Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico

Art & History of the Southwest

  • Date

    May 3-8, 2020 | Sun / Fri – 6 Days

  • Location

    Albuquerque |  Madrid |  Santa Fe |  Chimayo | Taos

Overview

The rugged beauty of New Mexico’s northern mountains and high deserts inspired artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Henry Sharp, and Victor Higgins, a Hoosier, 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. 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 in Taos was listed on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s “Top 25 Resorts in the Southwest.”

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.

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
  • Spend 3 nights at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe and 2 nights at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Escorted
  • 5 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 lunch, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling

NOTE:

This itinerary covers areas of higher altitudes and includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required.

Itinerary

Sun, May 3: Fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico and transfer by 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 4: 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 with a historic walking tour in the Plaza and a visit to the Loretto Chapel before continuing by motorcoach down the Old Santa Fe Trail, passing museum hill, Canyon Road galleries, and the capitol building. Next, take a docent-led tour of 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. Spend the rest of the day on your own exploring more of Santa Fe. (B)

Tue, May 5: Enjoy the entire day on your own to see Museum Hill and Canyon Road, shop in boutiques, relax at specialty cafes, or visit historic churches. An optional trip will be offered to the Puye Cliff Dwellings for a cliff dwellings and mesa top tour*. The Puye Cliffs were home to Pueblo Indians who lived there from the 900’s to 1580 A.D.  Their ancestors now reside in more modern dwellings about 10 miles east of the cliffs, in the Rio Grande Valley and are known today as the Santa Clara people. The Puye Cliffs are comprised of two levels; cave dwellings cut into the cliff face, as well as dwellings on the mesa top. This is the largest of all settlements in the Pajarito Plateau, and was the first of the ancient pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley to be excavated (1907), and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966. (B)  *Pending confirmation

Wed, May 6: 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 El 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. Late afternoon, return to Taos and check in to El Monte Sagrado Resort. (B)

Thu, May 7: In the morning, 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. Depart for Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu. After lunch at the ranch, travel 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 the history of Ghost Ranch. 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. Return to Taos and enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Fri, May 8: Transfer to Albuquerque and fly home. (B)

Hotels

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. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • restaurant, lounge and bar • outdoor hot tub • fitness center • spa.

El Monte Sagrado Resort, Taos. Mountains and desert surround this modern pueblo-style resort that prides itself on eco-conscious luxury. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, microwave • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • 2 restaurants • bar/lounge • indoor splash pool and sauna • fitness center • spa.

Pricing

  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $2,299
  • Triple P/P – $2,149
  • Single – $2,769
  • Land Only
  • Double P/P – $1,699
  • Triple P/P – $1,549
  • Single – $2,169

*Price subject to change due to fuel surcharge.

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