Judy's Journeys - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Judy's Journeys - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

This 9-day tour takes you through the southwest in autumn, one of the most beautiful times of year to see the splendid colors and formations of Arches and Mesa Verde National Park, and of course, to gaze in awe at the hundreds of colorful balloons contrasting Albuquerque's blue skies during the International Balloon Fiesta.

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This 9-day tour takes you through the southwest in autumn, one of the most beautiful times of year to see the splendid colors and formations of Arches and Mesa Verde National Park, and of course, to gaze in awe at the hundreds of colorful balloons contrasting Albuquerque's blue skies during the International Balloon Fiesta.

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$3,849 per person (Double Occupancy)
$4,479 per person (Single Occupancy)

 

This 9-day tour takes you through the southwest in autumn, one of the most beautiful times of year to see the splendid colors and formations of Arches National Park and Mesa Verde National Park, and of course, to gaze in awe at the hundreds of colorful balloons contrasting Albuquerque's blue skies during the International Balloon Fiesta. Your journey begins in Chicago, IL along the California Zephyr rail route. After a night aboard the train to Grand Junction, you'll continue by motorcoach to the breathtaking red rock landscapes of Moab, Utah. The geography here is like nothing else in the country. Visit Arches National Park, featuring more than 2,000 natural stone arches. Continue to Mesa Verde National Park, where you'll explore the more than 600 ancient cliff dwellings dating back to A.D. 600. Next, aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, you'll journey along the Animas River and through the stunning Rocky Mountains, bursting with fall colors this time of year. In Santa Fe, you'll learn about the Spanish colonists that formed the city and saw the oldest building in the United States. Finally, you'll head to Albuquerque where you'll join visitors and locals alike to watch as hundreds of hot air balloons are launched into the sky, floating into the sunrise in the perfect photo moment. Tour Albuquerque and enjoy ongoing festivities around the city before gathering again to watch the balloons at sunset, complete with a fireworks show. A spectacular southwest adventure you'll remember for years to come!

Sunday, October 6:

We will hop on our non-stop flight from Albany, NY to Chicago, IL where we will board Amtrak's legendary California Zephyr for the overnight journey to Grand Junction, Colorado.

Monday, October 7:

Spend your time aboard the train admiring the passing scenery as we travel to Grand Junction along the Western Slope of Colorado. Check into the DoubleTree by Hilton in Grand Junction, and enjoy a free evening of leisure.

Tuesday, October 8:

This morning we depart Grand Junction and follow the Colorado River to Moab, Utah, with a stop at Arches National Park. Discover the soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks of this Utah wonderland. Next, we visit downtown Moab for lunch on your own before continuing our journey to the top of the Mesa Verde. After checking into our accommodations at the Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park, enjoy time at leisure to admire the views of the Four Corners areas or relax at the hotel.

Wed., October 9:

After breakfast this morning (included), we tour Mesa Verde National Park to see the cliff dwellings and surface ruins of the ancient Anasazi people. The park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. We begin our tour at the Far View Museum, then visit Spruce Tree Overlook. We will continue on "Ruins"Road to view some of the other sites in the park. After lunch on your own in the Far View Terrace Cafe, we head to Durango, Colorado for the next two nights at the Strater Hotel in Durango. Your evening is free to enjoy downtown Durango.

Thurs., October 10:

This morning we board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The scenery on the route includes the Animas River and the Rocky Mountains. There are no roads that follow these rails, so we are in true wilderness most of the way to Silverton. The train arrives in Silverton in time for lunch (on your own) and to browse the town before we board our motorcoach and head up the Million Dollar Highway and through Red Mountain Pass to Ouray. We return to Durango early this evening for a night of leisure.

Friday, October 11:

We depart Colorado this morning for New Mexico. En route, we head through quaint Spanish towns dating from the 1700's and earlier. Our first stop is at the Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant for lunch (included). After lunch, we continue to Ortega's Weaving Shop to see the handwoven textiles for which this area is famous and Santuario de Chimayo, an 18th-century church that is famous for its "curative soil:' Our final stop is the capital city of Santa Fe. We spend the night just steps from the Old Santa Fe Trail and near shops, restaurants and galleries at the Inn & Spa at Loretto.

Sat., October 12:

The day begins with a walking tour of Santa Fe. On our walk we learn about the history of the Spanish colonists who helped found this town in 1610 and see the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building in the United States. The Loretto Chapel and San Miguel Chapel - "The Oldest Church" - are other stops. This afternoon we will board our motorcoach for the drive to Albuquerque and arrive in time for an early dinner. Our accommodations for the evening are at the Marriott Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque.

Sunday, October 13:

We set off to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta early this morning. On arrival at the Balloon Field, look into the morning sky to see if the Dawn Patrol- a group of five or six hot air balloons that check the weather- is up in the air. Enjoy the many arts and crafts booths before the ceremonies begin. Breakfast is included in the exclusive Chaser's Club lounge area this morning. After, walk onto the field, talk to the balloonists and take pictures of the balloons as they slowly inflate with cold air until the referees give permission for lift off. There could be as many as 600 balloons in the air! After the balloons leave the field, we depart for a tour of Albuquerque, with a stop at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Museum for a tour and the ceremonial dances that are performed during the Fiesta time. Then, it is off to Old Town for the festivities and lunch on your own. We return to our hotel to rest before we head back to the Balloon Fiesta field for the Night Glow. Tonight, the balloons stay on the ground and inflate and illuminate on the field. Dinner is at your leisure at one of the food booths. We stay on the field until the fireworks show ends and then return to our hotel. Overnight Marriott Uptown Hotel, Albuquerque NM.

Monday, October 14:

The morning is at your leisure. This day acts as a reserve balloon day, if needed. Our return flight to Albany from Albequerque will be this afternoon (exact time TBA; 10 months prior to departure date).

Tour Includes:

  • Round-Trip Airfare from Albany

  • Transfers in Chicago and Albuquerque

  • Overnight Rail travel on Amtrak from Chicago to Grand Junction, Colorado

  • Hotel Accommodations for 7 nights including 1 night in Mesa Verde National Park

  • Scenic Rail Excursion on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

  • Arches National Park

  • Mesa Verde National Park

  • Albuquerque City Tour

  • Admission to Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta including Dawn Patrol, Mass Ascension and Night Glow

  • Transportation by deluxe motorcoach

  • Services of a professional tour manager

  • Travel Insured Travel Insurance

  •  5 Breakfasts including one on the Balloon Field

  • 1 Lunch

  • 2 Dinners

  • 4,500 Travel Points

 

What are Travel Points?

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Yankee Trails Yankee Trails
569 Third Ave. Ext, Rensselaer, NY

Please select the number of passengers that will be traveling:

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Oct 06
2018
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