Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Southwestern Tour

From $1399 (was $1649)

per person, double occupancy, excludes roundtrip airfare

10 Days
View Dates and Prices

This program is currently sold out but new dates are coming soon! Call 877-332-6185 for more details.

Introduction

This fall tour has it all: historic Western towns, out-of-this-world intrigue in Roswell, Native American culture, the incredible beauty of the desert, stunning sunsets and of course, the spectacle of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Enjoy hundreds of colorful balloons soaring at once, floating over the picturesque Sandia Mountains in the quiet morning. The colors are luminous and rich while the technique, skill, and timing is precise. In the evening, you walk among the balloons as the propane burner’s twinkle and illuminate the aircrafts against the black sky backdrop. It happens every autumn in gorgeous New Mexico at the world’s biggest Balloon Festival, The International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Before or after the festival, we will then take you on a journey to discover the Southwest. Enjoy the great food, and experience the rich and complex history of this hidden corner of America. From the expansive sparkling desert of the White Sands National Monument to the quirky attractions of Roswell and Tombstone, New Mexico and Arizona are waiting to be explored! With such amazing sights, history, and culture this tour is ideal for all!

Trip Includes

Sightseeing
  • Scottsdale
  • Tucson
  • Tombstone
  • Las Cruces
  • Roswell
  • White Sands National Monument
  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Santa Fe
  • Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Hotel Accommodations
  • 9 Nights
  • Moderate hotels based on twin/double occupancy
Meals
  • 9 Breakfasts
Service
  • A professionally trained local tour director who is knowledgeable of the area and will provide you with a wealth of information. Their friendly service will make your trip a memorable experience.
Baggage Handling
  • To and from your hotel room throughout your land tour for one piece of Checked Baggage per person.

Activity Level

Activity Level Moderate Active

Click here for full details.

Trip Highlights

  • Witness the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the largest in the world
  • Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride a Hot Air Balloon (optional and at an additional cost)
  • Soak up the history and culture of New Mexico in Albuquerque and Santa Fe
  • Tour Roswell with its fascinating exhibits of the alleged UFO crash
  • Visit Carlsbad Caverns, the largest caves in the world
  • See the expansive and striking White Sands National Monument
  • Visit Tombstone and the infamous O.K. Corral

*Offers valid for new bookings only and subject to availability. Offer may be cancelled at any time. Please follow the steps below to price your vacation with YMT. When you complete all the steps, please click "Reserve" next to the date on which you would like to travel.

Step 1

Airfare to tour:

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(Click the map to enlarge)

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Southwestern Tour - Start Albuquerque

Tours Starts: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tours Ends: Phoenix, Arizona

Day 1

Albuquerque

Your tour begins with arrival in Albuquerque. Guests who have purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations will be welcomed in the baggage claim area by a YMT representative who will arrange your transfer to the hotel. If you made other flight arrangements, please make your own way to the hotel.

Ramada Hotel Downtown or similar

Day 2

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Get up early to witness the famed Hot Air Balloon Fiesta’s mass ascension. See hundreds of colorful balloons inflate with giant fans then slowly rise to float into the clear blue sky. Learn the history of this unique Fiesta, and the simple mechanics of hot air ballooning, while witnessing it with your own eyes. As you proceed for some Albuquerque sightseeing, keep an eye peeled for these balloons – as they land in the most unexpected places! We explore historic Old Town - secluded gardens and patios nestled between winding brick paths full of charming shops, galleries and delicious New Mexican cuisine (meals on your own). The Old Town Plaza has been the focal point of the community since 1706. At night we return to the balloon launch site for the “After Glow,” when all the balloons fire their burners at the same time, illuminating the night sky. This event is followed by a spectacular fireworks display that you will surely enjoy to watch. (B)

Ramada Hotel Downtown or similar

Day 3

Bandelier National Monument & Santa Fe

In the morning we will cross the Santa Fe National Forest and continue to Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier protects Ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites within a wild and beautiful landscape and connects the modern Pueblo people to their past in a monument covering 33,000+ acres and over 70 miles of trail. The day ends in Santa Fe. (B)

