hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Hot Air Balloon Teotihuacan: A Guide and Review of An Unforgettable Sunrise Adventure Over Ancient Pyramids

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Are you looking for an unforgettable way to experience the majestic Teotihuacan pyramids near Mexico City? Soaring over this UNESCO World Heritage site in a colorful hot air balloon at sunrise is arguably the most magical way to take in the sheer scale and splendor of these pre-Columbian ruins. I recently did a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan as a solo traveler, and it was hands down the highlight of my trip. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share everything you need to know to plan your own sky-high adventure, from choosing the best tour operator to what to expect on the day of your flight.

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Hot Air Balloon Teotihuacan: A Guide and Review of An Unforgettable Sunrise Adventure Over Ancient Pyramids

No time to read it all? Here are the highlights:

  • I Recommend this tour I took, It’s the best Teotihuacan hot air balloon experience based on value, inclusions, safety, and reviews
  • Packages include hotel pickup/dropoff, flight, champagne toast, breakfast buffet, and optional pyramid entry
  • Expect an early morning pickup around 5:30am for a sunrise flight of 30-50 minutes
  • Dress in layers as it’s cool pre-flight but warms up after sunrise; wear comfortable clothes you can climb in
  • Most communication is via WhatsApp; confirm logistics 1-2 days in advance
  • An unforgettable and safe adventure with an experienced, professional crew

Want all the juicy details? Keep reading for my full review and tips for an amazing Teotihuacan balloon voyage.

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

is hot air balloon Teotihuacán worth it?

Absolutely, taking a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan is 100% worth it! It was hands down the most magical, memorable experience I had in Mexico and something I’ll be gushing about for decades to come. Even as a solo traveler it was a bucket list experience and 100% recommended. 

There’s just something so surreal about greeting the day suspended above an ancient wonder of the world, watching the first golden rays of sun paint the pyramids and surrounding landscape. From the moment you arrive at the launch field and see those majestic balloons billow to life, to the post-flight champagne toast and glow of accomplishment, every piece of the experience feels wrapped in enchantment.

I was pretty nervous in the days leading up to my flight, but the actual ride was so smooth and peaceful. Soaring over Teotihuacan in the early morning light, I felt a soul-deep calm wash over me – the kind of bone-deep contentment and awe that has a way of putting everything into perspective. Even my fellow passenger who was shaking like a leaf at the idea of heights was sporting a giddy grin the whole flight. Our pilot had us laughing and learning between the requisite oohs and ahhs.

So yes, if you’re even remotely considering a Mexico City hot air balloon tour or Teotihuacan hot air balloon adventure, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s the kind of pinch-me-am-I-dreaming bucket list experience you’ll be mentally revisiting on gloomy days and sharing with starry-eyed grandkids decades later. Every so often, the universe gifts us with a tiny slice of magic – this, my friends, is one of those times. Don’t think, just book. It’s SO worth it.

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Best Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Tour & best hot air balloon teotihuacan

With so many companies offering hot air balloon experiences over Teotihuacan, how do you choose? I spent hours falling down a research rabbit hole, determined to find the operator with the best value, safety standards, and overall experience.

After extensive research, I booked with Valore on Viator for a few key reasons:

#1 pICK TOUR
hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Best hot air balloons mexico city tour

  • 5 star reviews
  • roundtrip transfer
  • flexible cancelation
  • high safety standard

What the Teotihuacan balloon tour includes: 

  • Hotel pickup/dropoff
  • bilingual guides
  • 30-50 min flight
  •  champagne toast at the end
  • personalized flight certificate
  •  breakfast buffet
  • optional transportation and entry to pyramids Value:
  • Very competitive price of $186 per person including round-trip transport and pyramid entry
  • Safety: Pilots with 2000+ flight hours, certified by Mexico’s AFAC (federal aviation administration)
  •  20+ year perfect safety record;
  • $1 million USD insurance policy
  • Reviews: 5 stars on 1265 Viator reviews, the highest of any operator; guests rave about the professional crew and seamless experience
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/hot-air-balloon-teotihuacan/

Close runners up include Tlatoani tours and Flying Pictures Mexico, which offer similar packages at slightly higher price points. I would feel confident flying with either of these well-established operators too.

A word of caution on suspiciously cheap tours, especially those on Airbnb Experiences. Some merely charge a small booking fee, and you’re on the hook for the full flight cost later. All-in, expect to pay at least $140-150 USD per person for a legit, high-quality experience.

What to Expect on Your Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Adventure: Hot air balloon Teotihuacan reviews

Gearing up for your own Teotihuacan balloon ride? Here’s a detailed breakdown of what your magical morning will look like based on my experience:

Early Morning Hotel Pickup for your Hot Air Balloon Teotihucan 

 Most Teotihuacan balloon flights happen around sunrise to take advantage of favorable wind conditions. This means a very early start to your day. I was picked me up promptly at 5:25am in a comfy, spacious van right outside my hotel in Condesa. Over the next 20 minutes, we picked up two other couples at nearby hotels.

