Cosmos

Enchanted Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (8790) - 2014

13 days from Scottsdale to Scottsdale


Enchanted Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
New Mexican architecture
New Mexican architecture
Enjoy New Mexico’s beautiful architecture
Mesa Verde National Park
Monument Valley in southern Utah
Mesa Verde features a number of ruins built by the ancient Pueblo people
800.276.1241

Vacation Overview

See spectacular scenery, unique sandstone formations, majestic mountains, and more on this wonderful Southwest vacation to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Trip highlights include a stay in Grand Canyon National Park, with its spellbinding landscapes; Monument Valley, where you’ll enjoy a 4-wheel-drive tour of the Tribal Park; Mesa Verde National Park, where you’ll stand in awe as you view the cliff dwellings inhabited by Ancestral Pueblo people from 600 AD to 1300 AD; White Sands National Monument, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders with the world’s largest gypsum sand dune; Sedona, a beautiful town amid stunning red-rock formations; and Tombstone, the most authentic Western town in the United States. Ride the historic, coal-fired, steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow-gauge railroad through breathtaking San Juan National Forest.

You’ll also spend time in Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Tucson. In Albuquerque, be a part of the International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and stand in awe as you experience the pre-dawn opening ceremonies and the Mass Ascension, where the sky fills with vibrant colors as hundreds of hot air balloons take flight.

All of this and much more are included in this Enchanted Southwest vacation. If you want to see some of the West’s most amazing and breathtaking scenery, don’t miss this tour. You’re sure to return from this vacation with plenty of photos and memories—a trip of a lifetime!

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Similar Vacations that may interest you:

Sightseeing:
In Santa Fe and Albuquerque; guided walking tour in Taos, Monument Valley 4-wheel-drive tour, Mass Ascension & Balloon Glow in Albuquerque at the Balloon Fiesta, Tombstone, OK Corral, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and Heard Museum.

Scenic Highlights:
Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Durango, and White Sands National Monument.

Guides:

Local Guide for sightseeing in Monument Valley; services of a professional Tour Director.


Day 1Scottsdale

Welcome to Arizona, the “Grand Canyon State.” Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.

Day 2Scottsdale–Sedona–Oak Creek Canyon–Grand Canyon National Park

This morning, travel to Sedona, a beautiful town amid stunning Red Rock Country. Browse its eclectic shops, feast on Southwestern cuisine, or just breathe in the incredible scenery. Next, pass through the weather-sculptured rock formations of Oak Creek Canyon, the San Francisco Mountains, and beautiful pine forests to the GRAND CANYON, one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Overnight stay is inside the park.

Day 3Grand Canyon National Park–Monument Valley–Kayenta

This morning, don’t miss the optional flightseeing excursion for a unique bird’s-eye view over the canyon—it’s the thrill of a lifetime! Continue to MONUMENT VALLEY, where you will enjoy an exhilarating 4-WHEEL-DRIVE TOUR of the Tribal Park and will see the amazing twin “Mitten” buttes, the impressive “Totem Pole,” and other sights forever associated with the Wild West. The park has been the setting for countless movies, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Thelma & Louise.

Day 4Kayenta–Mesa Verde National Park–Durango

Our first stop today is wondrous MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will walk in the footsteps of Ancestral Puebloans and see their mysterious, centuries-old cliff dwellings. Next, the Southwestern town of Durango, nestled in the Animas River Valley and surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. Tonight, why not explore the historic downtown or stroll along the Animas River?

Day 5Durango. Excursion On The Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad

Board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD this morning for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks that miners, cowboys, and settlers of the Old West took more than a century ago. The locomotives used to pull today’s train are 1923-1925 vintage. This historic train has been in continuous operation for more than 125 years. The train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through the Rio de las Animas Canyon with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Free time 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!”

Day 6Durango–Taos–Santa Fe

Head to New Mexico and stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, one of the highest in the U.S., before arriving in the adobe town of Taos, seated on the high desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. On today’s walking tour, learn about its 1,100 years of history and explore the historic town plaza, offering eclectic galleries and wonderful shops. Continue to the charming city of Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital.

