spectacle with hundreds of colorful balloons dotting the horizon, it serves up bountiful educational experiences too.
Get ready for a truly unique adventure that will leave lasting memories
When is the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Taking place once a year at the beginning of October, this breathtaking event is scheduled for October 7-15, 2023.
Nothing says adventure like soaring up in a colorful hot air balloon and getting an incredible view of Albuquerque from the sky!
How can I participate in the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
If you want to participate, there are many volunteer positions to choose from.
- Golf Cart driver
- Food Server
- Parking lot attendant
- Balloon chaser
- A Zebra (hot air balloon traffic controller)
- Merchandise tent sales
- RV parking lot Setup
These are just a few of the volunteer positions. You can find all the options on the Balloon Fiesta website and sign up there.
What should I bring to the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Well, you definitely don't want to forget your camera!
After all, it is referred to as “the most photographed event in the world”.
No matter where you stay, bring warm clothes, gloves, a hat, and a winter coat. Just in case.
In 2019, one morning was 30 degrees. My husband was freezing because he doesn't listen when I tell him to dress warmly.
I wasn't cold at all. 😬
Last year, the mornings weren't as cold, thankfully.
However, it rained. And rained a lot!
A pilot I was talking to told me that one year it actually snowed and the balloons were grounded.
So be prepared for all kinds of weather.
How do I purchase tickets to the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Your best bet is to purchase tickets online starting April 7th so you don't have to wait in line when you arrive.
You don't want to miss the Laser show or mass ascension because you were waiting in line.
Unique Activities Around the Fiesta Grounds
Take In Breathtaking Views of the Sandia Mountains & The Tramway Ride
Albuquerque is home to some truly breathtaking landscapes, including the Sandia Mountains which provide stunning views.
What better way to admire these beautiful views than taking a ride on the famous Sandia Peak Tramway?
It takes passengers 2 ½ miles up above sea level where they can experience panoramic views stretching all the way across central New Mexico and beyond!
The car holds up to 45 people and there is limited seating.
This is definitely an unforgettable experience not to be missed out on during your visit.
We had a ride that was included with the Fantasy RV tours package.
Unfortunately, we are both afraid of heights.
But I really, really, wanted to go to the restaurant located at the top of the mountain, Ten 3.
However, there are only two ways to reach the top..the Sandia Peak Tramway or walking the mile up. Yikes!
So guess what we did?
Yep! you guessed it, we walked. 😂
Thankfully it wasn't too hot of a day. But it sure felt like more than a mile.
Shortly after we started, we thought to ourselves, what were we thinking?
The restaurant at the top made it all worthwhile as did the view from the top.
The food and drinks were amazing.
And then we walked back down the mile to our car. After all, I had to walk off this cake!
After talking with a few people, they said the tramway wasn't that bad.
They did forget to mention (thank you to their spouse for telling me) that they were hiding in the middle of the car surrounded by people so they couldn't see out the windows. 🙄
Old Town is not far from the Fiesta field and there will be 3 days that you have free afternoon time.
There you find handmade arts and crafts, local food, and museums.
Be sure to visit the Rattlesnake museum. 🐍
Sante Fe and The Loretto Chapel
If you only choose one day trip to go on, I suggest the Loretto Chapel.
This is where you will find the staircase that St. Joseph built.
An amazing site indeed as there are NO nails holding it together.
Ways to Make Your Trip More Affordable and Enjoyable
- Appreciate the beauty of hundreds of colorful hot air balloons taking off in unison.
- Enjoy the local culture and cuisine with free activities like music and food tastings.
- Take in the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains, including the famous Sandia Peak Tramway Ride.
- Learn about Albuquerque’s history from talented guides on hot air balloon rides.
- Make new friends from all over the world as you gather to watch sunrise ascensions every morning.
- Participate in an unforgettable experience that you can share with your family, friends, or significant other.
Best Days To Visit The Balloon Fiesta
Oh boy! that's a tough one because you never know what the weather holds in store.
Plus, only you can decide whether you want to see the mass ascensions or the Special Shapes Glowdeo®.
The Special Shapes Glowdeo® is on Thursday and Friday.
When we booked with Fantasy RV Tours, it was only for the first half of the Fiesta. I really wanted to see the Special Shapes (even though I saw them before.)
So, we paid for a couple of extra nights. Worth every penny.
This year, we are staying for the entire 9 days.
Actually, we are getting there on Wednesday prior so we don't have to deal with traffic and staying until the Monday after.
Again, so we avoid traffic.
Where to Stay
If you weren't lucky enough to get an RV spot at the Balloon Fiesta Park, there are many other RV parks in the area.
There are also glamping tents right by the field.
Reservations go up online on April 7th. Set your clocks and be ready to book. These look like fun.
One option is Route 66 Casino RV Park. It's located about 20 miles west and we usually stay there the day before arriving and the day we leave.
We can dump our tanks, fill our water, do some laundry, and all that other fun stuff. (like visiting the casino! 😬)
There are hotels in the area and you can always park and shuttle to the Fiesta Field.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is truly an event like no other!
Each year thousands come from all over the world just to witness firsthand what some have referred to as “the most photographed event in the world”.
Whether it be admiring magnificent views from either on or off-site, enjoying thrilling rides in hot air balloons, or taking part in a festive atmosphere full of live entertainment and delicious food.
There really is something for everyone at this incredible event!
Magnificent Views – Experience the breathtaking beauty of hundreds of hot air balloons in the sky, with stunning views from the launch field and beyond.
Thrilling Rides - Take a ride in a hot air balloon to truly experience Albuquerque from the sky.
Festive Atmosphere - Enjoy the lively atmosphere at Balloon Fiesta Park complete with live entertainment, delicious food, and local arts & crafts vendors.
Unique Souvenirs - Buy uniquely crafted gifts for yourself or your loved ones, ranging from handcrafted jewelry to fine art prints inspired by this spectacular event.
Interactive Experiences - Get involved by attending hands-on workshops and interactive experiences such as Hot Air Balloon Spotting Tours, Hot Air Balloon Chase Cars, and more!
Spectacular Fireworks Show - End your visit on a high note with an incredible fireworks show that will leave you speechless!
Make plans now for your trip out west where you can witness with your own eyes why this event continues year after year as one of America's most beloved festivals!
Stop by our RV and say hi. We'd love to meet y'all in person!
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