Breakfast daily, 2 lunches including lunch in Albuquerque with a tequila tasting and at a local restaurant in Santa Fe, 1 three-course dinner including a festive farewell dinner in Santa Fe
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN ALBUQUERQUE
Welcome to Albuquerque! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. You’ll also enjoy a short presentation from a local BALLOONIST, who will educate you on the sport of ballooning and what you can expect the next several days.
Day 2 ALBUQUERQUE
Get ready for the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Experience this morning’s pre-dawn OPENING CEREMONIES and the unforgettable MASS ASCENSION—where hundreds of hot air balloons take off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors, all led by a balloon flying the American flag to the music of The Star Spangled Banner. What began as a gathering of 13 balloons more than 47 years ago has grown into the largest ballooning event in the world. While on the balloon grounds, visit the INTERNATIONAL BALLOON MUSEUM, dedicated to the art, culture, science, history, and spectacle of ballooning. Then, visit a traditional New Mexican restaurant for a tequila TASTING followed by lunch. Return to the hotel before catching the popular BALLOON GLOW, where all balloons fire up their burners and light up at the same time, and the amazing AFTER-GLOW FIREWORKS SHOW.
Day 3 ALBUQUERQUE
This morning, visit the INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL CENTER, a fascinating museum and crafts market collectively run by the 19 New Mexico pueblos (villages). Here, you will learn about the history, background, and life of what now comprise the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. Next, see historic Route 66 and Old Town. This afternoon, learn about New Mexico’s legendary covert military projects, including the Manhattan Project, with a guided tour of the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE & HISTORY. The museum provides an objective, accessible window into the past, present, and future of nuclear science from the origins of atomic theory to modern-day advances in nuclear medicine. Tonight your Tour Director will have dining suggestions for your evening at leisure. NOTE: Schedule of activities vary from year to year and can be impacted by weather. Your Tour Director will be able to confirm exact schedule of activities on tour.
Day 4 ALBUQUERQUE–SANTA FE
Today, travel along the TURQUOISE TRAIL to Santa Fe. This scenic drive passes through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, past wide-open spaces and dramatic scenery. Arrive in Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the U.S. Experience this city up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR, including the San Miguel Mission, the Palace of the Governors, the State Capitol, and LORETTO CHAPEL’S “Miracle Stairway.” With your afternoon free, why not visit the New Mexico Museum of Art or try one of Santa Fe’s many delicious restaurants?
Day 5 SANTA FE. EXCURSION TO CHIMAYO
This morning, visit nearby Chimayo which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Visit SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe Plaza for lunch at a celebrated restaurant featuring New American West cuisine. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the plaza or return to your resort. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner with ENTERTAINMENT.
Day 6 SANTA FE
After breakfast this morning, transfer to your hotel in downtown Santa Fe, the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza. If your room is not available, please check your bags with the bell staff so that you may continue to enjoy your day until your room is ready. During your extra time in Santa Fe, admission to the GEORGIA O’KEEFE MUSEUM is included. Learn more about this world-renown artist who fell in love with New Mexico and made her home here. Her images are instantly recognizable as her own, especially her large-scale depictions of flowers, leaves, and the landscape of northern New Mexico.
Day 7 SANTA FE
Another full day to enjoy all that Santa Fe has to offer. You may wish to visit the Museum of International Folk Art to learn about the culture and crafts of other countries, visit the many shops and art galleries found around the historic Plaza, or perhaps take a stroll around the plaza for an independent food tour and sample the best in local food and wine. In the evening, why not check out Santa Fe’s vibrant music scene?
Day 8 SANTA FE–ALBUQUERQUE
Depart Santa Fe for Albuquerque International Sunport Airport. The Albuquerque International Sunport Airport is approximately 1.5 hours from Santa Fe, depending on traffic conditions. Please book your departure flight accordingly.