26th October 2017 -My 32nd birthday!! I know, it’s getting older which totally sucks but at least I got to spend it in a HOT AIR BALLOON over a pretty spectacular site *girly squeal*
This was my first experience in a hot air balloon and I was terrified! I love flying, but in planes, not in baskets that have been known to catch fire and crash to the ground in a fireball of nylon and wicker. But hey, you have to try these things at least once right?! And I am so glad that I did, it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life and I honestly can’t wait until the next time I get the chance to go up in one.
It was a pretty early start for us, we had to leave the hotel about 4am and it took about an hour to get from our hotel to where the balloons leave from. Probably could have left later though because we ended up waiting around at the hangar for about an hour in the freezing cold – dress warm! That time of morning in Mexico is frickin’ freezing!
Which company to chose??
The company website for Vuelos en Globo stated that they do not do pick ups/drop offs from Mexico City so we made our own way out there only to find out that they do actually do pick up from Mexico City and includes a tour around Teotihuacan. We actually opted to join the tour but went our separate ways when the rest of the group headed back to the city.
Vuelos en Globo MX:
After an hours drive by taxi from our hotel in Mexico City we arrived at Vuelos headquarters (we went to the wrong place first though! Lucky our taxi driver waited for us to make sure it was the right place), which was a hangar out the back of the company owners house.
We arrived around 6am – as we were told to in our confirmation; and it was (as I mentioned before…) FREEZING!!! We had to wait around for over an hour before we were able to board our balloon. Thankfully they offered free tea (only herbal, no black tea which is common in Mexico), coffee and biscuits so we were able to attempt to keep warm!
There are a couple of different packages available including private tours with champagne for those special moments but we opted for the cheapest option which was approx. $2,300.00 MXN for a shared flight. I think there was about 8 of us all up including the pilot (is that what they’re called??) in our balloon which had quite a large basket separated into 4 compartments plus the middle compartment holding the pilot and gas bottles.
We got to watch each balloon fill up and then we were sent on our way to board our basket.
Up, up and away!!
Soon our balloon was lifting up in the air without ever having realised we’d taken off, it was incredibly smooth. The landing not so much but more about that later!
It took a few minutes to get up high enough to get our first glimpse of the pyramids, looming out of the early morning haze. It was the most spectacular sight I have ever seen and something that will stick with me for many years to come!
As we drifted closer with all the other balloons, the details of the site became clearer and we were able to make out both the Sun and the Moon Pyramids, the Avenue of the Dead and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.
We spent about 30 mins up in the air before crashing back to earth – we literally crashed into the ground! Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration but we did land pretty hard and at an angle where I was in danger of falling out … again could have been my imagination!
After we awkwardly climbed out of the crashed ruins which was the basket, we headed back to hangar for a glass of celebratory bubbles and a certificate to say “Yay! You didn’t die in a horrible fireball today!”
It’s all over – what now??
The standing around waiting lasts a lot longer than the actual flight but it’s still a fantastic experience to have.
After everyone has had their bubbles and received their certificates, we were loaded into vans to be taken to Teotihuacan itself where we opted to join a tour of the site – but that’s for another post 🙂
I did realise though, that I would be happy to go on another hot air balloon flight and I’ve even looked into a few around the world – I like the look of one over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt so keep an eye out for that post in the future!!
In the meantime, take the plunge people! Bundle your nerves into that wicker basket and enjoy the sites floating silently below you 🙂