Exploring New Mexico: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, one the most wonderful hot air balloon festival in the world. 

The Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM is one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in the world with over 500 hundreds balloons. The festival takes place each year in early October and is an experience you need to have at least once in your lifetime.

We had a blast witnessing all the beautiful hot air balloons gently soaring through the air. Now that we are back we wanted to share some important information so you can start planning for next year’s Balloon Fiesta.

The Balloon Fiesta lasts for 9 days, covering two full weekends. During the weekends is when most of the magical events take place but we also loved going during the weekdays due to the smaller crowds. Every day is a unique experience with so much to take in.

During the weekends they add additional afternoon sessions. As the sun starts to set, the hot air balloons begin to inflate across the field for a special night glow show. The balloons will not take off it is just for people to enjoy the display of twinkling lights and have a better view of all the balloons and the different shapes.

The weather in New Mexico during the Balloon Fiesta is normally fantastic as it switches between summer and fall. The high heat of summer is gone and the cool breeze of fall is beginning to set in.

We recommend dressing in layers as the chill quickly sets in at the evening sessions or at the start of the early morning events. The temperatures change with the sun, so it is good to have removable layers as the warm sun rises in the sky. Also, expect to spend much of the time on your feet, walking through the launch field and concession stands, so comfortable walking shoes are a must.

The Balloon Fiesta does not take up the entire day, leaving you with several hours each day to explore Albuquerque and its surrounding areas. You can visit the Old Town of Albuquerque, the aquarium, the botanical garden, the zoo, the Museum of Natural History and Science, take a tramway to Sandia Peak, visit the Petroglyph National Monument, or even take a short day trip to nearby Santa Fe.

The most important tip for planning to attend the Balloon Fiesta is to make your hotel accommodations well in advance, as it is the largest event of the year in Albuquerque. Enjoy the soaring sights next year!