We'll then depart for a visit to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture and advancing understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico.
Continue on to Pecos, NM.Lunch: Lunch at Frankie's Southwestern Grill in PecosAfternoon: After lunch, we'll explore beautiful Pecos National Historical Park, an example of late Anasazi pueblo ruins and Spanish colonization.
The site, on ranch land (the Forked Lightning Ranch) owned by the late Greer Garson and her husband, Buddy Fogelson, was donated with the hope that it would be preserved for visitors. The museum/visitors' center features a film narrated by Ms. Garson. A mile-long, paved hiking trail circles the site, which has remains of pueblo dwellings, kivas and a mission church, all located on remarkably beautiful land in the Pecos valley 30 miles northeast of Santa Fe.
Depart for Santa Fe and hotel check-in.Dinner: Dinner at a selected restaurantEvening: Lecture and performan taught by Native American professional musician and scholar, Ronald Roybal. Ron is an award-winning musician dedicated to the preservation of traditional Native American music as well as being a composer of some of his own. He's a fine singer, guitarist and Native American flute player.Lodging: The Sage InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The MIAC offers a huge collection of pottery, basketry, rugs, jewelry and artifacts, mostly from tribes of the southwest region. The exhibits are beautifully displayed and documented.
The Museum of International Folk Art features the huge collection of folk art of Alexander Girard, displayed in charming scenarios.
Both museums have great gift shops as well!Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurantAfternoon: After lunch we'll embark on a walking exploration of the Plaza area, after which our bus will return to the hotel.
The rest of the afternoon and evening are at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore on our own. Nearby sites of interest include the Palace of the Governors, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the New Mexico History Museum. (Our passes can be used for these state museums.)
Those who choose to remain downtown and not return to the hotel on our bus will need to make their own arrangements for transportation to the hotel via taxi, city bus, or the hotel shuttle (if available).Dinner: Dinner tonight is on our own. The group leader can offer restaurant suggestions both downtown and near the hotel.Evening: Evening at leisure to explore Santa Fe's nightlife or rest and relaxLodging: The Sage InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel check-in at about 4:00 PM.Dinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Optional videoLodging: Sagebrush Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Earthship Biotecture we'll see some examples of this unique, sustainable building style.
Our bus then departs for the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Locally known as the "High Bridge," this cantilever truss bridge spans the Rio Grande Gorge 10 miles northwest of Taos. At 650 feet above the Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States.Lunch: Boxed lunch at the picnic area at Rio Grande Gorge BridgeAfternoon: After lunch, we'll go to Taos Pueblo (if it's open; it can close unexpectedly for pueblo ceremonies and events.)
From there, we'll go to Taos Plaza for a guided walking excursion, followed by time at leisure to explore this historic area on our own. There are a number of colorful galleries and shops in this area, as well as other museums, all within walking distance of Taos Plaza.
We'll then meet up and and walk as a group to our dinner destination.Dinner: Dinner at a selected restaurantEvening: Return to the hotel after dinnerLodging: Sagebrush Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We'll visit the Santuario de Chimayó, famous for the reputed healing powers of its "holy dirt." The Santuario also offers some remarkable folk art, from its beautiful retablos, stations of the cross, and bultos (statues of the saints). This little church is a very special one with a fascinating history; it's a great example of the simple faith of northern New Mexicans.
We'll also visit a weaving gallery where we can see some examples of beautiful Hispanic weavings. Local families in Chimayó have been creating these works of art for generations.Lunch: Lunch at Rancho de Chimayó; housed in an old hacienda, this restaurant is a favorite of both locals and visitors alike. Vegetarian option(s) available.Afternoon: After lunch, our bus continues on to Albuquerque.
We'll gain an overview of the geological aspects surrounding the city, as well as learn some interesting facts about its history.
On arrival in Albuquerque, we'll stop at Petroglyph National Monument, where we'll see ancient symbols, figures, and animals etched into the rock at Boca Negra Petroglyphs. This area features a wide expanse of fragile, unique cultural resources that can never be replaced and are part of the National Park system.
Four to seven centuries ago, the Rio Grande's Pueblo people carved or painted images into the boulders along the 17-mile long section known as the West Mesa.
As we listen to the ranger and walk some of the trails, we'll speculate what these images mean, why they were created, and what the people who made them were like.
We'll continue on to the hotel for check-in after this visit.
Dinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Optional video or evening at leisureLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Acoma Pueblo, known as "Sky City," was settled possibly as early as A.D. 900. It is situated on top of a 376 foot high sandstone bluff.
We'll learn about the Spanish conquistadors who occupied it in 1599, the filmmakers who helped build the road that goes to the top of the mesa, and the 6,000 residents who today either live in two nearby villages or in the Pueblo itself.
We'll walk through the ancient village, see the large mission church and meet some of the pueblo residents during our field trip.
Lunch: Lunch at the Y'aak'a Café in the Sky City Cultural Center at Acoma PuebloAfternoon: After lunch, we'll depart for return to Albuquerque and a visit to Old Town. This charming area offers many examples of authentic adobe architecture; the beautiful old church there is open to visitors, and we'll explore Old Town with our group leader's guidance.Dinner: Dinner and closing comments at the hotelLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Checkout time is by 12:00 noon.
The hotel has a free shuttle to the airport or train station; arrange with the front desk the evening before, if possible.Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:00 to 9:00 AM. Checkout time is no later than 12:00 noon.Meals Included: Breakfast