Albuquerque Soars!

2019 Pre-Conference Press Trip Media Placements

“A hot air balloon ride often ranks atop many travelers’ bucket lists. It’s not hard to understand why, as the experience is magical. It’s an unmatched way to provide a unique perspective of the environment. And what better place to embark on this enchanting journey than Albuquerque, the “hot air balloon capital of the world.” —Deborah Stone 

Eight IFWTWA Journalists participated in this wonderful Albuquerque Soars Media Trip.

Albuquerque delighted this group of journalists in so many ways. A focus was on its native food and wine since it is the oldest wine-growing region in the country, but participants also had the glorious opportunity to go hot air ballooning, which was so appropriate since Albuquerque is widely known as the hot air ballooning capital of the world.

The group enjoyed a native American dance performance at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, followed by appetizers at Pueblo Harvest. A tour of vineyards and wine tasting rooms by bicycle provided the perfect way to be immersed in the area. Participants stayed at the new, strikingly designed Hotel Chaco, accented by stunning local art, and highlighted by a fabulous dinner served at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, LVL/5.

A traditional brunch was served at the charming Campo at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. To further immerse the group in all that is Albuquerque, ABQ Trolley tour drove the group around town with a guide pointing out the city’s neighborhoods and highlights. Another highlight of the trip was Tablao Flamenco, where everyone was amazed by a traditional flamenco dance while they snacked on enticing appetizers. There is so much to see, do, eat, and enjoy in this fascinating city.

IFWTWA thanks our host for coordinating our stay.
All opinions expressed in the following articles are those of the the individual writer and not influenced by IFWTWA.

Writers in Attendance:

Social Media


IFWTWA Media Trip participants utilize Twitter, Instagram, Insta Stories, Facebook, Facebook Live and/or Facebook Stories in addition to social media promotion by IFWTWA and its pages.

Farah, Mary., February 7, 2020
Gluten Free in New Mexico Part One: Albuquerque

Dunning Brouillette, Debbra. FWT Magazine, February 25, 2020
Expect the unexpected in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hot Air Balloons

“Up, up and away…in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon!” The words and melody to the classic song by the Fifth Dimension were on repeat in my brain as we floated silently 1,000 feet above Albuquerque. Along with 11 others in our hot air balloon’s wicker basket, piloted by Troy Bradley of Rainbow Ryders, we watched the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains and took in the 360-degree view of our surroundings around and below us. 

Montgomery, Susan., March 1, 2020
Albuquerque: A Food & Wine Lover’s Delight

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Albuquerque, where I had been many years before on our way to Santa Fe. I recalled it as being a sleepy high desert town with a few nice Mexican restaurants and not much else. I am so glad I went back because I discovered there is so much more to do and enjoy in this friendly city with such a rich and fascinating history — from delicious dining to Native American cultural opportunities to glorious hot air ballooning and surprisingly wonderful wine tasting options.

Fossland, Joeann. The Yums, February 28, 2020
Tequila and Chile, El Pinto, Albuquerque

The perfect combo of Southwestern drinking and eating come together at El Pinto! From its roots as a small 100 person restaurant in Northwest Albuquerque to today’s rambling hacienda with a cantina, two large dining rooms, five patios that will seat over 1000, El Pinto is the place to experience New Mexican food and drink.

Farah, Mary. Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, Winter Spring 2020 – January 10, 2020
48 Hours in Albuquerque

Join Mary as she explores New Mexico’s enchanting capitol of Albuquerque. With just two million people total in the state, Mary felt a little culture shock coming from a city with a population of 20 million alone!

Wittig, Stacey. Pinewood News, December 16, 2019
10 Best Places to Visit in 2020

Albuquerque might be the best place on earth for hot air balloon rides. For one, New Mexico’s largest city has over 300 days per year of optimal ballooning weather. Secondly, a unique weather phenomenon called The Albuquerque Box – where low winds move in one direction, and the high-level winds move in another – enables pilots to take off and land in the same place.

Wittig, Stacey. UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, December 11, 2019
20 Best Places to Visit in 2020

Who should go? Adventure seekers, wine lovers and couples. Don’t miss: Tasting the award-winning sparkling wines at Gruet Winery, nominated for this year’s Wine Enthusiast American Winery of the Year.

Wittig, Stacey. Flagstaff-Sedona Dog Magazine, December 01, 2019
4 Reasons Albuquerque Makes the Best Pet-Friendly Vacation

Albuquerque makes for some of the best woof-worthy vacations. Besides being only a five-hour road trip away, here are four other reasons you should put Albuquerque, New Mexico, on your travel list now.

Stone, Deborah. Luxe Beat Magazine, December 4, 2019
History meets hip and happening in Albuquerque

From my perch in the sky, the view is sublime. The iconic Sandia Mountains appear as sentinels of the high desert and the rugged lava escarpments provide a Mars-like topography. Below, the Rio Grande snakes through the expansive landscape, while matchbox size houses and buildings look like Lego constructions.

Walls, Kathleen. World Footprints, February 19, 2020
High Time in Albuquerque

A major highlight in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a hot air balloon ride at daybreak.But floating through the sky into the sunrise is not all there is to do in Albuquerque.

Walls, Kathleen. American Roads and Global Highways, November 14, 2019
A Touch of Mexico

Albuquerque is filled with great food and amazing museums. Our IFWTWA (International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association) Convention was very helpful to improve my career as a travel writer. I don’t have much time before I head to Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe lived at one time, but here are a few highlights of both cities.

Walls, Kathleen. Weekender Extended, December 10, 2019
Swim Through a River of Lights in Albuquerque

There’s a reason why the Travel Channel cities Albuquerque BioPark Botanical Gardens as one of the top 12 in the country. Published in Weekender Extended, this is a story about the Christmas transformation of Albuquerque Botanical Garden into a River of Lights.