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10 Great Places to Go on a Hot Balloon Ride

For over two centuries, people have been using hot air balloons to soar through the sky and witness breathtaking views. Now, it's easier and safer than ever before to experience this thrill. You don't have to travel far to see something extraordinary - there are plenty of places where you can take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the stunning scenery below. Plus, you can click on the images to see them in full size!
Click on the photos to see them in full size

1. Teotihuacan, Mexico

Teotihuacan, Mexico
The ancient city can be found 50 km northeast of Mexico City, and it boasts of pyramids that are a remarkable archaeological discovery. These pyramids reveal how big and prosperous the city was, having been the largest in North America. For a place that was once dubbed the "City of God," there is no better way to take in the entire city than by flying in a hot air balloon and enjoying a bird's eye view. The flight lasts for an hour, but the exact departure time depends on the ever-changing weather conditions.

2. Dubai Desert

Dubai Desert
Hot air balloon flights in Dubai are considered among the most prestigious in the world. Passengers are picked up at sunrise from their hotel or near Burj Khalifa and taken to the take-off site. Safety instructions are provided before embarking on the one-hour flight. The balloon rises to a height of 1,200 meters above the dunes and deserts of Dubai, offering stunning views of camels, deer, and white rams. Flights are typically in groups of 24 people, but more intimate and exclusive flights are available at higher prices, including a romantic couple flight.

3. Yarra Valley, Australia

Yarra Valley, Australia
The Yarra Valley, situated an hour's drive from Melbourne, is famous worldwide for its wineries. If you take a hot air balloon ride, you can witness the picturesque hills and valleys adorned with orchards, vineyards, and farms. The majestic mountain peaks around you will create a perfect backdrop for this pastoral scene. Several hot air balloon operators in the region tend to start or end the ride at one of the local wineries, where you can enjoy a glass of wine and prepare for the experience.

4. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

 Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
If you're a lover of blooming balloons, then this is the ultimate destination for you. People from all over the world come here to fly together in large groups, painting the sky with vibrant colors. The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, held every October, is the perfect opportunity to witness hundreds of blooming balloons rising in the sky simultaneously. The festival lasts for several days and features spectacular fireworks displays at night. You can choose to watch the event from the ground or take a one-hour flight and experience the thrill of flying amidst these balloons.

5. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The Serengeti, stretching from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya, hosts the world's largest mammal migration. A hot air balloon flight over this region guarantees sightings of various animals like zebras, deer, lions, giraffes, elephants and hippos, irrespective of the season. To avoid scaring the wild animals, it's recommended to opt for hot air balloon flights that create a weak burning noise, enabling the balloon to hover relatively closer to the ground.

6. Angkor, Bangladesh

Angkor, Bangladesh
The Angkor Archeological Park is renowned for its temple complex, which is deemed the largest religious monument globally and was constructed in the early 12th century. The central temple is a classic instance of Khmer architecture and is an extremely popular tourist destination. For those who are a bit nervous, it's an ideal spot for first-timers, since the balloons remain attached to the ground with cables for maximum safety. However, the ride lasts only ten minutes and is only available on days when the wind is not too strong. 

7. Luxor, Egypt

Luxor, Egypt
In the eastern portion of the Nile River, on the opposite side of the 4,000-year-old ancient city of Thebes, is located the largest open-air balloon museum. In addition to admiring the hot air balloons that dot the sky, you can also hover over local archeological sites such as the Luxor Temple and the giant statues of Memnon for up to two hours. This opportunity allows you to soak up all the history and enchantment that these sites have to offer.

8. Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan in Myanmar was the first capital of the Burmese Empire from the 9th to 13th century. Today, it is a renowned tourist spot in Myanmar with over 13,000 Buddhist temples. Marco Polo even referred to it as a "city of gold". You can experience a bird's eye view of the thousands of temples and pagodas by taking a hot air balloon ride during November to March when the winds are calm. 

9. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, California
The Napa Valley situated in California is well-known for its wineries that offer a beautiful and serene landscape. It has also gained popularity as a recommended destination for hot air balloon rides due to its peaceful ambiance. The winery owners are dedicated to preserving the natural environment, which allows you to witness unspoiled landscapes that seem endless. The balloon operators provide information about the famous wineries in the region. You need not worry about your flight being canceled due to stormy weather, since the area experiences calm winds throughout the year.

10. Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, located in Turkey, is a popular tourist destination known for its unique geological features. The region offers visitors the opportunity to explore the stunning rock formations, cave dwellings, and underground cities. Additionally, hot air balloon rides are a popular activity in the area, providing breathtaking views of the landscape from above. The calm weather in the region ensures that you won't miss your flight due to stormy conditions. Overall, Cappadocia is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience.
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