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Why Albuquerque for the Fiesta? 

Part of the reason for the success of the Fiesta is the cool Albuquerque morning temperatures in October and the Albuquerque box. The “box” is a set of predictable wind patterns that can be exploited to navigate the balloons. At low elevations the winds tend to be southerly (from the south), but at higher elevations they tend to be northerly. Balloonists use these winds to navigate in a vertical box: they ascend slightly from the launch park, move south, ascend further, move north, descend, and repeat the box or land back in the launch park or quite nearby.



Day 1 – Home to Kansas City, MO 

A travel day through Iowa to Kansas will begin our adventure to Albuquerque and the International Balloon Fiesta. We will make a stop for lunch in Iowa before arriving at the Drury Inn Airport in Kansas City. This evening enjoy the Drury’s “Kickback” Reception, which is a complete light meal. 

Included Meals: Drury Kickback 

Hotel: Drury Inn Airport 


Day 2 – Kansas City to Oklahoma City, OK 

We will depart Kansas City and travel to Oklahoma City with comfort stops and lunch along the way. Our first visit will be at The National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum. This is America’s premier institution of Western history, art, and culture. The museum collects, preserves, and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts. After the museum visit, we will check into the Holiday Inn & Suites for the night. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Holiday Inn & Suites 


Day 3 – Oklahoma City to Amarillo, TX 

After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for the Oklahoma City National Memorial, a memorial that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. After visiting the memorial we will visit The Memorial Museum, which is an interactive learning experience that takes you on a chronological self-guided tour through the story of April 19, 1995, and the days, weeks and years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The story tracks the remarkable journey of loss, resilience, justice and hope. After leaving Oklahoma City we will stop in Shamrock, Texas for a delicious lunch and then make a visit to the Groom Cross, a 19-story cross located next to Interstate 40. This 190-foot-tall, free-standing cross can be seen from 20 miles away. Surrounding the base of the cross are life-sized statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Our journey will then continue on to Amarillo, TX where we will spend the night. Enjoy the Drury’s “Kickback” Reception. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Drury Kickback 

Hotel: Drury Inn 


Day 4 – Amarillo to Albuquerque, NM 

This morning will begin the last leg of traveling days to Albuquerque! After breakfast at the hotel we will continue West on Interstate 40 (old Route 66). This afternoon we head to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Let your imagination soar as you discover the world of ballooning. This world class museum showcases a vast collection of balloons, art work, and aerial artifacts. The exhibits show the history of ballooning and highlight the science that has thrilled human imagination for more than a century. On our way to the hotel, we will stop in Old Town Albuquerque and pick up our local, step-on guide for a short tour of Old Town. We’ll then check into the Drury Inn, our comfy home the next four nights. It has been selected for its convenient location just a short distance from the Balloon Fiesta Park. This evening our included welcome dinner is served at El Pinto Restaurant. Come see why El Pinto is the local favorite for authentic New Mexican Cuisine! They use the recipes of the owners’ grandmother, Josephina Chavez-Griggs. Their family was the first to differentiate their cuisine as “New Mexican.” 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Drury Inn of Albuquerque (4 Nights) 


Day 5 – Albuquerque 

We rise early this morning! Breakfast is ready! (For those who purchased the optional balloon ride, your adventure is right away this morning!) R&J has arranged for our group to enjoy the morning session at the Chasers Club, which gives us guaranteed private seating in an outdoor patio located next to the launch field on the north end of the field. Here you can enjoy hot food items along with refreshments. The morning session features the largest exhibition of Custom Shaped Balloons in the world as well as the “Flying Competition.” Get out on the field and experience not only the excitement but the actual process of inflating the balloons. We depart the Fiesta and head to the Route 66 Diner for lunch! The Route 66 Diner is full of nostalgia, history, and great food! We head back to our hotel for some relaxing time before we return to the Fiesta for the evening session. We have reservations at the Gondola Club for a once in a lifetime evening with an included dinner buffet. This reserved area gets you away from the crowds with private seating outdoors, delicious food and luxury bathrooms just for Gondola Club members. Just imagine being able to have a private seat complete with wonderful food while looking out over tonight’s featured Special Shapes Glowdeo. Fiesta Glow is when all the balloons fire their burners and light up at the same time! This is perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta, plus it’s followed by New Mexico’s most spectacular Afterglow Fireworks Show! 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 6 – Albuquerque 

