From: June 3 to June 8, 2017

Destination: Santa Fe, NM and surrounding areas

  • Treasures of Santa Fe - FULL

    Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, has long been known for its fascinating history, its stunning natural beauty, its vibrant arts and culture, and its great cuisine. It also provides a comfortable base for exploring other parts of northern New Mexico. On this trip, we've picked a sample of the best that it has to offer for five days of fun and adventure. We'll go hiking, browse Santa Fe's galleries and museums, visit the ancient town of Taos, explore Bandelier National Monument, and soothe our muscles at the spa at Ten Thousand Waves. An optional extension includes visits to Acoma and Chaco Culture National Park. Maximum group size: 12
    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).
  • Saturday, June 3: The trip begins at the Albuquerque airport (ABQ) at 1pm. After brief introductions we're off to Santa Fe, one of the most beautiful small towns in the US. While today Santa Fe is associated with art and fashion, it is also a very well preserved Hispanic town. The longest continuously inhabited state capital in the U.S., it was founded 13 years before Plymouth Colony. The city has been the capital for the Spanish "Kingdom of New Mexico," the Mexican province of Nuevo Mejico, the American territory of New Mexico, and, since 1912, the state of New Mexico. Its history, combined with traditional architecture and outstanding natural setting at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, are undoubtedly what drew artists to the area in the early 20th century and transformed Santa Fe into the town we think of today.

    We'll start our visit with an historical walking tour of Santa Fe to get us oriented to the city, introduce us to some of its famous sites, and inform us about New Mexican history. Tonight we will get our first taste of New Mexican cuisine at a nearby restaurant. For those who are not too jet-lagged, a stroll up Canyon Road at night is always a pleasant way to end the evening. D

    Sunday, June 4: After a delicious breakfast we'll hike in the mountains and and forests north of Santa Fe. The trail is a 4.5-mile loop through that drops down into a shady valley full of aspen, fir and pine trees. After stopping for lunch and a break at a beautiful spot along Tesuque Creek, we'll head back up onto the ridge along sweeping switchbacks to complete the trail. At an elevation of 8,900 feet we will certainly take time to enjoy the scenery!  When we return to town you have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Santa Fe's many museums and galleries. If that isn't appealing, your guides are happy to go on another hike or perhaps check out other outdoor options with you. We'll gather again in early evening to explore one of Santa Fe's other culinary options. B, L, D

    Monday, June 5: Today is Taos Day!! We'll leave early for the drive to Taos and start with a visit to the Taos Pueblo. Featured in the paintings of many of New Mexico's artists, it has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years and its multi-storied pueblo buildings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a guided tour and time to look around on our own, we'll head to the Taos Plaza. Smaller than Santa Fe's square, it too retains traditional architecture while being home to numerous shops and galleries. After a picnic lunch in the square we will head out for an afternoon of incredibly fun whitewater rafting on the class 2 and 3 rapids (possibly higher this time of year) of a section of the Rio Grande called the Racecourse.  We return to Santa Fe in the early evening after having dinner on the way back. B, L, D

    Tuesday: June 6: You can't go out west without going for a horseback ride at least once, can you? Of course not! What better way to see the rolling plains than on the back of a horse. We'll go for a 1.5 hour trail ride at a ranch just a short drive from Santa Fe. We will ride in small groups throughout the day and when you aren't riding you can get lunch in town and will have a chance to visit the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. In addition to permanently housing some of O'Keefe's most well known works, there are continually changing exhibits that place her work in a broader context. There is also an excellent movie that explains her evolution as a woman and an artist. And finally in late afternoon, we head for Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese-style health spa with hot tubs situated on the side of a mountain - a perfect way to soothe any aches we may be feeling from that morning horseback ride. Dinner is on your own tonight and if you've been wanting to try one of the haute cuisine restaurants for which Santa Fe is known, this would be the night. Or if you prefer to stay at Ten Thousand Waves  you can enjoy a massage or another treatment and have dinner there.   B

    Wednesday, June 7: In the morning we leave for Bandelier National Monument, home to the Ancestral Pueblo people from the 12th to the 16th century. We'll start with a hike outside the main canyon, The 1.5 mile Tsankawi Loop trail that goes over the top of an unexcavated large Ancestral Pueblo Ruins site on a mesa top and passes some cliff dwellings along the cliff face. We then continue to the main section of Bandelier, Frijoles Canyon. After stopping by the Visitor Center, we'll follow a paved trail through the middle of Frijoles Canyon that showcases not only several well-preserved easily accessible ruins but also the beauty of this red rock canyon. We will return to Albuquerque, about a 2 drive in late afternoon and share a final farewell dinner together at a nearby restaurant. Overnight Albuquerque B, L, D

