Driving approx. 20 miles each way; about 1.5 hours roundtrip. Walking approx. 1/2 mile total during group activities; periods of standing; level gravel stream bed, some rolling hills; opportunities for more walking dependent on personal interest.
At the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet will feature an egg dish, breakfast meats and potatoes, baked goods, hot and cold cereals, and fruit, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Setting out from the hotel, we’ll travel to Saguaro National Park’s Tucson Mountain District Visitor Center. Upon arrival, we will view the spectacular park video in the auditorium as an introduction to the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro National Park is home to (and named after) the world’s most recognized cactus, the majestic saguaro. As our first exposure to the Sonoran Desert, we’ll learn from our Group Leader about desert adaptations, water issues, and diversity. Afterwards, our naturalist Group Leader will lead us on a walk among the desert vegetation. We’ll then transfer to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum where our Group Leader will conduct a brief introductory session upon arrival, during which we’ll receive a museum map, and hear about some of the fascinating exhibits and special performances on premises.
At the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, we’ll enjoy a plated lunch featuring a sandwich with chips and a cookie. Soft drinks, iced tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
After lunch, we will have ample time to explore the museum independently and see the galleries, special events, natural features, docent demonstration areas, and trails. Special presentations including a reptile demonstration, docent-staffed exhibit tables, and the famous free flight raptor program will be available. Additionally, stunning and often odd desert flora and fauna are on display throughout the museum.
At a local Mexican restaurant, we’ll enjoy a festive plated dinner with a choice of entrée from a select menu. Soft drinks, coffee, iced tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
En route back to the hotel, our Group Leader will then discuss travel plans and logistics for the next day's travel. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure upon arrival. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.