Day 7Santa Fe

Today begins with an inside visit to the historic LORETTO CHAPEL and the “miraculous staircase.” Afterward, enjoy a GUIDED TROLLEY tour of Santa Fe. Your expert guide has knowledge in specialized areas such as archaeology, architecture, Santa Fe art and galleries, and the history of Santa Fe. The 8-mile loop in open-air trams includes Santa Fe’s most important historical areas, including the colorful art galleries of Canyon Road, the Museum Hill area, historic Santa Fe Plaza and Palace of the Governors, and other notable locations in the heart of the oldest capital city in the United States. The remainder of the day is free to explore Santa Fe’s one-of-a-kind stores. (CB)

NOTE:
Inside visits to the Loretto Chapel are dependent on private weddings, at which time the chapel is not open to the public.

Day 8Santa Fe–Albuquerque

A late-morning departure for Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city. Framed by stunning mountains and with a captivating mix of Mexican, Spanish, and Native American cultures, this vibrant city bursts with fascinating landmarks. Upon arrival in Albuquerque, enjoy a walking tour of historic Old Town with its Spanish church and fine museums. This evening catch the popular Balloon Glow at Balloon Fiesta, where all balloons fire up their burners and light up at the same time, and After-Glow Fireworks show this evening. (CB)

Day 9Albuquerque

This morning stand in awe as you experience the pre-dawn opening ceremonies and the unforgettable Mass Ascension where hundreds of hot air balloons take off, turning the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors. What began as a gathering of thirteen balloons 35 years ago has since turned into the largest ballooning event in the world. This afternoon there is time to further explore this atmospheric city, so why not explore the plethora of shops, galleries and restaurants in the city's Old Town, or visit the renowned Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

Day 10Albuquerque–White Sands National Monument–Las Cruces

This morning, travel south through the fertile Rio Grande Valley. This afternoon begins at one of the world’s great natural wonders: WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT. Here, gigantic sand dunes rise from the Tularosa Basin, creating an awesome 275-square-mile scenic canvas. View breathtaking desert landscapes as you travel into Las Cruces, New Mexico’s third-largest city.

Day 11Las Cruces–Tombstone–Tucson

Today, travel across the deserts to TOMBSTONE, the most authentic Western town left in the United States. Here you can walk the same streets that saw gunfights along Allen Street and witness a reenactment of the 1881 SHOOTOUT AT THE OK CORRAL. Also stop at Boot Hill Cemetery, where many of the graves are of gunfighters who died quickly and violently and were buried with their boots on. Travel north to Tucson, one of Arizona’s most attractive cities. (CB)

Day 12Tucson–Sonora Desert Museum–Scottsdale

Start the day at the 200-year-old Mission church SAN XAVIER DEL BAC, then visit the acclaimed ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM, where you will admire the diverse flora and fauna. More than 300 species of live animals and over 1,200 species of plants indigenous to the area are exhibited in their natural habitats. Afterward, we make our way to Phoenix and its world-famous HEARD MUSEUM, rich in history and one the world’s finest for learning about American Indian arts and cultures. Tonight, join your travel companions on an optional excursion for dinner and live entertainment at Arizona’s legendary cowboy steakhouse, Rustler’s Rooste, atop a butte in the foothills of South Mountain. (B)

Day 13Scottsdale

The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore this desert oasis further with a variety of exciting optional activities.

Transportation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.


SCOTTSDALE The Saguaro Scottsdale (F)
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK Grand Canyon National Park Lodges (NP)
KAYENTA Kayenta Monument Valley Inn (MF)
DURANGO Durango Downtown Inn (MF)
SANTA FE Santa Fe Sage Inn (ST)
ALBUQUERQUE Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn (ST)
LAS CRUCES Drury Inn & Suites Las Cruces (MF)
TUCSON Best Western Plus InnSuites Tucson Foothills (MF)

1 breakfast, 3 continental breakfasts

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As recommended by Budget Travel