This tour departs from Santa Fe, New Mexico | Ends in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Day 1 Arrive Albuquerque Int'l. Airport, transfer to Santa Fe, New Mexico
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Welcome to "The Land of Enchantment"! In Santa Fe, you will meet your Southwest Odyssey Tours guides and fellow adventurers and prepare for your tour by learning the ins and outs of your luxury tour vehicle. They may look tough on the outside, but inside you will find comfortable extras and special features that will enhance your traveling experience. Create your own record of your journey to show your friends on your personal map, look up curiosities along the way in the vehicle trail guide, and get up close with the high quality binoculars in each vehicle. Then begin exploring Santa Fe, the second oldest city in the United States!
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: To kick off your adventure, you will stay in the heart of Santa Fe at the Hotel St. Francis. The hotel combines the historic spirit of Old Santa Fe with modern amenities. With beautifully appointed guest rooms and unique decor, the St. Francis is ideally located within walking distance of the renowned museums and art galleries of Santa Fe.
Day 2Santa Fe NM - Chaco Culture National Historic Park - Aztec, NM
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Our journey will take us through the Jemez Mountains. These mountains are not just beautiful but are also rich in volcanic rock. From there we will travel through the Valles Grande Caldera towards Chaco Culture National Historical Park. There you will experience the engineering and organizational brilliance of the Chacoan Culture as you explore the ruins, including 800 room Pueblo Bonito which is the largest excavated ruin in the United States. A picnic lunch will be served inside the park.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: The Step Back Inn is a modern hotel with a touch of Victorian charm. The Inn is locally owned and operated by a pioneer family with rooms decorated with historic photos & named for a pioneer family.
Day 3Aztec, NM - Mancos, CO - Mesa Verde National Park, CO
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: From Aztec NM thru the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and the rich pastures and hay fields of Mancos, CO to Mesa Verde National Park, named a World Heritage Site in 1978. Tour magnificent cliff dwellings and learn how the native people thrived here for seven centuries – evolving from hunter-gatherers into a culture known for artistry, agriculture and architectural masterworks. With more than 600 cliff dwellings we will visit the archaeological sites of Triple Cities, Square Tower overlook, Sun Point, Sun Temple, and Cliff Palace.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: You will spend the night inside Mesa Verde National Park at the Far View Lodge. Decorated in traditional Southwestern decor, the lodge was designed to reflect the true flavor and ambiance of Mesa Verde. From your private balcony you can see breathtaking views while enjoying the quiet, peaceful ambiance of the park.
Day 4Mesa Verde National Park to Ouray, Colorado via the San Juan Skyway
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: If you thought the Southwest was just the desert, you will think again after today's adventure! Traveling via the San Juan Skyway, your tour vehicle will take you up into the sky over 12,000 foot passes within the Rocky Mountains. One of the most scenic routes in America, along the San Juan Skyway you will see towering spruce, pine, fir, and aspen groves. You will feel like you are on top of the world as you see the expanse below and play in snow in the middle of summer. Then we will visit several former mining boomtowns, including Rico, Telluride and Ouray. The latter, named after a Tabeguache Ute Indian chief who championed peace with the white settlers, Ouray is sometimes referred to as the "Switzerland of America."
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Nestled in the mountains in picturesque Ouray, Colorado, you will spend the night at the charming Best Western Twin Peaks Lodge. There you can relax after your day of adventure in the natural, hot mineral springs.
Day 5Ouray, Colorado to Durango, Colorado via the San Juan Skyway
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: One of our favorite days of the tour, first we will travel over Red Mountain Pass to the Silverton Mining Museum where you can choose from two unique experiences. The first is a vintage steam train ride to Elk Park where you will learn the history of the Denver and Rio Grande railroads. Or, tour an actual gold mine in Elk Park. Then we will leave our tour vehicle behind and ride like cowboys on horseback through Colorado Pass to the top of Molas Pass where lunch awaits.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Celebrating it's 125th anniversary this year, the Strater Hotel is one of Durango's most prominent landmarks. A standout for its architecture, inside you will discover the world's largest collection of American Victorian walnut antique furniture.
Day 6Durango, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: We will start our day by heading East towards Pagosa Springs in the heart of the San Juan National Forest. Known for its hot springs, the town's name is derived from the Southwestern Ute Indian word for "healing waters." Then we head south to the historical railroad town of Chama, New Mexico before heading to famed Southwestern artist Georgia O'Keefe's, hometown of Abiquiu for a walking tour and a visit to the Ghost Ranch Museum.
WHERE YOU'LL REFLECT ON YOUR MEMORABLE ADVENTURE: Enjoy a farewell dinner in Santa Fe, and overnight at the Hotel St. Francis, within walking distance of the renowned downtown Plaza, museums and art galleries of Santa Fe.