Up, up, and away! This bucket-list adventure in New Mexico explores the magical Balloon Fiesta where you’ll see hundreds of unique hot air balloons taking flight! This vacation hits all the local stops from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, including the San Miguel Mission and Loretto Chapel - home of the miraculous staircase. In Santa Fe, we’ll dive into the local cuisine with a cooking demonstration at the Santa Fe School of Cooking before a visit to the local Farmers Market. This gem of the Southwest is a true sensory adventure!
DAY 1—WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO!
Fly into Albuquerque, host to the world’s premier balloon event - the dazzling 2024 International Balloon Fiesta. Gather together as a group this evening for our welcome dinner. D
DAY 2—BALLOON FIESTA MASS ASCENSION
Rise and shine! The Dawn Patrol Show and glorious Mass Ascension are a thrilling experience as hundreds of vividly colored hot air balloons fill the morning sky. Watch it all from your reserved seats on the launch field or walk amongst the balloons. Tour the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, showcasing the traditions, art and craftsmanship of the 19 New Mexico Pueblos. Later, we’ll learn about the history of the world-class Balloon Fiesta during a visit to the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. After lunch, board the Sandia Peak Aerial Tram, the world’s longest tramway, and ride 2.7 miles above the Cibola National Forest to Sandia Peak to experience a panoramic vista of the great Southwest. B, L
DAY 3—SANDRA PEAK & FIESTA BALLOON GLOW
Enjoy free time this morning to explore! Perhaps walk the charming local streets, arrange a hot air balloon ride, or relax at the hotel. In the afternoon, we’ll tour the treasured sites of Old Town Albuquerque, including San Felipe de Neri Church - the oldest building in the city. Our adventure continues this evening at the Balloon Fiesta Balloon Glow where we’ll stroll amongst the balloons on the launch field before watching them take off in the evening desert sky. This day is capped off by the spectacular After Glow Fireworks Show, which we’ll enjoy from our reserved seats. B, D
DAY 4—NEW MEXICO CAPITOL
Travel to Santa Fe, the nation’s oldest capital city filled with a unique blend of Spanish and Native cultures set against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. At the New Mexico Capitol building, take in the beautiful works of art and learn about the history of New Mexico. Unpack for a two-night stay in Santa Fe. B, D
DAY 5—EXPLORE SANTA FE
This morning, experience one of the oldest growers' markets during a morning visit to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market. Lunch at the Santa Fe School of Cooking will educate and entertain while you sample the unique flavors of New Mexico. This afternoon, discover the city’s best sites with a local step-on guide! Together we’ll learn about the mystery that surrounds the Miraculous Staircase in the Loretto Chapel. B, L
DAY 6—RETURN HOME
Fly home from Albuquerque with amazing photos and exciting stories to tell of your adventure out West. B
Nights 1-3: Hyatt Place Albuquerque / Uptown, Albuquerque, NM
Nights 4-5: Hyatt Place Sante Fe, Santa Fe, NM
Oct 4-9, 2024
Price Per Person:
Pre-/Post Tour Hotel:
Free airport shuttle or hotel parking
Welcome Dinner and meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Fees and tips for included attractions and meals
Luggage handling at most hotels
Free bottled water on coach
24-hour emergency call service
Our Welcome Dinner on Day 1 will take place off of the hotel property. We recommend scheduling your flight to arrive by 3:00 p.m. so you can arrive at the hotel by 4:00 p.m.
Schedule your flight home to depart the Albuquerque Int’l Sunport anytime after 1:00 p.m. on Day 6.
Airport Transportation / Vehicle Parking
We ask that you utilize Uber, Lyft or a taxi to the hotel. Keep your receipts, and email or mail them to us following your tour, and we will reimburse you for your transfer expenses.
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will also be on uneven paths. While walking canes are allowed, we are unable to accommodate travelers using other mobility devices, including walkers and wheelchairs.
High of 70°, low of 50°
Each hotel has a hair dryer, iron, ironing boards, and a coffee maker. Both hotels offers complimentary Wi-Fi, exercise room, and swimming pools. The Hotel Sante Fe Hacienda & Spa offer a spa.
A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour, including information sent upon receipt of your reservation.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, visors, and comfortable walking shoes will add to your enjoyment of this tour.
Temperatures can fluctuate in this region, so we recommend bringing a light jacket, gloves, and hat with you when out in the morning or evening.
Please note that elevations do reach up to 7,000 feet on this tour. If you are prone to altitude sickness, you may want to book a pre-night stay to fully acclimate. Cooler weather can also prevail at higher elevations.
Travel Protection Available?
Yes, see CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/TravelProtectionPlan.