Hot Air Ballooning
O.K., yes. they’re big and colorful and noisy when they're inflating, but once aloft in the basket of a hot air balloon with your trusty pilot, you’ll feel a serenity and sense of quiet awe that you won't find many other places. With the gentle wind as your slow guide, you can experience the enormity and uniqueness of the rugged earth below you and simply float in wonder. New Mexico has long been a destination for hot air ballooning, so you have some of the best equipment, pilots and crews in the country at your disposal here.
Major balloon rallies are held in New Mexico, including the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 5-13, 2013), Red Rock Balloon Rally (Gallup) and our favorite, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally.
Come watch or climb in a basket of your own. Flights take off in early mornings, generally at sunrise. Taos ballooning companies offer balloon safety and flight lesson, including firing off the burners and flying the balloon, if you want to try you hand at it! Kids, grandparents, moms and dads, all love our rides.
Touch down briefly on the Rio Grande, just north of Taos, with Eske’s Paradise Balloons, who offer a Splash & Dash! adventure (weather permitting) that dips you down into the Rio Grande Gorge. Pueblo Balloon Company flies the Gorge all year, floating southward with the river and ending with a traditional champagne toast and “flight certificates” for all once on land.