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Tip: Pickups usually run from 4:30am-5:30am, so don’t expect to sleep in. Confirm your exact pickup time and location 1-2 days in advance via WhatsApp. If your accommodation isn’t on the operator’s list of pickup spots, they can usually arrange an alternative within reason.

Arrival at Teotihuacan Balloon Port for Teotihuacan hot air balloon ride 

After an easy hour drive, we arrived at the launch site around 6:45am, just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon, painting the sky in soft pinks and oranges. The anticipation started to build as our crew checked us in and handed out stickers to assign us to our balloon.

There was a palpable buzz in the air as guests mingled, sipping complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and nibbling pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread). Bathrooms are available at the launch site. I took the opportunity to take some photos of the Hot air balloons being inflated! They are actual huge up close!

Balloon Inflation & Boarding Hot air balloons mexico city 

The excitement reached a fever pitch as we watched the ground crew lay out the massive, vividly colored balloon envelopes on the dewy grass and begin inflating them with powerful fans. Our whopping 105,000 cubic foot balloon, dubbed “Quetzalcoatl,” towered 10 stories high once fully inflated.

After a safety briefing from our pilot Miquel, we were assigned spots in the 12-passenger wicker gondola (basket). Boarding was my one moment of anxiety, as you have to climb through the side of the basket using footholds, which requires a bit of flexibility and faith. Wear pants or shorts for ease of climbing! 

Tip: There are foot holes in the basket to help you climb, but if you’re shorter like me 5’2 it will take a bit for you to get in!

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Lift Off & Flight over Teotihuacan valley on Hot air balloon ride teotihuacan 

And just like that, we were Off, gently rising up, up, and away as the first rays of sunlight kissed the ancient pyramids awake. For 45 enchanting minutes, we floated dreamily over the sprawling ruins and rambling landscape. The higher we soared, the more the full scope and geometrical precision of Teotihuacan revealed itself, a perspective few people are lucky enough to take in.

The guide expertly dipped us close to the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon for a thrilling birds-eye view before ascending to catch the colorful river of other balloons riding the air currents. I was surprised by how peaceful and almost meditative the whole experience felt – there’s no turbulence or swaying, and very little sensation of movement.

Post-Flight Hot Air balloon mexico city Celebrations

Our landing, in an unplanted field well outside the archeological park, barely elicited a bump. While the crew packed up the balloon, we toasted our successful flight with a champagne toast, a ballooning tradition dating back to the first manned hot air balloon flight in France in 1783.

The guide presented us each with a personalized flight certificate with our name, the date, the flight duration, and the max altitude we reached (7,100 ft in our case). Super cool keepsake! You can also purchase professional photos and video packages of your flight and the balloon inflation process.

After a 10-minute drive, we arrived at a charming hacienda for a festive breakfast buffet of Mexican specialties like chilaquiles, tamales, pan dulce, fresh fruit, and aguas frescas. A mariachi trio serenaded us as we ate. Even though I was still buzzing from the flight, the delicious meal and convivial atmosphere was a highlight.

Exploring Teotihuacan Pyramids (Optional)

For about $5 USD extra, Flying Pictures provided round-trip transportation and entry tickets to the Teotihuacan archeological zone so we could explore the pyramids up close post-flight. We had about 1.5 hours to roam the ruins at our leisure, which was plenty of time to walk the Avenue of the Dead, snap some selfies, and duck into the small museum.

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

While I was a bit bummed that we couldn’t climb the pyramids, seeing them from above more than made up for it. Our shuttle had us back at our hotel by around 1:30pm, leaving the whole afternoon ahead of us (and plenty of time for a siesta).

