The bus returns to the hotel by 4:00 PM.Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 to 7:00 PMEvening: From 7:00-8:30 PM, there will be a lecture on Archeoastronomy. You'll learn how ancient peoples from Egypt to Peru to Chaco Canyon used Archeoastronomy in planting and harvesting their crops, conducting seasonal celebrations and religious ceremonies, and in planning many other aspects of their lives.Lodging: MCM Elegante HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves structures and artifacts of Ancestral Pueblo people from the 1100s through the 1200s.
It may have been seen as another Chacoan outlier, however, more recent research indicates it may have been the second Chacoan "capitol," established and occupied after the abandonment of Chaco Canyon in the 1150s.
Aztec itself was abandoned about A.D. 1275 as a result of the 40-year drought. Some Southwestern archeologists believe the Chacoan "elites" then moved south and established Paquime, another immense site in northern Mexico.
The Aztec monument was established in 1923 with the excavation and reconstruction of Aztec West by Earl Morris and designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.
At 9:30 AM, the bus departs for the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, where there will be a short hike.Lunch: Boxed lunches at Chimney RockAfternoon: Bus continues on to Mesa Verde National Park and hotel check-in at Far View LodgeDinner: Dinner at the LodgeEvening: Free eveningLodging: Far View LodgeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300 people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls.
Today, most people call these sheltered villages “cliff dwellings.” The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde.
In the late 1200s, within the span of one or two generations, they left their homes and moved away.
The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States, offering visitors a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
Twenty-four Native American tribes in the southwest have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde.Lunch: Boxed lunches at Mesa VerdeAfternoon: Continue exploring Mesa VerdeDinner: Dinner at the LodgeEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Far View LodgeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Hovenweep National Monument protects five prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border.
Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders.
Hovenweep is noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character. The Square Tower Group is the primary contact facility with a visitor center and interpretive trail.
Human habitation at Hovenweep dates to over 10,000 years ago when nomadic Paleoindians visited the Cajon Mesa to gather food and hunt game. These people used the area for centuries, following the seasonal weather patterns.
Bus departs for Cortez, arriving at about 4:30 PM for hotel check-in.Dinner: Dinner at a selected Cortez restaurantEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Baymont Inn and SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On arrival, we'll drive along the north rim, stopping at overlooks along the way.
At the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves are ruins of Indian villages built between A.D. 350 and 1300.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the chance to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest basketmakers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here.Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurant in ChinleAfternoon: Bus continues rim exploration, then goe on for check-in at the Holiday InnDinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Holiday Inn Canyon de ChellyMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This moderate hike of 2 1/2 miles is the only one that will take visitors down into the canyon, and will take approximately 2-3 hours. Those that do not wish to hike may take the half-day driving excursion into the canyon instead.Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurantAfternoon: Depart at 1:30 PM for return to Albuquerque, stopping in Window Rock en route, and arriving at the hotel at about 6:00 PM.Dinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Program closing at the hotelLodging: MCM Elegante HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner