Acoma Pueblo, located approximately 65 miles from Albuquerque, is often called "Sky City." The oldest part of the pueblo was built on top of a 400-foot mesa, to protect it from attack. Much as it was several hundred years ago, the pueblo has no electricity and no running water, but its residents vie for chances to live there for a year at a time. There are other pueblo villages at the base of the mesa, where most of the Acoma Indians dwell.
We'll have an opportunity to explore the Cultural Center, then be bused to the top of the mesa to explore the old part of the pueblo with a Native American guide. We'll see the adobe dwellings and an old Spanish church, and meet some of the inhabitants of this remarkable historic place.
Late afternoon return to the hotel.Dinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
In 2006, Albuquerque celebrated its Tricentennial. Old Town represents Albuquerque's history: Spanish, Mexican, and the United States flags are displayed. Buildings around the plaza and on the side streets are authentic adobes up to 300 years old, many built in the distinctive territorial style.
The church of San Felipe de Neri was used as a parish church for over 200 years.
The area is also a shopping center with shops selling goods ranging from fine arts and jewelry to tourist trinkets, and Indians selling their wares on the sidewalk.Dinner: Dinner on our ownEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
We'll visit El Santuario de Chimayó, a church visited year-round by pilgrims seeking healing from the holy ground found inside a small room at the back of the church. El Santuario is fondly known as "The Lourdes of Northern New Mexico." It also offers primitive religious art work in the form of bultos (carved wooden statues of the saints), a beautiful retablo (altar piece) over the altar and unique stations of the cross.
We'll also visit a weaving gallery.Lunch: Lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó. The restaurant, located in a large hacienda, has been owned and operated for many years by a family from Chimayó, and is one of the best-known restaurants in the northern New Mexico area. In the warmer months, you can dine outside in terraced gardens; in the winter, sit in front of pinon-burning fireplaces and view the lovely art work featured throughout the restaurant. It's a dining experience to remember!Afternoon: After lunch, the bus will depart for downtown Santa Fe, where we'll have some free time to explore the plaza and visit the state museums in the area. We can use our museum passes for admission to the Palace of the Governors, the New Mexico History Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Art, located just off the plaza in Santa Fe.
The Palace of the Governors features historic documentation of the settling of the Santa Fe and northern New Mexico area. The New Mexico Museum of Art offers changing exhibits by famous past and present artists of New Mexico and the Southwest.
Late afternoon return to Albuquerque.Dinner: Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Albuquerque. Sweet Tomatoes offers a wide variety of items on a salad bar, including soups, breads and dessert options. It's a nice change of pace, allowing us to eat as much - or as little - as we like.
Evening: Bus returns to the hotelLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Check out of hotel by 12:00 PM.Lunch: Lunch at the hotel and closing comments will conclude this program.Afternoon: Independent departures from the MCM Elegante in Albuquerque. Hotel check-out time is no later than 12:00 PM.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch