17 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides in the World 2022
Whether you’re witnessing the sunrise over Turkish Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys or zebras and wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti plains in Tanzania, you’ll take the experience to a whole new level by traveling in a hot-air balloon. .
Most experienced at sunrise, although some balloon companies also offer sunset tours, hot air balloon rides are a wonderful and exciting way to experience a new place.
The perspective from above is very different to the one you get when you go on foot, and while the walks can be expensive, the experience is well worth it. From Monument Valley in Utah to the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei in Namibia, check out our list of the best hot air balloon rides in the world.
1. Cappadocia, Turkey
With ease, one of the world’s most famous hot air balloon rides takes place over the rock formations from the Cappadocia fairy chimney. Just outside the city of Goreme in south-central Turkey, the vents are otherworldly, conical rock formations and caves that look incredibly amazing when viewed from a hot air balloon basket at sunrise.
The views are also pretty incredible from the ground watching the balloons hover over the whimsical landscape.
Many balloon companies arrange hot-air balloon flights through the region, usually lasting from 45 minutes to two hours. There are several different flight options, and what you choose will depend on your budget and the amount of time you want to spend in the sky.
The most affordable balloon rides are group tours, but they also spend less time and carry more people. For a lifetime of experience, try a private tour that stays longer and allows for better Instagram selfies.
2. Serengeti, Tanzania
Do you know the Lion King opening credits where you have a panoramic view of the savannah and see all the animals in motion? You can have this photo in real life by booking a hot air balloon tour over Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park with Serengeti Balloon Safaris.
From above, you will have an uninterrupted view of lions, elephants, hippos and giraffes. And from this far away, they won’t notice you, so you’ll see the wonderful wild animals of Africa in all their undisturbed beauty. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
3. Sossusvlei, Namibia
The changing red and orange sands of the Namib Desert around Sossusvlei in undiscovered Namibia are striking when viewed from the ground and truly out of this world when viewed from above.
Navigating the ever-changing patterns of the dunes under a cloudless African blue sky is a unique and soul-relaxing adventure that you will never forget. You will pass (or as close as the winds carry you) to the tallest and oldest dune on the planet.
Organize your hot air balloon safari through the Sossusvlei Lodge. Because these dunes are so remote, you can’t just visit them on a day trip, and this is one of the best places to stay near the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
They do hot air balloon rides at sunrise (really impressive as the light contrast on the sand is most intense during the early hours of the day) as part of a 3.5-hour excursion that includes an hour in the air followed by a sumptuous breakfast of bushes served al fresco at the landing site.
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico
For nine days in October, Albuquerque becomes the epicentre of the hot air balloon world when it hosts the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The annual event is the largest hot air balloon race and festival globally and features massive highs, with hundreds of balloons soaring at once, as well as sprint competitions. It is quite an experience.
But even if you don’t visit New Mexico’s biggest city during this vacation, you can still experience hot air balloon rides over the mountain and desert landscape all year round.
Several hot air balloon companies, including World Balloon, offer flights into the city, and overall, Albuquerque’s sunny weather makes it perfect.
5. Luxor, Egypt
Watching Egypt’s Valley of the Kings from the hot air balloon basket as the sun rises and turns the desert into gold and the lush greenery of the Nile landscape is a sight you will never forget.
Luxor has several hot air balloon companies that offer an overhead view of ancient tombs and temples, including Sinbad balloons.
Tours depart early in the morning, and the direction and duration of each flight are determined by the weather and winds of the day.
6. Monument Valley, Utah
On the border between Arizona and Utah, Monument Valley is another amazing place to take a hot air balloon flight.
The scenery here is straight out of an old western (in fact it has been the backdrop to many movie scenes for decades) with wide open spaces filled with tall red rock formations as well as plateaus and gorges.
From the balloon basket you have a panoramic bird’s-eye view that allows you to appreciate how vast and empty the landscape is. It’s a great sunrise balloon experience. Tours are offered by several companies, including balloon rides in Monument Valley.
7. Bagan, Myanmar
Another of the best once-in-a-lifetime hot air ballooning destinations in the Bagan region in Burma, where thousands of ancient temples, monasteries, and pagodas built between the 11th and 13th centuries spread across the plains.
From the balloon bin, you can see how great this civilization was, and when the sun rises, the ruins seem to glow orange and gold with their first rays.
Several companies offer hot air balloon safaris over this Bagan World Heritage site, including the Eastern Globe.
8. Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, the extreme sports capital of New Zealand, is a popular place to hang out in the air. Many people choose to do this through skydiving, bungee jumping, or hang gliding, but hop into the basket of a hot air balloon for a more tame and often romantic experience in the air.
Sunrise Balloons offers, as you guessed it, a sunrise balloon safari that shows the breathtaking natural beauty from a bird’s eye view, but don’t rely on releasing massive amounts of adrenaline into your bloodstream.
This allows you to appreciate the landscape a bit more; Additionally, hot air balloon flights take much longer than jumping off the plane, around an hour.
9. Park City, Utah
One of the best outdoor adventures in Park City, Utah’s famous ski resort, is a hot air balloon flight in summer. Park City Balloon Adventures runs sunrise tours that offer stunning views of the Kamas Valley and Park City’s historic streets that grow smaller as you climb.
The rugged Wasatch Mountains are lit by the rising sun to the west, and you can’t help but be moved by all this natural beauty.
