Luxor, Egypt: Hot Air Balloon Rides

Most tourist activities will have you getting your start before the sun rises to beat the exhausting African heat, taking a tour in a hot air balloon is no exception. Numerous companies operate tours, most easily booked through your hotel for around $75 per person, including transportation to the balloon site. Beginning your day around 5am, you’ll be brought to an open field where you will assist the tour operators in laying out the massive balloons for inflation. Bursts of light from the hot air flames dramatically showcase the balloons as they take shape and begin to fill the dark morning sky.

Upon piling into the large woven basket hanging underneath the balloon, you’ll take off, rising as the sun comes up to witness the start of daily life as you sail through the skies. The balloons will carry you over the landscape and swoop you over houses as people begin their day. After a quick mid-air lesson in the proper landing position, you’ll soon be back on the ground with the rest of the day ahead of you to explore the rest of what Luxor has to offer.

Edit: A crash in 2013 killed 19 tourists.