11 Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price Hacks
There are three things certain in life- death, taxes, and fluctuating Cappadocia hot air balloon prices.
As a traveler, it’s natural to want to pay a fair price for a service without feeling like you’re getting ripped off. Have you ever gotten a pit in your stomach when you talk with fellow travelers and realize they got a better deal than you?
Did they get lucky? Or did they know a workaround?
In this post, I’ll share key Cappadocia hot air balloon price hacks to help you pay the fairest price possible for this once in a lifetime hot air balloon experience.
Accessible Travel Note: Cappadocia hot air balloons are not wheelchair accessible. However, head over to our post on 10 Accessible Things to Do in Cappadocia for great accessible suggestions in the Göreme region.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price
Let’s face it. The reason you’ve landed on this page is because you want to know the price of a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride. So, I’ll cut to the chase.
Cappadocia hot air balloon prices typically range from $120 USD to $250+ USD per person for a one hour ride with a large group.
Keep in mind that if you purchase your hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, prices at agencies are often given in Euros. I recommend using XE for free currency conversions.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how you can secure a price at the lower end of this range.
Click on the video below for an overview on the 11 price hacks we’ll be covering here. Then scroll down to read more details on each one.
Why does the price of Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides Vary So Much?
Well, my friends, this question is the foundation of this article.
We’ll get into the many answers to this question next, but to give you an overview, Cappadocia hot air balloon prices vary for one or more of the following reasons:
- Time of year
- When you book
- Where you book
- Who you are
- Weather conditions before your visit
- Weather conditions during your visit
- Quality of the company
- Group size
- Your negotiating skills
When it comes to “tricking” the system of the price of Cappadocia hot air balloon rides, it’s a matter of educating yourself on these eleven topics and knowing their workaround.
Scroll down for details on each topic. At the end of each one, you’ll find a blue box with key takeaways; they’ll be your go-to hack for securing the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price possible.
Psst! Don’t miss our guide on What to Expect from a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. You’ll learn everything from what NOT to wear to what happens if your camera falls out of the balloon.
Cappadocia balloon price hacks
And now, let’s get to the good stuff with details on these eleven Cappadocia balloon price hacks.
1. Time of year
Like most places with tourism, Cappadocia has its high season and low season which correspond with more expensive and less expensive prices.
The summer months (June – August) correspond with Cappadocia’s hottest temperatures, the highest chance of the hot air balloons running, and the high season for tourism.
Note that I bolded the part that reads you’ll have a higher chance of boarding your hot air balloon in the summer. For safety reasons, hot air balloons in Cappadocia can’t run if the winds are over 10 kilometers per hour. It’s important to book your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride on your first morning in Cappadocia so that you have the chance to rebook the tour if weather conditions cause cancellations. You can read all about weather-related cancellations in my article on What to Expect in Cappadocia.
Hot air balloon cancellations in Cappadocia are less frequent in the summer than other times of the year. Therefore, if you choose to travel outside of summer, there’s a higher chance of wind and rain…and thus, cancellations.
In the winter (December – February), temperatures are bitterly cold. However, some people prefer to visit this time of year to have the chance to see Cappadocia covered in a layer of snow.
Travel Hack: Cappadocia hot air balloon prices are cheapest from October – April. However, there tend to be more weather-related cancellations. Make sure to read our SOS guide on Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Cancellations so you know what to do if you find out your flight is canceled.
2. When you book
If you’re traveling during the high season, book your hot air balloon ride a minimum of one month in advance. Further in advance is even better.
People traveling during the summer don’t have the same price negotiating powers as everyone else. It’s common to see summer tourists hopping from agency to agency after they’re in Cappadocia, begging them to find them a spot on their balloon, willing to pay practically any price (speaking somewhat from experience here!).
It all comes down to demand.
If you’re traveling outside of the high season, it’s still not a terrible idea to book in advance. However, especially if you’re visiting during the winter, you’ll likely be able to snatch a great deal in person as tourism agencies watch you wheel and deal between their competition next door…and across the street…and up the hill…and etc.
Travel Hack: If you travel to Cappadocia in the summer, price compare online and make your hot air balloon reservation a minimum of one month in advance. If you’re traveling during the low season, you might be able to secure a better price by shopping in person at the many tourism agencies in Cappadocia.
