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Start your cultural encounter with New Mexico in its warm heart - Albuquerque. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.
Trace centuries-old stories etched in stone by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers when you visit the Petroglyph National Monument this morning. Continuing your journey to Acoma Sky City Cultural Center & Haak'u Museum for a guided insight into one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States and the 28th Historic Site designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Head back to your hotel in Albuquerque where the rest of the evening is yours.
One of the highlights of your Southwest journey will be the visit to Chaco Canyon inside Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco Canyon is one of America's most significant and fascinating cultural and historic centers of ancestral Puebloan culture. See Pueblo Bonito, one of the most important “ Great Houses” representing the apex of Anasazi, renamed Ancestral Puebloan, in modern day culture. With its 5 stories high and almost 700 rooms it stood as the largest structure in North America until the 18th century. Dinner this evening will be served on historic Route 66. (Should weather conditions render the dirt road to Chaco Canyon unsafe, your Travel Director will arrange visits to other safely accessible destinations of historical and cultural significance.) Tonight, your Stays With Storiesis historic El Rancho Hotel, home to many movie stars filming Westerns in the area throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
This morning, stop at Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation, where you'll see the Window Rock geologic formation and the World War II Navajo Code Talkers' Memorial and learn how Navajos helped the United States win WWII. Take a step back in time and visit the Hubbell Trading Post National Historical Site, and learn how the Navajo and settlers once traded. Delve into the story of Lorenzo Hubbell, who had a major influence on Navajo rug weaving and silversmithing. After a visit to the Canyon de Chelly Visitor Center, meet your certified Navajo Local Specialist and board your 6X6 vehicle to marvel at the stunning scenery with sandstone cliffs, canyons, and beautiful artwork in the forms of pictographs, petroglyphs and ruins.
See an ancient community built into a sandstone cliff as you peer over the edge of the White House Overlook to see the mastery of Ancient Puebloan construction. Watch nature defy gravity when you encounter Spider Rock and hear the legend of the mythical Spider Woman who is said to live in this towering stone spire. Enter Monument Valley National Tribal Park, a symbol of the American West with its iconic landscape of enormous rock features, including mesas, cliffs, and buttes made famous as the location for dozens of films stretching back almost a century. Meet your Navajo Local Specialist for a private guided excursion of Monument Valley. Continue deeper into the valley while experiencing the sights of Monument Valley through the eyes of your Navajo guide. Travel along backroads and trails unavailable to the public while learning the history and local culture of the Dineh people. Visit an authentic hogan, the primary, traditional dwelling of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house.
Head for Hovenweep National Monument, one of the most intriguing pre-historic settlements in the Southwest, known for its six major villages and more than 300 additional sites within the National Monument. Travel across Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and wind along the Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway. Visit the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum formerly known as The Anasazi Center. Visit Mesa Verde National Park and see some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites as you explore. Visit the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum, where you will also see from above the parks third largest cliff dwelling, Spruce Tree House. This evening your Stays With Stories is at the historic Strater Hotel in Durango.
Spend your day at leisure and explore the historic town of Durango. Perhaps, enjoy a truly unforgettable step back in time on an optional ride aboard the coal-fired, steam-powered, narrow-gauge train. The train chugs along rails that were originally laid at the end of the 19th century. Winding through a spectacular wilderness which would be inaccessible by car. If you are feeling more adventurous opt for a white water rafting trip on the Animas River. This evening, dinner is Your Choice Dining all steps away from your hotel.
Head East this morning through the historic town of Pagosa Springs surrounded by the rugged San Juan Mountains and vast areas of dense national forest. Make a brief stop in the enchanting village of Chama for photo ops. You'' continue through Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras to arrive at the Rio Gorge, a geological feature where the watercourse of the Rio Grande follows a tectonic chasm. Cap off your morning tour by crossing the Taos Landmark Site of Rio Grande Bridge. Standing roughly 600 feet above the Rio Grande, this steel arch bridge is one of the highest in the United States. Your afternoon Dive Into Culture in charming Taos begins at Taos Plaza, a Historical Landmark an artist colony in the heart of the Taos Historic District, home of 65 galleries, shops, restaurants and 21 landmarks. You will tour Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World's Heritage Center and National Historic Landmark, with Local Specialists. Connect with Locals who call the Pueblo home learning about these iconic, multi-storied adobe buildings, built roughly 1,000 years ago. A piece of the past in the present, about 150 Puebloans still live within the pueblo full time. You will leave with stories one can only hear from locals.
Start the day by taking the High Road, from Taos to Santa Fe. Along the way, stop at the Chimayo Sanctuary, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the United States due to the curative powers of the “Tierra Bendita” or “holy dirt”. Next visit Ortega's weaving shop. You’ll see and learn firsthand how these eighth-generation weavers use one of a kind handwoven techniques. You'll the continue to Bandelier National Monument. Learn about the history of the people that inhabited this area 1,000 years ago. Designated as one of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, City of Design, and City of Crafts and Folk Art. This evening your Stays With Stories overnight will be at the Inn and Spa at Loretto which you’ll learn sits on the former site of the historic Our Lady of Loretto Academy and is adjacent to the famed Loretto Chapel. Now one of the most photographed buildings in the state, the inn is a Santa Fe icon and testament to the city's modern history.
A Local Specialist reveals the secrets of Santa Fe, starting at the historic Santa Fe Plaza. This afternoon you’ll love this eye-opening MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience where you'll meet Emigdio Ballon the agricultural director at the Tesuque Pueblo Community Farm. Learn about this Indigenous community and their efforts to achieve food sovereignty by preserving heirloom seeds and growing their own food. After an inspiring afternoon, the dining capital of the Southwest puts its best foot forward with an unforgettable Farewell Dinner featuring Santa Fe's Southwestern cuisine.
Say a fond farewell to Santa Fe and take your transfer to the Santa Fe Airport Airport.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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.
Take a 2-hour raft trip through Durango on the Animas River.
Adult Price: $41
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