The Art of Possibility: The Balloon Fiesta + other Albuquerque Wonders

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The Art of Possibility: The Balloon Fiesta and other Albuquerque Wonders

Many visitors to the state of New Mexico pass through Albuquerque as a portal to their vacation without really understanding the city’s distinct magic. Albuquerque has an artsy, contemporary vibe, with Route 66 architecture, shady adobe neighborhoods, farmers’ markets, and sustainable restaurants. But more importantly, Albuquerque thrives as a cultural destination rich with Puebloan and Hispanic traditions.  Situated at the base of the Sandia Mountains, in an agricultural valley fed by the Rio Grande, Albuquerque is the unexpected gem of the American southwest.

This year Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta celebrates its 50th anniversary. When Sid Cutter, Mike Draper, and KOB’s Tom Rutherford first conceived the event they had ample enthusiasm and little time. The event took place in the parking lot of the Coronado Center and hosted thirteen balloons. In the early years the balloon pilots faced a variety of challenges, including weather, but the relationship between Sid and KOB evolved and the event grew in scale and artistry. Today the Balloon Fiesta hosts hundreds of balloons, and is believed to be the most photographed event in the world. The geology of the Sandia Range and the North Valley create a phenomenon known as the “Albuquerque Box” where wind patterns keep the balloons over the park during morning hours.

This edition we explore the wonders of Albuquerque. See our inhouse custom map to find out more about the region's awe-inspiring cultural and adventure destinations. We also visit with Balloon Pilot Peggy Billson and Photographer Allen Morrison to discuss why the Duke City inspires the "Art of Possibility."

Check out our new Balloon Fiesta E-Bike tours and all of our inspired Albuquerque offerings.


Your New Mexico adventure begins as you fly over the swell of the Sandia Mountains and gaze at the Rio Grande below. Often visitors will pass through Albuquerque without really experiencing the area’s distinct magic. The city has an artsy, contemporary vibe, with Route 66 architecture, shady adobe neighborhoods, farmers markets, and sustainable restaurants. Our Duke City E-Bike will connect you to the pulse of the community immediately.  Albuquerque also thrives as a cultural destination rich with Puebloan and Hispanic traditions. Bring this colorful history to life as you join us for our Mezcla de Culturas Walking Tour

After taking in the vibrant culture of ABQ, it will be time to venture out. In concentric circles, the possibilities and wonders of New Mexico ripple through the land. From exploring the remote beauty of Zuni Pueblo (keep an eye out for our Summer Solstice Zuni Tour in 2023), to wandering ancient streets of the “Sky City”  Acoma Pueblo, and hiking the ancient black lava rivers of Malpais National Monument, Albuquerque and the surrounding areas dazzle the imagination. Let H.I. will take you there! Sign up for your journey today.

New this year our Balloon Fiesta E-Bike Tour, skip the traffic, have fun, and begin the adventure sooner! Be sure to read Interview with Balloon Pilot Peggy Billson and photographer Allen Morrison in this edition.


Contact me and my team directly for any inquiries about your travel plans at or call us at 1.888.344.TOUR(8687)
Angelisa Murray, Founder & Guide

#1 on TripAdvisor | 2021 Travelers' Choice


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