    Thursday, June 8: The trip officially ends this morning and you are free to leave anytime today. BUT if you have more time and a keen interest in Native American history, then join us for a few more days as we head west. In that case, rather than catching the shuttle to the airport, your next few days will look like this:

    After breakfast we'll start with a visit to the nearby Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The museum provides a good overview of the history and culture of each of the state's 19 Pueblo Indian tribes. We then go even further back in time with a visit to Petroglyph National Monument, the site of hundreds petroglyphs that were created by both the earliest and the most recent inhabitants. Our hike on the Mesa Point Trail passes lots of petroglyphs as it winds its way to the mesa top. From here a 360 degree view provides views of Albuquerque and the Sandia mountains to the east, the Sangre de Cristos to the north, and the extinct volcanoes to the west.

    And finally we'll visit Acoma Pueblo. Acoma is built on top of a sandstone mesa, rising over 350 feet from its base. Fifty to a hundred people still live on the mesa, making it one of the two oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the US (the other being Taos Pueblo). Our guided tour will give us insight into both the history and present of this beautiful place. After a very full day, we'll spend the night in Grants, NM. Overnight Grants B, L, D

    Friday, June 9: We get an early start this morning so that we can have a full day at Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Chaco Canyon, the focal point of Ancient Puebloan culture, contains over a dozen major pueblo ruins. While the Ancient Puebloans lived over the entire Four Corners area, their civilization is generally regarded as having reached its pinnacle in Chaco. Advanced building techniques, irrigation systems, and astronomical observations, are all evidence of a very advanced civilization that flourished there around 1000 AD. That civilization collapsed after 1200 AD for reasons that are still unclear and the people dispersed to become the forefathers of today's Rio Grande Pueblo people. The isolation and vastness of the Canyon contribute to its sense of mystery and majesty. We start at the very informative Visitors Center. From there we can visit some of the ruins, possibly including one that is a three mile hike up on the rim. There is more to see than we can fit in, and we'll leave with a much better appreciation of this amazing culture. Note: The drive to Chaco Canyon takes about 2 hours each way on rough roads, the reason why it receives few visitors than you would expect Is it worth it? We think so! Overnight Grants B, L, D

    Saturday, June 10: Although we have been in and out of Albuquerque, we haven't really spent any time there. So today we will start with seeing it from the very different perspective of a kayak as we paddle down the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande is the reason Albuquerque is located where it is and our kayak trip (canoes are also available) is down a stretch of river that encompasses the area where the Coronado campaign wintered in 1540. We will put in among a beautiful stand of cottonwoods in Algodones, then traverse approximately 9 1/2 miles of remarkably secluded Rio Grande valley. The upper section of this trip features several interesting ancient volcanic formations and two small, Class I rapids. Further down the river begins to widen and slow, while the Bosque opens regularly to reveal spectacular views of the Sandia mountains. After finishing our trip, we'll have some time free to wander Albuquerque's Old Town. Lastly, we will enjoy our picnic dinner with sweeping views of Albuquerque and finish our trip to New Mexico relaxing and watching the sunset. B, L, D

    Sunday, June 11: Now maybe you're ready to go home? There are so many more things you could do if you have time, but if you don't, you're free to leave anytime. B
  • $1895 (click here for discounts) $300 deposit. You can check out our cancellation policies here. There are a limited number of single rooms for those who prefer their own room for an additional $425. The extension is $750 and requires at least 5 people

    Trip Includes

    • Experienced guides
    • Five nights lodging in double occupancy rooms
    • Great meals in wonderful local restaurants
    • Whitewater rafting and horseback riding
    • All transportation within New Mexico
    • Entrance to Taos Pueblo and Bandelier National Monument
    • All lodging, meals, and activities on the extension.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    We can always accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, and omnivore diets. On most trips we can also accommodate lactose-free, vegan, and other restricted diets, although in some locations the availability of special food may be limited. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Exploring the natural beauty of northern New Mexico by foot, horseback, raft, and van
  • Learning about Native American history at Bandelier National Monument and the Taos Pueblo
  • Visiting Santa Fe's many galleries and museums, including the Georgia O'Keefe museum
  • Savoring New Mexico cuisine

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