Up, up, and away! There’s something enchanting about seeing a gigantic balloon floating amongst the clouds, and it’s even more surreal when the entire sky is filled with hundreds. As a popular activity in New Mexico, you can easily go on a hot air balloon ride during your stay at El Farolito. However, if you truly want to experience the magic, we recommend attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The entire sky is filled with the brilliant colors of hundreds of balloons! Access out complimentary Vacation Guide to get the inside scoop about planning your trip.
What Is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning event on earth! It is also thought to be one of the most photographed events in the world, and for good reason. Thousands of visitors flock to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to see the colorful balloons grace the sky. Main events include the mass ascensions of hundreds of these incredible works of art, races, competitions, and more.
When Is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?
The exact dates of the balloon festival change every year, but it usually takes place for up to 9 days in early October. Check the official Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta website for the exact dates, then book your stay at El Farolito as soon as possible. Because this is one of the most popular events in our entire state, lodging options fill up fast.
Where Is the Festival?
There are tons of events during this ballooning extravaganza, and all the main events take place at the Balloon Fiesta Park in northern Albuquerque. The site is less than an hour away from El Farolito, making it the perfect place to stay! Lodging options in Albuquerque are usually slim and expensive, so staying in Santa Fe is a great option.
There are tons of events during this annual festival! You might even want to attend for all nine days. You can always find the full schedule of events with dates and times on the website, but here are a few of our favorites that you shouldn’t miss:
Dawn Patrol Show
Every morning, at least one hot air balloon is released before sunrise to check the weather conditions and visibility. This has become a tradition and a great way to start your time at the festival.
Before sunrise, balloons that are going to be launched that day line up to start their propane burners. The glow greets the morning sun, and the pilots will do things like synchronized burns. Grab a cup of coffee and welcome the morning with an event like this.
This is arguably one of the most popular events of the entire festival. Over the span of 1.5-2 hours, hundreds of balloons launch to fill the sky with brilliant colors. You have the chance to walk around the launch field to see them getting ready, then gaze up in the air to see the colorful orbs amongst the clouds.
America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race
Perhaps one of the most interesting events is the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race. Specially-designed gas balloons compete against one another to see how far they can go without touching the ground. This means they have to bring food, fuel, gear, and everything else they could possibly need with them on their flight! These usually last one to four days and pilots have flown as far as Canada.
Evening Balloon Glows
Just before the sun goes down, pilots light their balloons and tether them to the ground. Once it is dark, they will periodically ignite the burners so the balloons will light up against the night sky. They will even synchronize together to light at the same time. This spectacle is usually followed by fireworks.
There are tons more events and competitions that take place during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Live music, special shape balloon events, flying competitions, and more are held throughout the week. You’ll have to attend and pick your favorite event for yourself!
Hurry and Book Your Trip
Don’t wait to book your stay at El Farolito for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. With thousands of people coming to the area, it can be challenging to find lodging. Our bed and breakfast puts you in the perfect spot to experience the festival and the rest of our area. Plus, each of our rooms features Southwestern decor, so you’ll get to truly immerse yourself in our culture! Browse our accommodations, then book your stay. We look forward to hosting you!