Hot air ballooning in Lonavala offers you a perfect blend of thrill and beauty where you get to sail through the blue skies in a hot air balloon while enjoying ravishing views of Lonavala. You’ll be surprised at how peaceful and calming a hot air balloon Lonavala is, with the whispering wind on your face and the burbling burners overhead.
Once you clamber into the basket of the balloon, the pilot will fire up the burners and you’ll feel the balloon tugging at the basket. And once it's fully inflated, you’ll watch as the ground drops away beneath you. You will then see the lush landscape of Lonavala dotted with shimmering lakes and the varying hues of paddy fields, along with the mountains and valleys of the Western Ghats, and faraway, the misty horizons. And you’ll also see the expressway cutting across the landscape, snaking up and down the ghats.
Hot air ballooning in India is a new sport but is gaining popularity fast. It is available in several locations across India, including Lonavala, Pushkar, Jaipur, Udaipur, etc.
Lonavala is also one of the top adventure travel destinations close to Mumbai and Pune, and has various other adventure activities apart from hot air ballooning. Here are some of the other adventures you can do while in Lonavala:
Trekking in Lonavala is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the lush landscape and beauty of the Sahyadris of Maharashtra, and Lonavala has some of the best treks of Maharashtra where you can do the same. During your treks in Lonavala, you get to visit historic forts overlooking vast horizons of the Western Ghats, visit bubbling streams, rivers and milky waterfalls and some of the highest peaks of Maharashtra.
There are treks for everyone in Lonavala, from beginners to difficult ones. Here are the top treks in Maharashtra
This is one of the most popular treks in Lonavala that takes you through a gorgeous trail to the historic fort of Lohagad which was once a formidable battle-station under Shivaji. Lohagad trek is easy, making it perfect for beginners where you trek merely 11 km to the iron fort called Lohagad.
This is one of the top spots for a short trek in Lonavala that offers splendid views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, and the winding expressway. This spot also has many other adventure activities like rappelling, slacklining and more.
This is one of the treks in Lonavala that will test your endurance while rewarding you with magnificent views of streams, waterfalls, paddy fields, and the surrounding forts and hills of the Western Ghats. You also get to trek to an altitude of 3000 feet on this Rajmachi trek.
Along with many treks, Lonavala also has some of the best campsites in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, especially near Mumbai and Pune. While camping in Lonavala, you get to explore the lush forests and wake up to the misty views of the Sahyadris, and you get to spend the night in tents with the sounds of nature bustling all around you.
There are many camping options at Lonavala where you can go. First, you can head for Pawna Lake camping where you get to spend a couple of days on the banks of the gorgeous Pawna Lake. Or you can head to the Lonavala top campsite which lets you explore the green jungles of the Western Ghats, overlooking the lush valleys. And if you want to add some adventure to your camping trip, then you can go for the Kolad camping plus rafting trips that not only let you explore the lushness of the Sahyadris but also go rafting on the gushing Kundalika River.
And if you are done with ballooning but still want to fly, then you can head for paragliding in Lonavala that happens in Kamshet. Here, you get to fly through the blue skies with nothing under your feet but the wind. Paragliding in Lonavala is a thrilling adventure that is perfect for those who want to fly but also want an adrenaline rush.
Lonavala is one of the top getaways for people living in Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala is close by, has immense beauty and adventure activities that make it so attractive. Due to this, there is a rich network of transport that connects Mumbai and Pune to Lonavala. You can either come by road or rail to Lonavala.
If you are coming from Mumbai by train then you can take any of the express trains that connect Mumbai to Pune as Lonavala is a major station between the two cities. And if you’re coming from Pune, then there are many locals running between Lonavala and Pune every day which you can take.
By road, there are many bus services and taxis connecting the two cities to Lonavala. You can take a state bus or a privately run bus to get there, or you can take a private taxi to reach Lonavala. You can even drive your own car or bike to Lonavala since the roads are well maintained.
