Bogota, Colombia – 2009

Hot Air Balloon Festival in Bogota, Colombia to celebrate their 199th anniversary of independence from Spain

Please enjoy the photos of our adventure to the right!


I was honored to be one of 6 pilots from the US to be invited to fly in Bogota, Colombia in July 2009. Colombia celebrated it’s 199th anniversary of Independence from Spain on July 19th. The city of almost 10 million people celebrated Colombia’s Independence in a big way by having 42 balloons from all over the world fly over the heart of Bogota. They even shut down the Bogota International Airport for 2 hours for our fly over!


I was struck by the warmth of the people as we landed. We gently set down near a very busy freeway and basically turned it into a parking lot. Cars just parked in traffic, grabbed their cameras and ran to greet us! Every child wanted their picture taken near the balloon. Adults hugged me, shook my hand and thanked me for coming to their country. It was obvious that they had never seen anything like this…giant, colorful hot air balloons floating overhead.


They were all very proud of their country and wanted to be sure that we get the word out that the stereotypes that were created in the 70’s and 80’s are in the past. It is a safe and beautiful place to visit. Not to mention…the coffee is awesome! I personally would go back in a heartbeat given the opportunity.