New Mexico’s famous balloon fiesta is one of America’s most adored events, with hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes magically floating over the city for the week. Though thousands flock to see the balloons, actually getting up inside one during the event has historically been hard — which is why we were so stoked to see that Uber launched a hot air balloon option in the app to help people in Albuquerque, NM easily check the epic ride off their bucket list. “The only thing that’s better than getting to watch hundreds of balloons ascend into the sky is actually getting to ride in one,” agrees Megan Joyce, regional GM at Uber. “So, this year, we decided to bring its users the opportunity to request a free hot air balloon experience provided by Rainbow Ryders. With just a few taps in the Uber app, visitors and residents of Albuquerque were able to request tickets for a hot air balloon ride on the most popular day of the festival. There was no need to book in advance, and no need to worry about transportation to or from the event.” So cool, right?
When we thought about it more, we realized that the company (which turned seven in March and has seen its fair share of ups and downs) has launched heaps of incredible global experiences for riders. We caught up with the team to recap some of their all-time favorites.
Where It’s Available: Summer in Cannes and Nice, France
What It Is: Want to score some epic views or make a quick getaway? UberCOPTER makes it a cinch to get from Nice to Cannes and back again.
How It Works: It might seem crazy to request a helicopter for you and your squad in an app, but that’s how it flies with UberCOPTER. Once you select the option, a private driver will whisk you and your fellow riders to the heliport, where your private helicopter will be waiting. After landing, another private driver will bring you and your friends to your final destination. Remarkably, UberCOPTER clocks in at just 160 euro per person, which includes a luggage allowance.
Where it’s available: Every day in Bali, Indonesia
What It Is: Consider this the easiest way to explore Bali! Book an on-demand time-based ride for 5-10 hours. Explore wherever you like with the peace of mind that you have a dedicated driver waiting for you.
How It Works: Since UberTRIP lets you choose your destinations, kick off your experience by selecting the first one. From there, an Uber will pick you up, and you’ll be ready to ride around the island however you want. At the end of your trip, a total fare based on the trip duration will be calculated (it doesn’t matter where you go), and you can pay just like you do with a normal ride. The minimum fare of UberTRIP is 300,000 IDR (worth five hours of riding time), and you’ll pay 1,000 IDR per minute after.
Where it’s available: Summer in Croatia; year-round in Istanbul
What It Is: In Croatia, you have two options when requesting UberBOAT — transfers and tours. Transfers take you from the mainland to the islands and back, while tours offer riders the opportunity to explore nearby islands and hidden beaches, bays, and coves. If you take a tour, you’ll have the option to choose from one of three adventures or create your own itinerary. If you use UberBOAT in Istanbul, you can navigate the Turkish capital by water when you hail a speedboat to journey across the Bosphorous (the strait that divides the European and Asian halves of the city).
How It Works: Set your pickup location and request the UberBOAT option in the app; the captain will call you to confirm your ride and a speedboat (which can hold 6-8 of your besties and S.O.s) will embark shortly. That’s it! UberBOAT fares are based on distance (sea miles) and time, and they’ll be automatically charged to your card.
Where It’s Available: Every day in Kochi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore, India
What It Is: Like UberTRIP, HIRE is a new Uber service that allows you to request an Uber and keep it for as long as you like — regardless of the number of stops you decide to make. There’s no need to lug your shopping bags or suitcases or deal with the headache that comes with booking multiple cars in a single day!
How It Works: When you’re in one of the cities where UberTRIP is available, all you’ll need to do is push the UberHIRE card when it appears at the bottom of your screen. Next, set your pickup location and request your ride. The minimum fare for UberHIRE is 500 rupees (up to two hours of time or 30 km).
Where It’s Available: Year-round 8am-10pm in Hyderabad and New Delhi, India; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Bangkok, Thailand
What It Is: UberMOTO is the ultimate way to score an affordable and ultra-convenient motorcycle ride at the push of a button. MOTO riders receive driver and bike details just as they do for other Uber rides, as well as all standard safety features before, during, and after the ride (which includes requisite insurance coverage to covers the riders, GPS tracking, two-way feedback, and the ability to share trip details with family and friends).
How It Works: Once you open the app in one of the cities where UberMOTO is available, select the option and enter your pickup location and payment method to request a ride. You’ll receive all of the driver info, including a name, photo, and details of the motorbike. UberMOTO drivers will have one helmet for the rider, and all riders and drivers must wear a helmet, as per the law. At the end of your trip, choose to pay with cash, credit/debit card, or your mobile wallet and receive an electronic receipt via Uber. When it comes to fares, MOTO costs as low as 25 rupees for the first 3 km and 5 rupees for each km you cover after. Time charges don’t apply to UberMOTO.
Where It’s Available: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 9am-6pm in Santa Barbara, CA
What It Is: Love wine tasting? This one’s for you. Use your app to request a personal driver to take you around Santa Barbara’s breathtakingly beautiful wine country. The base WINE experience comes with an UberX vehicle that can fit up to four friends, while WINEXL has room for six. Bottoms up!
How It Works: Request WINE or WINEXL in the app to be paired with your driver for the day; you’ll be set to leave whatever you want in the car and taste to your heart’s content. When you’re ready for your next stop, call or text your driver, and they’ll meet you in the parking lot. Even better, your driver will be automatically updated each time you add a new destination to your tasting tour, which you can stop anytime you want. There’s no limit to the time or distance on WINE and WINEXL trips. The minimum fare is $10, and average hourly fares range $35 per hour with WINE to $45 per hour when you request WINEXL. Split the fare with friends to save even more!
Where It’s Available: Winter in Park City, UT and Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Aspen, and Steamboat, CO
What It Is: A snowbird’s dream, UberSKI is designed to help you get your gear to the mountains. UberSKI vehicles have all-wheel drive and are equipped with either a ski rack or truck bed for your gear.
How It Works: Enter your destination, and then request UberSKI in the app. A driver with the carrying capacity for up to four passengers with skis and snowboards will arrive ready for you and your gear. Note that each trip already includes a $6 pickup fee on top of the normal UberX rate.
Where It’s Available: Summer in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
What It Is: Just like UberTRIP and UberWINE, you can score a personal driver to stay with you while you tour Valle de Guadalupe, Baja’s wine country.
How It Works: Just pop open the app to request VALLEX or VALLEXL to reserve your driver for the day. When you’re ready to call it quits, just let your driver know — you can end your trip anytime. A full day of touring Valle de Guadalupe round-trip from Tijuana (including approximately five hours of wait time) will cost you around $1,130 MXN for VALLEX and $1,580 MXN VALLEXL, which is only about $100 USD. Unreal, right?
Which epic Uber experience do you want to try most? Tell us what you think on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Uber)