By: Sunny Lewis, Senior Certified Travel Consultant
Just west of my home state of Texas sits the beautiful state of New Mexico. I took a fascinating journey through this spectacular state on the New Mexico – Land of Enchantment with Tauck. My 8 day adventure began with a small disappointment but ended gloriously.
The tour began in historic Albuquerque. After spending a night at the glorious Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, we set out, predawn, the next day for the famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, where we joined thousands of people from around the world to witness the launching of an amazing array of hot air balloons. However, the weather did not cooperate, and it was too windy for a launching, but at least we had the experience of being there. Tauck is a deluxe tour company, and they can do almost anything for their clients…except control the weather (:-). All was not lost however, because Albuquerque has a lot of other things to offer a traveler.
From the Balloon Fiesta, we headed to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, where we were introduced to Pueblo life and history. From there, we went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science, where we were treated to a private tour led by a retired nuclear physicist. This was a high point for me, because I love World War II history, and we learned a lot about New Mexico’s unique atomic history. After that, we descended the Sandia Mountains on a Tram for an awesome view of the city.
On day 3 of our New Mexico Land of Enchantment with Tauck tour, we headed to Taos, where we stayed at the beautiful El Monte Sagrado Living Resort. On the way to Taos, we traveled through the stunning Jemez Mountains to Bandelier National Monument. This is the ancestral home of the Pueblo people, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its ancient ruins and petroglyphs. While there, I encountered two vacationing Santa Clauses, who posed for a picture with me. Now we know where Santa goes to get away from the North Pole!
While in Taos, we visited Taos Pueblo, a communal dwelling, where the architecture and lifestyle reflect a culture dating back more than 1000 years. We were joined by a storyteller, who shared tales of influential women in Taos, as we made our way to the Taos Rio Grande Gorge Bridge where had an amazing view of the wondrous gorge.
From Taos we headed to Sante Fe. En route, we took a float trip down the Rio Grande, and were joined by a Pueblo interpreter guide who shared rich history and information about the wildlife, birds, and landscape. We also visited Ghost Ranch, where the artist Georgia O’Keeffe lived and worked. I enjoyed seeing the desert landscapes that inspired some of her famous works.
Once in Santa Fe, we embarked on a guided walking tour that explored the diverse cultural influences of the city. Later, we experienced a true taste of New Mexico, where we enjoyed a demonstration and lunch at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. This was so much fun, and the food was delicious. I felt like we were on the Food Network! On the last day in Santa Fe, we were treated to early-bird admission and a privately guided tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, to view the artist’s vivid interpretations of New Mexico. While in Santa Fe, we stayed at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa, which is walking distance from the city center. On the last night, we were treated to a wonderful farewell reception and dinner to conclude our perfectly lovely trip through colorful New Mexico.
I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing trip through New Mexico Land of Enchantment with Tauck. New Mexico has rich history, great cuisine, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. I highly recommend this trip. I am on a personal mission to visit all 50 states, and I am so glad I chose New Mexico for this stage of my journey.
Who knew that I could be transported so completely in a 2 hour and 15 minute plane ride? You should go too!
Senior Travel Consultant, CTA
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