If you want to learn about New Mexico this is an excellent trip. You will learn so much, I strongly recommend it.
New to Road Scholar? Sign up
for our e-newsletter.
Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Activity level for this program is "KEEP THE PACE." All activities during this program take place at an elevation of 7,000 feet; routine physical activity will be more challenging than at sea level.
Afternoon: Program Registration 3:00-5:00 p.m.: After checking into the hotel and getting your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in. Orientation at 5:30 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Your Group Leader will be the Study Guide for most lectures and field trips during this program. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At 7:00 p.m. in the hotel meeting room enjoy a plated meal or buffet with salad, selection of entrées and dessert plus coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; standing up to two hours at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; walking up to two miles on level, paved terrain in Old Town at 5,300' elevation.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel; selections may include eggs, cereals, juice, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: We begin the morning with an overview by our Group Leader of the area's history, from its earliest Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants to the Spanish and American soldiers and settlers who followed. We'll then board our motorcoach and depart on a field trip to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Operated by the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico, the IPCC is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture, highlighting the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people. Our self-guided visit will introduce us to New Mexico's many different Pueblos as we view the Pueblo-curated exhibits on the lower level.
Lunch: Plated meal at an Old Town restaurant includes choice of entrées plus coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll travel to Old Town, where our Group Leader will introduce us to the oldest part of Albuquerque during a walking exploration of the plaza and surrounding area. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since Albuquerque was founded in 1706. About ten blocks of historical adobe buildings surround the central plaza, including San Felipe de Neri Church, which dates back to 1793. The city's settlers built their homes, shops and government offices here; many of these historical structures have been converted into the restaurants, art galleries and shops that we see today. There will be some free time for independent explorations of the area. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science across from Old Town on Mountain Road and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History adjacent to Old Town.
Dinner: Plated meal at a local restaurant; order from a select menu, including coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Evening: Return to the hotel for evening at leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 175 miles for four hours over the course of the day; walking up to two miles over varied, uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 6000-7500'. Some elevation gains via stairs and optional ladders at Bandelier.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
Morning: This morning we'll travel 100 miles north to Los Alamos, where we will visit the Los Alamos History Museum and the Bradbury Museum of Science. The Los Alamos History Museum is dedicated to preserving, protecting and interpreting the history of Los Alamos. Housed in the Guest Cottage of the Los Alamos Ranch School, the Museum has award-winning exhibits on the area's geology and anthropology, as well as the Manhattan Project. The Bradbury Museum of Science has wonderful exhibits about the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory, its national security mission, and the broad range of science, engineering, and technology research programs including the Lab's focus on Stockpile Stewardship.
Lunch: Boxed lunches.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll take a short drive to Bandelier National Monument, which is fascinating both for its geology and archaeology. After stopping at the Visitor Center, we'll explore some of the trails in Frijoles Canyon where we can see "cavates," the cave-like dwellings used by the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here 400-to-800 years ago. We will then depart to Pojoaque for dinner before continue 70 miles north to Taos for hotel check-in.
Dinner: Plated meal from a select menu at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; walking up to two miles over paved, sometimes uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 7,000'.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
Morning: After breakfast we'll travel to the Rio Grande Gorge, which we'll cross via the "High Bridge." The bridge spans the Rio Grande Gorge 565 feet above the river, affording breathtaking views, and has been used as a location in a number of motion pictures. After stopping for photographs, we'll continue on to the Earthship Biotecture Community. Earthship Biotecture is a sustainable building style with a minimal carbon footprint that uses recycled materials, such as old tires, bottles, and aluminum cans, in a variety of fascinating — and sometimes funky — shapes and sizes.
Lunch: Plated meal at a popular local restaurant includes coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Next we'll depart for Taos Plaza, where we'll enjoy free time for independent explorations of the Taos Plaza area. There are a number of museums, colorful galleries and shops in this area, all within walking distance of Taos Plaza. Nearby museums include the Harwood Museum of Art, which houses the Agnes Martin Gallery, the E.L. Blumenschein Home & Museum, home of artist Ernest Blumenschein, a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, the Kit Carson Home & Museum and the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House.
Dinner: Dinner tonight has been excluded from the program price so that you can sample local fare or enjoy what you wish.