3. Where you book
We’ve already established that there are lots of agencies in Cappadocia. Add that to online, secondhand providers like Viator and Tripadvisor and you’ve got yourself a near-endless supply of people wanting to sell you a hot air balloon tour. As a general rule of thumb, the closer you’re able to get to the company offering the service, the better the deal you’ll be able to snag.
However, as you’ll learn below in the “Scam” section, you must be careful with the company you end up choosing.
I recommend putting out feelers to your hotel or hostel in Cappadocia to see what specific company(ies) they sell hot air balloon tours through. Most have a few companies they partner with, which is useful in the summer when tours are oftentimes sold out.
Once you’ve got the company name from your hotel and you know what your hotel will charge you for the tour, go ahead and reach out to the hot air balloon company directly to see what kind of price they can offer you. Sometimes, hotels/hostels are able to secure the best price, so don’t count them out of the equation!
Travel Hack: Aim to book your tour directly through the company offering the hot air balloon tour instead of a secondhand agency. Don’t forget to check with your hotel/hostel, since sometimes they get great rates for their guests.
4. Who you are
Have you ever seen a local at a market get offered the same product for half the price?
When it comes to Cappadocia hot air balloon prices, “locals” refer to anyone from Turkey and the “market” refers to the companies selling the balloon rides.
If you’re Turkish, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be offered a cheaper price right from the start. What’s more, the agency will expect bartering to ensue, thus bringing the price to a point where both parties agree (and already know in advance) is fair.
You’re not going to get that kind of luxury if you’re a foreigner. That’s just how it is. And, to be fair, this isn’t unique to Turkey but to the global tourism industry.
Travel Hack: Travel to Cappadocia with a Turkish friend and have them negotiate the price for you. Ideally, you shouldn’t accompany your friend during the bartering process or else risk the price being higher.
5. Weather conditions before your visit
Remember how it can be common for hot air balloon cancellations to happen in Cappadocia if the weather’s bad? Well, this can affect how much you pay if you wait to purchase your tour until you arrive in Cappadocia.
Let me paint the picture for you. Say the day you arrive to Cappadocia, the hot air balloons couldn’t run that morning (side note- the balloons only run at sunrise). Therefore, by the time you’ve settled into your accommodation and go out to purchase your hot air balloon ride for the following morning, all the tourists who missed out on the hot air balloon ride today will have already rescheduled their ride for tomorrow.
Now, picture that cancellations have happened over the course of two days. Or three days. And now, picture all of this happening during the high season cancellations are fewer during the summer but they do happen).
Of course, some of those people will have already left Cappadocia without their hot air balloon ride because their travel itinerary doesn’t allow them extra time to wait for another day. But you get the point.
The flip side to this is that hot air balloon prices could also be lower. If the weather has been great every day leading up to your visit and you aren’t traveling during the high season, demand will be lower and, therefore, this combination will likely lead to among the cheapest prices of the year.
Travel Hack: If weather conditions are bad in the day(s) leading up to your arrival to Cappadocia and you didn’t purchase your hot air balloon tour in advance, the price could be higher due to a greater demand for spots. If the weather has been good and you’re traveling in the off-season, you should be able to lock in a low price.
6. Weather conditions during your visit
Similar to the point above, if you wait to purchase your hot air balloon tour in person upon your arrival to Cappadocia, prices could be higher if weather conditions cause cancellations during your visit.
The hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia are smart; they have a strong understanding of consumer demand. If the weather is forecasted to be decent the day you want to purchase your tour for but then shows that the weather will be poor in the days following that time, they know that they can raise prices since more tourists will be booking their hot air balloon ride on the nice day.
However, if you’re traveling during the low season and the weather is good and looks like it will continue to remain that way, you should be able to get a great deal on a tour.
Travel Hack: Monitor the weather in the week leading up to your arrival to Cappadocia. If it’s looking like the weather will be iffy, you may save more money by booking your hot air balloon tour in advance than booking it in person. Alternatively, if the weather looks good and you’re traveling in the low season, you should be able to get a great deal in person.
7. Quality of the experience
Like most tours, quality varies depending on the company. And, usually, this corresponds with how much you pay.
The majority of Cappadocia hot air balloon companies have the following in common. Most offer:
- Pick up & drop off at your hotel
- A snack and/or breakfast before takeoff
- Champagne after landing
- Hot air balloon completion certification
- Proof of safety certifications
Now, the quality of the pre-flight food, the length of the time in the air, whether or not you want a meal inside the hot air balloon, and how large or small of a group you want to be with all affect the price. You can even hire a private hot air balloon ride, which can be advantageous budget-wise if you’re traveling with a large group.
