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Colourful Trails of the Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

10 Days 1 Country 6 Cities

Immerse yourself in native American culture on this trip, taking in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.

"The vacation of our life"


About this trip

Quaint western towns, like Santa Fe and Durango, meet the famous icons of the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Arches National Parks on this trail into the Southwest's colourful landscapes.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… staying in authentic inns and lodges in the great outdoors. In Santa Fe, we stay in luxury at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, with its kiva fireplaces, adobe walls and Native American and Pueblo artwork. In the mining town of Durango, we stay in Old West style at the Strater Hotel, built in 1887. And along the Colorado River, we stay between rapids and rugged cliffs at the aptly named Red Cliffs Lodge. It's also dining alfresco by the river as the sun sets. And it's meeting a local landscape artist at his studio in Santa Fe.

Trip type: Discoveries i

Trip code: DCTB

9 Nights


12 Meals
  • 8 full breakfasts.

  • 4 dinners (including Be My Guest).

On trip-transport

No further information available

Colourful Trails of the Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Phoenix – Scottsdale

Welcome to the Valley of the Sun. Check into your hotel, get acquainted and spend some time relaxing. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.

Welcome Reception
Scottsdale Marriott Suites Old Town

2. Scottsdale – Sedona – Grand Canyon National Park

Leaving behind the Saguaro cacti of the Sonoran desert, ascend into the stunning red rock formations announcing your entrance to the artists' enclave of Sedona. If you like, trade your motorcoach for a rough-and-ready jeep on an optional adventure into Red Rock Country. Get a taste of the old cowboy days where you encounter stunning landscapes. Travel onward and be sure to have your camera ready as you near Oak Creek Canyon with its towering red cliffs and crystal pools. At the Grand Canyon, meet a Local Specialist who walks you through the geologic life of the canyon.

Full Breakfast
National Park Lodges

3. Grand Canyon – Monument Valley – Bluff

Rise early for an optional flightseeing tour over the Grand Canyon or spend more time in the National Park. You might experience a feeling of deja vu when you enter the wide-open expanse of Monument Valley—this scenic location has been preserved forever in classic films such as Stagecoach and The Searchers. Get up close and personal with the magnificent landscape of towering sandstone buttes and lovely desert vistas in special open-air vehicles accompanied by a guide. This evening, enjoy a unique Navajo cookout Regional Meal on the floor of Monument Valley.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal
Desert Rose Inn

4. Bluff – Mesa Verde National Park – Moab (2 nights)

Travel east this morning through a mesmerising desert landscape before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mesa Verde National Park at the edge of the San Juan National Forest. Between 600 and 1300 A.D., the Ancestral Puebloan people carved houses and entire communities out of the sandstone along the canyon walls. Tour some of the cliff-top buildings and look down at the massive Cliff House, the largest cliff dwelling in the world. Spend some time in the museum learning about the culture and traditions of this once-great civilisation. End your day's journey in the outdoor mecca of Moab. Your hotel for the next two nights is a scenic ranch. Tonight is yours—perhaps opt for taking in the sunset over the red cliffs or a Western barbecue dinner at your ranch-style lodge. If you're in the mood for more excitement, try an optional jet boat ride along the mighty Colorado that includes dinner.

Full Breakfast
Red Cliffs Lodge Authentic Accommodation

5. Arches National Park Excursion and Moab Free Time

In magnificent Arches National Park, the wind and rain have eroded the sandstone into more than 2,000 natural arches; wander through a kaleidoscope of geologic time as you watch the morning light play upon the ancient, multi-coloured stone. Explore the shops and outfitters in Moab as you enjoy an afternoon on your own. This evening, venture along the Colorado River for an exclusive Be My Guest dinner at a sand beach along the water. The fading sunlight is framed by towering red sandstone cliffs over your head.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining

6. Moab – Ouray – Silverton – Durango

Depart America's outdoor recreation capital for the “Switzerland of America.” Friendly Ouray boasts classic Victorian architecture, awe-inspiring views and a homey, small-town vibe. Then it's time to take to the highway—the Million-Dollar Highway, that is—with its priceless views of snowcapped peaks and shimmering alpine lakes. Stake your claim in Silverton, a former silver mining camp that now occupies a spot on the National Registry of Historic Landmark Districts. Stroll the pleasant streets, seeing well-preserved Victorian homes, the pretty city hall and the Grand Imperial Hotel. If you like, take an optional ride from Silverton to Durango on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which operates coal-fired steam engines through the San Juan National Forest. Later on, check in to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Full Breakfast
Strater Authentic Accommodation

7. Durango – Taos – Santa Fe (2 Nights)

Today, head south toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taos Pueblo, an ancient site that has been continuously inhabited for more than 1,000 years by members of the Native American Pueblo people. Learn about the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the Pueblo Indians and visit the striking adobe chapel of San Geronimo. Continue travelling along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the foothills of the Rockies, to the colourful artists' mecca of Santa Fe. Check in to your hotel for the next two nights. Your evening is free to visit some of the many galleries, sample some renowned Southwest cuisine or just admire the adobe architecture on the vibrant plaza.

