Trail of the Ancients
Come explore thousands of years of culture, history, and traditions of the Ancients who dwelt in the region of the Southwest prior to the creation of the United States. Starting with the Archaic Period (North America), which occurred about 6500 to 100 BC, followed by the Ancestral Puebloan people (also known as Anasazi) who lived here until about 1400 AD, and lastly the Pueblo (including both Hopi and Zuni people), as well as the Navajo people, who all still live on these lands today.
When you take our Trail of the Ancients tour, you’ll visit and experience a large collection of ruins and ancient cities once occupied by these historic people. Some of what remains are small structures, such as those found at Hovenweep, while others are large settlements and cities, such as the ruins at Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon. Regardless of size, they all give us examples of how these ancient ones once lived. This seven-day adventure will immerse you into these ancient cultures and give you the opportunity to follow their trails around this magical corner of the Southwest.
- Acoma Sky City Pueblo and Cultural Center (currently closed)
- Canyon De Chelly & Monument Valley
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Goosenecks State Park
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Aztec Ruins National Monument
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Chaco Canyon National Monument
- Bandelier National Monument
- Santa Fe, NM
- Services of a Southwest Adventure Tours tour director – a professional tour guide
- Comfortable transportation
- 8 nights hotel accommodations
- 8 breakfasts
- 7 lunches
- Park entrance fees
- Airport transfers
- Gratuities for included meals and activities
- Applicable taxes and fees
- Day 1: Arrive in Albuquerque
- Day 2: Acoma Pueblo & El Morro National Monument
- Day 3: Canyon De Chelly & Monument Valley
- Day 4: Natural Bridges & Hovenweep National Monuments
- Day 5: Mesa Verde National Park & Aztec National Monument
- Day 6: Chaco Canyon National Monument
- Day 7: Santa Fe
- Day 8: Bandelier National Monument & Albuquerque
- Day 9: Travel Home
Arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico anytime today then transfer by hotel shuttle on your own to a pre-night hotel. Evening free on your own.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Albuquerque Airport, Albuquerque, NM
Depart your Albuquerque hotel and drive the short distance to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Here you’ll learn about the culture and traditions of the Pueblo people through their cultural center and museum.
Next, you will travel to the town of Grants where we’ll will stop for lunch before continuing towards the Casamero Pueblo. These seldomly-visited ruins are the remains of an Ancient Puebloan settlement from around 1100 AD. Your next visit will be to El Morro National Monument where you’ll walk on the same trails of the Spanish Explorers who traveled through here in the 1600s, leaving their signatures carved into the rocks.
Afterward, you’ll travel to Gallup, where we’ll lodge for the evening.
Hilton Garden Inn, Gallup, NM | Meals: B, L
Enjoy the morning exploring and learning the history of Canyon De Chelly. This site has history with the Ancestral Pueblo Indians and Navajo Indians. Learn about the unique geology that makes this site desirable to inhabit for both groups and other items as we drive along the rims and overlook this site. Once finished, travel north to Monument Valley and enjoy a tour inside the valley. Visit the Mittens, and other viewpoints made famous by countless films throughout the years. Also, learn about the history of the Navajo Indians, prospectors, and settlers that have dwelt here for thousands of years. Experience the hospitality of the Navajo Indians and learn about their culture as we stop at one of their Hogans, their traditional dwellings for hundreds of years.
Desert Rose, Bluff, UT | Meals: B, L
This morning you will explore Valley of the Gods and the historic Moki Dugway enroute to Natural Bridges National Monument. Here you will explore three of the ten largest natural bridges in the world located within one small area. After a picnic lunch, you will travel to Hovenweep National Monument to explore and learn about the ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo people and culture that inhabited this region over 1000 years ago.
Holiday Inn Express, Cortez, CO | Meals: B, L
Mesa Verde National Park offers the opportunity to explore fantastic cliff dwellings situated throughout the park and also one of the largest exhibits of pit houses and row houses in the region. This will enable you to learn about the culture and history of the people prior to their dwelling in Cliff Houses and Pueblo dwellings most prominent throughout the region. After exploring the park, you will travel to Aztec, NM and finish the day exploring Aztec National Monument pueblo site. This site offers you the opportunity to see fantastically preserved Pueblo Dwellings and a large Kiva that has been restored as best of possible. Along with this Kiva, you also will get to explore inside the ruins and explore the unique construction techniques for these large pueblos, along with other unique things found particular to this site.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Farmington, NM | Meals: B, L
Today you will travel south to Chaco Canyon New Mexico and explore the ruins found within this canyon. Chetro Ketl, Plaza Bonito, New Alto, and other areas are all available. These areas offer you the opportunity to see the Ancestral Pueblo dwellings at the height of their civilization. These massive cities create the cultural center of the Ancestral Pueblo communities in the regions you have visited throughout the week. Roads and other things complete the connections of this site to the surrounding communities. Afterwards, you will travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the rest of the evening. You will lodge in the downtown area and will have the evening free to explore the town on your own.
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM | Meals: B, L
This morning you will enjoy a walking and driving tour of Santa Fe. Explore and experience the historic buildings, plaza’s, chapels, and other unique areas within this downtown area. This city played an important roll with the influx of European Settlers into this region starting in the late 1500’s. While here, you will have the opportunity to visit the unique buildings and locations in town that played a role in the settlement of this region. After lunch with your group the afternoon will be free to enjoy the afternoon as you see fit. Explore the downtown area further, relax at the hotel, or enjoy some optional visits to other areas around the Santa Fe area.
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM | Meals: B, L
On the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, you will stop at one last spot, Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier NM is another of the region's unique Ancestral Pueblo dwelling sites. Carved out of the rocks, this site offers you the opportunity to explore an alternative dwelling to the other Pueblo, Mesa Top, and Cliff Dwellings that were found in this region. Once finished with this site, you will continue into Albuquerque, NM to catch lunch at El Pinto, a fantastic restaurant in this area. Enjoy the afternoon on a tour of Albuquerque before dropping off at your hotel for the evening.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Albuquerque Airport, Albuquerque | Meals: B, L
Transfer to the Albuquerque Airport on your own by hotel shuttle. Thank you for traveling with us and best wishes for a safe trip home!
- Items of a personal nature (alcohol, room service, etc.)
- Meals (other than listed in the itinerary)
- Optional activities
- Gratuities for the tour director
Arrival / Departure Information:
- Arrival Location: Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
- Arrival Time: Any time on day 1
- Departure Location: Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
- Departure Time: Any time on day 9
- Guests should be comfortable walking on uneven terrain for an average of 1 to 3 miles at a time.
- Elevation gain and loss averages between 50 to 300 ft over the course of the areas visited during this tour.
- Touring and overnight locations are above 6,000 to 8,000 ft above sea level
- Deboard and board van each time at a viewpoint – a portable step will be available
- Please let us know if you have any other physical/health limitations or requirements
- Comfortable transportation in Mercedes Sprinter vans or similar
- Solo Travelers: $250 Single Occupancy Fee.
- Accommodations: Double Occupancy Hotel, 2.5 to 3 Star Hotels
- $2,999.00 Per Person Double Occupancy
- $3,329.00 Per person Single Occupancy
- $2,859.00 Per person Triple Occupancy
- $2,699.00 Per person Quad Occupancy
A minimum of 6 passengers is necessary to operate this tour.
2022 Departure Dates:
|September 10||September 17|
|September 24||October 1|
|October 8||October 15|
2023 Departure Dates:
|April 29||May 6|
|May 13||September 9|
|September 16||September 23|