Colonial Williamsburg

ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA
Small-Group (Max 20)

Balloon Fiesta – Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum – Bandelier National Monument –  Santa Fe

October 1 – 5 (4 nights/5 days)
$2,460 per person double occupancy
$3,400 single occupancy
Airfare not included.

Claim this tour for your group only! Minimum 14 – Maxiumum 20.

Contact Liz at liz@tour-monkey.com, 323-383-3216.

BOOK NOW

Registration deadline August 1, 2021

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DESCRIPTION

Tour Monkey invites you to a must-see Bucket List experience – the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! The Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning event in the world, the most photographed event in the world, and the largest annual international event held in the United States. We visit the fiesta grounds twice! Nearly 600 balloons are estimated to participate in the event that covers an area the size of 54 football fields. One-hundred of the balloons are special-shaped, like Darth Vader! Walk the field, interact with the pilots and zebras (field directors), watch the crews fire up the balloons, and witness their glow against the pre-dawn sky. The morning mass ascension is something to behold, y’all. Later in the day, we return for the evening glow and fireworks. A visit to the Land of Enchantment would not be complete without a visit to Old Town Albuquerque, the Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – a site owned by 19 Indian pueblos of New Mexico.

On our way to Santa Fe – the capital of New Mexico – we stop at the impressive Bandelier National monument for a self-guided tour of ancient pueblos dating between 1150 and 1600 AD. We settle in for a 2-night stay in the heart of historic Santa Fe, the hub of culturally significant architecture, creative arts, museums, and shops. After a morning orientation trolley tour, the day is yours to explore. We convene in the evening for a farewell get-together at the acclaimed Santa Fe School of Cooking!

This festive getaway is limited to 20 travelers! The activity level is moderate.

  • Small-group tour (minimum of 14 and maximum of 20)
  • Services of Professional Tour Manager, Liz Moran
  • Shared roundtrip transfers from ABQ to hotel and hotel to SAF
  • 2 nights at the historic Andaluz Curio Collection by Hilton (Albuquerque), 4-star (AAA Diamond Award, Conde Nast Top Hotels of the Southwest, and the coveted LEED Gold Certification)
    • Arrival and departure luggage porterage included
    • Daily breakfast
  • 2 nights at the Southwest-inspired Eldorado Hotel & Spa (Santa Fe), 4-star (AAA Diamond Award)
    • Arrival and departure luggage porterage included
    • Daily breakfast
  • Tour orientation, followed by a Welcome Dinner at (D) at the hotel’s fine dining establishment, MAS Tapas y Vino
  • Admission to two balloon fiesta ‘sessions’: Morning Glow and Mass Ascension, and Twinkle Twinkle Glow and Fireworks
  • Admission to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
  • Admission to the Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum
  • Gourmet brunch at El Pinto
  • Admission to Bandelier National Monument
  • Morning trolley tour of Santa Fe
  • Farewell Dinner and hands-on cooking demonstration at the Santa Fe School of Cooking
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers
  • Airfare to/from destination. Please do not book your flight until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the tour is a go!
  • Individual Travel Insurance. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance that includes a ‘cancel for any reason’ policy. Please consult a travel insurance broker such as Travel Insurance Center at travelinsurancecenter.com.
  • Meals not included in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses, such as room service, snacks and beverages, mini bar, telephone, etc.
  • Gratuity to housekeeping staff is at your discretion

DAY 1: Friday, October 1 – ARRIVAL (D) – ALBUQUERQUE

Plan to arrive at Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ) by 2pm for your transfer to the ANDALUZ. Check-in is at 3pm. You will meet your fellow travelers at a brief tour orientation before we segue to MAS TAPAS Y VINO for our Welcome Dinner. With your bellies full, sleep tight, Tour Monkeys. We have an early morning rise and full day tomorrow!

ACCOMMODATION: 2 nights at the 4-star Andaluz Curio Collection by Hilton

DAY 2: Saturday, October 2 – ALBUQUERQUE (B L)

This morning we embark early for the BALLOON FIESTA GROUNDS! Our coach will park in a premium VIP lot. The 78-acre launch field is equivalent to 54 football fields. Walk the grassy field (or paved pathway) and watch as the balloons are set up and fired up, glowing against the pre-dawn sky. Talk to the pilots, zebras (launch directors) and chase crews. Watch the Mass Ascension, a launch of all the participating balloons. Mid-morning, we head over to the INDIAN PUEBLO CULTRAL CENTER featuring native dance, crafts and exhibits, and an included lunch! A brief time in historic OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE follows. After an afternoon rest, we head back to the BALLOON FIESTA GROUNDS for the Twinkle Twinkle Glow and fireworks!

DAY 3: Sunday, October 3 – ALBUQUERQUE – BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT – SANTA FE (B L)

Our day begins with a visit to the world-class ANDERSON-ABRUZZO BALLOON MUSEUM dedicated to the history, science, and art of ballooning. Down the road, a scrumptious brunch awaits us at EL PINTO. Then, we head north to BANDELIER NATIONAL MONMENT for a self-guided tour of ancient pueblos dating between 1150 and 1600 AD. We arrive at Eldorado, our hotel in the heart of SANTA FE just in time for dinner on your own! Our upscale pueblo-style hotel is a 2-block walk from both Santa Fe Plaza and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

ACCOMMODATION: 2 nights at the 4-star Eldorado Hotel & Spa

DAY 4: Monday, October 4 – SANTA FE – SANTA FE SCHOOL OF COOKING (B D)

This morning, we embark on a private one-hour TROLLEY TOUR of historic SANTA FE, which includes admission to LORETTO CHAPEL, home of the miraculous spiral staircase. The rest of the day is yours to explore this beautiful city. We convene in the evening for a short walk to THE SANTA FE SCHOOL OF COOKING for our Farewell Dinner demonstration and hands-on component! It’s a fabulous menu, y’all!

