Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 2 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Denver
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN DENVER
Welcome to colorful Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day 2 DENVER–ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILWAY–COLORADO SPRINGS
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Denver this morning to see historic Union Station, the Mile High Stadium, and the U.S. Mint. Then it’s on to the Royal Gorge for a unique experience, the spectacular ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILWAY, noted by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1905 as “the trip that bankrupts the English language.” This memorable journey will travel through beautiful scenery, into the Royal Gorge, and along the Arkansas River. Later, travel to Colorado Springs to explore GARDEN OF THE GODS, featuring 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies.
Day 3 COLORADO SPRINGS–SANTA FE
Leave Colorado Springs and travel south into New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment” to the charming city of Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the United States. In addition to its history and culture, Santa Fe is home to many art galleries with a diverse visual arts scene spanning ancient traditional art to modern contemporary. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant.
Day 4 SANTA FE. EXCURSION TO CHIMAYO
Experience Santa Fe up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR of the many historic buildings, revealing the town’s Spanish, Native American, and early settlers’ heritage. Main sights include the San Miguel Mission, Palace of the Governors, Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, and LORETTO CHAPEL’S “Miracle Stairway.” We then visit nearby Chimayo, which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Enjoy lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo, located in a century-old adobe home, serving some of the best New Mexican cuisine. Visit SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe, where the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 5 SANTA FE–BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT–TAOS–DURANGO
Leave Santa Fe, stopping to explore the ancient Anasazi Puebloans and their cliff dwellings at BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT. Visit the adobe town of Taos for free time to explore. Continue into Colorado for Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. Tonight, perhaps browse the many shops on Main Street, or enjoy a cold pint at one of the city’s local breweries.
Day 6 DURANGO. EXCURSION TO MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
Today, visit MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Spruce Tree House, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings. Also, visit the museum that depicts the story of the people who once thrived on this 8,000-foot plateau, and stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings). Return to Durango for a guided tour of the D&SNG RAILWAY MUSEUM and free time to see the exhibits including an extensive model train layout.
Day 7 DURANGO–RAIL JOURNEY TO SILVERTON–GLENWOOD SPRINGS
This morning, board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. The legendary steam train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through Rio de las Animas Canyon. Arrive in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner: “We have no gold, but silver by the ton!” Then, continue to Glenwood Springs for an overnight stay at the historic HOTEL COLORADO, open for more than 125 years hosting special guests like President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and the Unsinkable Molly Brown.
Day 8 GLENWOOD SPRINGS–GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD–DENVER
Travel through the beautiful Colorado mountains and board the historic GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD, sit back and relax as you enjoy the beauty of the rugged Rocky Mountains plus views of Clear Creek Canyon. This afternoon, continue east to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation.
Day 9 DENVER
After breakfast, bid farewell to your new friends.