As we were preparing to visit CDMX (Mexico City), I wanted to make sure we spent some time at Teotihuacán. As I was researching ways of getting there, I discovered that one option is to see it by hot air balloon. Now, I’m not someone who does well with the idea of potentially falling. From any height, much less from that high up in the air. However, if I feel secure enough, heights don’t bother me.
The more I researched it the more interested I became, and I ended up booking it. Tigger skydived in Hawaii, and she’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie so it took no effort to convince her.
The day starts quite early as we needed to meet the van by a well-known landmark at 5:30 in the morning. Needless to say, this had Tigger especially rethinking the planned trip. It was a half-hour walk from our Airbnb place, so that meant waking up at about 4:30. Ugh!
While in the hangar waiting for people to check in and for the pilots to prepare the balloons, they show videos of other trips as well as safety info. Watching the people looking out over the basket from a high altitude was not helpful for my increasing anxiety.
I could feel my heart beating faster as we walked to the location where our balloon was being prepared. Out of curiosity, I checked my smartwatch’s pulse reading, and I was going at about 110 beats per minute.
I was actually surprised it was that low!
If you aren’t used to climbing stuff, getting into the basket is not a moment of grace. Staff stay nearby to help in case you need it. For those with mobility challenges, they had a ladder.
Once in the basket, my anxiety increased because of the low edge. Didn’t help me feel more secure.
The balloon lifted, and I swallowed hard. As it began rising, I noticed the sun was accompanying us.
The journey began, and suddenly I felt extremely calm. Even looking down and seeing the objects on the ground diminishing in size as we climbed higher didn’t bother me. There was no wind. I felt like I was casually flying, and I reveled in it.
My excitement (the positive kind) grew rapidly as the Pyramid of the Sun (although I later learned that they believe it’s misnamed and was actually dedicated to the deity of water) came into view. I watched in glee as we steadily approached it. The views of the park, the ruins, the valley, etc., caused me to feel absolute glee.
To be able to see the pyramids from the air was absolutely stunning!
The ride usually lasts 45-60 minutes. Ours was near an hour, and I found myself feeling slightly disappointed when they began the descent. I knew I would absolutely do this again and would probably actively seek out other opportunities.
When Tigger asked me how I was feeling, I was truthfully able to say that this had been one of the best moments of my life.
So if you have the chance to do this, I can recommend it 300%.
Things to Consider
- If you go with this company, part of the packet you purchase includes a buffet breakfast at a restaurant. However, consider that you’re being picked up at 5:30 AM and probably won’t be sitting down to eat until around 10. You may want to bring some snacks for before and after as the van doesn’t usually arrive back in CDMX until around 3 PM.
- Make sure to bring your own water. You are able to refill your bottle while in the hangar before and after the flight, but after that it may be tough to find more.
- During COVID restrictions, they have prohibited access to climbing the pyramids. CDMX was in their green light phase for COVID, and they were still not allowing people to climb. Another great reason to go by hot air balloon!
- The pyramid that people used to be able to enter (Temple of Quetzalcóatl) and explore has been closed because they found a huge deposit of mercury which is toxic.
- There is a lot of standing. You won’t be able to sit down from the time you leave the hangar until the time they return. If you need to be able to sit down, check in with them as I believe they’re good about making accommodations.
- If you are a person of bigger size (as in weight), they do charge extra, but it wasn’t a huge amount. Their website clearly denotes that and will ask you for your weight in kilograms upon booking.
- The package includes time to walk around the park and see the pyramids up close. If the COVID restrictions are still in place, you can ask your driver if the group can leave earlier than planned. They plan on a 2-hour visit, but that may be long with the current restrictions. As long as everyone in your group agrees, it isn’t a problem. Really 45 minutes is enough if you can’t climb.
- They do the rides year round. The temps can be quite toasty during the visit to the park with little to no access for shade, so prepare for that as well. The temperature during the balloon ride is about the same as on land.
Have you done a hot air balloon ride? Where did you go, or where would you want to go?