Lake Chapala Balloon Globos Regata Ajijic 2023

The 2023 Lake Chapala “Regatta de Globos” (Balloon Regata) took place on September 9th 2023. This event is extremally well known among the Lakeside community and is always a sell out. This year they had more than 3,000 visitors and over 15 teams making the Balloons.

All the balloons (Globos) are made out of China paper and the teams that participate take up to 3 months to prepare all the balloons they will launch. The one in the picture above is a sphere shaped balloon, which area not easy to make fly.

Thousands of visitors come to watch the ballnos, many expats also participate and come to take pictures and video of their favorite globo. This year there was even an expat team that launched their very first balloon, The Lakeside garden club. Their balloon was to honor their 17th year anniversary of the club

In many cases it can take up to 20 minutes, (depending o the size of the balloon) to achieve flight. The balloon in the picture above took about 15 minutes. The main threat to the balloons is the wind, while inflating the balloon it can sway left to right due to wind, which makes it easier for it to catch fire.

As shown in the picture above this balloon caught fire while it was about to take off. During the afternoon there were stronger winds, making several balloons, including large 15 meter one burn to the ground. A few even landed in some nearby trees. Don’t worry, the fire department is always at the event, ready to putt out any fire.

Larger balloons are becoming more common. To achieve getting them to fly teams have to bring their own ladders and create a permitter so the by standers do not trip or trample the delicate China paper balloons. The balloon above was one of the larger 15 meter ones that successfully took off.

One of the best teams that truly stands out at the event is the “Si Lupita” team, lead by Pepe Lopez and his brothers. Access Lake Chapala is proud to sponsor his team every year as he is known within the community to make some of the biggest and nicest Globos.

The visitors enjoy taking tons of pictures and videos. Everyone usually always comes prepared with a sun hat and perhaps a foldable chair so you can take a break and have a bear. It is always important to watch where you are walking since many people are busy photographing the balloons and not looking at the crowd.

Some teams get creative in the design of their Globos. This one had a dragon pasted on the side of the balloon. These types of Globos attract the kids and is always great fun to watch them fly. Notice the man on the latter, he needs to hold the balloon up straight, if not it risks catching fire.

Once nightfall’s the wind slows downs, making it easier for the teams to launch their balloons. During the afternoon the winds were very strong, so a few teams waited until nightfall to launch the bigger balloons.

Many people had to take cover on several large balloons that burned mid-flight, sending the globo crashing down and burning into tiny peace’s. The one in the picture above landed on the umbrella of a fruit stand. Luckily no one was hurt and the umbrella survived as well.

One of the larger balloons at the event was the giant frog, made the by “Si Lupita” team.

This year the Access Lake Chapala balloon was the shape of a giant cactus. It measured close to 18 meters long and took months to put together. Also done by the “Si Lupita” team, they put great detail into their globos and even the sponsors logos.

At the first attempt the balloon experienced to much wind, ultimately ripping its two cactus arms off. The team took it down again, removing the arms and patching the holes with tape. After about a 30 minute struggle, they were able to make our Cactus fly.

See the full video here:

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