Hot Air Balloon Rides in Albuquerque

 Albuquerque is the hot air balloon capitol of the world. Taking a balloon ride in the Duke City is akin to visiting the Eiffel Tower while in Paris, so many take a balloon ride while here. 

Balloon rides are part adventure, part sightseeing, and part once in a lifetime experience. Seeing the world from above while gently gliding ​

Deciding when and where to launch depends on what you are looking for. There are balloon rides geared to romance that are perfect for couples, whether it's for a proposal or just to share something special.

Balloon rides are slow and graceful and don't upset people who normally get motion sickness. Even those afraid of heights say the slow ascent makes the rise into the air less frightening. 

When taking a balloon ride, wear clothes for outdoors, and dress in layers. Although it may be cold in the morning as the balloon takes off at sunrise, by the time the balloon lands, the sun will have warmed things and you may want to take off your jacket.

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    Balloon Fiesta Inflating
    © Aileen O'Catherine

    8311 Golf Course Road NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87120

    Private Balloon Flights offers passengers a chance to see Albuquerque from above in a basket that will fit in as many or as few passengers as you choose. Family baskets can fit up to six adults as well as the pilot, or baskets that hold more than six, based on weight. All baskets are private unless the shared basket is requested, which runs October 1 through 15, during Balloon Fiesta season.

    The ride takes place along the Rio Grande for a close dip called the "Splash and Dash" as well as toward downtown or Old Town. 

    Private Balloon Flights offers gift packages that include hats, pins, trading cards, a gift certificate for a romantic flight for two, a bottle of champagne, and more.

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    Rainbow Ryders
    Rainbow Ryders

    5601 Eagle Rock Avenue NE
    Albuquerque, NM 87113

    Rainbow Ryders offers balloon rides for any size group, year round. Rainbow Ryders is the official hot air balloon ride operator at the Balloon Fiesta. 

    Rainbow Ryders has a variety of balloon options. Their Sunrise ride takes off at sunrise every day of the year. Float above the Rio Grande and enjoy a champagne toast and light refreshments after the ride. You'll get a certificate and you can be part of the crew, hands-on.

    Rainbow Ryders also offers rides at sunset November through March, rides during the Balloon Fiesta and during the fiesta's Dawn Patrol, and private balloon ride options. 

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    Soaring Adventures

    Soaring Adventures
    Soaring Adventures

    Soaring Adventures has locations nationwide, to include Albuquerque and Taos

    Balloon ride options include rides for one, two, three, or four people. Each balloon ride is set up directly with the pilot. The crew chief will take riders to the launch site, then the balloon will ascend 500 to 2,000 feet into the air for about an hour. Th total distance is about five to 10 miles. On landing, celebrate with a champagne or fruit juice toast. The entire experience is about three hours.

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    Sweet Escapes Balloons
    Sweet Escapes Balloon

    Sweet Escapes offers balloon rides year round Their sunrise flights last an hour to an hour and a half, depending on fuel, wind direction, and landing sites. Flights include a champagne ceremony, flight certificate, and continental breakfast. 

    Sweet Escapes offers rides for special occasions, to include weddings.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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    Vagabond Balloons
    Vagabond Balloons

    4900 Kachina NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87120

    Vagabond Balloons is a small, family owned business that offers balloon flights at sunrise or sunset. Flight time in the air averages 45 to 90 minutes. The entire experience lasts 2.5 to three hours. Flights carry a maximum of four people. For sunrise flights, expect a champagne toast and continental breakfast after landing. At sunset, there is a champagne toast and light hors d'oeuvres after landing. 

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    World Balloons
    World Balloons

    6390 Coors NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87120

    World Balloon has locations in Albuquerque as well as Taos. They also fly balloons in St. Louis and Arizona. World Balloon has operated in Albuquerque for over 40 years and offers several types of balloon rides. Flights depart year round.

    Their Champagne Flight is a one hour flight that carries up to 12 passengers. Though the time in the air is one hour, the excursion takes three to three and one-half hours in total. Champagne Flights take place at sunrise. Watch the sun rise and then lift off to see an aerial view of the Rio Grande and valley below. After the flight, you'll land and enjoy a champagne toast and light continental breakfast. The flight includes a commemorative flight certificate. This is the most affordable option for World Balloon and currently ranges about $139 for adults and $99 for children. This is a special reduced rate, and rates may change.

    World Balloon also offers exclusive balloon rides for those who want to mark a significant event that calls for privacy. The ride lends itself to wedding proposals and anniversaries. The flight shares the same amenities as the champagne flight, without other riders. Cost is $300 for adults and $250 for children.

    World Balloon also offers flights during Balloon Fiesta. All flights are $250, for children and adults. The launch site is five miles west of Balloon Fiesta Park. This ride offers opportunities to see and photograph the balloon fiesta from above.

    World Balloons offers specials and a 10 percent discount to those who have served in the military, fire, police or EMT services.