Ancient cultures, adventure and conservation across New Mexico and Colorado

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of New Mexico and the stunning natural beauty and lands of Colorado on this 9-day escape to the American Southwest. Begin your journey in Santa Fe, where a vibrant modern city gives way to ancient homes and traditions. Through New Mexico's high desert in Taos, explore spectacular landscapes, a rich artistic past, and historic sites before continuing into Colorado for hands-on conservation at The Nature Conservancy's Zapata Ranch. Between mountains, grasslands, desert, ancient cultures, and vibrant cities, this trip offers an action-packed journey filled with the natural and cultural beauty that highlights the best of the southwest.

New Mexico & Colorado: 9 Days / 8 Nights

DAYS 1, 2 & 3:

Arrive in Santa Fe, pick up rental car. Hotel Chimayo

DAYS 4 & 5:

Drive north to the town of Taos. Palacio de la Marquesa

DAYS 6, 7 & 8:

Drive two hours north to Colorado. Zapata Ranch

DAY 9:

Drive to Denver and fly home


  • Explore Santa Fe by e-bike, visit the pygmy forests of the Santa Fe river, take a walking tour of a historic neighborhood and an evening arts tour.
  • Spend the day exploring Bandelier National Monument, dedicated to the preservation of the settlements and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans. The dwellings, built into the side of sheer cliffs, are a portal into the lives of the ancient peoples of North America, and were built long before Machu Picchu! The cultural significance of this site cannot be overstated, and visiting is a unique and moving experience that you will not want to miss.
  • In Taos, New Mexico's High Desert, explore the Rio Grande Gorge before heading to a local winery. Soar above the city in a hot air balloon at sunrise and cap the afternoon with fly fishing, hiking, or mountain biking.
  • Join the hands-on activities at Zapata Ranch, a working farm and conservation project stewarded by The Nature Conservancy. This biologically significant area boasts several rare animal and plant species—some found nowhere else in the world. During your stay enjoy horseback riding, explore a variety of hikes and natural experiences, spot wildlife, go white water rafting or relax in a nearby hot spring. Make sure to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park, America's newest national park, which you can explore by horseback, by 4x4, or by 'sled' as you tumble down the dunes, fun for adults and children alike. In the early spring and summer, the snow melt from the Rockies forms a unique paradise of seasonal streams, pools, and rivers.


Starting at $6,500 per person without rental car, based on two people sharing

Itinerary map

Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe

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Palacio de Marquesa

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Zapata Ranch

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Easy Extensions

After arriving in Denver, spend a few days exploring the Mile-High city, taking time to soak in the arts scene, sample delicious culinary delights, and more! If you choose to journey west during the winter months, a variety of world-class ski mountains are also available near the city.

Other Itineraries to Explore

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