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Hot air balloons above  Albuquerque near Olympus Encantada



It’s a scientific fact that fall foliage is brighter when viewed from above. OK, maybe not, but it is true that scoping out autumn’s fiery hues from a bird’s-eye view is nothing short of spectacular. When you live in Albuquerque, that means a hot air balloon ride. As the ballooning capital of the world, ABQ is home to countless companies that can take you high above the Rio Grande Valley. Here are a few to check out.

Rainbow Ryders

A sunrise or sunset ride with Rainbow Ryders can’t be beat! Enjoy awe-inducing views of the Sandia Mountains as you ascend high above Albuquerque. If you’re looking for a unique hot air balloon adventure, try the Dawn Patrol flight, an ultra-early, ultra-dark ride that serves up views of the city lights before the sun rises over the mountains. Be sure to check out the website for the COVID-19 precautions Rainbow Ryders have in place.

World Balloon

Nearly 50 years old, World Balloon is Albuquerque’s longest-flying balloon company. It offers a variety of flight options, perhaps none more enticing than its famed Champagne Flight. True to its name, this excursion ends with a celebratory glass of champagne for all of-age passengers. Yes, please. And, yes, World Balloon does have COVID-19 precautions in place.

Hot Air Balloonatics

Amazing name. Amazing hot air balloon rides. Hot Air Balloonatics is a semi-private company that takes riders up in groups of six. According to their website, passengers have input on what altitude the balloon flies at. You’ll get to punctuate your trip with a round of champagne and a traditional New Mexico snack. Sign us up! Like the above two companies, Hot Air Balloonatics is taking extra safety precautions in light of COVID-19.

Looking for more Albuquerque adventures? Check out the Olympus Encantada blog.