Up, up, and away! There’s nothing quite like the adventure and exhilaration you’ll experience while riding in a hot air balloon.
But where do you sign up to take such a ride?
Hot air balloons are commonplace around the world – but to get the most bang for your buck, you should consider making a trip to one of these 10 hot air balloon spots across the globe.
Get your passport ready – and hold on tight!
10 Hot Air Balloon Spots Across the Globe
Ready to travel? If so – and if you’re interested in riding in a hot air balloon – you have plenty of potential destinations to choose from, both near and far.
Here are some of the best places to take to the skies.
1. Serengeti – Tanzania
If you want to have a bird’s-eye view across the savannah – and see thousands of wild African animals – there’s no better place to do it than in a hot air balloon ride in Tanzania.
Embark on a journey across the Serengeti and you’ll see hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions – and more. You’ll be so far up in the air that the animals won’t notice you, allowing you an unfettered view of the most breathtaking natural environment in the world. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience – which is why it ranks at the very top of our list of the best hot air balloon spots.
2. Albuquerque, New Mexico – United States
For an adventure that’s a little closer to home, give Albuquerque a try. It’s home to the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and is known as the Ballooning Capital of the World.
All in all, hundreds of avid balloonists live here and are able to fly their balloons year-round since the winds are minimal and the temperatures are mild.
The International Balloon Festival is a nine-day event that sends more than 500 balloons into the sky at once. And if you miss the festival? Don’t worry. You can embark on a daily sunrise flight and enjoy breathtaking views of the Rio Grande, Petroglyph National Monument, Old Town Albuquerque, and more.
3. Monument Valley, Utah – United States
Another all-American hot air balloon experience can be found on the Arizona-Utah border, in Monument Valley. Hop aboard a hot air balloon here and you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous scenery that looks like it’s straight out of an old Western movie.
With towering red rock formations, gorges, and plenty of mesas, you’ll be able to see it all (in a panoramic view, no less) from a hot air balloon.
4. Luxor – Egypt
The city of Luxor in Egypt is another place where you’ll find outstanding hot air balloon rides. You’ll rise more than 1,500 feet above Egypt’s famed Valley of the Kinds, taking in views of the Nile River and the tombs of the great pharaohs (like Tutankhamun and Ramses I).
You’ll also get interesting cultural and historical insights from your guide – it’s definitely worth the money to book such an adventure.
5. Bagan – Myanmar
You’ll find another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for ballooning in Myanmar. The region of Bagan is home to thousands of ancient monasteries, pagodas, and temples. These are astounding enough to witness when your feet are firmly on the ground – but take to the skies in the basket of a hot air balloon, and you’ll really get a grasp on how large this civilization was.
6. Temecula, California – United States
A bit closer to home, you’ll find wonderful opportunities for ballooning in Temecula. With lush green landscape and rolling hills (and of course, plenty of vineyards), this is one of the most picturesque settings in the United States to embark on a hot air balloon ride.
Want an even more special, one-of-a-kind experience? Book a sunrise tour with California Dreamin’. The views are unbelievable!
7. Cappadocia – Turkey
Cappadocia has lots to look at – including colorful rock formations that are more than 60 million years old (these are called fairy chimneys, by the way!) and quaint hillside towns. Most balloon tours here are offered by Royal Balloon, a company that also offers hotel transfers and buffet breakfasts as part of the tours.
8. Dublin – Ireland
Whether you’re traveling to Ireland from abroad or you’re just looking for a staycation in Ireland, going on a hot air balloon ride is a perfect way to spend your time in Dublin. You’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the Irish countryside (and of the beautiful Trim Castle!) and relax in style!
9. Queenstown – New Zealand
Queenstown is known as the adventure sports capital of the world, so it makes sense that this is also one of the best places for you to take to the skies in a hot air balloon.
You’ll enjoy the scenery, especially if you book a sunrise safari that will show you the countryside’s stunning beauty from a more natural aerial perspective.
Hot air ballooning not satisfying enough by itself? Don’t worry – Queensland also has plenty of opportunities for bungee jumping, skydiving, hang gliding, and more.
10. Letchworth State Park, New York – United States
Last but not least on our list is one more destination that’s a bit closer to home. Just 40 miles southeast of Rochester in upstate New York, Letchworth State Park is often considered to be the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Here, you’ll soar in a hot air balloon over majestic waterfalls (some more than 600 feet tall!) along with scenic countryside and historic areas.
Plus, once you get back on the ground, you’ll be able to enjoy hiking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and many other different kinds of outdoor activities, too.
Change Your Perspective
The best way to get a fresh take on things? Change your perspective!
When you take a hot air balloon ride, you’ll be able to see things from a totally different angle – from the air.
There’s nothing quite like a ride in a hot air balloon to help you truly enjoy your vacation. Consider booking an excursion at one of these 10 top hot air balloon spots across the globe. You’ll be glad you did.