Full Breakfast
Inn and Spa at Loretto Authentic Accommodation

8. Santa Fe Sightseeing and Free Time

Embark on a private trolley tour to see the sights of Santa Fe and soak up the atmosphere of one of the West's most interesting towns—unparalleled in richness of history, heritage, arts and culture. Visit a local artist's studio and learn how this Local Specialist captures the Southwest's magical light in his landscapes. Enjoy the afternoon on your own to explore old downtown, including the Eldorado Hotel, Loretto Chapel and St. Francis Cathedral. Perhaps do some shopping at a local gallery, follow in the footsteps of Kit Carson on a walking tour or pamper yourself in one of Santa Fe's elegant spas. This evening, gather with your Travel Director and travelling companions for a festive Farewell Dinner.

Full Breakfast
Farewell Dinner

9. Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Today, explore quaint Old Town Albuquerque with a guided walking tour. This evening, witness the breathtaking Balloon Glow when the festival balloons light their burners simultaneously under the moonlight before a spectacular fireworks display.

Full Breakfast
BW Plus Rio Grande Inn

10. Depart Albuquerque

This morning, gaze in awe as each of the balloons participating in the Balloon Fiesta ascend into the air with a burst of colour and sound. You'll enjoy this once in a lifetime experience in the exclusive Chasers' Club featuring guaranteed private seating, deluxe views of the launch and hot food. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and bid farewell to New Mexico as you board your transfer to Albuquerque International Airport. 

Full Breakfast

Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 4 Reviews

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Pretty good.Product : This was my first ever tour (other than school trips), I got to see everything that i'd wanted to, and more.

  • Trip:


    Service rating : I was satisfied with the service. There was a lot of driving on this tour, long distances to travel, the driver was excellent. Perhaps doing some research before taking the trip would have been helpful--rather than depend on the tour guide.Product : It was a well planned trip.

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Our tour guide was great and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip.Product : We were so glad to find a trip to the Grand Canyon that did not include Las Vegas, NV. We wanted a trip filled with natural beauty, and it was difficult to find one that did not start or end in Las

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Please see below in question #2Product : Unfortunately, my wife became ill the night before we were to leave our Scottsdale Hotel for the trip. We spent 4 days in the hospital there, and then flew home.I notified the tour director that we had been admitted to the hospital and

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Very well planned trip.Product : The trip included many wonderful stops. Very well organized. Loved the balloon fiesta , scenic stops , accommodations and meals. Did not like the Be Our GuestMeal on the banks of the Colorado. The meal at Monument Valley was served inthe dark.

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Local Specialists
    at the Grand Canyon and in Santa Fe.

  • Be My Guest
    exclusive dinner at a sand beach along the Colorado River.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, Utah, USA An Authentic Accommodation, this ranch includes both a lodge and a museum which documents the history of the property. In the late 1940s, the legendary director John Ford discovered the rugged beauty of Moab’s Canyonlands and filmed the first of many movies here. The first major motion pictures filmed in the Moab area were also set on the Red Cliffs Ranch.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA A fixture in the Santa Fe community, this Authentic Accommodation shares its grounds with the famed Loretto Chapel and has an ideal location only one block from Santa Fe’s historic Plaza. The property embodies the culture of the region with its adobe-style architecture and reflects the true spirit and history of the city of Santa Fe. The walls are adorned with the work of local artisans which completes this elegant retreat.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Strater Hotel, Durango, Colorado, USA Opened in the late 1800s, this Authentic Accommodation became a popular winter retreat for Durango townsfolk who would close their homes for the winter and move in. Many noted personages called the Strater home, including renowned Western author Louis L’Amour.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • Visit Scottsdale, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde and Arches National Park, Moab, the quaint Colorado towns of Silverton and Durango, Taos and Santa Fe

    • Scenic drives through Sedona, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and along Oak Creek Canyon

What's Included


    • 8 full breakfasts.

    • 4 dinners
      (including Be My Guest).

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday

    • VIP entry to many sights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    • 8 nights First Class accommodation

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

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Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

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"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Colourful Trails of the Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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10 days, 6 cities

Colourful Trails of the Southwest with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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  • Twin-share option
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  • Flights available

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  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
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  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
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