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If the closest thing to time travel is train travel, then you’ll love riding the rails into the unspoiled scenic past of Colorado. This off-the-beaten path tour of the U.S. West is just the ticket to chug through the untamed beauty of the Royal Gorge aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railway; through the magnificent mesas and canyons of San Juan National Forest aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad; and through the rugged splendor of the Rockies aboard the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad. You’ll also pick up steam with visits to Colorado Spring’s Garden of the Gods, Mesa Verde’s ancient cliff dwellings, Chimayo’s famous pilgrimage site, and Glenwood Spring’s historic Hotel Colorado, a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt’s. Train buffs will also enjoy time in Durango’s D&SNG Railway Museum. All aboard! For one week in October, chasing rainbows is easy as hundreds of hot-air balloons take flight and turn the already stunning atmosphere of New Mexico into a kaleidoscope of dizzying color. Add the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to your U.S. West vacation to witness the incredible Mass Ascension, fiery Balloon Glow, evening fireworks, and other colorful rituals of the world’s largest balloon event.
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Gratuities for Tour Director and driver are available for pre-purchase. Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.Single Room Supplement: $1,822Triple Room Reduction per person: $449Extra Nights per person in Denver:in single room $201-$299, in twin room $105-$154, in triple room $73-$106
Enjoy spectacular fall colors on our Fall Foliage departure: October 2 & 9 departures (Mother Nature permitting).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 most hotels.
Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
ARRIVE IN DENVER, COLORADO Welcome to Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for a welcome drink.TOUR HIGHLIGHT ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS At 5,280 feet above sea level, Denver is called the Mile-High City for a reason. This gateway to the Rocky Mountains is the perfect place to kick back with a view of the sunset over Mount Evans while enjoying a local IPA or Colorado coffee after dinner. Ask your Tour Director for the best eateries in LoDo (lower downtown) or other exciting venues this beautiful city has to offer.
DENVER–ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD–COLORADO SPRINGS All Aboard the Royal Gorge! Depart on a scenic drive south to the Royal Gorge for a unique experience on the spectacular Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Later, travel to Colorado Springs to explore Garden of The Gods, featuring 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies.
Breakfast DinnerTOUR HIGHLIGHT EPIC RIDE When President Teddy Roosevelt rode the rails through the Royal Gorge in 1905, he described the experience as “the trip that bankrupts the English language.” You’ll be speechless too on this train ride through the breathtaking scenery of the Royal Gorge as it cuts a deep path through the Rockies along the Arkansas River.
COLORADO SPRINGS–ALBUQUERQUE The Land of Enchantment Leave Colorado Springs and travel south into New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” to visit Albuquerque – home of the annual Balloon Fiesta. Enjoy free time this evening before an early morning adventure tomorrow!
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT SPECIAL EVENT What began as a gathering of enthusiasts with just 13 hot-air balloons more than 47 years ago has grown into the largest ballooning event in the world – the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. This tradition has grown to an annual event drawing people from around the world to witness hundreds of brightly hued hot-air balloons ascend at once over the landscape of New Mexico. Truly enchanting!
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. See Old Town Albuquerque before returning to the hotel for free time before witnessing the popular Balloon Glow and Fireworks show.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT EPIC EXPERIENCES Attend the uplifting opening ceremonies and mass balloon ascension where hundreds of hot-air balloons lift off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of designs. Leading the ascension is a balloon adorned with the American flag, rising off the ground to the national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
ALBUQUERQUE–SANTA FE The American Southwest Travel, via the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, to the charming city of Santa Fe. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT CULTURE & TRADITION Experience the rich history and richer culture of Santa Fe - home to an abundance of art galleries amid its diverse visual arts scene of ancient traditional art to modern contemporary works that celebrate the desert beauty of this ruggedly beautiful landscape.
SANTA FE. EXCURSION TO CHIMAYO Enchanted Jewels Today, begin with 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. We then visit nearby Chimayo, which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Enjoy lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo, located in a century-old adobe home, serving some of the best New Mexican cuisine. Visit Santuario De Chimayo and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe, where the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Breakfast Lunch LOCAL FAVORITEHISTORY & HERITAGE Experience the spiritual traditions of the American Southwest in Chimayo. This historic area attracts locals and guests alike who visit its church sanctuary, which holds sacred soil known for its healing powers. Experience this legendary, authentic New Mexican tradition!
SANTA FE–BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT–TAOS–DURANGO Ancient Cultures Leave Santa Fe, stopping to explore the ancient Anasazi Puebloans, their cliff dwellings, and the museum at Bandelier National Monument. Visit the adobe town of Taos for free time to explore. Continue into Colorado for Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. Tonight, spend free time browsing the many shops on Main Street or enjoy a cold pint at one of the city’s local breweries.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTCULTURAL GEM Explore the age-old dwellings of Bandelier National Monument. Envision a way of life long since passed to gaze at mesas, sheer-walled canyons, and several thousand ancestral Pueblo dwellings sharing 33,000 acres of designated wilderness. Bandelier's human history is traced to over 11,000 years ago when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the land. By 1150 AD Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. This incredible site is inspiring as the Pueblo blessing: “Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth.”
DURANGO. EXCURSION TO MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK Today, visit Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Durango for a guided tour of the D&SNG Railway Museum with free time to see the exhibits including an extensive model train layout.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTANCIENT DWELLINGS See Spruce Tree House, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings. Also, visit the museum that depicts the story of the people who once thrived on this 8,000-foot ancient plateau (now Mesa Verde National Park). Stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings).
DURANGO–NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD–SILVERTON–GLENWOOD SPRINGS All Aboard in Durango! Board the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Continue to Glenwood Springs for an overnight stay at the historic Hotel Colorado.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHT EPIC RIDE Board the legendary Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad steam train as it hugs steep canyon walls to wind its way through Rio de las Animas Canyon. Arrive in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner: “We have no gold, but silver by the ton!”LOCAL FAVORITEACCOMMODATION SPOTLIGHT Enjoy a stay at the historic Hotel Colorado in beautiful Glenwood Springs. This elegant Rocky Mountain retreat has been a welcomed respite for travelers for more than 125 years where special guests like President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown have enjoyed its gracious accommodations and service in the heart of the Colorado Rockies.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS–GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD–DENVER Making Tracks in the Old West Travel through the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains to historic Georgetown for a scenic ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Continue east to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation.
Breakfast DinnerTOUR HIGHLIGHT EPIC RIDE Climb aboard the historic Georgetown Railroad to be immersed in the rugged beauty of the Rockies. Envision the old railroad days as you roll through stunning views of aspen trees, pines, and firs with views of Clear Creek Canyon.
DENVER Safe travels until we meet again! Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Want to explore more in Denver? Additional nights are available for purchase.
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 15 years
"Born in Salisbury, England, I left England at the age of nine and ended up in Los Angeles. Some of my hobbies include travel, flying (I have my license to fly small, single-engine planes), gardening (growing my own fruits and veggies is awesome), and landscaping (it gives me a chance to learn about different trees and plants). My advice to travelers is to come with an open mind and look forward to learning new things. What makes other places so special is that they're not home!"