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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. Enjoy the Manager’s “Kickback” Reception this evening.

Included Meals: Manager’s Reception 

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 Express hotel for the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


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 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 Manager’s “Kickback” Reception or a nearby restaurant this evening!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception 

Hotel: Drury Inn 


Day 4 –Amarillo to Albuquerque, NM

This morning will begin the last leg of traveling days to Albuquerque! After a light breakfast at the hotel we will continue West on Interstate 40 (old Route 66). After a lunch break we will pick up our fellow flyaway travelers before going to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Let your imagination soar as you discover the world of ballooning. This world class museum show cases a vast collection of balloons, art work, and aerial artifacts. The exhibits show the history of ballooning and highlights the science that has thrilled human imagination for more than a century. Our comfy home the next four nights is the beautiful Drury Inn, carefully 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 arise early this morning! Breakfast is ready! (For those who purchased the optional balloon ride, your adventure is right away this morning!) This year’s theme is “Get Carried Away” and we have to be settled in our reserved viewing spots by sunrise. 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 indoors and out, 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 southeast 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. This afternoon the Albuquerque Museum enriches our visit to this beautiful area. The museum’s regional art collection focuses on the American Southwest and its history & photo archive collections primarily relate to the life and culture of Albuquerque and the middle Rio Grande Valley. The museum is also perfectly located in Old Town where we will have extended time to explore this interesting, historic area. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since it was founded in 1706. Centered around the plaza, Old Town encompasses about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings. On the north side of the plaza is the San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, built in 1793. Surrounding the church, settlers built their homes, shops and government offices, many of which have since been converted into the restaurants, art galleries, and shops that comprise Old Town today, leaving it look much like it did when it was built centuries ago. Its Pueblo-Spanish style architecture with flat-roofed buildings and soft contours of adobe mirror the Southwestern landscape. Long portals (porches) line the fronts of most buildings, offering shade from the New Mexican sun. Bancos (benches) are often found built into the back walls of the portals, providing the perfect place for weary walkers to sit and watch the world go by. For almost three centuries, Old Town has been the crossroad of the Southwest. Enjoy dinner in Old Town at the High Noon Restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 


Day 7 – Santa Fe

Following a hot breakfast at our hotel, we board the motorcoach along with our step-on guide for today’s destination, Santa Fe, New Mexico – 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 to 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. We make the restaurant choice easy however, as we host lunch at a popular venue noted for its superb and authentic cuisine. Partake in the hotel’s Manager’s “Kickback” Reception tonight.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception


Day 8 – Albuquerque to Pueblo, CO

Our last breakfast in the Southwest fairyland is appreciated at the hotel before our City Tour of Albuquerque! Our Step-on-Guide will take us around the city of Albuquerque. Our tour will end in “Old Town.” Have lunch on your own in Old Town before we bring our flyaway travelers to the airport and then start our journey back to Minnesota. We will travel north of Albuquerque to Pueblo, CO, our destination for the evening. We will start to see the Rocky Mountains the further north we travel.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Hampton Inn North 


Day 9 – Pueblo to York, NE

Today will be a travel day. Our journey north will take us through Denver with the Rocky Mountains on our left. Once we are through Denver we will head east through the state of Nebraska with York, NE as our final stop for the day.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Best Western Plus 


Day 10 – York 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: $375.00 per person 

R&J has reserved 12 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: $2,399
Single: $3,089
Triple: $2,269
Quad: $2,159

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,799
Single: $3,179
Triple: $2,689
Quad: $2,619

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $149
Single: $191

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $200
Single: $235

Travel Bucks

$35 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$200 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 45 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate Walking at your own pace

Price Includes

Motorcoach Option: 16 Meals & 3 Manager’s Reception, Activities & Hotels as stated, Luxury Motorcoach.
Flyaway Option: Roundtrip Airfare including taxes, fuel surcharges, & baggage fees. 9 Included Meals & 1 Manager’s Reception, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach.

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 70°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Tour FULL: Call for Waitlist! 1-800-758-6877
Motorcoach Departure Date:
Motorcoach Return Date:
Flyaway Departure Date:
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Make a Reservation Online

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 at the Drury Inn in Albuquerque
Albuquerque City Tour with Step-on Guide
National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City National Memorial

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Tour FULL: Call for Waitlist! 1-800-758-6877
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 70°
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