Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Embark on a spectacular journey that follows the colorful trails of the Southwest and features the best of New Mexico. You’ll discover ancient cultures, world-famous Southwestern cuisine, diverse landscapes, renowned museums, and a hot air balloon festival like no other on Earth! From Albuquerque to Santa Fe and Taos, this journey allows you to experience first-hand why this is called the “Land of Enchantment.”
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 2
Optional transfers from our departure points this morning will have us at LAX for a scheduled non-stop flight arriving in Albuquerque, New Mexicothis afternoon.Those guests making their own flight arrangements can request the group’s flight schedule to coordinate a flight arrival time that would allow them to be included on the complimentary transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, we’ll board a deluxe motorcoach and continue to historic Old Town Albuquerque with time at leisure for lunch on your own. Since it was founded in 1706 by Spanish Settlers, the Old Town area has remained the center for Southwest culture, architecture, shopping, art and cuisine. We continue north to Santa Fe – New Mexico’s capital city nestled into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We’ll enjoy a three-night stay at an upscale, AAA Four Diamond hotel located within walking distance of the Santa Fe Plaza, the historic heart of the city. Enjoy an included dinner at a locals’ favorite. (Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll be joined by a local guide for a comprehensive tour of Santa Fe. Founded in 1610, Santa Fe is the oldest seat of government in the United States and this capital city reflects its Spanish, Pueblo, and Mexican history. Visit Santa Fe Plaza to see the Palace of the Governors, the tree-lined streets with buildings of distinctive design, adobe houses and eclectic shops. We’ll go inside the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and visit the famed Loretto Chapel to see its miraculous spiral staircase – a true marvel of architectural ingenuity. Go inside the New Mexico Capitol and San Miguel Chapel – the oldest church in the U.S. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to take in this spectacular city and its vibrant Plaza area featuring a variety of shops and museums including the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum that holds the largest collection of O’Keefe’s work in the world. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, a local guide will join us onboard as we travel the “Low Road” to the mountain town of Taos, seated on a high desert mesa within the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (7,000 feet elevation). We’ll stop at the Rio Grande Gorge to see the gorge and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. At 650 feet above the river, the bridge is the second highest bridge on the U.S. High- way System and the fifth highest bridge in the U.S. We continue to the Millicent Rogers Museum, where we’ll come face to face with more than a thousand years of Southwestern arts and cultures within 14 galleries. See a wide range of objects including Native American jewelry, pottery, baskets, blankets, Hispanic folk art and so much more. The museum was named for fashionista Millicent Rogers who came to Taos following a break-up with movie legend Clark Gable. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch and browsing in the charming Taos Plaza before we continue via the Camino Alto, or “High Road,” following the same route taken by the Spanish colonists through the scenic grandeur of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and past villages that date from the Spanish Colonial era. We’ll stop in the village of Chimayó to visit El Santuario de Chimayó, the church believed to possess healing powers in its “holy dirt.” This National Historical Landmark is considered to be the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States. We’ll enjoy an included dinner at Rancho de Chimayó, the award-winning restaurant housed in a century-old adobe home. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway to Bandelier National Monument, nestled within beautiful canyon and mesa country. Enjoy an included boxed lunch and time to explore this incredible monument that features petroglyphs and dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs and provides a peak into the lives of the ancient Anasazi that lived here 11,000 years ago. We continue to Albuquerque where we’ll enjoy a two-night stay at an all-suites hotel. This evening we arrive at Balloon Fiesta Park, home to the 50th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the variety of vendors selling delicious food and souvenirs along with access to light refreshments and seating available in our hospitality tent. As the sun begins to set, Night Magic Glow gets underway (weather permitting). The burners of tethered balloons are ignited, illuminating the evening sky with a kaleidoscope of brilliant colorful glow. The AfterGlow Fireworks Show provides an incredible conclusion! (Breakfast, Lunch)
Early this morning we return to Balloon Fiesta Park to experience the Farewell Mass Ascension (weather permitting). Walk amongst the balloons and talk to the pilots as more than 500 balloons are laid out, the burners are ignited and the balloons gently lift off in two waves, creating a spectacular display of sound and color. We return to the hotel later this morning with time at leisure to relax. This afternoon we’ll visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center which tells the story of New Mexico’s Pueblo Indian culture through authentic native arts, craft, and dance. We continue to the International Balloon Museum, dedicated to the art, culture, science history, sport and spectacle of ballooning. This world-class museum features one of the world’s finest collections of ballooning equipment and memorabilia. Enjoy an included dinner this evening at a locals’ favorite. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast we’ll visit the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to learn the intriguing story of the Atomic Age. We continue to the Turquoise Museum, a fascinating museum featuring the largest collection of turquoise in the world including a vast collection of turquoise jewelry and antique furniture. This afternoon we arrive at Albuquerque International Sunport for our scheduled non-stop return flight to Los Angeles.Those guests making their own flight arrangements can request the group’s flight schedule to coordinate a flight departure time that would allow them to be included on the complimentary transfer to the airport. Back in Los Angeles, those guests with pre-arranged transfers will be returned to their respective destinations.
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