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Whoever said “Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows” never visited the enchanting state of New Mexico or attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Artists, writers, and poets have long been inspired by the hues of hot pinks, deep purples, and flaming oranges that dance daily across the mystical southwestern sky. But for one week in October, chasing rainbows becomes even easier as hundreds of hot air balloons take flight and turn the already stunning atmosphere into a kaleidoscope of dizzying color. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta may be the largest balloon event in the world, yet its Mass Ascension, fiery Balloon Glow, evening fireworks, and other beloved rituals aren’t the only highlights on this vibrant New Mexico vacation. Visits to artsy Santa Fe, and the pilgrimage Miracle Stairway are equally uplifting. Want more tamales? More turquoise? More peppers? More pottery? Who doesn’t?! Extend your New Mexico vacation with two extra days in sunbaked Santa Fe and linger a little longer in the cafés, galleries, missions, and museums this is adobe haven is known for.
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*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and January 3, 2024 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992 PRMW0992
ALBUQUERQUE Balloonist presentation; opening ceremonies; Mass Ascension; Balloon Glow & After-Glow fireworks show at the Balloon Fiesta; International Balloon Museum; tequila tasting and lunch at a traditional restaurant; Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistorySANTA FETravel the Turquoise Trail; trolley tour including Loretto Chapel; farewell dinner featuring authentic Southwestern entertainment; visit to the Georgia O’Keefe MuseumCHIMAYO Visit Santuario de Chimayo
Guests should be prepared for sustained walking and standing. Schedule of Fiesta events are subject to change and will be confirmed on tour. The Albuquerque Airport is approximately 1.5 hours from Santa Fe depending on traffic. Schedule departure flights accordingly.The Globus Family of Brands insurance does not allow us to arrange hot air balloon rides for our guests. There is an opportunity while on tour for guests to make their own arrangements at the balloon field. Guests will need to make their own way to/from the grounds via ride-share or taxi as riders are generally required to be there prior to the Opening Ceremonies. You can recommend that they use the information provided by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s website to make arrangements prior to their tour: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-guide/balloon-rides. Hot air balloon rides should be scheduled on Day 2 of the tour and any missed sightseeing will not be refunded. Tour Operations must be advised in advance by August 1st at the latest as alternate entry passes may be required.
Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotels.
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
ARRIVE IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO Welcome to Albuquerque! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. You’ll also enjoy a special presentation from a local Balloonist, who will educate you on the sport of ballooning and what you’ll experience.LOCAL FAVORITECULTURE & TRADITION Enjoy a presentation from a special guest that has been a balloon pilot since the 70’s. Hear the history of the fiesta, his experience, and what special things to look for during the next day’s Mass Ascension.
ALBUQUERQUE Up, Up & Away! Get ready for the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Experience this morning’s pre-dawn Opening Ceremonies and the unforgettable Mass Balloon Ascension. Then, visit a traditional New Mexican restaurant for a festive lunch and margaritas. This evening, catch 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.
Breakfast Lunch NOTE: Schedule of activities vary from year-to-year and can be impacted by weather. Your Tour Director will be able to confirm the exact schedule of activities on tour.LOCAL FAVORITELOCAL TASTES Be treated to an authentic New Mexico experience with a traditional southwestern lunch and margaritas served in a popular Albuquerque restaurant. New Mexican dishes, from enchiladas and chili rellenos to salsa and sopapillas are served in a festive atmosphere in true local style.TOUR HIGHLIGHT INSPIRING SIGHTS Look skyward as hundreds of hot air balloons lift off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors, 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, enjoy breakfast at the Chasers Club followed by a visit to the International Balloon Museum, dedicated to the art, culture, science, history, and spectacle of ballooning.
ALBUQUERQUE Ancient Arts & Modern Sciences This morning, 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 provides an objective, accessible window into the past, present, and future of nuclear science from the origins of atomic theory to modern-day advances in nuclear medicine. Then, visit the fascinating museum and crafts market of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Tonight is at leisure.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT HISTORY & HERITAGE Explore the inspiring crafts and museum exhibits 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.
ALBUQUERQUE–SANTA FE Southwestern Jewels Today, travel along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway 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 city sightseeing tour, including the San Miguel Mission, the Palace of the Governors, the State Capitol, and Loretto Chapel’s “Miracle Stairway.” Next, take a captivating glimpse into the diversity of folk art from around the world. The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe allows you to explore a vast collection of traditional textiles, ceramics, paintings, and other unique objects that showcase the rich cultural heritage of different regions and communities.
BreakfastLOCAL FAVORITELEGENDARY LIVES The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway covers 15,000 square miles in the heart of central New Mexico, linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Drive back into history through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos along this historic trail named for the aqua-hued turquoise first mined by the early Pueblo people.
SANTA FE. EXCURSION TO BANDELIER Santa Fe Tastes and Sounds This morning, visit to explore the ancient Anasazi Puebloans and their cliff dwellings, and the museum at Bandelier National Monument. Return to Santa Fe Plaza for lunch at a celebrated local restaurant. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the plaza. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner with live entertainment.
Breakfast Lunch DinnerLOCAL FAVORITECULTURAL GEMS Enjoy a wonderful dinner to celebrate your Southwestern adventure along with the joyous sounds of traditional Mariachi music. Hear the voices of traditional singers and musicians who perform this beautifully rich music in the tradition of celebrating the joys, struggles, and triumphs of the Mexican people.
SANTA FE Bones & Blossoms on Canvas Spend the next two days in Santa Fe exploring on your own. Your time here includes admission to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. You may also want to visit the New Mexico History Museum or the Palace of the Governors, talk with the locals in the historic Santa Fe Plaza, or taste world class Southwestern food at one of the many restaurants and bars.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT ART & CULTURE Visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe to immerse yourself in the exquisitely unique paintings and artwork of this extraordinary woman. Hear how she lived in the desert here and captured the intimate beauty of flowers, bleached cattle bones, landscapes, and sky in her independent style.
SANTA FE Southwest Style Enjoy a free day in Santa Fe.
BreakfastFREE TIME TIPS EXPLORE MORE in Santa Fe with the free time to browse the beautiful crafts and jewelry along the sidewalk shops or indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine. Your Tour Director has the best tips for a great day in Santa Fe! Tap your GlobusGO mobile app for more local ideas and directions.
SANTA FE Safe travels until we meet again! Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. If you choose to fly from the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, please note that it is a 1.5-hour drive from Santa Fe depending on traffic. Schedule your departing flights accordingly.
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"It's my passion for travel that led me into the Travel Industry. Originally from New England, I love sharing the area's historical significance and quaint appeal, especially when the Fall colors are at their most brilliant. My heart especially lies in the West, though, with the overwhelming beauty of our parks and canyonlands. I truly enjoy sharing what this wondrous country has to offer, and my goal is for our guests to leave with once-in-a-lifetime memories."
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"By the time I was 11 years old, I knew I wanted to be a Tour Director. My parents loved to share photos of their trips with me, and they would tell me, "You should do that; you'd be great at it!" They planted a seed that grew. On my 21st birthday, I traveled on a 12-country, 30-day tour of Europe. Six months later, I enrolled in tour directing school, and I've been in this career for over 30 years. My travel advice is simple: enjoy the experiences that are unique to the places you are visiting."