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The New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque’s 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a pilgrimage. There’s something for everyone to enjoy…whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air & wonder; the smell of roasting chiles; and the thrilling roar of hundreds of burners simultaneously igniting at nightfall, turning the Park into a huge lighted Christmas tree of colorful balloons. The Balloon Fiesta, with its modest beginnings in 1972 with only 13 balloons, is now the most photographed event on earth as hundreds of balloons color the sky! Imagine 54 football fields all put together, that’s the size of the launch field! Guests are privileged to walk the field & be part of the action.

 

Day 1 – Home to Albuquerque, NM

We board our morning flight excited and full of anticipation to experience first-hand and up-close one of the world’s most spectacular and colorful events. Arriving at lunch time, it’s appropriate that we find ourselves having lunch at the Route 66 Diner which is full of nostalgia, history, and great food. To get ourselves adequately prepared for the adventure of the next few days, we next visit the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Let your imagination soar as you discover the world of ballooning. This world class museum showcases a vast collection of balloons, art work, and aerial artifacts. Exhibits show the history of ballooning and highlights the science that has thrilled human imagination for more than a century. Our comfy home the next four nights is the beautiful Drury Inn, carefully selected for its convenient location just a short distance from the Balloon Fiesta Park. This evening our included welcome dinner is proudly served at El Pinto Restaurant, voted Best New Mexican Restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico according to the “Best of City” annual survey conducted by Albuquerque the magazine.  Come see why El Pinto is the local favorite for authentic New Mexican Cuisine! They use the recipes of the owners’ grandmother, Josephina Chavez-Griggs. Their family was the first to differentiate their cuisine as “New Mexican.”

Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Drury Inn of Albuquerque (4 nights)

 

Day 2 – Albuquerque

We arise early this morning! Breakfast is ready! This year’s theme is “Enchanted Sunrise” and we have to be settled in our reserved viewing spots by sunrise. R&J has arranged for the best way to experience this amazing event with reservations in a Fiesta Hospitality Tent. Our coach will take us just a few steps from the tent where upon our arrival a crew of volunteers and Balloon Fiesta staff will welcome us. Once inside the tent, which is heated for comfort, light refreshments such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea, lemonade, donuts and cookies are provided. Next, we have further upgraded our balloon fiesta experience to include the exclusive Chasers Club, which gives us guaranteed private seating in an outdoor patio located next to the launch field on the north end of the field. Here you can enjoy a hot food item along with refreshments. This morning features the largest exhibition of Custom Shaped Balloons in the world at the Special Shape Rodeo. We return to the hotel to refresh before we make our way to Sandia Peak. A trip on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway transports you in their enclosed gondolas above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles. See some of nature’s more dramatic beauty unfold before you. The desert skies produce a spectacular array of color and your vantage point from the observation deck atop 10,378 ft Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest, affords an 11,000 sq-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley, Albuquerque, and the Land of Enchantment. We head back to our hotel for some relaxing time before we return to the Fiesta and our Chasers Club reservations for a once in a lifetime evening. Tonight’s feature is a Special Shapes Glowdeo! Fiesta Glow is when all the balloons fire their burners and light up at the same time. This is perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta, plus it’s followed by New Mexico’s most spectacular Afterglow Fireworks Show!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner

 

Day 3 – Albuquerque

Another early morning with the same routine as we return, with confident experience, to our wonderful & exclusive Chasers Club reserved accommodations for a spectacular event. The Mass Ascension of hundreds of colorful hot air balloons in the early morning New Mexico sky is one of the most awe-inspiring scenes you will ever experience. Words are incapable of describing this. You will have the freedom to “walk the field,” observing the balloonist crew prepare for flight and feel the power and thunder of their mighty burners. This afternoon the Albuquerque Museum enriches our visit to this beautiful area. The museum’s regional art collection focuses on the Amercian Southwest and its history & photo archive collections primarily relate to the life and culture of Albuquerque and the middle Rio Grande Valley. The museum is also perfectly located in Old Town where we will have extended time to explore this interesting, historic area. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since it was founded in 1706. Centered around the plaza, Old Town encompasses about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings. On the north side of the plaza is the San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, built in 1793. Surrounding the church, settlers built their homes, shops and government offices, many of which have since been converted into the restaurants, art galleries, and shops that comprise Old Town today, leaving it look much like it did when it was built centuries ago. Its Pueblo-Spanish style architecture with flat-roofed buildings and soft contours of adobe mirror the Southwestern landscape. Long portals (porches) line the fronts of most buildings, offering shade from the New Mexican sun. Bancos (benches) are often found built into the back walls of the portals, providing the perfect place for weary walkers to sit and watch the world go by. For almost three centuries, Old Town has been the crossroads of the Southwest. Enjoy dinner on your own, choosing from many selections of unique restaurants.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Brunch

 

Day 4 – Sante Fe

Following hot breakfast at our hotel, we board the motorcoach for today’s destination, Santa Fe, New Mexico – a magical, exuberant, colorful journey at any time of year. Its legendary history & culture will fascinate and inspire you. The city of Santa Fe was originally occupied by a number of Pueblo Indian villages, with founding dates between 1050 to 1150. One of the earliest known settlements, in what today is downtown Santa Fe, came sometime after 900 CE. A Native American group built a cluster of homes that centered around the site of today’s Plaza and spread for half a mile to the south and west. This is some of the oldest living history in all of America! We’ll explore this fascinating area in style aboard a guided open-air tram tour highlighting important historic sights as well as restaurants and shops. We make the restaurant choice easy however, as we host lunch at a popular venue noted for its superb and authentic cuisine. We return to Albuquerque via the scenic route. Dinner this evening can be enjoyed right at our hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5 – Albuquerque to Home

Our last breakfast in the Southwest fairyland is appreciated at the hotel before our morning direct flight back home. Arriving early in the afternoon enables us to avoid the rush hour and reflect on the incredible memories of the past few days that seem to have unfolded all to quickly.

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

 

Awesome Optional Opportunity!

Balloon Fiesta Balloon Rides are available!

Rainbow Ryders — Official Balloon Ride Concession

Price: $275.00 per person

Make this reservation, by June 1st, with R & J Tours.

Full payment must be included with the reservation.

ALL SEATS FIRST CLASS! So come join the fun,

embark upon a journey of uniqueness!

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $1,699
Single: $1,999
Triple: $1,619
Quad: $1,569

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $129
Single: $129

Travel Bucks

$30 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$200 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 45 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Moderate Walking at your own pace.

Price Includes

Rt Airfare including taxes, fuel surcharges, & baggage fees! 11 Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated, Luxury Motorcoach



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 71°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
60°
Minneapolis, Mn
60°
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (FULL: Call for waitlist!)
Flyaway Departure Date:
10/10/2013
Flyaway Return Date:
10/14/2013

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Highlights

Direct flights to & from Albuquerque
Three visits to the Balloon Fiesta
Exclusive reserved hospitality at the Fiesta
Special Shapes Rodeo & Glowdeo
Mass Ascension
Balloon Fiesta Fireworks
Anderson-Abruzza International Balloon Museum
Sandia Peak Aerial Tram
Day trip to Santa Fe – Guided Tour
Albuquerque Museum
El Pinto Restaurant
Old Town Albuquerque
Four nights at the Drury Inn in Albuquerque
11 Meals Included



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
60°
Minneapolis, Mn
60°
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (FULL: Call for waitlist!)
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 71°
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