Witness the Mass Ascension, as hundreds of balloons lift off into the crisp early-morning high-desert air

Highlights

  • Balloon Fiesta Park - morning Mass Ascension and evening Glowdeo
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
  • Walking Tour of Old Town Albuquerque
  • Turquoise Museum tour
  • Rise the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
  • Tour Acoma Pueblo

Itinerary for Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Day 1: Arrive Albuquerque, New Mexico

Welcome to Albuquerque, the Land of Enchantment! Transfer to your hotel. This evening, meet your Tour Manager along with your fellow travelers and enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant known for its fine New Mexican cuisine. Meals included: D

 

Day 2: Mass Ascension and Albuquerque sightseeing

Leave the hotel bright and early for the Morning Mass Ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta∗. This is one of the most photographed spectacles anywhere and it is also a great place to people watch, sample delicious foods and shop for souvenirs at a wide range of vendor booths. Enjoy this wonderful experience while sitting in a private outdoor patio at the Chaser’s Club located next to the launch field. Hot breakfast and other snacks will be provided. Next, visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Continue to Old Town. Upon arrival, take a brief walking tour of the historic Plaza area of Old Town, the original center of Albuquerque. Lunch will be at a popular restaurant located near the Old Town Plaza. There will be time to explore hidden courtyards, stroll under covered portals and shop on your own at the many fine specialty stores and galleries around the Plaza. The final stop today will be the Turquoise Museum, perhaps the largest private collection in the world. A novel attraction, this small museum focuses on the beauty, mythology and physical properties of turquoise. Return to the hotel with the remainder of the day and evening at leisure. Meals included: B, L

Note:∗Balloon Fiesta is a weather-dependent event. While early October weather is generally ideal for hot-air ballooning, strong winds or storms may delay or cancel balloon events.

 

Day 3: Santa Fe Sightseeing and Glowdeo

Travel the historic and scenic Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, which links Albuquerque and Santa Fe. You will drive back into history through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos. Upon arrival in Santa Fe take a guided walking tour, visiting such points of interest as the historic Plaza, St. Francis Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel, with its famous “miraculous” staircase, and the San Miguel Mission. Lunch will be served at a local favorite restaurant. Return to Balloon Fiesta Park for the evening Glowdeo®. During the glow, balloons inflate at dusk, remain tethered, and light their burners in a synchronized fashion. Enjoy this spectacular from the exclusive Gondola Club, where comfortable seating and buffet-style dinner with full open bar await you. After the glow, the AfterGlow Fireworks Show will dazzle and delight you. Meals included: B, L, D 

Note:In case of inclement weather and the glow is cancelled, dinner will still be served at the Gondola Club.

 

Day 4: Local Sightseeing

Start your day by taking a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, one of the world’s longest free-span cable tramways! Continue to Bandelier National Monument and Chimayo. Bandelier National Monument is best known for mesas, sheer-walled canyons and the ancestral Pueblo dwellings found among them. The Anasazi farmed this canyon for over 400 years and lived in multi-storied stone and mud structures or in caves carved out of the volcanic cliffs. Next, you will visit the historic village of Chimayo and the Santuario de Chimayo, a venerable religious shrine built over earth that is said to have miraculous healing qualities. Chimayo is also known for the colorful and decorative textiles that its weavers have produced centuries. Enjoy lunch at Rancho de Chimayo (or something similar), known for its traditional New Mexico cuisine before heading back to Albuquerque. We return to Albuquerque this evening for a farewell dinner at a local favorite. Meals included: B, L, D

Note:You will experience altitudes of over 6,000 feet above sea level, the climate is very dry and the sun shines almost every day in this area. Drink plenty of water and wear suntan lotion. Dress appropriately for the season and wear comfortable walking shoes, as the tour is ¾ of a mile long. The walking tour covers areas of uneven and rough terrain. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Day 5: Farewell

After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to your spectacular Balloon Fiesta experience. Transfer to the Albuquerque airport for your flight home. Meals included: B

5 days, from $1,829 USD