Hot Air Ballooning
Facts & History

On Sept 19, 1783 A sheep, a duck & a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon launched by Joseph & Ettienne Montgolfier

The first recorded manned flight occurred on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France.

First Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was held in 1972 in a shopping center parking lot with 13 balloons & 20,000 spectators.

In 2006 there were 700 registered balloons from 41 states and 19 countries and over 800,000 spectators for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

If you've ever dreamed of soaring into the sky like an eagle, then hot air ballooning is the sport for you, Albuquerque, NM is the place for you, the Albuquerque Balloon Festival is the event for you, and the Chocolate Turtle is the B&B for you.

Whether floating serenely above the landscape viewing the desert wild flowers and catching glimpses of jack rabbits and coyotes, or doing a "splash and dash" in the Rio Grande River, the experience of hot air ballooning is truly unique. Albuquerque has been named the "Ballooning Capital of the World" and for good reason. The generally temperate climate along with the atmospheric conditions (different wind directions at various altitudes - known as the "Albuquerque Box") makes it the perfect environment to fly year round. Rare is the day when you do not see at least one and often many brightly colored balloons dotting the early morning sky.

There are monthly sponsored ballooning events, and many pilots fly on their own at any opportunity.  In addition, there are professional balloon ride companies with whom you can contract for a ride.

Our Up, Up, and Away Package includes a balloon ride.

The crown jewel of ballooning is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta beginning the first full weekend in October every year. For nine days each October, 700 to 800 balloonists from around the world gather at Balloon Fiesta Park to participate in mass ascensions, flying events, evening balloon glows, and general good fun and camaraderie. The best part is, as a spectator, you are right on the launch field, not sitting in some grandstand at a distance from the action. In fact, you are more of a participant than a spectator as you stroll among the festively colored balloons as they inflate and take off.

The Chocolate Turtle is one of the closest bed and breakfasts to Fiesta Park. Since we are the crew most days of the Fiesta, we have a real insight into the festivities, including getting to the Park, parking, the best times to be there to maximize your experience, and even which vendor has the best breakfast burritos.  We would be delighted to have you stay at The Turtle and be your Balloon Fiesta "experts". You need to reserve your guestroom early, because we usually sell out quickly.

To learn about the beginnings and history of ballooning, a visit to the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum at Balloon Fiesta Park is a must.

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