Whether you are going on vacation and looking for something fun for your family to do, or maybe planning a romantic adventure for your anniversary, a hot air balloon ride is certainly a good choice to experience something different.
If you have never had a hot air balloon ride before, there are a few things you should know and consider before you go.
If you aren’t sure where you want to go on a hot air balloon ride and want to find the best adventure for best price, we will list a few destinations that are most popular over the world. These destinations have jaw-dropping scenery and great prices so you and your family, spouse, or friends will be blown away! (pun intended)
Here are some things you should know before you go on your first hot air balloon ride:
- Make sure you pick a good company.
- Wherever you plan on going, especially if it is one of the popular destinations below, there are going to be several companies that offer balloon rides. You’ll want to do your research before you commit to purchasing a ride from a company. Research their website, check out their reviews, call them and ask questions. You want to be sure that the company you are purchasing from is legitimate, has experienced pilots, quality hot air balloons, and enough great reviews to make you feel comfortable choosing them.
- Plan ahead.
- Choosing to go on a hot air balloon ride should not be a last-minute decision. You want to make sure you research companies with the best routes at your destination, so you see everything you want to see and get the best trip possible. This also gives you time to research the company and ask your questions.
- Make sure you understand the refund policy
- Refund policies are a very important thing to pay attention to when you book a hot air balloon trip because trips can get cancelled easily due to weather restrictions. Make sure the company you choose has the option to reschedule your flight if needed or will give you a refund if you choose not to reschedule. If the refund policy seems sketchy, I would recommend choosing a different company.
Now that you know what to look for before you make your reservation, it’s time to decide where exactly you would like to go. I have compiled a list of some of the top hot air ballooning destinations in the world and the cost of rides with different companies at those locations so that you can easily decide based on your budget.
The Grand Canyon:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Grand Canyon offers some amazing views, so you know when you book a ride here you will have a phenomenal flight! With 277 miles of canyon to fly over, you will have stunning views for the entirety of your trip. Here are some companies that offer balloon rides over the canyon:
360-Adventures: This trip is an all day excursion of the Tonto National Forest, Verde Valley, San Francisco Peaks, Coconino Plateau, Marble Canyon, Lake Powell, and Grand Canyon. You’ll explore a lot on foot with a guide, but the trip includes a hot air balloon ride over the grand canyon. This trip will last all day, so if you are planning a vacation and want something fun for the family that will keep you busy and intrigued all day, this is definitely a great choice
PRICE: $819.00/ adult, $738.00/ child (8-12)
Apex Balloons: Apex Balloons offers an incredible hot air balloon tour of the Grand Canyon that cannot be matched. On this tour you can be in the air for 2-6 hours over the canyon and cover anywhere from 50-200 miles depending on the wind speed that day. The fun part about this trip is that you have no know destination. You will go where the wind takes you and the pilot will land you safely at a safe location and arrange for a pickup. Apex does want customers to know that this trip is not for everyone.
Due to the uncertainty of how long you will be in the air and the conditions of where you will land, it is best to be in good physical condition to stand for a long amount of time and endure a bumpy landing if need be. This trip is a little pricey, but you wont get a better view of the Grand Canyon. So, if you are a lover of the Canyon and want to see it like few ever had before, this trip is for you.
PRICE: $14,000.00 for 2 people.
Albuquerque New Mexico
The first week of October is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! The Fiesta is one of the most photographed events in the whole world. Over 600 hot air balloons are launched from a 78-acre field at the same time and makes for an absolutely beautiful moment in time. You can purchase a ticket to ride in one of those 600-some balloons.
Rainbow Ryders: Rainbow Ryders offers an amazing opportunity to be part of the lift-off during the Albuquerque balloon festival. This is the only company authorized to give rides in the fiesta park during the event. Rainbow Ryders also offers a VIP experience to add to your ride as well that includes prepaid parking and admission to the event, access to the VIP lounge, breakfast, a Q&A with a pilot, and souvenier gift package.
