October 9, 2018 - October 15, 2018
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
3% Cash Discount
Early Booking Discount 3%
with paid deposit before June 1, 2018
Your package includes deluxe transportation and accommodations, all listed tour fees, and 8 meals.Once a year for nearly fifty years, the skies over Albuquerque, New Mexico, are painted in bright colors as fascinating shapes dance overhead. Hundreds of giant hot air balloons fill the sky with their graceful dance as they take flight. Whether it’s in the dewy early morning light or under a dark starry sky, thousands of people flock to see these delicate giants break free from the bounds of gravity and take to the air. This world famous event has become known as the “Spirit of the Winds,” a beautiful and incredibly fitting name. So pack a suitcase and join us in this spectacular experience. You’ll be blown away and come home with bragging rights, pictures, and, of course, unforgettable memories.
Today we will be traveling west making our way across Oklahoma and staying the night in Amarillo, TX. Take advantage of our first day together by taking time to get to know your fellow travelers. Make a few new friends to share this amazing experience with and then make memories together. (Don’t blow too much hot air; save that for the balloons.)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Our journey today brings us to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There’s a lot of fun in store as we tour the nation’s oldest capitol city with a step-on-guide. Santa Fe also houses the oldest public building in our nation, The Palace of the Governors, and also boasts of the only round capitol building in the nation. This tour offers old-world charm with a vibe of contemporary, something Santa Fe is famous for. Our afternoon arrival at an elegant 300-year-old hacienda, the renowned Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza, is sure to be a hotel stay to remember. Our dinner is hosted at none other than a local favorite and best-ranked restaurant, Tomasita’s. We can sample classic Northern New Mexican cuisine in this well-established 40-year-old family owned restaurant.
After saying good-bye to Santa Fe, we say hello to Albuquerque, where a step-on tour guide will introduce us to our host city. The city tour ends in Historical Old Town with lunch and some free time for some shopping and exploring. Then we make our way to the Petroglyph National Monument which protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. This site features designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers some 400 to 700 years ago. We leave here but the fun’s not over yet as we have one more stop on our agenda for today. To get us in the mood for the days to come we will be heading over to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum where we will learn all we need to know about how this festival started and grew to be world famous. Afterward, we will make our way to our hotel here in Albuquerque for the next 3 nights.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
You are in for a real treat today as we see what we came all this way for: hot air balloons. The Special Shape Rodeo is a highly anticipated event where items such as fire hydrants, space rockets, and castles, all in the form of a larger than life hot air balloon, are seen lifting above the New Mexico landscape. Visualize owls, whales, frogs and other animals in a balloon zoo taking to the sky before your very eyes. Even Elvis has been spied flying high! You imagine it and here you can see it all in balloon form. This unique balloon launch is known for causing major traffic jams as faces turn sky-ward with spectator intensive involvement. An early rise and shine is a must for attending this balloon launch. After this very enjoyable morning together, we will soar to grand heights of our own with a visit to Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. It features a 2.7-mile bird’s-eye view of majestic deep canyons and breathtaking terrain in the Sandia Mountains which line the eastern sky of Albuquerque. An observation deck at the peak gives one a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley. Plan on free time to hike, explore, and shop in 20 degree cooler temperatures than in the city. Lunch will be eaten at the High Finance Restaurant at the top of Sandia Peak. A few hours of rest can be had at the hotel in the afternoon. Then we are off again to the festive and unforgettable Special Shape Glowdeo, a specially designed shape balloon nighttime rodeo. The Glowdeo is a dazzling event emphasizing the creativity of hot air balloons.
We’ll be rising early today because you will not want to miss this extraordinary morning! Today is Mass Ascension day, when all 750 balloons launch at Fiesta Park. It’s not enough to imagine this glorious celebration; you just have to experience this astounding sight up close and personal. Did we mention that being in Fiesta Park allows you to wander through the balloons and speak to the drivers and crew? This is indeed a trip full of surprises. Since the first balloon flights in 1783, there have been many feats recorded in the story of balloon flight making this stunning ascension even possible. After our morning with the balloons, we will move on to something a little different for the afternoon. The nickname for New Mexico is “The Land of Enchantment” and we would be remiss if we didn’t expose you to the Gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. The heritage, history, culture, and current day life of Pueblo people are discovered at the fascinating Indian Pueblo Cultural Center which features a 10,000-square foot museum with permanent and changing exhibits, plus the Harvest Pueblo Cafe that features Native American cuisine. After you’ve delved into the life and history of the Pueblo people, we’ll return to our hotel for a little rest before our evening adventure begins. Tonight we will be attending the Night Magic Glow at Fiesta Park. You’ll want to take a flashlight as we explore the many static balloon displays.
Today you have one last chance to fill the memory card on your camera with beautiful pictures of the giant balloons as we head to the Farewell Ascension. This early morning lift off staged against the desert sky will give you a memory of a lifetime. After all, how many people do you know who have experienced this unique event? Time will travel quickly as we finish our time in Albuquerque, load the coach, and begin the drive back home. We will overnight in Elk City, OK.
We say farewell to our new friends as we reach home today. Let’s take time to look back at this once in a lifetime excursion. When you get home, show off your new pictures and tell everybody about this amazing experience. We are so glad you came with us and we hope this tour has “lifted” your spirit and taken your memories to new heights.