Evening: This evening we'll be entertained by Cisco Guevara, a professional storyteller from Taos. A river runner since his teenage days in Los Alamos, Cisco honed his storytelling craft around campfires deep in the canyons of northern New Mexico. Cisco’s stories range from his rebellious youth, to tales that draw on his Hispanic and Native American heritage, to hair-raising adventures in the wilderness, to haunting tales of love and loss. A headliner at the Taos Storytelling Festival for the past 11 years, Cisco performs regularly for groups in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and has told his stories to rapt audiences as far afield as London and Paris.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 70 miles for two hours over the course of the day; walking up to two miles over varied terrain with inclines.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Check out of hotel and depart for Chimayó, 70 miles south of Taos,via the "High Road Scenic Byway". On arrival, we'll visit Centinela Traditional Arts Weaving Gallery. Many local families have been carrying on the traditions of Hispanic-style weaving for generations. We'll have the opportunity to see some beautiful pieces by an award-winning, seventh-generation weaver whose work is on display in a number of museums, including the Smithsonian.
Lunch: We'll have lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda. Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, the fruit of the Capsicum plant; most traditional New Mexican dishes are prepared with red or green chile. (New Mexico's official state question is "Red or green?" If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!") Our group will have a plated meal, ordering from a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and a non-alcoholic beverage. (Additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: After lunch we'll visit El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." Many of the faithful believe that the Santuario is built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers. Inside, a small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita). Next we'll travel to Pojoaque Pueblo where we'll visit the Poeh Center (In the Tewa language, "Poeh" means "pathway"). The Poeh is a museum devoted to the arts and culture of the Puebloan peoples, especially the Tewa, in the northern part of the state. Founded by Pojoaque Pueblo in 1987, its mission is to promote the work of Puebloan artists and the culture of Puebloan people from pre-European period to the present age. The Museum organizes changing exhibitions and is a large repository of permanent artifacts and programs. It has run and recorded the Oral Histories Documentation project, involving the participation of 38 Tewa elders who have provided stories about their lives. The information is available in both Tewa and English. Continue on to Santa Fe.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost so that you can enjoy what you wish or sample the local fare. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexico's unique cuisine has been influenced by ingredients and techniques used in Native American and Spanish cooking. Santa Fe is know for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and the Santa Fe Plaza. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to two miles over the course of the day over uneven sidewalks during the Plaza exploration; possibly more during free time.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet available at 6:00 a.m.; choices usually include cold cereals, oatmeal, bananas and raisins, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, yogurt, hash browns, sausage, French toast, syrup, red and green chile, and freshly brewed coffee, hot teas, fruit juice, and toast bar.
Morning: After breakfast, our Group Leader will introduce us to Santa Fe's history. Established by the Spanish in 1610, the city is the oldest capital city in the country and is home to the oldest public building, the Palace of the Governors.br>We'll then head out on foot for the Santa Fe Plaza, where we'll see historical sites such as the Palace of the Governors and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Lunch: Plated meal from a limited menu at a local favorite; selections include some traditional New Mexican dishes, as well as non-New Mexican options, coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase at the bar.
Afternoon: Free Time: Explore the Santa Fe Plaza area on your own. There are a number of museums, shops and galleries in this area, all within walking distance of the Plaza. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art. You might also enjoy visiting Loretto Chapel with its intriguing spiral staircase and the State Capitol building. The State Capitol houses the "State Capitol Art Collection," featuring the work of local New Mexico artists, sculptors and photographers. Those willing to travel a few miles down Cerrillos Road (city bus transportation available on Sheridan Street near the Plaza) might enjoy visiting "The House of Eternal Return" at the Meow Wolf Art Complex. A uniquely Santa Fe experience, "The House of Eternal Return" is a multimedia, interactive art experience that has been described as “immersive storytelling.” Developed with the generous support of Santa Fe resident and "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin, it was an immediate sensation after its opening in March 2016 and already has become a destination attraction for adventurers from around the world, attracting over 1,000,000 to date. It's been recommended by CNN Travel as one of "the best things to do in Santa Fe," and declared by CBS News to be New Mexico's "most Instagrammed destination." It's a far cry from traditional Santa Fe style, but is a lot of fun for the open-minded young-at-heart.
Dinner: On your own.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 85 miles for 1 1/2 hours over the course of the day; walking up to two miles over paved and uneven packed dirt terrain.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Check out of hotel, board motorcoach and travel to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from the earliest times to modern day, scrupulously documented and beautifully displayed. Most of the work is from the Southwest. The Museum of International Folk Art continues to focus on indigenous populations from around the world through their art – ranging from ceremonial dress and masks to furniture. The museum hosts the largest collection of international folk art in the world, including wings featuring some of the 106,000 pieces donated by collectors Alexander and Susan Girard and Lloyd Cotsen's Neutrogena collection. Following our visit to Museum Hill, we will travel to Tesuque Pueblo, 10 miles north of Santa Fe. The two- and three-story adobe room blocks surround a small plaza and Catholic church. The traditional character of this Pueblo is so well maintained that Tesuque is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lunch: Traditional Feast Day meal served in a private home at Tesuque Pueblo.
