Hot air ballooning is exciting (for adrenaline junkies on holiday) and peaceful. It is fast becoming one of the most popular and unique ways to experience parts of Sri Lanka and is recognised as the world’s safest air sport. Unlike traditional air travel, hot air ballooning is a completely different experience where you feel absolutely no movement after you take off from the ground.
Expect to be swept up in a dreamlike silence as you take in the peace and tranquillity of your surroundings. Touch tree tops, and get up-close-and-personal with Sri Lanka’s abundant bird life, as you experience Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle from up above.
What is hot air ballooning?
Hot Air Balloons function when the air inside the balloon is heated until it becomes lighter than the cooler air around it, causing the hot air to rise and the balloon to rise with it. Once the balloon is ready, you will be airborne in time to witness the golden early morning sky and watch over some of Sri Lanka’s wildlife as they begin to wake and start their day.
Hot air balloons will always float in the direction of the wind, so no two flight paths are ever completely the same. As wind currents vary with altitude, your pilot will use this to your advantage to cause the balloon to rise and fall as needed, navigating the skies whilst ensuring you receive a truly unique hot air ballooning experience in Sri Lanka.
What is the best time in the year for hot air ballooning?
Hot Air Balloon Tours generally take place during the months of November to April, within Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle as the wind and weather conditions tend to be calmer above this tourist hotspot.
The cultural triangle offers adventurers and holiday-goers alike the perfect weather conditions to set off in the early hours of the morning – via your hot air balloon ride, as the winds are most tranquil during this time.
Where are the best places for hot air ballooning in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle is the preferred destination for all your hot air ballooning expectations. This region in the north-central plains of Sri Lanka was known as ‘Rajarata’ (translates as ‘Land of Kings’), but it is now popularly known the world over as the ‘Cultural Triangle’. It is home to the relics of the Sinhalese Kingdom from Anuradhapura, the later capital of Polonnaruwa and the revered cave temples of Dambulla.
Your experience will generally start in Kandalama, where your hot air balloon tour then takes you on a magical, never-before-experienced ride above and across Sigiriya, Dambulla and Habarana. Besides the beauty of the nature coming alive, holiday-goers will also receive a bird’s eye view of the Kandalama Reservoir, built by Sri Lanka’s ancient kings to irrigate local farms; the giant Golden Buddha statue near the ancient cave temples of Dambulla; and Sigiriya rock, the famous fortress that hosts the ruins of an ancient palace at its peak.
What would the experience be like?
Expect an experience that amazes you! A hot air balloon ride over Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle gives you exclusive, one-of-a-kind access to breathtaking views over rugged mountains, lakes, rivers, farmland, cultural attractions and Sri Lanka’s many lush forests, as far as the eye can see. Possibly experience the sight of majestic wild elephants as they start their day, whilst buffalos mill around in paddy fields, and other wildlife come alive within the jungles.
Drift up to 2,000 feet above ground level in a serenely calm way with little to no motion as the secure booth provides you with a steady vantage point of the beauty and wonder that surrounds you.
Experience a sense of stillness and serenity, and absolutely quiet, disturbed only by the occasional firing of your balloon’s burners for your one  hour journey.
Recommended clothing and what to bring for a hot air ballooning ride
It is best to dress casually, wearing something light and comfortable, as it can get warmer as the day goes on. Avoid over-exposure to the sun by wearing a hat or cap and applying sun-block prior to your hot air balloon ride. Depending on how many people are joining you on your hot air balloon ride, it is recommended to wear closed-toe shoes.
If your hot air balloon tour package does not include refreshments, it is recommended to bring fluids for hydration. So why not treat yourself to a hot air balloon ride over the unique countryside of Sri Lanka?
Immerse yourself in the early morning peace and quiet of a hot air balloon ride through the Sri Lankan skies; it’s an experience that you will truly never forget.