Colorful hot-air balloon festival in Tahmek this weekend

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
This weekend’s balloon festival in Tahmek is expected to attract 10,000 visitors and fill the sky with artisan’s colorful creations. Photo: Courtesy

The town of Tahmek is preparing to host its second-ever Festival del Globo Maya. 

The balloons will be launched to the sky near sundown this Saturday and Sunday. Made of paper mache, they are sure to make for quite a colorful sight. 

This will be the second time Tahmek hosts such an event, but organizers say that this year will be bigger and better than ever.

Also participating with their own creations will be balloon makers from Mérida and from across Yucatán, Mexico State, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Moreles, Michoacan, Mexico City, and as far away as Colombia. 

Though the designs of the balloons will be varied, one can expect to see several dedicated to San Lorenzo, the town’s patron saint. 

Because the balloons featured at the festival are decorative and not aerostatic, they are not capable of lifting passengers for hot-air balloon rides.

Earlier: Tradition and folklore of Yucatán on full display at Hoctún’s colorful cemetery

The town of Tahmek is 25 miles east of Mérida, on the highway to Izamal. Image: Google Maps

Nevertheless, organizers say that they are confident that the event will attract upwards of 10,000 people and create a greater awareness of the community.

“We are really going all out with this event and hope folks from all over come to see what we have been working so hard on,” said Tahmek Mayor Neyda Heredia Leal.

Vendors will sell miniature versions of the balloons taking flight for between 50 and 80 pesos each.

Buses will begin running to Tahmek from Mérida at 4 p.m. for 30 pesos at Centro’s Calle 50 x 62. Taxis will also be available for roughly 200 pesos per trip and carry up to four passengers. 

With a population of approximately 3,600 people, Tahmek is small but full of character and attractions, such as its lovely church and the nearby archaeological site of Aké

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