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Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World

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Clear blue skies, calm winds and mild temperatures are the norm in Albuquerque, encouraging year-round hot air ballooning for more than 300 resident balloonists, more than any other state in the U.S. 

Why Albuquerque? The weather here is widely considered to be the best in the world for ballooning. In the famous “Albuquerque Box” pattern, the wind blows predictably north at one elevation and south at another, allowing pilots to launch, fly a great distance, change altitude and backtrack to return close to the launch site. This unique pattern, created by the interplay of clear skies, low humidity and elevation, is common on early October mornings, usually dissipating by mid-day. Albuquerque’s ideal conditions have earned it the title of “Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World”. The outstanding weather and large ballooning community provide for ballooning year round. Visitors can fly throughout the year with a variety of local commercial ballooning companies. 


  • Balloon Fiesta
    Each fall, pilots, crews and spectators from all over the world come to Albuquerque for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, the world's largest hot air ballooning event.
  • Ballooning Culture & History
    More than a century ago in Albuquerque, "Professor" P.A. Van Tassell, a local bartender, piloted a "gas bag" from the center of town up to nearly 14,000 feet and landed, intact, a few miles away at the west end of the city.
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