Welcome to the heart of Santa Fe! Settle in at your hotel—just steps from the plaza and across from the chapel in the center of town—the perfect location to soak it all in. Meet your fellow travelers and Travel Director before we Dive Into Culture, toasting our first night with an inspiring performance by a Lakota Native American Flute Player. Sky Redhawk is a local who not only performs and owns a flute store, but also composes his own music—both Lakota and Santa Fe’s native Pueblo style. Relax and take in the soothing sounds as he shares stories on the importance of the flute in Native American culture. Making plenty of time to chat and answer your questions, Redhawk’s spiritual, evocative music and insight into Native American culture is a perfect welcome to the landscape and energy that will infuse your Santa Fe tour.
This morning, explore Santa Fe with a walking tour led by a Local Specialist and resident who’ll show you historic downtown through their eyes. The Capitol Building, Loretto Chapel, art galleries, and Native American Pueblo and Spanish Colonial architecture are all on their map and their enthusiasm for Santa Fe is infectious. This afternoon, continue to Dive into Culture with your choice of the city’s museums. Visit the Museum of International Folk Art for the largest collection of folk art in the world, an incredible diversity of cultures right in Santa Fe. Fans of Georgia O'Keefe shouldn’t miss the museum honoring the artist’s signature style inspired by Southwest culture and its impact on American Modernism. Or, learn more about Pueblo culture at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, a center of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the artistic and intellectual achievements of the diverse peoples of the Native Southwest. Lastly, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return is an art experience for the ever-curious. This interactive exhibit features non-linear storytelling through multi-sensory exploration. See, touch, and hear it to believe it.
Start the day with a Dive Into Culture along Canyon Road’s where over 100 galleries, boutiques, and restaurants are packed in a half mile. Next, you’re off to Taos! The scenic road winds past canyons and farms as the Rio Grande gorge flows through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In Taos’ authentic, active Pueblo residence and spiritual hub, you will tour the 1,000-year-old Pueblo with a Local Specialist, resident, and tribe member who’ll share their knowledge for an up-close look at these expertly crafted, complex adobe structure that you may be surprised to learn are still lived in today. It’s no wonder this is the only Native American community that’s both a UNESCO Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark. After exploring the plaza and galleries of iconic downtown Taos, tour El Santuario de Chimayo sanctuary, a beautiful mixture of Spanish and Pueblo styles, active Catholic church since 1816, and pilgrimage site. Generations have traveled to Chimayo to seek healing from the “Tierra Bendita” (holy dirt) found in a hole in a precept off the main altar. You can even take a scoop of this holy red sandstone home to remember your travels long after you return home. Our last stop of the day will fuel your creative side, we visit Ortega’s Weaving Shop for a chance to observe a one-of-a-kind New Mexican weaving technique and maybe purchase a souvenir to take home. The Ortegas are ninth-generation rug and clothing weavers in this Chimayo tradition that mixes Spanish and Pueblo styles. Back in Santa Fe this evening, ask your Travel Director for recommendations for one of the many walkable restaurants offering traditional dishes highlighting the local chiles, corn, and beans.
This morning head south of Santa Fe on the Turquoise Trail. At the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden you’ll Dive Into Culture with an exclusive tour of sculptures and paintings depicting Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo tribes from one of the most renowned Native American artists. (Houser’s work is displayed in the Smithsonian and the Oval Office!) Feel small among the massive sculptures in this 50-acre property as your Local Specialist guide and gallery manager, Tracy Cable, leads you through the juniper trees to Houser’s soothing shapes. Then, step back in time into one of the greatest ancestral and still active Pueblo archaeological sites at Bandelier National Monument. An easy guided walk leads you into the gorge, through the canyon past walls of sandstone while learning about the Pueblo people who inhabited this area 1,000 years ago. Amble to the sounds of rivers and birds or climb wooden stairs to see ceremonial rooms, fire markings, and handprints in the well-preserved cliff dwellings. We’ll trade tales and toast to all we’ve seen and done on your Santa Fe tour with an unforgettable Be My Guest Farewell Dinner hosted by Stephanie Ramirez at her Flamenco Cabaret. Greeted by live music to get you in the Flamenco spirit, you’ll enjoy a taste of Spain in Santa Fe (recognized as a focal point of flamenco art within North America) with tapas, an authentic main course, Spanish, wine and dessert followed by a high energy Flamenco performance by world renowned performers.
Say a fond farewell to Santa Fe and take your transfer to Albuquerque Sunport International Airport. The transfer to Albuquerque takes approximately 1.5 hrs. Please be aware when booking your flights.