Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico

Art & History of the Southwest

May 6-11, 2018


Sun / Fri -6 Days

The rugged beauty of New Mexico’s northern mountains and high deserts inspired artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Henry Sharp and Hoosier Victor Higgins to paint and live there. This trip to the Southwest captures the majesty and charm of two of their favorite cities, Santa Fe and Taos. Tour museums and historic adobe churches. Gallery hop and eat delicious local cuisine while staying at two award-winning resorts. As Santa Fe’s oldest, best known hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza has set the standard for elegant accommodations since the early 1900s. Located in the historic heart of the city across from the 1887 St. Francis Cathedral Basilica, it has long been the destination for discriminating travelers, earning a reputation as the crossroads of the world. The legendary Santa Fe Trail ends at La Fonda, signaling to travelers that, wherever their journey began, they’ve finally arrived. El Monte Sagrado Resort was listed on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s “Top 25 Resorts in the Southwest.”

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Santa Fe was founded 400 years ago by Spanish settlers. Known as the “biggest little art city in the world,” Santa Fe has art and crafts made by local artists as well as some of the big names in American Southwest art. Even if you’ve visited Santa Fe before, you’ll find new museums (including the New Mexico History Museum, opened in 2009), new galleries and new restaurants to excite you. But the core charm of the city remains – distinctive adobe buildings more than 200 years old that represent the city’s history as the confluence of Spanish and Native American culture with dashes of the Frontier West.

Taos, tucked into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, has attracted artists since the late 1800s because of its beautiful setting and dramatic light. Today, it’s still full of artists, galleries and travelers who want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the relaxed, creative vibe. There is an interesting mixture of three cultures—Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. You’ll have ample time to explore the downtown galleries and architecture, and enjoy a guided tour of Taos Pueblo, where Native Americans have lived continuously for over a thousand years.

Itinerary Hotels

Sun, May 6: Fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico and transfer by deluxe motorcoach to Madrid via the scenic Turquoise Trail, nestled in a narrow canyon in the Ortiz Mountains. Once a historic coal mining town and later a ghost town, Madrid is now a creative community with shops and galleries representing hundreds of artists. Here, you’ll have free time to explore the shops and enjoy lunch on your own before continuing to Santa Fe. Check in to La Fonda on the Plaza and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers at the hotel. (Meal: Dinner)

Mon, May 7: In the morning, explore Santa Fe with a guided tour. The city, though much smaller than Albuquerque, is New Mexico’s State Capital. Meet your local guide and begin the tour with a historic walk in the Plaza and a visit to the Loretto Chapel before continuing by bus down the Old Santa Fe Trail, passing museum hill, Canyon Road galleries and the capitol building. Next, visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. O’Keeffe’s paintings reflected her love of the New Mexican high desert – animal bones, dramatic cliffs and badlands; other paintings at the museum include some of her large-scale flowers and New York cityscapes as well as art of some of her contemporaries. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own exploring more of Santa Fe.

Tues, May 8: Enjoy the entire day on your own to see Museum Hill and Canyon Road. Shop in boutiques, visit specialty cafes, historic churches, etc. An optional trip will take you to the Puye Cliff Dwellers for a side dwellings and Mesa Top Tour.

Wed, May 9: Check out of the hotel and depart for Taos, located 70 miles north of Santa Fe. Take the High Road and stop in Chimayo, a small village that is famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families. It is also known as the home of the famous Santuario de Chimayo, an early 19th-century church that has been the destination of countless pilgrims who attribute it with miraculous powers of healing. Transfer to downtown Taos with lunch and free time on your own. Culturally rich and yet a small town, Taos was the site of the original Taos Ten artists (which included Shelbyville, Indiana native Victor Higgins,) who made it an artists’ colony back in the late 1800s. Visit Taos Pueblo on the northern outskirts of town. These two amazing five-story adobe structures, in the shadow of Taos Mountain, were built between 1000 and 1450 A.D. and have been inhabited for over 1,000 years. Approximately 150 people still live within the Pueblo full time, and privately owned shops and galleries throughout the village support the numerous local artists. Take a short jaunt to see the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, located just outside Taos. The river runs 650 feet below the bridge in a spectacular, immense, steep rock canyon. Late afternoon, return to Taos and check in to El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos.

Thurs, May 10: In the morning, load your coach and depart for St. Francis of Assisi Church for a chance to explore its history. This historic church, four miles south of Taos in Rancho de Taos, dates from 1772. Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams have memorialized this famous church because of its unique massive adobe and masonry architecture. This edifice is ideally entered through the garden on the west side to fully appreciate its enormous structure and authentic adobe construction. After your visit at the church, it’s time to depart for Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu. After lunch at the ranch (included), travel by bus (several miles out and back) to a restricted area of Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted many of her best-known landscapes. Stops are made to take in the fresh air, beauty and perspectives that O’Keeffe found so inspiring. Your guide provides stories of O’Keeffe and her life at the Ranch as well as history of Ghost Ranch. Return to Taos this evening to cook, eat, laugh and learn in a “hands on” cooking class with Chef Chris Maher, past recipient of six 4-Diamond Culinary Awards and a James Beard recognized chef. Following the instruction, enjoy feasting on your delectable creations! (L, D)

Fri, May 11: Transfer to Albuquerque and fly home.

La Fonda On the Plaza, Santa Fe
Famed Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem and celebrated Southwest designer Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter collaborated on the hotel’s distinctive appearance which had once been a Harvey House, creating the friendly ambiance that has made La Fonda on the Plaza a beloved landmark for generations. Santa Fe was the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail, and there has been an inn or fonda on this corner for the past 400 years, making this historic location the oldest hotel corner in America. Highlights: plush guest rooms with handcrafted furniture and original artwork • in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • restaurant, lounge and bar • room service • fitness center • outdoor hot tub • spa.

El Monte Sagrado Resort, Taos
Mountains and desert surround this modern pueblo-style resort that prides itself on eco-conscious luxury. Rooms are spacious with Native American influences artfully represented in hand-painted walls, local art, and gas fireplaces. Highlights: guest rooms with unique decors • flat screen TVs • iPod docking station • high-speed Internet access (fees apply) • two restaurants • bar/lounge • room service • 24-hour fitness center • indoor splash pool and sauna • spa • art gallery.

Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico Pricing

Per Person*

Package with Air

Land Only

Double P/P



Triple P/P






Ambassadair Trip #7301

Highlights Include

  • Santa Fe city tour
  • Guided tour of Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
  • Scenic drive to Taos
  • Guided tour of Taos Pueblo
  • Guided tour of Ghost Ranch
  • Cooking class with gourmet meal

Package Includes

  • R/T commercial air from Indianapolis to Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 3 nights accommodations in Santa Fe
  • 2 nights accommodations in Taos
  • 1 lunch
  • 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling
  • Escorted from Indianapolis

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