Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – 9 Days
October 6, 2018 Double: $6,395, Single: $7,495 Book by March 16, 2018 and SAVE $100 pp. (Route A) Travel by motorcoach to Chicago, and then it’s ‘all aboard’ the double-decker California Zephyr, one of the world’s greatest train trips! Cross America’s wild west to…
October 6, 2018
Double: $6,395, Single: $7,495
Book by March 16, 2018 and SAVE $100 pp.
Travel by motorcoach to Chicago, and then it’s ‘all aboard’ the double-decker California Zephyr, one of the world’s greatest train trips! Cross America’s wild west to Colorado, where a coach is waiting to take you over the Rio Grand Gorge to Sante Fe. Founded in 1610, Sante Fe is America’s oldest and highest capital where cottonwood trees, flowering ocotillo, and yuccas line the streets. Sante Fe is a centre for art, and the Georgia O’Keefe museum, showcasing her vibrant New Mexico landscapes, is a must-see.
Linking Sante Fe to Albuquerque, we’ll follow the Turquoise Trail along sage brush plains and desert hills, past ghost towns to Madrid, a popular film location filled with busy galleries. Taking the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway from the desert floor to the observation deck, we’ll see 11,000 square-miles of the Rio Grande Valley. This panoramic view explains why New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment!
On to Albuquerque’s Old Town (1706) where you’ll find historic buildings like the San Felipe de Neri Church. Albuquerque appeals to artists, adventurers, and historians. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center traces the tribal history of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos (communities), and Acoma Pueblo is North America’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement (1150 A.D.).
But the true highlight of our visit to Albuquerque is taking in the famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – so get your cameras ready! You’ll think of these great sights as you soar through the clouds on your flight home.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. Our Chasers’ Club Pass puts us up close to the Dawn Patrol Show and gives us a rare opportunity to watch over 500 balloons inflate and lift off in a mass ascension.
The skies above New Mexico turn into a hot air hodgepodge of colours, patterns, and shapes. The Special Shapes Rodeo is an imaginative affair and the most popular attraction: turtles, coach wagons, cactus.
With guaranteed seating in a private patio next to the launch field, and catered food and beverages (including cocktails) we’ll watch the evening Balloon Glow, a magical scene of anchored balloons illuminated by their burners after sunset. The Special Shapes Balloons take their place in the Balloon Glow lineup as “The Glowdeo.” Attracting thousands of spectators, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is a major showcase of New Mexican culture and history, and simply a fun time!
Deluxe motorcoach transportation to Chicago, return flight to Toronto, 8 nights accommodation (including 1 night aboard Amtrak train), 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners, all highlights listed, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and HST does not apply.
• Amtrak’s California Zephr train journey
• Rio Grande Gorge
• Guided tour of Santa Fe
• Georgia O’Keefe Museum
• Turquoise Trail
• Ortiz Mountains
• Sandia Peak Tramway
• Chaser’s Club admission including: Dawn Patrol Show and Balloon Glow
• Guided tour of Albuquerque
• Free time in Old Town Albuquerque
• Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
• Acoma Sky Pueblo Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum
Battler Creek, MI: Holiday Inn (1 night)
Amtrack Train (1 night)
Grand Junction, CO: DoubleTree by Hilton (1 night)
Santa Fe, NM: DoubleTree by Hilton, (2 nights)
Albuquerque, NM: DoubleTree by Hilton (3 nights)
(click to enlarge)
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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – 9 Days
Day 1: Travel to Battle Creek, IL
Sit back, watch a movie, read a book, and enjoy the scenery as your journey begins. Stay overnight in Battle Creek, IL and enjoy a welcome dinner where you will get to know your fellow travellers.
Stay: Holiday Inn, Battle Creek
Day 2: Board Amtrak’s California Zephyr
Arrive in “The Windy City” and enjoy lunch before boarding Amtrak’s California Zephyr. Experienced travellers say this is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. Enjoy coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver and then onto Grand Junction.
Stay: Amtrak’s California Zephyr (Roomette)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Grand Junction, CO
Grand Junction serves as a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. You arrive here and are met by a motorcoach that will take you to your hotel for the evening.
Stay: TBA, Grand Junction
Meals: B, L
Day 4: Rio Grande Gorge, Santa Fe, NM
After an included breakfast at your hotel, head south through the Garden of the Gods, with views of 300 foot towering sandstone rock formations against a back drop of snow-capped Pikes Peak. You’ll arrive in the picturesque town of Taos, nestled against the highest mountain peaks in New Mexico at 7,000 feet above sea level. Here you will have a chance to take great pictures at the Rio Grande Gorge. Continue south to the mountain town of Santa Fe, where after checking into your you’ll enjoy an included dinner with your fellow travellers.
Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton, Santa Fe
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keefe Museum
After an included breakfast at your hotel, a local guide will take you on a tour of Santa Fe. See the Palace of Governors, the State Capitol, San Miguel Mission and Loretto Chapel’s “Miracle Staiway.” Enjoy some free time for lunch and exploring the local area. This afternoon you will visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. The remainder of the day will be free for you to explore Old Town and the Railway Village, filled with restaurants and local shops.
Day 6: Turquoise Trail, Albuquerque
Board the motorcoach after breakfast and travel south along the Turquoise Trail to Albuquerque. You will stop in Madrid, the oldest coal mining region in New Mexico situated in the mineral rich Ortiz Mountains. There is evidence of primitive mining in the area as early as the mid-1850’s. By 1892 the yield from a narrow valley known as “Coal Gulch” was large enough to warrant the construction of a 6.5 mile railroad connecting the to the main line of the Santa Fe railroad.
Your travels continue along the scenic foothills of the Sandia Mountains with its dramatic scenery. Early afternoon you arrive in Albuquerque and enjoy the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway as you travel 2.7 miles above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain. From the observation deck take in the panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.
Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton, Albuquerque
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Dawn Patrol Show, Old Town
Attend one of the biggest events of the fiesta, the Dawn Patrol Show, where all participating balloons launch at once and fill the sky with hundreds of balloons. Experience this with your included Chaser’s Club admission, an open-air patio located next to the launch area. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then meet your local guide and enjoy a tour of Albuquerque. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., it has a multicultural heritage and history of Native Americans. You will have free time for lunch and shopping in Old Town. In the afternoon, you will visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a museum and crafts market collectively run by 19 New Mexico pueblos (villages). Return to your hotel for some time to relax before an included dinner.
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Acoma Pueblo, Balloon Glow
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local guide and depart for Acoma Pueblo. Built atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff, this village has earned the reputation as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. Here you’ll visit the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum and discover the traditional Native American culture and living history of Acoma Pueblo.
Return to the Balloon Fiesta this evening and experience the Balloon Glow, a magical scene of anchored balloons illuminated by their burners after sunset. Following this you will return to the hotel for a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers.
Meals: B, D
Day 9: Return home
After breakfast at your hotel, the motorcoach will take you to the airport for your flight home.