• Past Guests Save an additional 5%

    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

  • AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

  • Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

    Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

Colorful Trails of the Southwest & Balloon Fiesta

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Tour Style: First Class
9 Days from $2,567 per person

Follow the rusty red Colorado River as its gives life to the desert and guides your journey past the Grand Canyon, ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and natural arches near Moab where you will explore traditional ranch life and dine on the riverbank as the sun sets behind its imposing sandstone cliffs.

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  1. Welcome to the Valley of the Sun. Check in to your hotel and spend some time relaxing. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception.

    hotel:Scottsdale Marriott Suites Old Town
  2. Ascend into the stunning red rock formations announcing your entrance to the artists' enclave of Sedona. Travel onward and be sure to have your camera ready as you near Oak Creek Canyon with its towering red cliffs and crystal pools. At the Grand Canyon, meet a Local Specialist who walks you through the geologic life of the canyon.

    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:National Park Lodges
  3. Rise early for an optional flightseeing tour over the Grand Canyon or spend more time in the National Park. You might experience a feeling of deja vu when you enter the wide-open expanse of Monument Valley. Get up close and personal with the magnificent landscape of towering sandstone buttes and lovely desert vistas in special open-air vehicles accompanied by a guide. Later, enjoy a unique Navajo cookout Regional Meal dinner in Monument Valley.

    meal(s):FB, RM
    hotel:Desert Rose Inn
  4. Travel east this morning through a mesmerising desert landscape before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mesa Verde National Park at the edge of the San Juan National Forest. Between 600 and 1300 A.D., the Ancestral Puebloan people carved houses and entire communities out of the sandstone along the canyon walls. Look down at the massive Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America. End your day's journey in the outdoor mecca of Moab.

    hotel:Red Cliffs Lodge Authentic Accommodations
  5. In magnificent Arches National Park, the wind and rain have eroded the sandstone into more than 2,000 natural arches. Explore the shops and outfitters in Moab as you enjoy an afternoon on your own. This evening, enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest dinner in beautiful Moab. The fading sunlight is framed by towering red sandstone cliffs.

    meal(s):FB, BG
  6. Depart America's outdoor recreation capital for the "Switzerland of America." Friendly Ouray boasts classic Victorian architecture, awe-inspiring views and a homey, small-town vibe. Then it's time to take to the highway—the Million-Dollar Highway, that is—with its priceless views. Stake your claim in Silverton, a former silver mining camp that now occupies a spot on the National Registry of Historic Landmark Districts. Later on, check in to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.

    hotel:The Strater Authentic Accommodations
  7. Today, head south toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taos Pueblo, an ancient site that has been inhabited for more than 1,000 years by members of the Pueblo tribe. Learn about the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the Pueblo Indians and visit the striking adobe chapel of San Geronimo. Continue traveling along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, to the colorful artists' mecca of Santa Fe. Your evening is free to visit some of the many galleries, sample some renowned Southwest cuisine or admire the adobe architecture of the vibrant plaza.

    hotel:Inn and Spa at Loretto Authentic Accommodations
  8. Embark on a private trolley tour with your Local Specialist to see the sights of Santa Fe and soak up the atmosphere in one of the West's most interesting towns. Hear the story of the two mysteries surrounding the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel as you see them for yourself. Enjoy the afternoon on your own to explore old downtown. This evening, gather with your Travel Director and traveling companions for a festive Farewell Dinner.

    meal(s):FB, FD
  9. Explore Old Town Albuquerque on a guided walking tour. This evening, you'll enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in the exclusive Chasers' Club featuring guaranteed private seating, deluxe views of the balloons and hot food. Witness the breathtaking Balloon Glow when the festival balloons light their burners under the moonlight before a spectacular fireworks display.

    hotel:Albuquerque at Old Town
  10. This morning, gaze in awe as each of the balloons participating in the Balloon Fiesta ascend into the air with a burst of color and sound. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and bid farewell to New Mexico with a transfer to Albuquerque International Airport or extend your stay at the Holte Albuquerque at Old Town. Airport arrival will be at 10:00 am, please be aware when booking your flight. 


30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
28 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 checkmark $2,775$2,567pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 13 Oct 18 checkmark $2,775$2,567pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Call 1-877-622-9109

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,075.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $95 per person.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation..

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals

Meal Summary

8 nights' accommodations, 8 full breakfasts, 4 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy an exclusive dinner at a sand beach along the Colorado River.

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay at Red Cliffs Lodge, the Strater Hotel and Inn and Spa at Loretto.

