Celebrating 50 Years | 1967 - 2017
Escorted Tours & Cruise Vacations

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Southwestern Tour

From $1299 (was $1549)

10 Days

Passport Not Required

View Dates and Prices

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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Southwestern Tour Westbound - Itinerary

Tour Starts: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tour Ends: Phoenix, Arizona

Day 1


Your Southwestern tour begins upon your 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.

MCM Elegante 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 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. 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 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.

MCM Elegante 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 archeological 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.

The Lodge at Santa Fe or similar

Day 4

UFO Museum & Roswell

This morning we head to Roswell. 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.

Days Inn Roswell 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.

Days Inn Roswell or similar

Day 6

White Sands National Monument & Las Cruces

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.

Ramada Las Cruces or similar

Day 7

Tombstone & Tucson

Continuing west this morning, we will cross into Arizona 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 Holiday, preserved with their original 1880’s buildings. See the famed OK Corral, the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper office, Crystal Palace and the Boothill Graveyard – the last home to the famous and infamous. 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.

Red Lion Tucson 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.

Wekopa Resort & Conference Center or similar

Day 9


Today you will have a full day to explore on your own or join one of our optional tours. Take an optional Sunrise Balloon Flight yourself! Take in the fresh air as you glide in a balloon over the beautiful and just awakening flora fauna at sunrise. Alternatively, you may decide to join in an optional visit to Old Town Scottsdale to shop and browse the art galleries. The rest of the evening is at leisure; perhaps you’ll want to join your group for a rustic cowboy style dinner (optional and at an additional cost).

Wekopa Resort & Conference Center or similar

Option: Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

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.
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.