Arguably, the most important part of the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride is getting up in the air before the sun peeks over the horizon. Regardless of how much research you do on how good a company is, know that even if you’re confident that you’ve chosen a stellar company, the best ones can still be late for sunrise.
More often than not, this is due to your fellow hot air ballooners who are late or no-shows during the pickup process. Saying it’s a bummer is an understatement, but the good news is that this doesn’t happen too often.
Travel Hack: Know what you need (and don’t need) from your Cappadocia hot air balloon experience. The less picky you are about extra perks, the cheaper the price you’ll be able to secure.
8. Group size
Group size directly translates into how cheap or expensive your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride will be.
I booked a balloon with a 28 person capacity. That’s among the largest option in Cappadocia, but there are smaller ones out there. Generally speaking, the larger the hot air balloon, the cheaper the price will be.
If you’re concerned about a bad experience as a result of more people in the balloon, generally speaking, it’s nothing to worry about. The basket is divided up into different sections bordering the outside of the balloon, with a couple to a few people per section. Therefore, typically everyone is able to claim a spot along the edge.
Travel Hack: Check how large the hot air balloon is that you’re quoted for. Ask if they have a larger balloon that fits more people since you’d be able to get a lower price.
9. Your negotiating skills
Negotiation is the pulse of business in Turkey. There’s no question about it- Turks expect fellow Turks to negotiate.
When it comes to foreigners, things get trickier. The price you receive from a Turkish agency will likely be inflamed because you’re a tourist and to safeguard themselves in case you happen to try negotiating with them.
No one wants to lose a sale more than the person you’re speaking with. So, negotiation is very much on the table for foreigners. In fact, you should negotiate the price if you’re purchasing your tour in person.
The exception to this is if you’re trying to book a hot air balloon ride during high season at the last minute. Dozens of other tourists will be on your tail willing to pay an inflated price with grateful hearts.
Travel Hack: If you’re shopping around for the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price in person, make sure to negotiate.
Scams for Cappadocia hot air balloon prices are rampant, particularly during the summer since availability is limited.
As a simple rule of thumb, if a Cappadocia hot air balloon price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Wouldn’t it be worse to find out that you seemingly saved $40 USD only to learn that it was a fake ticket and you now have to spend another $100+ USD to take the tour?
Scammers tend to seek out people in the streets in high tourist traffic areas (I’m looking at you, Istanbul). They can also be commonly found at bus stations.
If you’re unsure if a scammer has approached you, ask them where their agency is and to write down their contact information and price they’ve offered you. Then, go to the agency at a separate time on your own (with online research of the company under your belt). If they’re a real scammer, you won’t even get to that point.
Travel Hack: Don’t be fooled by prices that seem too cheap offered to you in the streets of Turkey. Do your research on the company before paying any money.
If you didn’t know why I included luck on this list when you first saw it, you should now.
The past ten items are solid ways to save money on the price of a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride. However, a few of them contradict each other, particularly the ones involving weather.
And so, there it is. You can do all the research and prep in the world, but sometimes getting the best Cappadocia hot air balloon price simply boils down to luck.
I wish you the best of luck, dear reader. And, even if luck isn’t on your side, as long as spending the extra cash won’t leave you completely broke, in my opinion, the experience of taking a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia is worth shelling out extra cash for.
Travel Hack: Cross your fingers and toes.
A note on responsible tourism
I’ll end this post with a reminder that wanting a fair price for a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride is different from expecting/bartering a price that’s under the usual range. Hot air balloon rides are a for-profit business. There are bills and employees to pay.
In short, my friends, find a balance between settling on a price you’re comfortable with while understanding that your money is how these businesses stay afloat and feed their families.
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I want to hear from you!
Have you taken a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia? Share your experience and price tips in the comments section below. Your fellow Cappadocia-going friends reading this will appreciate it. 😊 If you have questions, send me a comment and I’ll be happy to help.
Don’t Forget! Check out our posts on how to handle Cappadocia Hot Air Ballon Cancellations and What to Expect from a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. We’ll show you why you must book your hot air balloon ride for your first full morning in Cappadocia, or else risk missing out on the hot air balloon experience.
Also, are you thinking about visiting Pamukkale? Read about how to take the bus from Pamukkale to Cappadocia (or vice versa).
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.