Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
It’s nine days of fun; I only did one morning and was so invigorated by it all. Just think if you did it for all the days? So how do you get to Albuquerque, NM (ABQ) once you learn how to spell the world? :-).
This year 2021, it runs from October 2 to 10, 2021. More details at https://balloonfiesta.com/.
The Balloon park runs along I-25 which runs through Albuquerque, NM. I actually want to go back and just watch the balloons from outside the park as I can only imagine how beautiful it must be from that angle. As a matter of fact, my friend Laurence and Jessica whom I managed to miss as we were there at different days it seems wrote this post with some amazing photos. Check them out. Laurence and Jessica are professional photographer, I must warn you :-).
Here’s some information on getting to the area:
Mountain Time (two hours behind Easter Time (New York))
Visa and Health Information
No visa is required for U.S. citizens of course. If you are not a U.S. citizen, use this link to check visa requirements.
Scheduled Service Airlines Serving Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
Advanced Air (AN), Alaska Airlines (AS), Allegiant Air (G3), American Airlines (AA), Boutique Air (4B), Delta Air Lines (DL), Frontier Airlines (F9), jetBlue (B6), Southwest Airlines (WN), United Airlines (UA). Check here for airline schedules.
Santa Fe, NM (SAF) served by American Airlines and United Airlines (UA). You may also fly into El Paso, TX (ELP) and drive up.
Airport To The City
You can rent-a-car or take a taxi or Shared Ride service to your destination. For the festival, I recommend not to drive. Most of the hotels have transportation that will take you to a special spot and from there you can take the shuttles which include the cost of the entrance for the Fiesta. This is the best option. You do have to get up early though and stick to their schedules, but that worked best for me.
Use the search box below to see what kind of hotels are available in Albuquerque, NM. You can book your IHG airline rates here.
Buy your tickets online and then you can pick them up just before you bard the buses at the Park and Ride locations (highly recommended). You need a ticket for each day. Here’s a video I did of my experience, I hope you enjoy it.
Take the kids, as they will have fun collecting the Hot Air balloon cards from the various teams. On these cards, you will find all the details of the balloon including: model, size, weight, capacity, crew; it’s pretty fascinating stuff. As an example the Well Fargo balloon that looks like the stage coach is 128,000 cubic feet of air; 100 feet from wheel to wheel and 90 feet tall. It weights 1,445 pounds and has a capacity of 1 rider and 1 pilot. But it takes a crew of 20-25 people to make it all happen. And work they do.
Here are some photos of my trip for you to enjoy. If you’ve been to the Fiesta or are planning to go leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.