Afternoon: After lunch, we will have a discussion with Louie Hena, a traditional farmer and member of Tesuque Pueblo. He will share stories of life within the pueblo communities. Following the discussion, we will depart for Albuquerque and hotel check-in.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room.
Evening: Program closing. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.
Activity note: Breakfast available between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. Hotel checkout time: 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the hotel from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. This is the last meal included in our program.
Morning: Hotel checkout: 12:00 p.m. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
If you want to learn about New Mexico this is an excellent trip. You will learn so much, I strongly recommend it.
Road Scholar Tours will give long-lasting memories
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this program, found it to be quite educational and very worthwhile. We think the length of 6 days to be the right amount of timme.
After taking 5 outstanding trips with Road Scholar, I was disappointed with "The Best of New Mexico". That's because our group leader lacked the depth and breadth of knowledge and the professional delivery of other group leaders that I've encountered. This program seems to have the potential for a great amount of learning, but I don't feel like that is what I received on this trip.
This program was wonderful! Whether a first time traveler with Road Scholar or one that is more seasoned, this trip is a must do. Mark, Ben, Louie and Serena,and Cisco were wonderful. The hotels we stayed in fantastic, the food awesome, the hiking amazing, the scenery was beyond beautiful. The knowledge I learned will stay with me and this was an inspiring and humbling experience.
Great Trip, Not only we had a very knowledgeable guide Mark about the history of New Mexico, but also our driver who is a Native from one of the Taos pueblo shared with us his customs and traditions passed along from many generations. We visited, Cultural centers, Indian Art, History, and International Folk Museums, Bandelier National Monument, Rio Grande gorge, enjoyed the Plazas of Taos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, El Santuario de Chimayo among some of the sites visited. Had a delicious lunch at the home of Louis in Tesuque Pueblo. All the Hotels were very nice, however the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, was more than generous providing us with 3 free drinks at Happy hour plus an entree and salad for free for each of the two days we stay there. We were 30 many of us were traveling by ourselves, however the warm camaraderie from everyone, made us all feel like we were good old friends. Thank you Road Scholar!
This program was a great experience but it seemed to place more emphasis on the Native American people and culture than "the Best of New Mexico" might imply. While I loved all that we learned, I think I would have preferred more days for this trip so we could also do a more complete overview of the state and cities we visited.
Think you know who first settled America? Guess again. Roads Scholar "The Best of New Mexico" tour will introduce you to the Americans who had lived in and built large communities hundreds of years before the first English settlers set foot on our shores. Tour Today's pueblos, sample traditional cuisine, learn about art and fabric which originated on our soil. A feast of knowledge, scenery, and sensation.
I highly recommend traveling with Road Scholar. The material you receive beforehand greatly helps your preparation for the trip and gives you a day to day list of the events and activity level. I learned so much about New Mexico past and present and met many wonderful people who shared my interest in our country's history
This is a sterling program. The tour guide, Mark Utgaard offered wonderful history of the people and places. I chose this tour because I wanted not just to learn about the place, but to begin to understand and know it. Mark offered many wonderful stories/insights, had terrific sense of humor and made us feel comfortable. The landscape is beautiful and the bus tours, hotels and meals were first rate. I eat most everything but prefer a clean, healthy meal and got that 95% of the time. Free time was just right.
If you're interested in the culture and history of the desert Southwest, then this is the trip for you! Seeing the sights in person of the first "Americans" was truly memorable and gave me a much better understanding of the beginnings of our country as we know it today. The landscape and architecture of this area is stunning, as well. A win-win!
Just finished doing this trip and have to admit I had an amazing time. We had a group of about 30 participants and it really was nice how well we all got along. Let's start about the most important part of any of these trips, the Group Leader, Mark was amazing, his lectures were interesting and his insights on stops that we visited were helpful. Hotels were very nice in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the lodge in Taos was built in 1912 and really is very nice, not like a modern hotel, but a place I would easily visit again as it also gave a very nice feel to the trip. Provided breakfast were all hotel/lodge buffets, all good. All other provided meals were outstanding, loved the Standard Diner, Terra Cotta Bistro are standouts. You have three dinners on your own but it really could be one as the hotel in Santa Fe offer an evening kickoff that offers 3 drinks and a modest dinner buffet. This trip is listed as "Keep the pace" , and it is rated accurately, some days are more tiring than others but all are well worth it.
