It’s not every day that we get to tuck ourselves into a basket and soar through the skies. A hot air balloon flight is a unique way to experience a destination and see it from a different perspective. We got hooked with hot air balloon rides in Albuquerque, and have been on a few since that fateful day a few years ago.
From the calm waters of Lake Tahoe in California and all the way south to the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa and onto ancient stupas in southeast Asia, these are the ten ultimate hot air ballooning experiences to add to your bucket list!
If you’re like us and want to get started in the States, then hot air balloon rides in Albuquerque is an easy way to ease your way this addictive hobby, but if you’re looking for other options, here are some of our other favorites.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Let’s start with the best in the world. Yes, Albuquerque. It’s no wonder people love coming here- it the hot air balloon capital of the world.
Once the capital of a powerful kingdom, Bagan has become an archaeological rival to places like Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu. Filled with over three thousand ancient temples and encompassed by breathtaking nature, riding a hot air balloon over Bagan is the chance to soar over one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic landscapes.
Lake Tahoe, California
Tucked in the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada rests the scenic Lake Tahoe. With its shaded blue waters, fresh mountain air backdropped by majestic peaks, Lake Tahoe offers some of the world’s most stunning landscapes to gaze at from a hot air balloon.
What could be better than going on safari in one of Africa’s most iconic national parks? Floating over it with a glass of champagne in hand!
The Serengeti brims with wildlife and spotting wild animals is not a hard task here. Home to the world-renowned Wildebeest migration and the dwelling spot for Africa’s iconic Big Five, the Serengeti disappoints no one, and the chance to see it from above is something visitors never forget.
Namib Desert, Namibia
Unyielding gravel plains, endless sand dunes that stretch all across Namibia’s coastline, and peculiar dead-tree valleys are the symbols of the Namib desert. With a landscape that resembles a Jupiter-like realm, the Namib desert is the oldest on Earth and has become the home to desert-adapted elephants and other bizarre flora and fauna that has managed to thrive in one of the world’s harshest environments to survive.
Set amidst a valley, Teotihuacan was once one of Mesoamerica’s greatest cities and today, it is considered one of the world’s most alluring archaeological sites.
Two imposing pyramids are the spotlights here, but several smaller temples add up to the site’s mystifying history. Floating over this impressive pre-Hispanic city is like taking a trip back into the times when the Americas were still untouched by the modern world. A hot air balloon flight over the place will make you realize just how little of it has actually been uncovered by archaeologists and the myriad of mysteries and stories that remain untold.
Cappadocia is found deep in the Anatolian Plains of Turkey. Almost otherworldly, Cappadocia’s panoramas never fail to enamor its visitors. With its rigid valleys, its earthy color palettes, and troglodyte dwellings carvings, this Turkish delight is the ultimate place to go hot air ballooning. This is one of the top locations that gives hot air balloon rides in Albuquerque a run of its money.
Atacama Desert, Chile
This incredible hot air balloon journey will have you floating over one of the world’s most ethereal-looking landscapes: Salar de Atacama. It’s one of the largest salt flats in the world – don’t let the white-capped mountains fool you into thinking it’s snowing, it’s actually salt!
As you glance at the ground, you might be able to spot flocks of flamingos making their way to cobalt blue lakes with unbeatable vistas of the Andes mountains as a backdrop.
The Atacama Desert is known for its Mars-like appearance that has made it a location for filming outer space scenes for movies and television series. If it wasn’t already, a visit to this otherworldly-looking desert should be added to your bucket list ASAP.
Going on a hot air balloon ride is such a treat, and we had a really hard time putting together our list of incredible destinations for a hot air balloon rides, but these 8 locations have some of the best sceneries in the world.