Corona del Mar High School

A high school student’s reflection: Hot air balloon rides

Spring has finally arrived. Mother Earth can now blossom and engulf in the rich forests and marshes after starving during the winter. Now is also the time for mankind to take a break. Plans range anywhere from staying home and doing homework to tanning in Cabo or hiking off a beaten path.

Taking a hot air balloon ride is a good choice for your holiday gateway since everyone has seen life one way – on the ground – but a balloon ride enables people to see objects from a bird’s eye view. Flying down to the valley also lets the rider see the landscape from a totally different angle as we see things from different perspective on life.

From personal experience, it is an exhilarating feeling. I have been on two balloon rides – one in Cappadocia and the other in Temecula.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is one of the best places to take a hot air balloon ride in the world. The unique Cappadocia landscape was created millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The wind and rain sculpted the land into distinctive rock formations, a rose valley, Uchisar, fairy chimneys, pigeon houses, and rippled ravines. These spectacular elements can be seen at a breathtaking view from up above with the balloon hovering over the valleys. Sometimes the balloon would get close to the valley ridges that it is possible to pick up the leaves from the treetop.

When the burners turn off, the balloons float in the sky, drifting quietly with the winds. There are tens of balloons in the morning that dot the sky, and their colors and patterns make them look like rainbow Skittles. As the balloons glide, the calm breeze refreshes the mind into a tranquil state. This is a magical adventure in the air and is certainly an unforgettable memory. Consider this to be a wonder of the world.

Temecula, CA

What to see: awe-inspiring vineyards, rolling hills, ranches

Temecula tucks in a valley between San Diego and the Inland Empire within the interesting of mix of southern California’s desert and farmland.

Here is the basic information for Cappadocia and Temecula balloon rides.

  • Turkey e-Visa (USA passport holders) $20
  • Istanbul – Kayseri or Nevsehir (plane) 1.5 hours $40
  • Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon fee: $100 – $200 depends on basket size and duration of ride. Prices are negotiable. To learn more about the info for balloon rides and also check out their rankings, check out at: for more.
  • Temecula Hot Air Balloon fee: Around $100 (discount price from Groupon)
  • Take a balloon ride either around sunset or two hours before sunrise due to weather conditions. The conditions must be cool, and the winds must be stable.
  • When the balloon lands, face forward and bend the knees. Remember to always listen to the pilot’s instructions!