1 Arrive In Albuquerque.
Welcome to Albuquerque! At 6 pm, meet your travelling companions for a welcome drink. You'll also enjoy a short presentation from a local BALLOONIST, who will educate you on the sport of ballooning and what you can expect the next several days.
Get ready for the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Experience this morning's pre-dawn OPENING CEREMONIES and the unforgettable MASS ASCENSION-where hundreds of hot air balloons take off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of colours, all led by a balloon flying the American flag to the music of The Star Spangled Banner. What began as a gathering of 13 balloons more than 47 years ago has grown into the largest ballooning event in the world. While on the balloon grounds, visit the INTERNATIONAL BALLOON MUSEUM, dedicated to the art, culture, science, history, and spectacle of ballooning. Then, visit a traditional New Mexican restaurant for a tequila TASTING followed by lunch. Return to the hotel before catching the popular BALLOON GLOW, where all balloons fire up their burners and light up at the same time, and the amazing AFTER-GLOW FIREWORKS SHOW. (B/L)
This morning, visit the INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL centre, a fascinating museum and crafts market collectively run by the 19 New Mexico pueblos (villages). Here, you will learn about the history, background, and life of what now comprise the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. Next, see historic Route 66 and Old Town. This afternoon, learn about New Mexico's legendary covert military projects, including the Manhattan Project, with a guided tour of the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE & HISTORY. The museum 34 provides an objective, accessible window into the past, present, and future of nuclear science from the origins of atomic theory to modernday advances in nuclear medicine. Tonight your Tour Director will have dining suggestions for your evening at leisure. (B) Please Note: Schedule of activities vary from year to year and can be impacted by weather. Your Tour Director will be able to confirm exact schedule of activities on tour.
4 Albuquerque - Santa Fe.
Today, travel along the TURQUOISE TRAIL to Santa Fe. This scenic drive passes through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, past wide-open spaces and dramatic scenery. Arrive in Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the U.S. Experience this city up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR, including the San Miguel Mission, the Palace of the Governors, the State Capitol, and LORETTO CHAPEL'S "Miracle Stairway." With your afternoon free, why not visit the New Mexico Museum of Art or try one of Santa Fe's many delicious restaurants? (B)
5 Santa Fe. Excursion To Chimayo.
This morning, we then visit nearby Chimayo, which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Visit SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe Plaza for lunch at a celebrated restaurant featuring New American West cuisine. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the plaza or return to your resort. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner with ENTERTAINMENT. (B/L/D)
6 Santa Fe - Albuquerque.
Depart Santa Fe for Albuquerque International Sunport Airport. An airport transfer is provided. Flights must be scheduled after 11 am. (B)