Key Tips for an Amazing Teotihuacan Balloon Experience

  • Dress in layers as pre-dawn temperatures can dip into the 40s Fahrenheit (single digits Celsius), but it heats up quickly once the sun rises. Aim for long pants, a t-shirt or long-sleeve, light jacket, and close-toed shoes suitable for climbing in and out of the balloon basket. Leave the flowy dresses and skirts at home.
  • Confirm pickup time and location as well as other key flight details with your operator 1-2 days in advance. Most coordination is done via WhatsApp. Download the app before your trip and keep an eye out for messages.
  • Consider booking roundtrip transportation from Mexico City. Trying to navigate to the launch site in the pitch dark on unfamiliar roads is a recipe for stress (or ending up in a ditch).
  • Safety first! While ballooning has an excellent safety record, it’s not risk-free. Only fly with an established operator with a fleet of well-maintained balloons and experienced pilots certified by the AFAC. Trust your gut and don’t let cost be the only factor.
  • If you’re keen to explore Teotihuacan on foot too, look for tours that include a guided visit or transportation and tickets to the site. Most allow 1-3 hours to explore after the flight. Otherwise, you’ll need to arrange your own transportation back to the archeological park.
  • Book at least 2-3 days in advance for the widest choice of flight times and packages. But if you’re feeling spontaneous, many operators can accommodate last-minute bookings with one day’s notice. I booked two days out and had no issues.
  • Solo travelers fear not! You’ll be paired with other guests to fill up the balloon. Everyone was super friendly and bonded by the shared experience.
  • Every seat is a window seat, as the 10-16 passenger baskets are divided into separate standing compartments. The balloon rotates throughout the flight, so every angle is a good one.
  • If you plan to explore Teotihuacan on the ground after the flight, bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a water bottle. There’s no shade and it gets very hot by midday.
  • Tipping your pilot, ground crew, and shuttle drivers is a lovely gesture if you felt well taken care of, but not mandatory. 50-200 pesos per person, depending on your budget and satisfaction, is about right.
hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Tours Comparison

To help you compare options, here’s a handy table summarizing key details for three of the most popular and well-regarded operators:

Tlatoani toursFlying Pictures MexicoVolare
# of Passengers10-1210-168-16
Flight Time30-45 min45-60 min30-50 min
Hotel Pickup/dropoffYesYesSome packages
Pyramid Entry Tickets$85 MXN extraIncludedIncluded
Champagne ToastIncludedSometimesIncluded
BreakfastBuffet includedBuffet includedSnacks only
Souvenir Photos/VideoExtra feeExtra feeExtra fee
AvailabilityDailyDailyFri-Sun only
teotihuacan hot air balloon price (pp)$2999 MXN$3800 MXN$2700 MXN
Hot air balloon Teotihuacan ticketsBook NowBook NowBook Now  

Don’t Let Flying Solo Ground You: Plenty of adventure-hungry solo travelers take to the skies over Teotihuacan, myself included. You’ll be paired with other passengers in your balloon’s basket, and I guarantee you’ll be bonded for life after sharing such an extraordinary experience. Some of my fondest trip memories come from chance encounters with kindred spirits on day tours like this.

you really can’t go wrong with any of these reputable operators. Let price, inclusions, and availability be your guide. One thing is certain: experiencing Teotihuacan from the air will leave you breathless (in a good way).

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FAQ Hot air balloon teotihuacan 

Here are the answers to your questions about taking a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan near Mexico City:

How much does it cost to ride a hot air balloon in Mexico?

Expect to pay around $160-450USD per person for a reputable Teotihuacan hot air balloon tour. This typically includes hotel pickup/dropoff, the flight, a champagne toast, and breakfast. Some packages also include admission and transport to the pyramids after. Beware of suspiciously cheap deals that only cover a booking deposit.

What do you wear to a hot air balloon in Mexico?

Dress in layers as pre-dawn temperatures can dip into the 40s°F (single digits °C) but it heats up fast once the sun rises. Aim for pants/shorts and shoes that allow you to climb in and out of the balloon basket with ease. A light jacket, hat and gloves are good for the chilly wait. If you plan to tour the ruins after, pack sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and comfy walking shoes.

How long is a hot air balloon ride Mexico City?

Most Teotihuacan balloon flights last between 30-60 minutes, depending on the operator and wind conditions. But plan on around 4-6 hours for the whole experience, factoring in hotel pickup/dropoff, travel to the launch site, safety briefing, and post-flight celebration. Visiting the pyramids after will add another 1-2 hours.

How do you get to Teotihuacan Pyramids from Mexico City?

The easiest way is booking a hot air balloon package that includes roundtrip transportation. Trying to navigate to the launch field in the dark is tricky. If going by public transit, take the subway to Terminal Central del Norte, then hop on a bus to the pyramids (1 hr). Uber/taxi is pricier at $25-50 USD each way. DIY driving is doable but parking is limited.

How high do most hot air balloon rides go?

Hot air balloons usually fly between 1,000-3,000 feet above the ground, though most Teotihuacan flights hover around 2,000 feet for optimal pyramid viewing. How high you go depends on wind conditions and air traffic control restrictions. Rest assured, the vista is spectacular at any altitude!

Is the hot air balloon in Mexico City worth it?

1000% yes! Floating over Teotihuacan at sunrise was the most magical experience of my Mexico trip. Seeing the ancient pyramids and landscape from a birds-eye view is a spellbinding feast for the senses you can’t put a price tag on. It’s a bucket list adventure that permanently etches itself in your memory. If you’re on the fence, take my advice and just go for it – you won’t regret it!

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