Our Road Scholar program was wonderful. My husband and I learned a lot, saw beautiful parts of our country, and met some great people. We would do it again.
A must experience to seeing and understanding New Mexico and its culture. Should be on one's "Bucket List"
This tour was truly one of the best travel experiences I have had. I look forward to many adventures with Road Scholar in the future!
Our tour of Albuquerque, SantaFe and Taos was delightful. We learned so much and met such interesting, fun people!
This program "The Best of New Mexico" gave me a whole new appreciation of the American Experience in the Southwest. Being from the South I had little understanding of the Native American Indian/Spanish explorers/Mexican natives interplay and their cultures. The program was truly enlightening to me.
The program covers the history of New Mexico and takes you to some of the places where it happened. If you like history, this program is for you.
I enjoyed everything in the three towns we visited: the ambience, the history, the culture and the fun. It was a trip to remember!
This program will inform you of the cultural, and religious history of the South West, and our Native American citizens.
I've wanted to get back to the Santa Fe for 55 years and finally found a way to do it with other interesting and curious travelers.
This program is very well organized and gives a broad view of the area....its history and its beauty. Mark, our guide, was so knowledgeable and always open to the questions we presented. I waited a long time to go on this Road Scholar, and I am so happy that we finally went!
This is an excellent program with a diversity of events packed into one week including exploring native Puebloan culture past (Taos Pueblo, Painted Kiva at Coronado Historic Site) and present (feast at the home of a Puebloan leader), the interplay of geology and nature in the rise and fall of indigenous culture at Bandelier National Monument (with a great loop trail, and remarkable museums, art galleries, and Earthships both past (adobe architecture) and present (Earthship Biotecture). As an optional activity try the Santa Fe Botanic Garden. I highly recommend this program.
If you sign up for this program you are in for the most amazing week. You will return home with so many fond memories and a wealth of new information.
This program gave us a deeper understanding of the history and culture of this part of New Mexico while enjoying the magnificent rugged beauty of this area. We shared this trip with a marvellous group of new friends.
This was a mother/daughter trip for us. I had always wanted to go to NM and this was the perfect way to do it. We hit all the hightlights in northern NM and learned so much along the way. It was the perfect amount of guided/learning time and free time. What a great way to travel where someone else does all the planning/research/driving/coordinating and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy. The hotels and food were fabulous, the lectures were interesting and just the right amount. We are already looking into another trip in the future.
This is a very informative program with presentations and field trips to educate participants about an unfamiliar culture as well as an opportunity to experience a unique part of the country.
THIS WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO LEARN ABOUT INDIAN CULTURE AND SEE SOME OF OF NEW MEXICO'S HIGHLIGHTS. JUST THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF TIME AND VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES. TO EAT WITH A TESUQUE PUEBLO INDIAN FAMILY IN THEIR HOME IS A MEMORY I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH.
I could highly recommend this trip. The scenery is spectacular, the architecture fascinating, the visits educational and varied and the history and culture of the people extremely rich. I would happily do it all again but for longer!
Wonderful tour. Not enough time for all you will want to do. You will need to come back for more!
Great Adventure! Learned many new things that will enhance my view of the country on many different levels!
The trip to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos was great. Seeing the numerous Pueblos and meeting residents was very special. Museums were very interesting and we were very impressed with their gift shops as well! And meeting all the participants was a real plus. Thank you Road Scholar!
The tour to Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe was enhanced by the scenic beauty, fascinating history and admirable people. Road Scholar provided an excellent itinerary, guide, accommodations, and presenters. I highly recommend this tour.
I have traveled abroad extensively and now want to see my own country.On this trip I was looking forward to seeing and learning more about the US. I was surprised at the beauty and interesting history we have that I never Knew about.
This was our 21st Road Scholar program. We will recommend it as one of our favorites.
My first trip alone and with Road Scholar was a marvel. Our group leader was outstanding, the accommodations excellent, the food very good, the places we visited were enlightening and fascinating, and the people in the group were welcoming and made me feel very comfortable. I loved it and I hope to do other trips with Road Scholar. I learned a lot about myself and feel I enriched my life by plunging in to a new adventure.
This trip is a great overview of New Mexico and Native American life in northern part of the state. Don't forget your water bottle!