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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta


October 12, 2023 - October 16, 2023 $1,979
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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Any local will tell you that October is the most beautiful time of year in New Mexico, made so in large part by the much anticipated sight of colorful balloons punctuating the skyline. During this season, the sky is bluer, the days are gentler, and the mornings crisper — almost as though the landscape has taken a deep sigh — and on the desert’s warm breath sails the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Click here to view flyer & registration form

Highlights & Inclusions:

  • Special Shape “Glowdeo”
  • AfterGlow Launch & Fireworks Show
  • Turquoise Museum
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
  • Old Town Albuquerque
  • Sandia Peak
  • Dawn Patrol Launch
  • Acoma Pueblo
  • Turquoise Trail
  • Madrid & Santa Fe
  • Loretto Chapel
  • 8 Meals
  • 4 Nights Hotel Accommodations
  • Professional Tour Leader
Please Note: While not strenuous, this tour requires average physical activity. Participants should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground or unpaved trails. This tour covers area of higher altitudes including overnight locations above 4,000 ft. and touring above 10,000 ft.

Day 1
Thursday, October 12

- The “Land of Enchantment” welcomes you as you arrive in beautiful Albuquerque today. Please arrive by 1:30pm (MST). Meet your Western Leisure tour director and transfer to your hotel. After some time to settle in, join the group and drive to Balloon Fiesta Park to begin your Balloon Fiesta experience. Enjoy dinner at the Chasers Club with direct access onto Fiesta Field for the Special Shape Glowdeo and Afterglow Fireworks Show. The Special Shape Glowdeo starts when all the balloons fire their burners and light up at the same time. It is perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta. The Special Shape Glowdeo is followed by New Mexico’s most spectacular fireworks display. Together they are Balloon Fiesta’s most popular events. Hyatt Place Uptown or similar, Albuquerque, NM (D)

Day 2
Friday, October 13

This morning visit the Turquoise Museum where you will enter the museum through a mock mine tunnel and see the veins and nugget formations just as if you are a miner. Learn about rare specimens and the process of grinding and shaping the stones before time at leisure in the gift shop. Then we’ll experience a fascinating introduction to the way of life enjoyed by America’s first “apartment dwellers”, the Pueblo tribes of the Southwest. At the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, you’ll see their artifacts and crafts, and learn a little about the cultural and religious customs that have helped preserve this society for over 1,000 years. Next enjoy a driving tour of Albuquerque, “The Jewel of the American Southwest.” See the downtown area as well as the University of New Mexico before stopping in Albuquerque’s Old Town. Old Town’s tree-lined plaza and charming adobe buildings and churches are sure to delight the sightseer and the shopper! While in Old Town, enjoy shopping and lunch on your own. Next, visit New Mexico’s famous Sandia Peak, home to the tram that will whisk you 10, 680 feet into the air for an unsurpassed view from the summit. On a clear day, you can easily see the wonderful New Mexico landscape in a 100-mile circle at your feet. This evening, join the group for dinner. Hyatt Place Uptown or similar, Albuquerque, NM (B,D)

Day 3
Saturday, October 14

Today you will learn why Albuquerque is called the Balloon Capitol of the World. Depart for an early morning transfer to the Fiesta Field to witness the Dawn Patrol and have breakfast at the Chasers Club. The Dawn Patrol began at Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California Balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol Pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing site. Just at dawn when the winds are calmest, watch the mass ascension (weather permitting) in a rainbow of colors at the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Next travel to Acoma Pueblo for an included lunch and touring. The Pueblo offers a window in time where Native people carry on the customary traditions of their ancestors through Native American pottery making and tribal celebrations. Enjoy a guided tour of the Sky City Cultural Center followed by a visit to Haak’u Museum to view the exhibits, stunning Pueblo pottery and Southwest Indian art created by renowned Native American artists. (Please note: Acoma Pueblo is subject to closure on short notice due to tribal ceremonies or events, a similar experience will be substituted if a closure occurs). Return to the hotel with the evening free. Hyatt Place Uptown or similar, Albuquerque, NM (B,L)

Day 4
Sunday, October 15

Today we’re off to Santa Fe. The Turquoise Trail, named for the exquisite mineral that was once mined here, leads you to your first stop of the day, the real-life ghost town of Madrid. Madrid looks exactly like a ghost town should, with its rows of empty, ramshackle houses that once were the homes of three thousand miners and their families. The only sign of life now is the artists who come to paint this picturesque place, and who display their wares to the interested buyer. After time to explore this relic of the past, continue to the first state capitol in the United States, “The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Frances”, better known as Santa Fe. Founded in 1609, the city offers many historic and scenic delights. Your tour will be a combination of driving and walking to the many famous sights included the historic Santa Fe Plaza with a view of the Palace of the Governors, the Lorreto Chapel, a miniature model of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and the oldest church in New Mexico and more. There will be free time to explore the many wonderful shops, art galleries and restaurants for lunch on own. Take a chance to stroll through the Indian Market, where native arts and crafts are available directly from the artists who created them. Travel back to Albuquerque, in the late afternoon, with some time to relax before a delightful farewell dinner. Hyatt Place Uptown or similar, Albuquerque, NM (B,D)

Day 5
Monday, October 16

After breakfast, transfer to the Albuquerque Airport for your departure home. (B)

Trip Facts

  • October 12-16, 2023
  • $1,979
  • $2,711
  • $1,789
  • 2-3