Another early morning with the same routine as yesterday with the exception of our location! Today we will return to the Gondola Club. Again we will have private seating complete with wonderful food while looking out over the Dawn Patrol, Morning Glow, and Mass Ascension. Being that the Gondola Club is located next to the launch field on the southwest end of the field, club membership includes a gourmet breakfast buffet and shuttle transportation to and from the Fiesta’s “Main Street.” The Mass Ascension of hundreds of colorful hot air balloons in the early morning New Mexico sky is one of the most awe-inspiring scenes you will ever experience. Words are incapable of describing this. You will have the freedom to “walk the field,” observing the balloonist crew prepare for flight and feel the power and thunder of their mighty burners. After all the morning festivities, we’ll return to the hotel for some R & R. Following lunch, we will visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) located in Albuquerque for a self-guided tour. The Center is comprised of museum and gallery space, a collection of murals and other Native arts and artifacts, a library, archives, an education department, a teaching kitchen/restaurant, and cultural programming and events – each celebrating the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo culture of New Mexico. During the Balloon Fiesta the center has Native dance performances scheduled throughout the day as well as artistic booths. Afterwards, there will be free time in Old Town to explore and shop before an included dinner at the High Noon Restaurant, located in Old Town. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 


Day 7 – Santa Fe, NM 

Following a hot hotel breakfast, we board the motorcoach along with our step-on guide for today’s destination, Santa Fe: a magical, exuberant, colorful journey at any time of year. Its legendary history & culture will fascinate and inspire you. The city of Santa Fe was originally occupied by a number of Pueblo Indian villages, with founding dates between 1050 and 1150. One of the earliest known settlements, in what today is downtown Santa Fe, came sometime after 900 CE. A Native American group built a cluster of homes that centered around the site of today’s Plaza and spread for half a mile to the south and west. This is some of the oldest living history in all of America! There will be time for shopping & exploring. Partake in Drury’s “Kickback” Reception tonight. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Drury Kickback 


Day 8 – Albuquerque to Fort Morgan, CO 

Our last breakfast in the Southwest fairyland is appreciated at the hotel. After breakfast we will start our journey back to Minnesota, northward to Colorado where we will start to see the Rocky Mountains the further north we travel. Along the way we will make comfort stops as well as time for lunch before arriving in Fort Morgan CO, our destination for today. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Best Western Plus 


Day 9 – Fort Morgan to Lincoln, NE 

Today we will continue our journey eastward with a stop at the Archway Museum at Kearney, NE. The Archway spans I-80 at exit 275. At the Archway, we’ll walk with the pioneers over the Oregon Trail, watch a rider switch horses at a Pony Express Station, hear Mark Twain’s account of a stage coach trip, and much more! After enjoying a catered lunch in the Archway’s event room, there will be plenty of time to explore the museum as well as visit the gift shop. Upon leaving, we’ll continue our journey to our hotel tonight. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Best Western Plus 


Day 10 – Lincoln to Home 

After breakfast at the hotel we will continue our journey eastward toward home with stops along the way for coffee and lunch at the Pizza Ranch in Ankeny, IA. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 


 Awesome Optional Opportunity! 

Balloon Fiesta Balloon Rides are available! 

Rainbow Ryders — Official Balloon Ride Concession 

Price including pilot gratuity: $639.00 per person 

R&J has reserved a limited number of Balloon Rides. These are first come, first paid. Additional rides based on availability. 


So come join the fun – embark upon a journey of uniqueness! 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,299
Single: $4,239
Triple: $3,069
Quad: $2,929

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $205
Single: $275

Travel Bucks

$45 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate Walking at your own pace

Price Includes

16 Meals & 3 Kickbacks, Activities & Hotels as stated, Luxury Motorcoach

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Motorcoach Departure Date:
Motorcoach Return Date:

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Tour Highlights

* Three Visits to the Balloon Fiesta
* Exclusive Reserved Hospitality at the Fiesta
* Special Shapes Rodeo & Glowdeo
* Mass Ascension
* Balloon Fiesta Fireworks
* Anderson-Abruzza International Balloon Museum
* Day Trip to Santa Fe with Step-on Guide
* El Pinto Restaurant
* Old Town Albuquerque
* Four Nights in Albuquerque
* National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum
* Oklahoma City National Memorial
* Archway Museum
* Indian Pueblo Cultural Museum

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
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