11005
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 (4.98)
Program No. 11005RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,399
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 6 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Introductions, Welcome Dinner
Albuquerque, NM
D
Doubletree by Hilton Albuquerque

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.

DAY
2
New Mexico History, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Old Town
Albuquerque, NM
B,L,D
Doubletree by Hilton Albuquerque

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: Buffet at the hotel; 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: Your Group Leader will introduce you to the history of Old Town during a walking exploration of the Plaza and surrounding area. This is followed by 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: At leisure.

DAY
3
Field trips to Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument
Taos, NM
B,L,D
El Pueblo Lodge

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over varied, uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 6000-7000'. Some elevations gains via stairs and optional ladders at Bandelier.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We'll head out this morning to Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos. Your Group Leader will provide area history, geology and other educational content throughout the 2 hour drive. Our first stop will be 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: Plated meal from a select menu at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, 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—a favorite place of Gen. Leslie Groves during the Manhattan Project, 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. Following the museum visits, we will continue up 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

DAY
4
Rio Grande Gorge, Earthship Biotecture, Taos Pueblo
Taos, NM
B,L
El Pueblo Lodge

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over unpaved 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 go 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 from a select menu at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, 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. After our visit the Taos Pueblo, we will have some 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 Taos many restaurants.

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.

DAY
5
High Road, Centinela Traditional Arts, Rancho de Chimayo
Santa Fe, NM
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

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 Chimayó via the "High Road".On arrival, we will visit Centinela Traditional Arts. Chimayó is home to several families who have been creating Hispanic weavings for generations, and we'll have a chance to see some beautiful works designed and woven by an award-winning artist.

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 visit a lovely little Roman Catholic church, El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, is famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." A small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita) that is believed to have healing powers. We'll then head into Santa Fe for hotel check-in.

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 restaurants. You may also choose to remain at the hotel and partake from the complimentary Kickback®, which is from 5:30–7 p.m. every evening. You can choose from a rotating menu of fresh, hot food and beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks.

Evening: Optional video: Bless Me, Ultima.

DAY
6
History lecture, Walking Exploration, Free Afternoon
Santa Fe, NM
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Walking up to two miles over the course of the day, possibly more during free time.

Breakfast: Buffet 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, 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 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, colorful galleries and shops in this area, all within walking distance of the Plaza. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico Museum of History, the Palace of the Governor's Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art.

Dinner: 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.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
7
Museum Hill, Tesuque Pueblo
Albuquerque, NM
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe

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 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 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 at a private home in 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.

DAY
8
Breakfast
Albuquerque, NM
B

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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