PRICE: $199.00/ adult, $99.00/ child
The Napa Valley in California is one of the most popular places in the world for a balloon ride, and is perfect for you and your significant other to make a romantic getaway. With miles and miles of vineyards, you will have an outstanding view of the hilltops lined with foliage. Even better, most balloon tours offer wine in their package because you are in the best place in the world for it! If wine is your thing, and you plan on going on a romantic vacation for 2, this is the place to be.
Napa Valley Balloons: Napa Valley Balloons has multiple tours through the vineyards that will suit your every want. From $329.00 and up you can get packages with hotel accommodations, guided vehicle tours through vineyard, romantic packages for 2, guided bike tours and every tour comes with a balloon ride.
Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park
If you only dream about touring a real safari in the wilderness, a hot air balloon is the best way to do it. When you are in a safari vehicle the animals might dare not come close, so why not view them from above?
Serengeti Balloon Safari: The Serengeti Balloon Safari offers hot air balloon rides right over the safari so you can see all of the land formations, animals, and scenery for miles around without disturbing the peace.
Egypts Valley of the Kings:
The Valley of the Kings is one of the most fascinating historical landmarks in the world, and if you are a history nerd like me, you’ll find this to be one of the most amazing trips in the whole world.
Luxor: Fly with Luxor to travel right through the Valley of the Kings. Those big statues may be hard to see in entirety from the ground, but on this tour you will fly right by the tops of monuments and statues giving you a view you will never forget. This 3 hour flight will take you over the Nile and the city of Luxor as well, and pick you up and drop you off at your hotel!
PRICE: $71.00/ person!
If you are really into medieval castles and villages, this trip will excite you. Wake up early before sunrise and head up in the air in a hot air balloon over the region and view the sun rise over the hills encasing the whole region in a golden glow. This trip is incredibly romantic for those on their getaway.
Ballooning in Tuscany: This company offers a sunrise balloon tour of the Tuscany region with a breakfast following your landing. Not only that, but when they return you to your take off area via car, they follow the route you took in the balloon so that you can see everything you saw while you were in the air from the ground
PRICE: $1449.54 USD for 2 people
This trip is for history lovers for sure! Teotihuacan is a 300 BC ruin of ancient pyramids and temples that still stands today. These monuments are extremely well preserves. What is known as the “City of the God’s” is an absolutely incredible sight on foot, but what if you could view the tops of the pyramids at eye level? Now you can! Balloon rides here are a once in a lifetime opportunity, so if Teotihuacan interests you, this flight would be the perfect choice for you.
Civitatis: Civitatis offers balloon tours over Teotihuacan at a price that you just can’t beat. This 9 hour tour will take off on a 1 hour flight around Teotihuacan, navigating between and over the pyramids in the calmest time of the morning. When your flight is done, you’ll enjoy a full buffet breakfast. After that you will have 2 hours to walk around Teotihuacan on foot with an English-speaking tour guide and then return back to Mexico City.
PRICE: $122.90/ adult, $100.50/ child (4-9)
If you want to go up in a balloon, but you are scared about being in the middle of the sky in a balloon free floating thousands of feet off the ground, I completely understand! I would be terrified! But, if you want to get over your fear and try a very small trip first, this is the way to go! This balloon is tethered, so you don’t have to have the internal fear of floating away into oblivion. You can see as far away as 10 miles in a 360-degree view from the 19-foot long basket. You’ll be on the balloon with as many as 30 people at once, and it’s really cheap!
PRICE: $20.00/ adult, $15.00/ child.
When pricing a hot air balloon ride, the cost heavily depends on where your trip is, how long of a trip you are taking, and what kind of extra’s are included. If you just want to know what it’s like to go up in a balloon, or are unsure if you will like a full ride, it’s best to test it out on a short-tethered ride like the Disney Springs hot air balloon. You can usually find these types of balloon rides at the beach or amusement parks.
If you already know you will love it, go ahead out to a bigger and better trip! Foreign trips tend to be the cheapest, but you will be paying a pretty penny to actually get there. If you ever have the opportunity though, go for it! It’s going to be an adventure you will never forget!