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“Fantastic! A definite bucket list item. First weekend of October, every year.”

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Presented by Canon
Ranked #1 of 234 things to do in Albuquerque
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Imagine over 500 colourful hot air balloons rising up at dawn over the New Mexico landscape… there's truly nothing like it. The place to experience it is each October at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Spectators and balloon pilots from all over the world gather (some even camping in their caravans) to watch the mass ascensions held in the mornings, and night events like the 'glowdeo'. Music stages are set up during the day and performers stroll through the festival crowds, which can number 750,000 people.
Reviewed 19 September 2017

A truly unbelieveable, wonderful experience. Best way to see it as a visitor is to go online to Albuquerque balloon fiesta website. You can choose a day to go (example - weekend or Mon, Tues, Wed), then choose a place to drive to nearby the event, choose am or pm, and pay for ticket. Then, all u have to do is drive to that area having a parking lot, show your E-ticket, and get on school bus, which takes u to event, and picks u up. So easy to do; $12 for seniors, bit more for adults, and not sure of kids cost. They even have handicapped, small mini-bus to take handicapped people there, and back to hotel or parking lot. This is one of few wondrous things I've seen in life; like walking on glacier, seeing brown bears in AK close uo. Watching those balloons inflate, how the teams work hard to get them up, and then taking off - in dark, and after sunrise, is awesome. Never went to pm event. Lots of food, restrooms. You can take a blanket to sit on, and watch balloons go by. Dress warm for early am, as can be cold. Last 2 years was ok with jacket; got hot later in day. Taking pictures - there is an app that shows you the number and letter (1-12, A-Z) of where each balloon takes off from. USE IT! Some balloons go off in different directions, depending on where wind blows.
Can make photos challenging, but wider shots really show the scope of the event. Close ups are nice, with 1-2 balloons in a shot. Enjoy yourself first, pics second! GO to the vendors tent at the NE end of area. Lots of interesting things to buy for self, or as gift. I have gone last 2 years, and will go again, becuz I enjoy the Fiesta, events around the area, and area from Gallup, NM (jewelry) to Santa Fe, NM. Get hotel/motel reservations about 6 months ahead, to get lower prices and more choices. It's a U.S. treasure!

3  Thank Kaye B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"dawn patrol"
in 48 reviews
"park and ride"
in 42 reviews
"mass ascension"
in 76 reviews
"bucket list"
in 63 reviews
"balloon glow"
in 24 reviews
"balloon fiesta"
in 110 reviews
"gondola club"
in 18 reviews
"night glow"
in 13 reviews
"spectacular event"
in 5 reviews
"dress in layers"
in 19 reviews
"evening session"
in 10 reviews
"breakfast burrito"
in 17 reviews
"festival grounds"
in 5 reviews
"hot air balloons"
in 23 reviews
"balloons inflate"
in 9 reviews
"school bus"
in 6 reviews
"food vendors"
in 11 reviews

176 - 180 of 396 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2017

The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is a breathtaking adventure. Go out on the field where balloons are being inflated and launching - get up front and personal. Chat with the balloon crews when they aren't working. See 500 or so most amazingly colorful hot air balloons pretty much launching at the same time, which fills the air with color and exciting special shapes. After and before the launches, enjoy a breakfast burrito, hot chocolate, spending time with many interesting booths and exhibits. You'll never forget the experience. And, if you get a chance to buy a ride in one of the balloons, you'll add to your personal repertoire of things you can talk about forever to those who have not experienced that. Ride the winds ... wow.

4  Thank WILLIAM B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

The balloon fiesta is New Mexico's premier event. With over 800 to 1,000 balloons up in the air at once it should be on everyone's bucket list. If you have children this will be an event they will cherish and forever remember. It lasts about 9 days and activities through out the week. Book accommodation early though sometime a year in advance.

Thank George P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

Always a wonderful experience-you get up before dawn, the earlier you get to the balloon park,the less you wait in the lines of cars headed for the parking areas. It starts out cold , so wear a good coat with hat and gloves and bring an appetite for Green Chile burritos. The first balloons go up before dawn ( appropriately called the Dawn Patrol) and then the first flight of regular balloons starts going up in unison in groups of about 100 each. As the sun comes up the first rays hit these gorgeous balloons filling the sky and there I no question that it was worth whatever it takes to be there! BE THERE !

5  Thank Ron1733
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 August 2017

this is the most spectacular event in all of New Mexico. I have gone to this for many many years and I am always amazed at all the new things I see each time. The whole event is exciting from the 5 am arrival to the night glow I love watching all the balloons go up row by row and going into their box. The colors are amazing, the shapes are even more amazing! This is an event no one should miss. There are so many ways to arrive, I like biking as they have great parking for the bikes.

Thank 1991KEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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