Travel: A Festival of Hot Air


New Mexico is more than just a state of mind: It’s a mecca for artists, hikers and balloon enthusiasts alike.


It all happened one day by chance. My family had decided to spend a week together exploring art galleries and museums in the picturesque town of Santa Fe; After a brief sojourn in our quaint adobe home,  we were headed back north through Albuquerque when suddenly we came across a surprise: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Drawing thousands of people each year, where over 600 balloonists take to the air, the festival makes for a spectacular event destination.


If you’re not a morning person – make an exception. The first event of the day, The Dawn Patrol Launch, lifts off at 6:00am followed by The Morning Glow at 6:30am. It is by far one of the most exhilarating things I have ever seen.

You’re standing in the dark New Mexico desert, before the light of dawn, in the midst of a quiet sea of people; you’re eagerly anticipating the launch of hundreds of hot-air balloons, which will eventually rise to glow against the indigo sky as the light of morning breaks on the horizon. The Sandia-Manzano Mountains create a beautiful backdrop for this once and a lifetime scene.


Don’t think this fiesta is limited to just balloons. There is an area at the festival that hosts an array of vendor exhibits including: art, food, music and entertainment. You can even picnic on the lawn.

The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta usually takes place in the month of October.

Check their official website for details and times to make the most of your visit.