Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
This tour of destinations around Albuquerque, New Mexico, is tailored to attend the 2023 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. After attending the festival, our tour will immerse you into the Puebloan Cultures of New Mexico, spend a day in the Southwest art mecca of Santa Fe, and visit Chimayo and Taos.
Go on this tour to enjoy the rich, diverse and vibrant cultures of New Mexico as you experience one of the greatest visual spectacles on Earth. During this 6-day journey, you will not only be thrilled by the Balloon Fiesta, you will also be touched by the enduring Pueblo Cultures that has existed for centuries and continues to thrive today. It is truly a Land of Enchantment!
- Day 1: Arrive in Albuquerque, NM. Welcome Dinner
- Day 2: Balloon Fiesta – Turquoise Museum – Old Town Albuquerque
- Day 3: Sandia Peak Tram – Pueblo Cultural Center – Evening Glow & Afterglow Fireworks Show
- Day 4: Turquoise Trail – Taos – High Road – Santa Fe
- Day 5: Santa Fe
- Day 6: Farewell
The "Land of Enchantment" welcomes you, as you arrive in beautiful Albuquerque today *(please arrive by 3:00pm). Meet your Southwest Adventure Tours tour director and transfer to your hotel. After some time to settle in, join the group for a fun welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Hilton Garden Inn Uptown, Albuquerque, NM | Meals: D
Today you will learn why Albuquerque is called the Balloon Capitol of the World as you experience the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Depart for an early morning transfer to the Fiesta Field to witness the Dawn Patrol and have breakfast at the Chasers Club. The Dawn Patrol began at Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Just at dawn when the winds are calmest, watch the Mass Ascension in a rainbow of colors. Later this morning, visit the Turquoise Museum where you will enter the museum through a mock mine tunnel and see the veins and nugget formations just as if you are a miner. Learn about rare specimens and the process of grinding and shaping the stones before time at leisure in the gift shop.
Once finished, enjoy a drive through Albuquerque, "The Jewel of the American Southwest," on your way to historic Old Town with some free time to explore hidden courtyards, stroll under covered portals and shop at the many fine specialty stores and galleries around the Plaza on your own. Old Town's tree-lined plaza and charming adobe buildings and churches are sure to delight the sightseer and the shopper! After an exciting day, return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free to relax and have dinner on your own.
Hilton Garden Inn Uptown, Albuquerque, NM | Meals: B
Begin your day with one of the best views of the city as you ride the Sandia Peak Tramway. Overlook the valley and enjoy views of the balloons traveling through the valley as you ascend and descend from its 10,387 foot crest. See firsthand the landscape that became the home of the Ancestral Pueblo and Pueblo people for thousands of years. Once finished you will experience a fascinating introduction to the way of life enjoyed by America's first "apartment dwellers," the Pueblo tribes of the Southwest. During your visit to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, you'll see their artifacts and crafts and learn a little about the cultural and religious customs that have helped preserve this society for over l,000 years. There are multiple experiences to be had including dancing and craftsmen at work. After your lunch you will return to your hotel with a little time to relax. This evening you will get to enjoy dinner at the Chaser Club with direct access onto Fiesta Field for the evening festivities like the Twilight Twinkle Glow™, Special Shape Glowdeo™, Night Magic Glow™, or Balloon Glow™, and AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show. These evening events start when all the balloons fire their burners and light up at the same time. It is perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta. The evening glows are followed by New Mexico's most spectacular fireworks display. Together they are Balloon Fiesta's most popular events.
Hilton Garden Inn Uptown, Albuquerque, NM | Meals: B, L, D
This morning, enjoy a drive along the Turquoise Trail, named for the exquisite mineral that was once mined here. The drive leads you the real-life ghost town of Madrid. Madrid looks exactly like a ghost town should, with its rows of empty, ramshackle houses that once were the homes of three thousand miners and their families. The only sign of life now is the artists who come to paint this picturesque place, and who display their wares to the interested buyer. Continue through Santa Fe to Chimayo, home to the Santuario de Chimayo and where the descendants of Spanish weavers and woodcarvers still ply their crafts. After a stop to observe the artisans, continue your scenic drive to the world class resort town of Taos. Founded in 1617 by the Spanish, Taos has kept its Spanish and Indian influences. Arrive at Taos Plaza with free time to wander the streets, enjoying the local cuisine, unique atmosphere, and browse the offerings of many artists who have come here to capture the allure of this delightful place. Then visit Taos Pueblo, a village that has been inhabited for more than 800 years, and whose adobe structures have changed little since the first Spanish explorers saw them in 1540's. As you return to Santa Fe, stop for a scenic view of the Rio Grande, a legendary river that cuts a distinct path through the history of the Southwest. Check into your Santa Fe hotel with the evening free for dinner on your own.
Courtyard by Marriott, Santa Fe, NM | Meals: B
Today enjoy a full day exploring and experiencing the first state capitol in the United States, "The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis," better known as Santa Fe. Founded in l609, the city offers many historic and scenic delights. Begin your day with an intimate tour of Santa Fe. Your tour will be a walking tour to the many famous sights including the historic Santa Fe Plaza with a view of the Palace of the Governors, the Loretto Chapel, a miniature model of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and the oldest church in New Mexico and more. After you are done the afternoon will be yours for lunch on your own and free time to explore the many wonderful shops and art galleries on your own. Take a chance to stroll through the Indian Market, where native arts and crafts are available directly from the artists who created them. This evening you will join the group for a special farewell dinner as you finish exploring this enchanting land.
Courtyard by Marriott, Santa Fe, NM | Meals: B, D
After breakfast, transfer to the Albuquerque International Airport for your departure home.
- Knowledgeable Tour Guide
- Comfortable Transportation via Motor Coach
- 5 Nights Lodging
- 5 Breakfasts
- 1 Lunch
- 3 Dinners
- Balloon Fiesta Events
- Taos Pueblo Tour
- Sandia Peak Tramway
- Museum & Park Entrance Fees
- Applicable Taxes and Fees
- Meals (other than mentioned in the itinerary)
- Items of a personal nature (i.e. Room service, telephone, liquor, etc.)
- Customary gratuities for the tour director, driver, local guides and outfitters
- $2,299.00 Per Person Double Occupancy
- $2,999.00 Per Person Single Occupancy
- $2,049.00 Per Person Triple Occupancy
- $1,899.00 Per person Quad Occupancy
2023 Departure Dates: