Thu, Oct 21: Luxor, Egypt
I signed up for the optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over Luxor. It was a $150 and ran from 4:00 AM – 8:00 AM. There were other crazy people who signed up, too.
What is the Luxor Hot Air Balloon Ride?
The hot air balloon ride run by a separate company, and is rather chaotic as they launch 20 – 30 balloons. To get there, we took a boat across the Nile, then loaded into two vans for a 20 minute drive to the balloons. After waiting for about 15 minutes for our turn, and our balloon to fill up, we are quickly shuttled on board. Our group all fit into one balloon, and nobody else joined in, except for the pilot.
Each balloon has an extra large basket split into four compartments, each holding four people – for a total of up to 16 people. This is the largest basket I’ve seen.
The balloon is fired up and within a few moments we take to the sky. The chaos is replaced by calmness. The ride is quiet with magnificent views.
For the landing, we floated into a farm field, where the landing team made quick work to get the balloon deflated and to guide us back to our vans for the ride home.
TIP: It’s okay to leave your backpack in the van you got in, as the same van will pick you up. Take a photo of your van’s license plate so you’ll know which one is yours as there will be two of them per balloon.
Is the Hot Air Balloon Ride over Luxor worth it?
Yes. The sunrise hot air balloon ride is totally worth the early morning 3:30AM wake up call. The views, the silence, and the adventure create an unforgettable experience. We saw both the moon and the sun on our journey. Plus you’ll get a birds eye view of the sights below. We saw the Colossi of Memnon, the Ramesseum, and the Valley of the Kings.
On the boat ride home, you are given the opportunity to purchase a video of your ride. There are different options, a USB drive, or a google drive link. Technically you could have just one person buy the video then share it with everyone else, but it was pretty cheap (around $10) and they work hard to earn your money.
Mostly everyone got it. The entire middle segment of the video showing views from the balloon is their stock video. Our video footage is the launch and the landing only. You can check out the hot air balloon fun in the video below:
TIP: if you choose to get the video link by email, make a copy of the video to your own google drive so you have your own copy. They delete the source video after a month or so.
For more information on the hot air balloon company, see Sinbad balloons of Luxor.
After returning to the hotel, we joined the rest of the tour group for a well earned breakfast. Then, we were ready to resume our adventure and head to the massive Karnak Temple followed by the optional Luxor Museum tour.
Part of the Ben UnchartedX Egypt Tour