There are two ways to reach Lonavala if you are driving your one car/bike. First is the Mumbai Pune Expressway but this route has a toll and does not allow bikes on it. The old highway does not have a toll or any kind of restrictions on bikes, but the roads are relatively less maintained.
Once in Lonavala, you have to head to the Orritel Hotel that is located on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, NH 48. There, the operator will pick you up and take you to the launching site.
Hot air ballooning is best in cooler temperatures, as the balloon rises higher and faster, and can fly farther. Therefore it is best done in winter, or in the cooler hours of the morning during other seasons.
Day 1: Go hot air ballooning in Lonavala
You have to report to the meet-up point at 05:30 hrs in the morning from where you’ll be driven to the launch point. There, you’ll enjoy some refreshments while watching your pilot inflate the hot air balloon. Once it is inflated, you’ll clamber onto the basket and prepare for take-off.
With the pilot gradually throttling the gas, you’ll feel the balloon tugging at the basket. And then, you’ll see the ground drop away underneath you. You’ll then be treated to the mesmerizing views of the misty Sahyadri landscape of Lonavala. You’ll watch many shimmering lakes, craggy mountains of the Western Ghats and the lush landscape cut by the wavy Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
After a 50-60 min session of ballooning in Lonavala, the pilot will guide the hot air balloon to a good landing spot and you’ll touch down. After that, the pilot will pack the balloon and then you’ll be dropped to the drop-off point.
Hot air balloon Lonavala cost includes pick-up and drop-off between the Orritel Hotel in Talegaon and the take-off/landing point. The package includes a 50-60 min hot air balloon safari in Lonavala along with the services of an experienced pilot, and a flight certificate signed by the pilot. You’ll also be served refreshments and tea/coffee at the launch site. Lastly, the package includes all applicable taxes.
The hot air ballooning package does not include any kind of travel arrangements from your home city to the meet-up point, nor does it include any kind of personal expenses like tips, extra meals, etc. or any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, roadblocks, etc. No medical or adventure travel insurance is included in the package either. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.
Ballooning happens during the wee hours of the morning when the weather is cool and the wind is stable, hence, the only time when ballooning is ideal is during the winter months or the early hours of summer days. If the weather gets too hot, then it is uncomfortable to go ballooning. So, for ballooning in Lonavala, the best season is during the winter months from September to January. Ballooning does not happen during the monsoon months.
Hot air ballooning sessions in Lonavala take place in the early hours of the morning and last for about 50-60 min. But sometimes, due to wind and weather conditions, the duration can be cut short or extended.
Lonavala is one of the most popular getaways for the city-dwellers of Mumbai and Pune. Hence, there are multiple convenient ways of reaching there via rail and road.
If you are coming by train, then there are daily flights from Mumbai to Lonavala and back, and there are locals running between Pune and Lonavala. This is the cheapest and easiest way of reaching Lonavala.
Reaching Lonavala by road is a fun experience, making it a great option. There are two highways connecting Lonavala to Mumbai and Pune, the old Mumbai-Pune highway and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. You can either take a taxi or a bus to reach Lonavala, or you can drive your own car or bike. However, do note that bikes are not allowed on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, so you have to take the old highway.
Once in Lonavala, you have to get to the Orritel Hotel at Talegaon where you’ll meet the operator. From there, you will be driven to the take-off point by the operator.
For ballooning in Lonavala, you only need to wear basic clothes like a t-shirt and pants along with comfortable shoes or sandals. Do remember to wear sunglasses, a cap and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Lastly, avoid wearing any kind of expensive jewellery or gadgets.
The tour operator provides all the ballooning equipment so you don’t have to worry about anything. Just carry a daypack with a water bottle, personal toiletries, sanitizer, etc. along with sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, etc.
Ballooning in Lonavala requires no preparation or fitness levels and anyone can book this adventure trip. Do note that you’ll have to stand in the basket for nearly an hour while ballooning, though. Additionally, those with heart conditions, recent surgeries or other medical ailments are advised to consult their doctors before booking the trip. Lastly, expecting mothers are not allowed to go ballooning due to safety reasons as sometimes the landings can be bumpy.
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