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There is no better time to experience all the wonders of New Mexico and check them off your bucket list in style. From the vibrant and luminous experiences of the renown Balloon Fiesta, including small group, VIP access to a Balloon Glow and a Mass Ascension, and the historical sites of Albuquerque, to the wonders of Santa Fe, Taos, and Chimayó, you are sure to leave with a deeper understanding of the intricately blended Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo culture of this southwestern U.S. state. On this small group, private experiences, and luxurious accommodations and transportation, you are sure to relax and enjoy this 7-night adventure.
7-Night A New Mexico Adventure: Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque & Santa Fe
October 4-11, 2020
From $3,645 / Passenger (Double Occupancy)*
October 3-10, 2021
From $3,750 / Passenger (Double Occupancy)*
Limited to 18 Passengers
Single Supplement $600
Highlights of Albuquerque
Bienvenidos a Albuquerque, New Mexico! A Premier Tours & Travel representative will meet you in the baggage claim area to assist with transfer to your hotel. The Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town (or similar) is a landmark luxury hotel that will enchant you with its elegant blend of southwestern still and modern living. Relax and refresh before joining our small group for a welcome cocktail hour with authentic regional New Mexican and Mexican tapas in the garden of Garduños in the hotel. You will then be transferred to the Balloon Fiesta to enjoy VIP entry for this evening’s Balloon Glow — when all the balloons fire their burners and light up the night sky at the same time is perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta. You will have VIP access to the Gondola Club to enjoy a delicious dinner buffet, local entertainment, and private VIP bathrooms before enjoying fireworks.
This morning, it is up, up, and away bright and early to travel back to Balloon Fiesta Park for the Mass Ascension. Mass Ascension is the launch of all the participating balloons and has been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days. It is the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, also known as zebras because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as traffic cops, coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner. Weather permitting, balloons begin to launch at about 7:00 AM on mass ascension days, led by a balloon flying the American flag to the strains of The Star-Spangled Banner. After the Balloon Fiesta, you will head back to the hotel for a rest, and lunch on your own. You will rejoin our small group to head to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, which stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains, has the world's third longest single span, and is the longest aerial tram in the Americas. After the tram, you will enjoy a private, guided walking tour of historic Old Town before dinner at local favorite, El Pinto (or similar).
Today will start at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center for a guided tour and a show by the Native American dancers. Lunch will be at the Pueblo Harvest located within the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Pueblo Harvest is known for extraordinary regional and Native-sourced, Pueblo-inspired cuisine that blends honoring legacy and history with exhibiting artistry and modernity. You can experience the tradition of Pueblo hospitality while dining among original works of Native American art. Following lunch, you will head to the Turquoise Museum to see some of the world’s rarest pieces of turquoise and jewelry, and learn about mining, grading, and lapidary techniques as well as about the mystical qualities of turquoise. Head back to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Highlights of Santa Fe, Taos & Chimayó
Today, travel the Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway, past former ghost towns and a stop in Madrid, which is an old mining town, and on to historic Santa Fe, the state capital. Once in Santa Fe — known for its rich blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures and traditions — you will enjoy a guided walking tour of the historic district whose crooked streets wind past adobe landmarks, such as the Palace of the Governors, and ends at the Plaza. You will then check into the beautiful Inn & Spa at Loretto (or similar) — one of Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Top 10 Hotels in the Southwest and West — with its adobe architecture reminiscent of the famed Taos Pueblo. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the galleries, shopping, and sites in Santa Fe, including the nearby Loretto Chapel of Santa Fe.
Included Meals: B,L
Today, you will visit the historic 17th-century village of Chimayó. Its most famous landmark is a venerable religious shrine, the Santuario de Chimayó, as well as the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families. After lunch at Rancho de Chimayó, you will continue to Bandelier National Monument, best known for its mesas, sheer-walled canyons and the ancestral Pueblo dwellings found among them. Your evening is at leisure tonight.
Today, you will travel along The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway to visit Taos, a picturesque town nestled against the highest mountain peaks in New Mexico at 7,000 feet above sea level. First stop in Taos is the Rio Grande Gorge for a photo op, followed by a visit to the Millicent Rogers Museum, which houses an outstanding historical collections of Native American jewelry, ceramics, paintings, and weavings; Hispanic textiles, metalwork, sculpture; and a wide range of contemporary Southwestern art. Enjoy a hosted lunch at The Love Apple (or similar) offering Northern New Mexican local, organic home cooking, which is housed in what was once known as the Placitas Chapel — a little Catholic church was built around the 1800’s. You will then visit the historic Plaza area before visiting the multistoried Taos Pueblo at the northern edge of town. The Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. You will then head back to Santa Fe for the evening and dinner at leisure.
This morning, you will have a docent-guided tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of this important 20th-century master and to the study and interpretation of American Modernism. It houses a permanent collection of more than 130 works of art. The balance of your day is yours to enjoy as you wish at the hotel’s amazing spa or exploring Santa Fe. You will have time to pack for your departure tomorrow before joining a Farewell Dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to the Albuquerque airport for your return flight home. Adios Amigos!
PREMIER TOURS & TRAVEL NOTE: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures such as pandemics. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. One glass of wine is provided with the Welcome and Farewell Dinners; additional beverages will be the responsibility of each passenger at the time of service. Airfare is not included.
NOTE: BALLOON FIESTA IS A WEATHER-DEPENDENT EVENT. While early October weather is generally ideal for hot-air ballooning, strong winds or storms may delay or cancel balloon events. In the event of high winds or severe weather, the tram reserves the right to suspend operations. Taos Pueblo reserves the right to schedule unannounced closures for tribal and ceremonial purposes.
Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages
English-speaking director and local Premier representatives
Airport meet and greet / Private group transfers
Small group (limted to 18 passengers); private experiences
7-Nights in accommodations such as Hotel Albuquerque and Inn & Spa at Loretto
Guided tours, including walking tours of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and Chimayo, and entrance to other museums and experiences as noted
VIP access to Balloon Fiesta, Balloon Glow, Mass Ascension, and Gondola Club
Breakfast daily; lunches and dinners as noted
Internet (where available)
24/7 Premier support