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Globus Historic Trains of the Old West with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta(NCS)

11 Day Tour from Denver to Denver 
If the closest thing to time travel is train travel, then you’ll love riding the rails into the unspoiled scenic past of Colorado. This off-the-beaten path tour of the U.S. West is just the ticket to chug through the untamed beauty of the Royal Gorge aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railway; through the magnificent mesas and canyons of San Juan National Forest aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad; and through the rugged splendor of the Rockies aboard the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad. You’ll also pick up steam with visits to Colorado Spring’s Garden of the Gods, Mesa Verde’s ancient cliff dwellings, Chimayo’s famous pilgrimage site, and Glenwood Spring’s historic Hotel Colorado, a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt’s. Train buffs will also enjoy time in Durango’s D&SNG Railway Museum, as well as a trolley tour through charming Santa Fe. All aboard! For one week in October, chasing rainbows is easy as hundreds of hot-air balloons take flight and turn the already stunning atmosphere of New Mexico into a kaleidoscope of dizzying color. Add the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to your U.S. West vacation to witness the incredible Mass Ascension, fiery Balloon Glow, evening fireworks, and other colorful rituals of the world’s largest balloon event.

Itinerary (2024)

Day 1ARRIVE IN DENVER, COLORADO
 Welcome to Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for a welcome drink.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS At 5,280 feet above sea level, Denver is called the Mile-High City for a reason. This gateway to the Rocky Mountains is the perfect place to kick back with a view of the sunset over Mount Evans while enjoying a local IPA or Colorado coffee after dinner. Ask your Tour Director for the best eateries in LoDo (lower downtown) or other exciting venues this beautiful city has to offer.
Day 2DENVER–ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD–COLORADO SPRINGS
 All Aboard the Royal Gorge!
Depart on a scenic drive south to the Royal Gorge for a unique experience on the spectacular Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Later, travel to Colorado Springs to explore Garden of The Gods, featuring 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC RIDE When President Teddy Roosevelt rode the rails through the Royal Gorge in 1905, he described the experience as “the trip that bankrupts the English language.” You’ll be speechless too on this train ride through the breathtaking scenery of the Royal Gorge as it cuts a deep path through the Rockies along the Arkansas River in Colorado Springs.
Day 3COLORADO SPRINGS–ALBUQUERQUE
 The Land of Enchantment Leave Colorado Springs and travel south into New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” to visit Albuquerque – home of the annual Balloon Fiesta. Enjoy free time this evening before an early morning adventure tomorrow! (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
SPECIAL EVENT What began as a gathering of enthusiasts with just 13 hot-air balloons more than 47 years ago has grown into the largest ballooning event in the world – the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. This tradition has grown to an annual event drawing people from around the world to witness hundreds of brightly hued hot-air balloons ascend at once over the landscape of New Mexico. Truly enchanting!
Day 4ALBUQUERQUE
 Up, Up & Away! Get ready for the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Experience this morning’s pre-dawn Opening Ceremonies and the unforgettable Mass Balloon Ascension. See Old Town Albuquerque before returning to the hotel for free time before witnessing the popular Balloon Glow and Fireworks show. (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC EXPERIENCES Attend the uplifting opening ceremonies and mass balloon ascension where hundreds of hot-air balloons lift off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of designs. Leading the ascension is a balloon adorned with the American flag, rising off the ground to the national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Day 5ALBUQUERQUE–SANTA FE
 The American Southwest Travel, via the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, to the charming city of Santa Fe. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant. (B,D)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CULTURE & TRADITION Experience the rich history and richer culture of Santa Fe - home to an abundance of art galleries amid its diverse visual arts scene of ancient traditional art to modern contemporary works that celebrate the desert beauty of this ruggedly beautiful landscape.
Day 6SANTA FE. EXCURSION TO CHIMAYO
 Enchanted Jewels Experience Santa Fe up close as you embark on a guided trolley tour to see 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 - built by a mysterious stranger. 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 century-old adobe home, serving some of the best New Mexican cuisine. Visit [LF] 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)

LOCAL FAVORITE
HISTORY & HERITAGE Experience the spiritual traditions of the American Southwest in Chimayo. This historic area attracts locals and guests alike who visit its church sanctuary, which holds sacred soil known for its healing powers. Experience this legendary, authentic New Mexican tradition!
Day 7SANTA FE–BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT–TAOS–DURANGO
 Ancient Cultures Leave Santa Fe, stopping to explore the ancient Anasazi Puebloans, their cliff dwellings, and the museum at Bandelier National Monument. Visit the adobe town of Taos for free time to explore. Continue into Colorado for Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. Tonight, spend free time browsing the many shops on Main Street or enjoy a cold pint at one of the city’s local breweries. (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CULTURAL GEM Explore the age-old dwellings of Bandelier National Monument. Envision a way of life long since passed to gaze at mesas, sheer-walled canyons, and several thousand ancestral Pueblo dwellings sharing 33,000 acres of designated wilderness. Bandelier's human history is traced to over 11,000 years ago when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the land. By 1150 AD Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. This incredible site is inspiring as the Pueblo blessing: “Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth.”
Day 8DURANGO. EXCURSION TO MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
 Today, visit Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Durango for a guided tour of the D&SNG Railway Museum with free time to see the exhibits including an extensive model train layout. (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
ANCIENT DWELLINGS 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 plateau, and stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings).
Day 9DURANGO–NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD–SILVERTON–GLENWOOD SPRINGS
 All Aboard in Durango! Board the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Continue to Glenwood Springs for an overnight stay at the historic [LF] Hotel Colorado. (B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC RIDE Board the legendary Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad steam train as it hugs steep canyon walls to wind 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!” Later, enjoy a stay at the historic Hotel Colorado, a Rocky Mountain retreat for more than 125 years where special guests like President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and the Unsinkable Molly Brown have stayed.
Day 10GLENWOOD SPRINGS–GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD–DENVER
 Making Tracks in the Old West Travel through the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains to historic Georgetown for a scenic ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Continue east to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation. (B,D)

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC RIDE Climb aboard the historic Georgetown Railroad to be immersed in the rugged beauty of the Rockies. Envision the old railroad days as you roll through stunning views of aspen trees, pines, and firs with views of Clear Creek Canyon.
Day 11DENVER
 Safe travels until we meet again! Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Included Globus Meals

Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Related Globus Tours

NC - Historic Trains of the Old West
NCS - With Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Globus Pricing Details

Gratuities for Tour Director and driver are available for pre-purchase.

Globus Notes

Enjoy spectacular fall colors on our Fall Foliage departure: October 2 & 9 departures (Mother Nature permitting).

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Globus Tour Dates


Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
*Tour Land StartGlobus RetailRequest Quote
Guaranteed Departure 10/02/2024 $4,549.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/02/2024 $4,549.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/09/2024 $4,549.00
10/09/2024 $4,549.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/01/2025 $5,009.00
10/01/2025 $5,009.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/08/2025 $5,009.00
10/08/2025 $5,009.00
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