The Lodge at Santa Fe or similar

Day 4

UFO Museum & Roswell

This morning we head to Roswell, best known for the Roswell alleged UFO sightings. Guests can enjoy a short visit to the International UFO Museum & Research Center, with its eclectic collection of space objects and dioramas depicting the story of the purported 1947 UFO crash just outside town. (B)

Holiday Inn Express or similar

Day 5

Carlsbad Caverns

This morning we drive south through the Chihuahuan Desert, filled with prickly pears, chollas and agaves, to visit incredible Carlsbad Caverns National Park, with 100 of the largest caves in the world. These limestone caverns were formed 250 million years ago - the stalagmite and stalactites that abound in this subterranean world are truly a wonder to explore. At night we will return to Roswell once more. (B)

Holiday Inn Express or similar

Day 6

White Sands National Monument & Las Cruces

See the unusual and beautiful White Sands National Monument! After an orientation at the Visitors Center, we drive through wave-like dunes of gypsum sand – brilliant snow-white dunes whose color changes with the sun and topography. (B)

La Quinta Las Cruces or similar

Day 7

Tombstone & Tucson

This morning, travel through ranches and towns that claim a colorful history of Apache raids, outlaws and gunfights, stopping in the most famous of them all – Tombstone! Walk the same historic streets as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, which are preserved with their original 1880’s buildings. See the famed OK Corral, the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper office, and Crystal Palace. Then upon arrival in Tucson this afternoon, visit the San Xavier del Bac Mission. Known as “the White Dove of the Desert,” it is considered one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the USA. (B)

Best Western Tucson Foothills or similar

Day 8

Casa Grande National Monument & Phoenix

Today, we depart the “Sunshine City of the Southwest” for Phoenix, the “Valley of the Sun.” En route we will stop to explore the ancient Native American ruins at Casa Grande National Monument, our nation’s first archaeological preserve. This evening, perhaps you’ll want to join your group for a rustic cowboy style dinner (optional and at an additional cost). (B)

Embassy Suites Phoenix-Downtown North or similar

Day 9

Scottsdale Leisure Day

Today is your day to explore the Scottsdale area on your own. This city just outside of Phoenix is known for its spa resorts and golf courses, and has a wonderful Old Town— the perfect place to shop and browse art galleries. As an appropriate ending to your Southwestern Tour with Balloon Fiesta, you also have the opportunity today to take an optional Sunrise Balloon Flight! Enjoy the fresh air as you glide over the beautiful and just awaking flora and fauna at sunrise. This magnificent experience is not to be missed! (B)

Embassy Suites Phoenix-Downtown North or similar

OPTION: SUNRISE HOT AIR 
BALLOON RIDE
OPTION: SUNRISE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE :

Glide into the air high above the Sonoran Desert and enjoy the magnificent views of nature awakening as the sun rises on this approx. hour-long flight, just $225p/p. Please add this option at time of booking.








Day 10

Depart Phoenix for Home

Depart for home with fond memories of newfound friends and plenty of photographs of the varied scenery seen on this tour. (B)


Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tours vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.

(Click the map to enlarge)

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Southwestern Tour - Start Phoenix

Tours Starts: Phoenx, Arizona

Tours Ends: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Day 1

Arrive in Phoenix

Your Southwestern tour begins upon your arrival in Arizona's exciting capital. Guests who have purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations will be welcomed in the baggage claim area by a YMT representative who will arrange your transfer to the hotel. If you made other flight arrangements, please make your own way to the hotel. Perhaps you'll want to join your group for a rustic cowboy style dinner (optional and at an additional cost).