Local Specialist

  • At the Grand Canyon and in Santa Fe for included sightseeing.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Visit Scottsdale, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Arches National Park, Moab, the quaint Colorado towns of Silverton and Durango, Taos and Santa Fe
  • Scenic drives through Sedona, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and along Oak Creek Canyon


Trip not yet reviewed
  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Colorado Jetboat Cruise and Dinner

Adult Price: $95.00 | Child Price: $85.00

Take a ride aboard one of the newest and most modern fleet of jet boats for an excursion on one of the most scenic stretches of the river. You’ll glide across the flat water with every bend of the river, as the sun hides behind the canyon walls, producing cooler temperatures. Along the way you’ll discover an Indian granary, petroglyphs, arches, and beautiful scenery. Then your skillful guide will turn the boat around and upon your return,  you’ll enjoy a Dutch Oven dinner and have the beauty of the sunset for dessert. Includes gratuity.


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway

Adult Price: $96.00 | Child Price: $59.00

This historic train constructed in 1882 has been in continuous operation for 135 years. The Durango train winds through spectacular & breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million acre San Juan National Forest for an unforgettable adventure. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks miners, cowboys and settlers of the Old West took over a century ago. Relive history with the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a truly spectacular journey

Grand Canyon

North Canyon Tour - 25-30 Min. Helicopter Flight. Bell Aircraft

Adult Price: $199.00 | Child Price: $179.00

Your tour takes you over the Kaibab National Forest and into the deepest portion of the Grand Canyon, through the Dragon Corridor, and continues to the North Rim, where you view the incredible geological differences between the North and South Rims. During your return to the South Rim, enjoy breathtaking views of temples, shrines and rock formations sculpted by time while flying above the widest portion of the mighty Colorado River. Subject to weather conditions. Flight duration: 25-30 minutes.

Grand Canyon

North Canyon Tour - 25-30 Min. Helicopter Flight

Adult Price: $219.00 | Child Price: $199.00

Your tour takes you over the Kaibab National Forest and into the deepest portion of the Grand Canyon, through the Dragon Corridor, and continues to the North Rim, where you view the incredible geological differences between the North and South Rims. During your return to the South Rim, enjoy breathtaking views of temples, shrines and rock formations sculpted by time while flying above the widest portion of the mighty Colorado River. Subject to weather conditions April 1 - October 15

Grand Canyon

Grand Kingdom - 40 Min. EcoStar Helicopter Flight

Adult Price: $299.00 | Child Price: $279.00

Fly the EC 130, the “newest and quietest” helicopters in the Grand Canyon with larger windows, and all seats facing forward. Embark on this 45-50 minute tour of the Eastern Grand Canyon that combines with the renowned beauty of The North Canyon tour. Enjoy spectacular views of the Painted Desert and Colorado River. Subject to weather conditions. Flight duration: 40-50 minutes.

Grand Canyon

Grand Discovery Air Tour South Rim - 45 Min. Fixed-Wing Aircraft Flight

Adult Price: $159.00 | Child Price: $99.00

The original air tour of the Grand Canyon and the best value! Board an ultra-quiet small aircraft for a 40-45 minute Grand Discovery flight over the Grand Canyon. The Vistaliner airplanes feature oversize windows that make every seat the best seat and allows for post card quality pictures! This tour covers the most famous and beautiful parts of the Grand Canyon including the Eastern Zuni Corridor, the Confluence and the North Rim and returns through the Western Dragon Corridor. Subject to weather conditions. Flight duration: 40-50 minutes.


Easy on the Asphalt (60 minutes)

Adult Price: $53.00 | Child Price: $53.00

This alternative is good for those who do not wish to go off-road, as you will still ride aboard open-air Jeeps, but only on surfaced public roads.  This informative and relaxing excursion will give you a good snapshot of Sedona with great photo opportunities from some of Sedona's most magnificent overlooks, including Cathedral Rock, one of the most photographed sites in all of Arizona and the Chapel of the Holy Cross perched high above Sedona. Gratuity Included.


Old Bear Wallow (60 minutes)

Adult Price: $53.00 | Child Price: $53.00

An exclusive experience as our jeep tour operator is the only company permitted by the U.S. Forest Service to take you on this historic trail - climb this early stagecoach route along Schnebly Hill Road through Bear Wallow Canyon, just below the Mogollon Rim to enjoy stunning views of Sedona and Oark Creek Canyon 2000ft below.  Step onto Munds Wagon or Huckaby Trail and hear stories of Sedona's early pioneer days. Gratuity Included.

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