Hot Air Balloon Over Teotihuacan Pyramids | Thrilling Mexico Adventure
As the light slowly fought its way over the mountain tops a slow roar bellowed from our basket as we floated over a lush green valley and slowly ascended over one of the most extraordinary man-made architectural sites in the world. As we gently floated through the air we were left speechless as we gazed down upon Teotihuacan in all its majesty.
Mexico truly is an enchanting country with a rich cultural background unlike anywhere else in the world. In every corner of Mexico from the southern lush jungles of Chiapas to the Eastern and Western tropical port cities to the northern arid deserts to the high snow capped volcanos of the heartland there are stunning sights to see. Arguably the number one must see in Mexico can be found about 70km outside of Mexico City.
No trip to Mexico City would be complete without visiting the great ancient city of Teotihuacan to lay your eyes on the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Like us, most travelers will have this destination booked in there itinerary when visiting Mexico City. In planning our trip to Teotihuacan we searched for an alternative way to experience this unique ancient city and stumbled across Aerodiverti Hot Air Balloons. Riding in a Hot Air Balloon has been at the top of our bucket list for a while but there was something about the thought of floating hundreds of feet off the ground in a wicker basket in a fabric balloon spewing fire that sounded a little terrifying.
After a little pep talk, we booked our ride with Aerodiverti Hot Air Balloons seeing as they had high reviews when it came to their service and safety standards.
CHECK OUT OUR HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
They offer a variety of flights (Shared, Private, Music Trio, or a Breakfast in the Clouds). With a group of four individuals, we did the shared flight. A shared flight will cost MX $2,299 which at the time was about $123 USD. Included in this package is coffee/tea before take off, a flight certificate upon completion, and a sparkling wine toast once you touch down.
Be ready for an EARLY MORNING! Our check-in time was scheduled for 6:30 am and they ask you to be there about 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. 6:30 isn’t too unreasonable but we stayed in Mexico City and depending on traffic it will be a 1 1/2-2 hour drive plus the time it takes to get ready in the morning. To give you a better idea we left our Airbnb at 4:45 am.
You’ll need to be flexible because everything depends on the weather when you are dealing with hot air balloons. Too much fog, rain, or wind can keep you grounded and obviously for good reasons. We received a good amount of rain the night before and were pretty anxious that our flight would be canceled. Luckily, the weather spared us.
Things run at an interesting pace for about 20 minutes we were sitting in the lobby, next minute we were being hurried to the back of the establishment to a large clearing where the balloon was being filled with hot gas. As the balloon was being filled we were able to get some pictures by the balloon (ask them to take them on your phone if you don’t want to pay for them from their photographer).
With several blasts of hot air, the balloon gently stood erect and the pilot gave us our final safety briefing before entering the basket. Once we were all aboard the crew let go of the anchoring ropes and we slowly began to ascend into the morning sky.
With 7 people aboard there was more than enough room, as you peer over the edge of the basket you become so mesmerized by the valley of Teotihuacan that you forget that anyone else is even aboard. As our pilot held the burners the balloon roared to life and we swiftly climbed through the tame morning sky.
In a matter of minutes, we were directly over San Martin Centro and traveled Southwest over the city as the sun peeked over the lush green hills to the east. The Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon-tower over their surroundings creating an incredible view from the sky. Our pilot warned us during our flight that depending on the wind it might not be possible to get very close to pyramids. Luckily for us, we must've pleased the gods and we came so close it was as if our basket was going to scrape along the top of the Pyramid.
Our experienced pilot then filled the balloon with hot gas lifting us high above the pyramid and then slowly proceed to navigate us directly above the avenue of the dead and all the way over the Pyramid of the Moon. This perspective gave us beautiful views of the pyramids and majestic views of the 10 or so other balloons dancing across the morning sky.
We drifted serenely over the “City of the Gods” for what seemed like hours, we snapped more pictures then we will ever know what to do with. I think everyone including myself snapped so many pictures in hopes that we could capture the unique experience and feeling of soaring over such a majestic site. Sitting here now with a hard drive full of pictures from that trip I can tell you for certain that no picture will ever be able to replicate the feelings of that moment. It’s something you’ll have to just experience for yourself.
As our hour flight began to come to an end we peacefully began to descend back to the earth and our pilot directed his crew on the ground through constant radio contact. As we hovered over a field of cactuses ropes were let down from the balloon and the ground team directed the basket right into the back of a trailer connected to a van. The precision, efficiency, and speed in which the docked such a massive aircraft astounded me.
Once we successfully landed our pilot and the crew helped us get out of the basket and we all circled up on the ground. Awaiting us on the ground was a bottle of sparkling wine (or juice if you request), our pilot then offered up a prayer and toast for our successful flight. We then loaded up in the van and headed back to the business. Once we made it back we were presented with a nicely printed certificate that indicated we had successfully flown in a Hot Air Balloon. You have the option to purchase a video and photos from the flight, there is a GoPro attached to the outside of the balloon that records and takes video. In my opinion, it was a little pricey so try bargaining for them if you really want them or just take your own pictures.
Visiting Teotihuacan was definitely a bucket list experience, what made this bucket list experience even more unique was being able to soar above the City of Gods as if we were Gods ourselves. Aerodiverti truly gave us an experience that we will never be able to forget. We don’t want to say this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because we hope to return and float over Teotihuacan once again but it might be a while because this trip has inspired us to take the skies in some other iconic locations (Turkey, Myanmar, and Africa).
-Bring a light jacket it’s pretty chilly in the morning, once in the balloon you will warm up with the burner overhead.
-Bring a phone with a case that allows you to attach a string or pop socket on it so you don’t drop your phone.
-Make sure to go to the bathroom before you take off
* Our hot air balloon ride was made possible with the kind support of Aerodiverti. As usual, all thought and opinions are our own.