DAY 5: Tuesday, October 5 – DEPARTURES (B)

Check out is high noon! Transportation will be arranged for your transfer to SAF. Thank you for traveling with Tour Monkey. We have you will join us again for another adventure. There’s a whole lot of world to see, Tour Monkeys! Cover the Earth before the earth covers you!

FAQ

WHEN DOES THE TOUR BEGIN AND END EXACTLY?

The 4 night/5 day Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta tour begins on Friday, October 1 at the Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque at 125 2nd St NW, Albuquerque, NM, (505) 242-9090. Hotel check-in begins at 3:00pm. If you arrive early, your luggage can be stored at the bell desk. Please arrive by 4:30pm. We will have a tour orientation meeting at 5pm, then segue to our Welcome Dinner at the hotel. If you would like to arrive a day earlier, please let Tour Monkey know. Availability is not guaranteed. The tour ends on departure day, Tuesday, October 5. Check-out is at noon. If you would to extend your stay, please advise Tour Monkey. Availability is not guaranteed.

WILL TOUR MONKEY BOOK MY FLIGHTS?

No. You are responsible for purchasing roundtrip airfare. However, group tickets can be arranged upon request. Please DO NOT book your flights until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the trip is a go!

DO YOU PROVIDE AIRPORT TRANSFERS?

Shared airport transfers from the destination airport (ABQ) to the hotel (Andaluz) and the hotel (Eldorado) to SAF is included in the price of the tour. Driver gratuities are also included! If you are arriving a day early and/or are extending your stay in Santa Fe, transfers from/to the airport is on your own.

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP?

The deadline to register for this trip is August 1. Please click the Book Now button! You will need to fill out a registration page before securing your spot with a deposit (see below).

BOOK NOW

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY FOR MY TRIP?

A deposit of $250 per person is due at the time of reservation. The balance is due by August 1. Reservations made after August 1 (pending availability) must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Please know that a 2.9% credit card fee is included in the price of the tour. Please consider paying for your trip via a free bank transfer from your checking account. We will donate the credit card fee amount to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. Tour Monkey will match cumulative donations up to $500. Please see our website www.tour-monkey.com for more information about this worthwhile organization.

WILL I GET A REFUND IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?

In the event that it is necessary for you to cancel, a refund is as follows:

  • 61 days (August 1) or earlier: 100% refunded, less $250 administration fee
  • 60 days (August 2) to 0 prior to arrival date: No refund!

All cancellations must be in writing and confirmed by email from Tour Monkey. Please see the Terms & Conditions clause Tour Monkey sent you for a more detailed explanation.

CAN A SOLO TRAVELER BE MATCHED WITH A ROOMMATE?

If solo travelers wish to be matched, Tour Monkey will provide traveler contact information. Tour Monkey suggests you meet in person or video chat to determine if you are compatible.

I RESERVED MY SPOT, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You will also be sent via email a MEDICAL FORM that must be completed and returned. We know this information is personal; however, please be assured that it is only for Tour Monkey and will not be shared with anyone else. In the unlikely event that you are injured during the trip, your medical information may be needed by medical professionals.

Tour Monkey highly recommends that you purchase TRAVEL INSURANCE. We recommend you consult with a travel insurance broker, such as Travel Insurance Center. Please purchase a CFAR (cancel for any reason) policy. Tour Monkey does not receive a commission for recommending this company. They can compare over 100 plans from more than 20 companies, finding a policy that best suits your needs.

WHAT KIND OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS REQUIRED?

The tour is designed for active travelers, who can easily walk a minimum of 3 miles per day.

WHAT KIND OF VEHICLE WILL WE BE TOURING IN?

Tour Monkey has secured a coach for this trip!

WHAT TYPE OF GRATUITIES SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?

Thanks for asking! Arrival and departure luggage porterage is included in the price of your tour. All gratuities for drivers and guides has been included in the price of your tour.

BALLOON FIESTA QUESTIONS:

Q  Is there seating available at Balloon Fiesta Park?

A  Yes, a limited number of benches and bleachers are available.

Q  What are typical weather conditions at Balloon Fiesta Park in October, and what do I wear?

A  Generally, temperatures in the morning are around 40°F, warming up to about 70°F by noon. Bring a jacket (gloves and scarf, if needed) and dress in layers. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring sunscreen to put on after the sun is up. You will be at a high altitude and are at risk for sunburn. Bring glasses and/or sun glasses. There is no coat check at the Chaser’s Club and travelers will not have access to the bus.

Q  Are there restriction on what I can bring into Balloon Fiesta Park?

A  According to the Balloon Fiesta Website:

  • Conceal Carry, weapons and knives are not allowed during the event.
  • Metal detectors will be used at our public entrances. Each entrance will have six or more security lanes with marked “Bag Check” lanes and “Express” lanes (without bags or with only small, clear, plastic bags).
  • All bags will be checked by Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Officers before being allowed onto Balloon Fiesta Park.
  • Limit the number of items you bring to Balloon Fiesta Park.
  • When possible, bring personal items in a clear or see-through bag or container. Use of a small, clear, plastic bag will allow you to utilize the Express Lanes into the Park.

Q  Are there places to eat on the field?

A  Yes. There are food vendors at Balloon Fiesta Park serving a variety of foods. There is over 1/3 of a mile of concessions on the field. (Breakfast and dinner are included at the Chaser’s Club.)

Q  What is the toilet situation?

A  There are ‘upscale’ port a potties around park.

Q  Smoking?

A  Smoking is prohibited on the Launch Field. Smoking is permitted in designated locations on Main Street.

I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION!

Please email liz@tour-monkey.com.