New Mexico
The Best of New Mexico: Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque
Discover the story of Northern New Mexico as you learn about its Pueblo People, historic monuments, unique architecture and Sky City — one of the oldest inhabited settlements in the US.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 11005RJ
8 days
Starts at
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8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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Registration, Orientation, Introductions, Welcome Dinner
Albuquerque, NM
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, 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: 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. All field trips will be led by the Group Leader unless otherwise specified. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader can offer suggestions and directions. 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: 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.

New Mexico History, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Old Town
Albuquerque, NM
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Standing at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; walking up to several blocks on level, paved terrain in Old Town at 5,300' elevation.

Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room; selections may include eggs, cereals, juice, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: We begin the morning with an overview of the area's history. We'll then board our motorcoach and depart on a field trip to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture, the IPCC presents 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 a popular local restaurant includes choice of entrées plus coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time for independent explorations of Old Town. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since Albuquerque was founded in 1706. About ten blocks of historic 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 have been converted into the restaurants, art galleries and shops that we see today. 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 next to Old Town.

Dinner: Plated meal at a local restaurant in Old Town; order from a select menu, including coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)

Evening: Optional video.

Field Trip to Acoma Pueblo, Travel to Santa Fe
Santa Fe, NM
Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over varied, uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 5,300'.

Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel we'll travel to Acoma Pueblo, 65 miles west of Albuquerque. Situated atop a 367-foot high sandstone mesa, old Acoma Pueblo, known as "Sky City," may have been settled as early as 900 CE. 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 live there today in two nearby villages or on top of the mesa in the old Pueblo itself. As we walk through the ancient village, we'll see the large mission church and meet some of the Pueblo residents.

Lunch: Sandwich wraps at Acoma Pueblo.

Afternoon: Visit the Sky City Cultural Center, followed by departure for Santa Fe and late-afternoon check-in at the hotel in Santa Fe.

Dinner: Buffet or plated meal in the hotel meeting room.

Evening: Optional video.

Santa Fe History, Santa Fe Plaza, Dinner on Your Own
Santa Fe, NM
Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over paved sometimes uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 7,000'.

Breakfast: Buffet in the hotel meeting room. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.

Morning: This morning 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. 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 select menu at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time for independent explorations. The Group Leader can offer suggestions based on your interests.

Dinner: Dinner tonight has been excluded from the program cost so that you can enjoy what you wish at any of Santa Fe's many fine restaurants.

Evening: At leisure to explore Santa Fe's nightlife, enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities, or rest and relax.

Bandelier National Monument, Rancho de Chimayó, Taos Tales
Taos, NM
Sagebrush Inn & Suites

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over varied terrain with inclines at elevation of 7,500'.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Check out of hotel and depart for 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.

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 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 continue on to Taos via the "High Road" Scenic Byway; hotel check-in on arrival.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a meal featuring a soup, salad, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea and water.

Evening: This evening we'll hear from a local professional storyteller who will share some colorful stories about his life, the area and its residents.

Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Gorge, Earthship Biotecture
Taos, NM
Sagebrush Inn & Suites

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over the course of the day over uneven paved or packed dirt terrain with inclines at 7,500' elevation.

Breakfast: Buffet or plated meal at the hotel; 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 we'll go to Taos Pueblo (if the Pueblo is open; it sometimes closes with little to no advance notice for private Pueblo events.) This picturesque Pueblo at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. The multiple-storied adobe dwellings reflect an ancient culture. Approximately 100 Pueblo residents still live much as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago, without electricity or running water. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. We'll then depart for 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: This meal has been excluded from the program price so that you can dine at a restaurant of your choice. Your Group Leader can offer suggestions and directions. (A Taos restaurant map will be included in your Information Packet.)

Afternoon: Free Time: Explre the Taos Plaza area on your own. 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, the E.L. Blumenschein Home & Museum, the Kit Carson Home & Museum and the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Optional video.

Martinez Hacienda, Tesuque Pueblo, Petroglyph Natl. Monument
Albuquerque, NM
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over paved or uneven packed dirt terrain over course of the day.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Check out of hotel, board motorcoach and travel to the Hacienda de los Martinez, an example of a Spanish/Mexican "great house" with many outbuildings representing the Spanish Colonial era. We'll then depart for Tesuque Pueblo.

Lunch: Plated meal at a Tesuque Pueblo home.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll depart for Petroglyph National Monument, one othe largest petroglyph sites in North America. Four to seven centuries ago, the Rio Grande's Pueblo people carved symbols and images into the boulders along a volcanic escarpment. Spanish settlers followed suit, and depictions of crosses and horses lie side-by-side with those of suns, spirals, birds, animals and figures of hump-back flute players. Continue on to hotel for check-in.

Dinner: In the hotel meeting room.

Evening: Program closing. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.

Albuquerque, NM

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes 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!

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