Sun-kissed Phoenix kickstarts your journey through America's stunning Southwest. You'll have the day on your own to recover from your travels, then meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception later this evening.
Your first stop today is in the artists' enclave of Sedona – surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. You’ll travel through Oak Creek Canyon next, with its rocky red cliffs, then venture to the UNESCO-listed Grand Canyon National Park, where a Local Specialist will share the canyon’s many geological marvels. Tonight, you’ll have an opportunity to overnight at one of the lodges inside the park.
Don’t miss an unforgettable experience: Rise early for an optional flightseeing over the Grand Canyon and then trace the scenic South Rim of the Grand Canyon along Desert View Drive. Visit the Desert View's Pueblo-style Watchtower offering views of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and the Painted Desert. We’ll all stop at Cameron Trading Post, founded in 1916 for Navajo and Hopi trading, to browse through handicrafts and perhaps sample traditional Native American fry bread. Take a walk to the rim of Glen Canyon to Horseshoe Bend Lookout point where the Colorado River has carved a horseshoe-shaped river meander on the sandstone canyon walls. This evening, join an optional experience for a bird’s eye view from atop one of the desert Southwest’s most fascinating features with a helicopter flight to the top of Tower Butte. Begin by flying eastward taking in views of Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, and incredible Horseshoe Bend before ascending Tower Butte. Stand 5,000 feet above sea level and marvel at the 360-degree views as Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, Padre Bay, the Grand Staircase Escalante, and the LeChee Rock unfold before you.
Depart Page and drive through Navajo Tribal Lands to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, the largest reservation in the United States with over 17 million acres of land between Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Dive Into Culture as you board a 4x4 vehicle and navigate the iconic red valley landscape guided by a member of the Navajo Nation and Local Specialist. Pause and settle in surrounded by buttes and mesas in this sacred land for a Connect With Locals outdoor chicken and steak barbeque lunch prepared by a Navajo tribe member as they share stories about the Dineh (Navajo) people and their connection to Monument Valley. Then continue to Moab on a scenic drive from Monument Valley where your Travel Director will share intel on some of the sights you’ll see along the way. Sit back and enjoy views of the San Juan River, Mexican Hat, Bluff, and the Abajo "Blue Mountain" and La Sal Mountains. Your time in Moab—the gateway city to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National park, and the Colorado River—kicks off with a hearty Be My Guest Dinner at Canyon Steak and Waffle. So much more than a place to refuel after a day of exploring, this is your chance to sit down and learn about local life through our host and restaurant owner Shawn Welch. Shawn shares her story and connection to the diner as you learn about growing up in Moab and how she’s come to own and operate an authentic American diner.
This morning, discover how the forces of wind and rain have shaped the enchanting landscape of Arches National Park. Later, journey to Canyonlands National Park, consider a deeper exploration of the area with an optional guided hike to Delicate Arch.
We arrive in the UNESCO-listed Mesa Verde National Park to delve into the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Explore their beautifully preserved sandstone dwellings. This evening, in Durango, your Stay With Story is historic Strater Hotel. You’ll have the evening at leisure to explore the historic town of Durango.
Enjoy free time in Durango today. Perhaps, enjoy a truly unforgettable step back in time, on an optional ride aboard the coal-fired, steam-powered narrow-gauge train. The train chugs along rails that were originally laid at the end of the 19th century, winding through a spectacular wilderness which would be inaccessible by car. If you're feeling more adventurous, opt for a white water rafting trip on the Animas River.
This morning’s drive takes you through the towns of Pagosa Springs and Chama before arriving in Taos, where there will be time at Taos Plaza, a Historical Landmark. Then, meet a Taos Pueblo member who lives in the pueblo, to explore the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The journey continues along the High Road, the Taos – Santa Fe Scenic Byway, rich in history, art and culture. Arrive at the hotel, ideally located two short blocks from Santa Fe’s Historic Plaza.
Join your Local Specialist this morning on a guided tour of Santa Fe. Experience this city where Spanish, Native American and Old West influences all combine to form a city with its own exclusive culture and character. See many of the city’s major sights before you have the rest of the day to pursue your own interests. Perhaps venture down the artistic hub of Canyon Road lined with galleries, visit some of the city’s top museums, or shop for Native American art and handicraft. This evening enjoy a Be my Guest Farewell dinner hosted by Stephanie Ramirez at her Flamenco Cabaret. Enjoy a lively evening celebrating Santa Fe's Spanish heritage with music, dancing and great food. MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® with your visit, as Stephanie runs a Non-profit organization Entre Flamencos that teaches the art of Flamenco to disadvantaged children in her community.
Our journey through desert landscapes at its end, you will bid farewell and transfer to Santa Fe Airport.