Secrets of the Southwest, with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

September 29, 2020 thru October 6, 2020

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See the Southwest in a whole new light! We visit some of the less-frequented National Parks and Monuments such as the Petrified Forest, Mesa Verde and White Sands. You’ll be intrigued by New Mexico’s beauty as you travel on the Cumbres Toltec Railway, delighted by an afternoon spent in Durango, and fascinated by the Taos Pueblo. To top it all off you’ll spend two days at the 49th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Scenery, History, Culture, and Balloons—this tour of the Southwest has it all!


Transportation

Motorcoach

Transportation

Rail

Roundtrip ticket on the Cumbres - Toltec Railway included.

Duration

8 days, 7 nights

Activity Level 3

Moderate

Appropriate for: Most travelers beginning with those who are moderately fit, lead semi-active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities and expect some physical exertion.

Meals

16 meals (7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners) included

Availability

Available

Pickup/Dropoff

Roundtrip livery service included.


Tour Highlights

  • Petrified Forest National Monument
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Cumbres Toltec Scenic Railway
  • Taos Pueblo
  • Santa Fe Walking Tour
  • Morning Mass Balloon Ascension
  • Evening Balloon Glow
  • White Sands National Park

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip motorcoach transportation
  • Pick-up/livery service
  • 7 nights lodging
  • 16 meals (7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners)
  • Admissions as described
  • Tours and local guides as described
  • Train ride as described
  • Baggage handling
  • Bus refreshments
  • Services of a tour director
  • Local guide tips
  • Driver tips


Day 1 – Home to Gallup

On our first day of this scenic tour we make our way from southern Arizona to Gallup, New Mexico with some terrific stops along the way; the historic Salt River Canyon Bridge, an Art Deco masterpiece from 1934 that spans one of the most dramatic canyons in Arizona; the Rainbow Forest Museum, the heart of the original Petrified Forest set aside by President Roosevelt as a national monument in 1906,  and a hearty lunch at the Torreon Golf Club in the White Mountains. We’ll have dinner at the historic El Rancho Restaurant on Route 66 in Gallup and stay overnight at Springhill Suites Gallup. Meals – Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 – Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. We’ll spend the morning touring at the park and then continue to the mountain town of Durango, Colorado for a free afternoon and a 1-night stay at the Hampton Inn Durango. Meal – Breakfast

Day 3 – Cumbres Toltec Railway

Today we board the narrow-gauge steam train of the Cumbres & Toltec railway at Chama, New Mexico. This National Historic Landmark is a trip you’ll never forget. The coal-fired steam engine carries you through steep mountain canyons, high desert, and lush meadows as you zig zag between the Colorado and New Mexico border. We take a roundtrip journey through beautiful scenery to Osier, where we have a delicious mid-day lunch. Tonight, we lodge at Homewood Suites at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Santa Fe for a two-night stay. Meals – Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 – Taos & Santa Fe

This morning we drive the High Road to Taos, a scenic, winding road through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where we enjoy a guided walking tour and a group lunch. Long one of America’s foremost, bona fide Art Colonies, Taos is also home to a world-class ski resort (Taos Ski Valley), a World Heritage Site (Taos Pueblo), one of the most photographed and iconic churches (St. Francisco de Asis), and a majestic landscape encompassing the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge. Drawn by clean air and mythical light, visitors come to New Mexico’s Soul of the Southwest to experience rich spiritual traditions, fine art, distinctive cuisine, a thriving music scene and of course, the raw, natural beauty of the landscape. Tonight, we have dinner together at the Buffalo Thunder Resort. Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Santa Fe & Balloon Fiesta

This morning we take a guided historical walking tour of Santa Fe where we see the Palace of the Governors, the Plaza and other iconic buildings like the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. You’ll have time for exploring on your own and lunch. This afternoon we travel the short distance to Albuquerque to enjoy the festivities of the 49th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with a visit to the Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum. We’ll check into our hotel for 2-nights and get refreshed for evening Balloon Glow and Fireworks event. You will love the Balloons glowing in the darkness of the evening! Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 – Albuquerque & Balloon Fiesta

We rise early and travel to the Balloon Fiesta grounds where we hundreds of hot air balloons are involved in a mass ascension into the sky. The array of color that fills your eyes when these magical balloons lift off is truly amazing! We’ll enjoy lunch at El Pinto Restaurant, one of Albuquerque’s favorite eateries and then visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. From the moment you enter this center you will feel as if you are in an ancient world. The Center houses exhibits on all of New Mexico’s nineteen Indian Pueblos. Meals – Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 – White Sands

Today as we travel south through to White Sands National Monument. We stop for lunch at Valley of Fires Recreation Area, which features a paved walking path through a lava flow. Then, rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here. We lodge overnight in Las Cruces  and have a farewell dinner at the Double Eagle Restaurant in the historic La Mesilla Plaza. Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Las Cruces, Home

