Duration: 9 Days
Take a ride back in time on an escorted holiday in Colorado and New Mexico. Begin with sightseeing in the “Mile High City” of Denver, including the historic Union Station in stylish lower downtown (LoDo). Then travel south and be awed by the natural surroundings of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad into the gorge and along the Arkansas River—noted by Teddy Roosevelt as “the trip that bankrupts the English language.” Then visit Colorado Springs to explore the Garden of the Gods with its sandstone formations below majestic Pikes Peak. Travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a trolley tour of this historic town, and see the artistic and mysterious sites of Spanish, Native American, and religious legend. See the Miracle Stairway of Loreto’s Chapel, and other inspiring sights. Visit the ancient cliff-dwellings of Bandelier National Monument and spend time exploring the historic Taos Plaza. Continue north to Colorado for the mountain town of Durango, founded in the gold-rush and silver-mining era, and visit Mesa Verde National Park.
Board the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad and steam along the cliff-side rails through the San Juan National Forest. You’ll stay in Glenwood Springs—famous for its therapeutic natural hot springs. You’ll travel through the magnificent Rocky Mountains aboard the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad for rugged views of Clear Creek Canyon. Your guided tour of New Mexico and Colorado is a new adventure into the Old West.
Welcome to colourful Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your travelling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Denver this mor ning to see historic Union Station, the Mile High Stadium, and the U.S. Mint. Then it' s on to the Royal Gorge for a unique experience, the spectacular ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILWAY, noted by President Teddy Roosevelt as "the trip that bankrupts the English language" in 1905. This memorable journey will travel through beautiful scenery, into the Royal Gorge, and along the Arkansas River. Later, travel to Colorado Springs to explor e GARDEN OF THE GODS, featuring 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. (B)
Leave Colorado Springs and travel south into New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment" to the charming city of Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the United States. In addition to its history and culture, Santa Fe is home to many art galleries with a diverse visual arts scene spanning ancient traditional art to modern contemporary. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Experience Santa Fe up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR of the many historic buildings, revealing the town's Spanish, Native American, and early settlers' heritage. Main sights include the San Miguel Mission, Palace of the Governors, Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, and LORETTO CHAPEL'S "Miracle Stairway." We then visit nearby Chimayo, which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Enjoy lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo, located in a centuryold adobe home, serving some of the best New Mexican cuisine. Visit SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe, where the remainder of your day is at leisure. (B,L)
Leave Santa Fe, stopping to explore the ancient Anasazi Puebloans and their cliff dwellings at BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT. Next, visit the adobe town of Taos on the high-desert mesa for free time to explore this ancient meeting place. Continue into Colorado and arrive in Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. Tonight, perhaps browse the many shops on Main Street, or enjoy a cold pint at one of the citys' local breweries. (B)
Today, visit MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Spruce Tree House, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings. Also, visit the museum that depicts the story of the people who once thrived on this 8,000-foot (2438 metre) plateau, and stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings). This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
This morning, board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. The legendary steam train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through Rio de las Animas Canyon. Arrive in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner: "We have no gold, but silver by the ton!" Then, continue to Glenwood Springs for the evening. Why not unpack your swimsuit and head down to the hot springs? The world's largest and welcoming visitors for over 125 years. Entrance to the HOT SPRINGS pools are included with your stay. (B)
Travel through the beautiful Colorado mountains and board the historic GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD, sit back and relax as you enjoy the beauty of the rugged Rocky Mountains plus views of Clear Creek Canyon. This afternoon, continue east to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your holiday. (B,D)
After breakfast, bid farewell to your new friends. (B)