Embassy Suites Phoenix-Downtown North or similar

Day 2

Scottsdale Leisure Day

Today is your day to explore the Scottsdale area on your own. This city just outside of Phoenix is known for its spa resorts and golf courses, and has a wonderful Old Town—the perfect place to shop and browse art galleries. As an appropriate opening to your Southwestern Tour with Balloon Fiesta, you also have the opportunity today to take an optional Sunrise Balloon Flight! Enjoy the fresh air as you glide over the beautiful and just awaking flora and fauna at sunrise. This magnificent experience is not to be missed! (B)

Embassy Suites Phoenix-Downtown North or similar

OPTION: SUNRISE HOT AIR 
BALLOON RIDE
OPTION: SUNRISE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE :

Glide into the air high above the Sonoran Desert and enjoy the magnificent views of nature awakening as the sun rises on this approx. hour-long flight, just $225p/p. Please add this option at time of booking.








Day 3

Tucson

Today, we depart the “Valley of the Sun” for Tucson, the “Sunshine City of the Southwest.” En route we will stop to explore the ancient Native American ruins at Casa Grande National Monument, our nation’s first archaeological preserve. Then, upon arrival in Tucson, we will visit the San Xavier del Bac Mission. Known as the "White Dove of the Desert,” it is considered one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the USA. (B)

Best Western Tucson Foothills or similar

Day 4

Tombstone & Las Cruces

Continuing east this morning, we will cross into New Mexico in the afternoon. In the morning, travel through ranches and towns that claim a colorful history of Apache raids, outlaws and gunfights, stopping in the most famous of them all—Tombstone! Walk the same historic streets as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, preserved with their original 1880s buildings. See the famed O.K. Corral, the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper office, and Crystal Palace. The day ends in Las Cruces, New Mexico. (B)

La Quinta Las Cruces or similar

Day 5

White Sands National Monument & Roswell

This morning a first highlight of the New Mexico landscape awaits: The unusual and beautiful White Sands National Monument! After an orientation at the Visitors Center, we drive through wave-like dunes of gypsum sand— brilliant snow-white dunes whose color changes with the sun and topography. (B)

Holiday Inn Express or similar

Day 6

Carlsbad Caverns

Today we drive south through the Chihuahuan Desert, which is filled with prickly pears, chollas and agaves, on our way to visit the incredible Carlsbad Caverns National Park, home to 100 of the largest caves in the world. These limestone caverns were formed 250 million years ago— the stalagmite and stalactites that abound in this subterranean world are truly a wonder to explore. (B)

Holiday Inn Express or similar

Day 7

UFO Museum & Santa Fe

This morning as a nod to Roswell’s pop culture fame, best known for the Roswell alleged UFO sightings, we will pay a short visit to the International UFO Museum & Research Center, with its eclectic collection of space objects and dioramas depicting the story of the purported 1947 UFO crash just outside town. Then we travel along the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway, then through the wide-open spaces and big skies to southwestern New Mexico. We will arrive in Santa Fe early afternoon, just in time for a leisurely lunch on your own in the beautiful historic center or some self-guided walking through the city’s charming southwestern art galleries and shops. (B)

The Lodge at Santa Fe or similar

Day 8

Bandelier National Monument & Albuquerque

In the morning we will cross the Santa Fe National Forest and continue to Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier protects Ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites within a wild and beautiful landscape and connects the modern Pueblo people to their past in a monument covering more than 33,000 acres and over 70 miles of trail. The day ends in Albuquerque. (B)

Ramada Hotel Midtown or similar

Day 9

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Get up early to witness the famed hot air balloon Fiesta’s Mass Ascension. See hundreds of colorful balloons slowly rise to float into the clear blue New Mexico sky. Learn the history of this unique fiesta, and the simple mechanics of hot air ballooning while witnessing it with your own eyes. After the morning's activities, you'll have time on your own to explore historic Old Town— secluded gardens and patios nestled between winding brick paths full of charming shops, galleries and delicious New Mexican cuisine you can enjoy on your own. The Old Town Plaza has been the focal point of the community since 1706. In the evening we return to the balloon launch site for the “Afterglow,” when all the balloons fire their burners at the same time, illuminating the night sky. This event is followed by a spectacular fireworks display that you will surely enjoy to watch. (B)

Ramada Hotel Midtown or similar

Day 10

Depart for Home (B)


Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tours vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.


YMT Vacations itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

Watch a short video about this tour!



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