We step into another era this morning and take a walking tour of the picturesque village of Mesilla, which  briefly served as capital of the Confederate Territory of Arizona. Then, after some free time for lunch, we travel back to Tucson with wonderful memories of this special tour. Meals – Breakfast


Package Pricing

$2,286 per person

Double occupancy

Deposit: $150

$2,683 per person

Single occupancy

Deposit: $150

Price Includes

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation
Pick-up/livery service
7 nights lodging
16 meals (7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners)
Admissions as described
Tours and local guides as described
Train ride as described
Baggage handling
Bus refreshments
Services of a tour director
Local guide tips 
Driver tips


Booking Policy

We pride ourselves on great service and an enjoyable experience for all and will go over our booking policies after you make your request for booking. If you’d like to learn more about our booking policies before your trip, give us a call at (520) 325-8839, or visit our Booking Policies page. Click here for more information on our booking policies.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that all travelers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect themselves and their trip investment. Travel protection plans can provide coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical expenses and emergency evacuation/repatriation, trip delay, baggage delay, and more. For your convenience, we offer the following plan for this tour:

ADULT GROUP CHOICE

360° Adult Group Choice Flyer– Provides an overview of benefits and coverage limits

360° Adult Group Choice Policy – Provides the full coverage term details, including exclusions and limitations

$187 covers trip costs $2,050 to $3,000. Cost may be more or less depending on your total trip cost. If you do not wish to purchase now, the plan can be purchased any time prior to final payment.

Contact us to purchase. If you have questions about coverage, please review the policy or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 888.574.7026 or email 360group@travelexinsurance.com. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276. RWF


ITINERARY

For your reference, we send to you a detailed itinerary approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled tour departure. This has day-by-day times and events, hotel information where you can be reached in case of an emergency, and airline information.

The times listed on the itinerary are all approximate. We cannot be held responsible for schedule changes due to unforeseen circumstances with the weather, transportation agents, highway conditions, hotels or contracting agents.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Level 3: Moderate

Expectations: Expect a moderate amount of walking. There will be time to rest on the coach and between attractions. To enjoy this tour, you should be prepared to walk slightly longer distances, climb stairs and tolerate periods of standing, for example on city walks, sightseeing stops or ship excursions. The daily pace and timing can fluctuate significantly between longer and shorter travel days, with additional activities possibly occurring in the early morning or evening. There may be some changes in altitude or temperatures.

Appropriate for: Most travelers beginning with those who are moderately fit, lead semi-active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities and expect some physical exertion.

Visit our Activity Level Ratings page under Plan Your Tour for full information on the ratings system.

EMERGENCY CONTACT

It is always a good idea to carry on your person a list of medications that you are taking and an emergency contact phone number while you are traveling. And we suggest making a copy of the itinerary and provide it to a friend or family member.

GRATUITIES/ITEMS INCLUDED IN PRICE

The traditional end-of-tour gratuity to your tour director is not included. If you feel your Tour Director helped you enjoy your tour, we suggest you enclose a gratuity in an envelope and present it individually at the end of the tour. Simply as a guideline, one may consider a per person, per day gratuity of $8.00 per tour guide as an average to be modified by one’s own personal experience. All hotel porterage and airport skycap (when available) fees are included. We also include the gratuities for the coach/livery drivers. Maid tips are not included.

LIVERY

For your convenience, we have a (round-tour) door-to-door pickup service with each multi-day tour. (This service is not available to all clients depending on your location.) Approximately 2 to 3 days prior to the departure date you will receive a call from our office and we will tell you your assigned pickup time. (These times can vary up to 15 minutes depending on traffic.)

LODGING REQUESTS

If you would like to request special accommodations at the hotel(s) where we are lodging, please call us as soon as possible and we will forward these requests for you. The phone numbers of the hotel(s) where we are staying are listed on the itinerary.

Many hotels around the country have instituted a "reconditioning fee" of $300 or more that is levied upon a guest that smokes in a non-smoking room. If this occurs during our tour you will be responsible for paying this fee to the hotel prior to check-out.

TRAVEL REQUESTS

We pay close attention to your requests but please realize that these are merely requests and cannot be guaranteed.

RESPONSIBILITY

Pleasurebent Tours acts solely as an agent in arranging hotels, transportation, sightseeing, baggage-handling, and other services and does not assume any liability for injury, damage, loss or delay due to any act or default of any company or person. We, along with our subcontractors, reserve the right to make changes to an itinerary if it is necessary for the proper handling of a tour.

WEATHER AND CLOTHING/MISC. SUGGESTIONS

The average daytime high temperatures during our stay in the Southwest is typically in the middle to upper 70’s and the average night-time temperature is usually upper 50’s. Please be sure to bring a sweater and / or rain jacket, along with good walking shoes and a hat. It can be cold the morning of the balloon ascension so we recommend a winter coat, hat and gloves. There are no dress codes for the areas we take you to on this tour.

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Call 520.325.8839 to Book Today!

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