Please note that you can also book a winter hot air balloon ride in Park City, depending on the weather. Although it’s cold at first, it’s still a great experience, especially watching the sunrise over the snow-covered landscape.
If you are celebrating your honeymoon or anniversary with your partner in Park City, a winter hot air balloon flight can feel more romantic as there are usually fewer crowds.
10. Sedona, Arizona
The beautiful out of this world red rock land in Arizona around Sedona is another of the best places in the world to visit for a hot air balloon flight.
The magnificent landscape is best appreciated in full from above as the sun rises and makes the rocks shimmer scarlet in the sky with shades of pink and purple.
It’s a peaceful yet magnetic experience that relates to Sedona’s reputation as the home of important energy fields on Earth, known as vortices. Recommended hot air balloon companies are Red Rock Balloon Adventures.
11. Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Florida
If you want to soar in a hot air balloon, but the idea of floating freely in the sky scares you, try a tethered balloon flight at Aerophile in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.
On this hot air balloon ride, you will ascend approximately 400 feet into the sky and enjoy a 360-degree view of the park below on an eight-minute experience.
This custom-made Disney balloon with a 19-foot basket that seats 30 people, including the pilot, can be seen for up to 16 miles on a clear day.
Another cool thing about tethered balloon flights is the cost. They only cost $ 20 for adults and $ 15 for kids, a fraction of what you would pay for an unfettered adventure.
12. Tuscany, Italy
With a beautiful landscape of green and golden hills and medieval villages and castles, hovering over Tuscany in Italy is one of the most romantic things you can do here; honestly, it wouldn’t be a bad place for a proposal.
It’s worth getting up before sunrise to catch a sunrise flight from Tuscany Ballooning to see the sparkling landscape and lit up by the rising sun. After that, you will enjoy a local Tuscan breakfast with fresh products from the farm and freshly baked bread.
13. Loire Valley, France
Floating over castles and medieval villages in France’s ultra-picturesque Loire Valley is a romantic experience. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley, which is also home to its winding river and lush green landscape, is just two hours south of Paris, but it feels far away.
The best time to fly in a hot air balloon is when sunrise or sunset, when changing light lights up the area. Spring and summer are especially attractive because the fields are lit by everything from sunflowers to rows of corn.
14. Melbourne, Australia
In the Australian city of Melbourne, you can experience the city’s hot air balloon, which is a bit different than most of the places mentioned here.
Exchange monuments and picturesque landscapes for skyscrapers and city landmarks. As the sun rises, you’ll ascend to the top of Melbourne’s attractions, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Memorial Sanctuary, the Yarra River, and even the cricket stadium.
Several hot air balloon companies operate in Melbourne, including Picture This Ballooning and Global Ballooning Australia.
15. Teotihuacan, Mexico
In ancient times, Teotihuacan, Mexico, was the largest pre-Columbian city in America, with buildings dating back to 300 BC. C.
Also known as the City of the Gods, it is home to giant pyramids that are very well preserved.
Viewing these temples from above, hovering over them from a balloon basket, is a surreal, one-of-a-kind experience that must be done if you arrive at these ruins about 50 km from Mexico City. The way the pyramids are lit by the rising sun is really impressive.
16. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Another hot air balloon ride over the ancient ruins that should not be missed is Cambodia’s most famous landmark, Angkor Wat.
On over 500 acres, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest religious monument globally and one of Southeast Asia’s greatest attractions.
The temple complex dates back to the beginning of the 12th century, when it was the capital of the Khmer Empire, and is very well preserved to this day.
Viewing Angkor Wat from above at sunrise or sunset is a breathtaking experience that will surely take your breath away.
17. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Get carried away by the dramatically beautiful but arid desert landscapes of Wadi Rum in Jordan, our last choice for the best hot air balloon rides in the world.
The Bedouins of Zalabia have called the area home for millennia, leading a nomadic lifestyle in the sand and copper desert covered with sandstone mountains and wild rock formations, including one named after E.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
The scenery here is similar to Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys to give you some perspective. Go at sunrise for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Hot Air Balloon Rides
Where is it best to go on a hot air balloon?
Arizona’s out-of-this-world beautiful red-rock country around Sedona is another of the world’s best places to visit to take a hot air balloon ride. The larger-than-life scenery is best appreciated in full from above as the sun rises and makes the rocks glow crimson in a pink- and purple-tinged sky.
How much does it cost to take a hot air balloon ride?
The cost of a hot air balloon ride is usually determined by several variables. But generally speaking, each ride runs about $200-$300 per person. However, with a Groupon, you a find similar hot air balloon ride prices for as low as $129 per person, including a post-flight champagne toast.
What city is famous for hot air balloons?
Soaring above the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia is truly a thrill, and the extraordinary scenery of the region makes for a spectacular hot air balloon experience. Cappadocia is the top spot for hot air ballooning in the world, and not to be missed on a visit to Turkey!
How far can a hot air balloon travel?
In general, the balloon will fly a distance between five and ten miles, which means that on an hour’s flight the balloon flies at spends between five and ten miles an hour.
Is Napa hot air balloon worth it?
Absolutely! There is nothing like the views provided by a hot air balloon experience, especially in Napa. I was shocked to learn that hot air balloons glide ever so smoothly over the vineyards so I’ve never felt woosey or scared.
Why should I ride a hot air balloon?
Perhaps the one that is most important is the memories. Hot air balloon rides offer memories that will last a lifetime, that you can look back at and smile thinking of the beauty, the wonder, and the fun.
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