9 Picturesque Hot-Air Balloon Destinations for Earth-Shaking Experiences

We are not given the ability to fly, but does that stop us from getting the experience of it? Well, that’s not the case, at least for adventure lovers.

We wanted to discover and reach the lands far away, so we built the ships. We saw the birds fly, we wanted to fly like them, so we invented the balloons and the planes. We are the species without boundaries. We want to expand, experience more, but why? We can imagine and feel the wonders beyond the horizon. Each experience widens our perspective and some affect us even beyond.

Hot-air ballooning is an unforgettable experience that we should try once in our lifetime. It is perhaps a little intimidating for many, as people ask “is it dangerous?”. We would say: “It’s adventurous.” We gotta overcome our fears and enjoy our lives to the fullest.

We prepared the most exciting hot-air balloon trip options for you. Let’s take a look:

1)    Cappadocia, Turkey

Photo Credit: travel+leisure.com

Price: $200 – 20.230 KES

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Cappadocia is a fairytale, a rocky wonderland that was shaped by three ancient volcanoes surrounding it. The tuff carpet these volcanoes weaved prepared the Anatolian land for human creativity. Wind and water shaped the tuff in countless styles and the soft texture of the tuff made it possible for humans to carve dwellings, above and below the surface.

Hot-air balloons rise above the fairy chimneys early in the morning, with the first rays of the sun the landscape offers its unique panorama. Goreme Valley is a great example of the surreal artwork of mother nature, coloured and detailed by humans. You can spot the famous magical fairy chimneys in the movies like The Ottoman Lieutenant, Dil Dhadakne Do, Samsara.

2)    Bagan, Myanmar

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Price: $300 – 31.095 KES

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The Bagan Archeological Zone is scattered across a vast plain and is notable for its expanse of sacred geography and the number of its temples. Birds-eye view is the best way to observe this ancient site.

A hot-air balloon trip over 2000 Buddhist and Hindu temples, farms of cotton, peanuts and palm trees. Not interesting enough? Ancient architecture melts into nature and you can see how the sun shines on the endless views of temples, grasslands, and other hot-air balloons littering the sky. We would tell you more, but some experiences are beyond words. So is the mysterious and spiritual atmosphere of this hot-air balloon flight.

3)    Château-d’Oex, Switzerland

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Entrance Fee: $70 – 7.255 KES

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In 1999, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones set off for the first tour of the world in a hot-air balloon from here. Being the alpine capital for hot-air ballooning, Château-d’Oex hosts the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival every year in January. The festival attracts crowds of people over two weekends, with different shapes of balloons and special activities for children, this experience is a must for balloon lovers! You can see the Alps, that are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies in Europe, covered with snow and admire the festival from above.

4)    Sossusvlei, Namibia

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Price: €300 – 31.095 KES

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Sossusvlei is located in the southern part of the Namid Desert and is one of the major visitor attractions in Namibia. Namib means “vast” in the Nama language. Existing for at least 55 million years, the Namib is one of the oldest deserts in the world. Some of the world’s tallest dunes are found here. One of the best ways to experience the splendour of this ancient desert is to sail over the reddish dune sea in a hot-air balloon. As you sail through the sea of sand, the colourful games of light will enchant you and make your trip memorable.

5)    Teotihuacan, Mexico

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Price: $170 – 17.620 KES

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Located 50 km northeast of modern-day Mexico City, Teotihuacan is the site of some of the most significant, still-standing Mesoamerican pyramids. Aztecs found this abandoned city and gave it its current name. Its architecture, art, and religion influenced the subsequent Mesoamerican cultures. The city remains the most visited site in Mexico.

To see the city, which was once the western hemisphere’s largest city, from a truly unique perspective makes us wonder how it could have looked like over 2,000 years ago. Hot-air ballooning over the Teotihuacan pyramids, both Sun and Moon pyramids will help us unfold the secrets of history and ancient civilizations. No doubt this thrilling flight through history will give you some amazing stories and many more photographs to share.

6)    Luxor, Egypt

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Price: $50-60 – 5.182 KES

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Located in the Nile River about 500 kilometres south of Cairo, Luxor (Thebes to ancient Greeks) known as the world’s greatest open-air museum, but this is a weak description when you think of the greatness of the ancient capital of Egypt. The Nile flows between the modern city and west-bunk necropolis. The temples of Karnak and Luxor, tombs and ruins are scattered across the landscape and they stand within the modern city on the East Bank and life goes on unchanged for centuries amongst the local inhabitants.

Witnessing the antiquities from the sky is a lifetime experience as you can observe how the city was structured, looking from the sky. Hot-air balloon rides here are breathtakingly beautiful, it is a must especially for history and architecture lovers! As your balloon moves through the monuments, tombs, and temples, you are left with breathing in the air that once was filled the grandeur of Egyptian ancient civilization. You see the Nile which gave life and rise to many civilisations, flowing undisturbed, changing and combing her colours with the warm lights of the sun and singing her stories to the present ears.

7)    Serengeti, Tanzania

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Price: $500 – 51.825 KES

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The Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. This is the biggest draw to this part of northern Tanzania in spring and autumn. How to fully appreciate these flat plains? Well, one needs to head up high! The plains of the Serengeti are particularly suited to convenient balloon flights, letting you get aerially closer and distinctly accessible to the action than you could be by a game-viewing safari vehicle.

Close your eyes and imagine, sunlight begins to wash the plains gold with several pods of hippos rolling around, giraffes emerging from behind acacia trees and prance along gracefully and ostriches appearing out of nowhere, slowly Serengeti is unfolding its hidden beauties in front of your eyes, such a movie scene! You can see the wonders of mother nature but what you can hear is silence and the fire puffing sound of the balloon. Hot-air balloon trip over the wild plains is just like a feeling of floating in a dream.

8)    Okavango Delta, Botswana

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Price: $500 – 51.825 KES

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Okavango Delta is a world heritage site located in the north region of Botswana. During the flooding season, the delta becomes full of life. The floods create small islands in the wetlands of which you’ll see a myriad of wildlife grazing or wading through the marshes. Flying over a landscape flooded with water and winding channels, dotted with islands, combined with large expanses of woodland forests. This age-old experience is a great way of exploring African savannah and witness the exciting lives of its various inhabitants. You don’t want to forget your camera for this excursion.

9)    Albuquerque, U.S.A

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Entrance Fee: $35-50 – 3.627 KES

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This small town hosts the greatest International Balloon Fiesta! The mesmerizing world of special shape balloon rodeos, twilight balloon glows, and vibrant balloon-filled skies invite everybody for nine days of a colourful and fun experience. Over nine days, the annual event features speed competitions and mass ascents of more than 500 balloons. Make sure your phone and camera have enough space as this is said to be the most photographed event on earth! Hundreds of balloonists and thousands of tourists from around the world gather to witness this dazzling show of colours and creativity. There are so many events held during the festival, you’ll have no time to get bored, or put your camera down. Get ready, it’s held in January!

Decided which one you are going for? Hot-air ballooning might be luxurious for some, yet once in a lifetime experiences are like that! So you better start saving up now! Some experiences are precious and they worth more than we spend. Start making and collecting moments, as there is nothing like delving deep into the moment, being surrounded by its beauty and its depth, being just a quiet observer of it.

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