• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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This is the biggest and best gathering on hot air balloons in the world – and you can be part of it. For 9 days every October, the crisp, clear desert skies or New Mexico are painted with a kaleidoscope of colour as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park.

Balloon Fiesta is an amazingly diverse event that brings together huge numbers of balloons and pilots from all over the world. The days begin with beautiful Dawn Patrol Show when pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see the landing sites. Then Mass ascensions fill the sky with balloons as far as the eye can see.

In the evening, just before dusk, balloons are inflated and tethered; wander through the glowing balloons and then enjoy a fabulous fireworks show.

Albuquerque is located in the high altitude desert with the Rio Grande running through the middle of the town. To the east lie the spectacular Sandia Mountains, to the west ancient volcanic cones. This unique geography creates perfect conditions for balloon pilots.

Albuquerque and the wonderful state of New Mexico has much more to offer; the area boasts 310 days of sunshine a year and the state is home to 25 magnificent scenic byways (including 8 of the 126 America’s Byways), making it the perfect Road Trip destination; discover mountains, rivers, caverns, varied wildlife, national monuments and parks, lakes, forests, unspoiled wilderness, diverse cultures and a rich and fascinating history.

This year’s Balloon Fiesta will run from 5 – 13 October; contact us to see you can make this part of your holiday
See the Southwest USA itinerary on our website for more ideas

Photographs courtesy of New Mexico Tourism







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