Learn about the traditions, legends, and archaeological finds of Mesa Verde National Park and Chaco Culture, both World Heritage sites, and other significant sites of the Southwest during this new tour.

Starting at: $4,845 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The cliff dwelling of Mesa Verde  Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde. Credit: NPS / Sandy Groves  Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde. Credit: NPS  Bonito Canyon, Chaco Canyon  Bonito Canyon, Chaco Canyon  Petroglyphs at Chaco Canyon  Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon  Spider Rock Overlook, Canyon de Chelly. Credit: NPS  Sliding House Overlook, Canyon de Chelly. Credit: NPS  White House Ruin, Canyon de Chelly. Credit: NPS  White House Trail, Canyon de Chelly. Credit: NPS  Pueblo of Acoma

Pueblo Culture and History

Mesa Verde, Chaco Culture, Canyon de Chelly, and Pueblo of Acoma

8 days from $4,845

Learn about the traditions, legends, and archaeological finds of Mesa Verde National Park and Chaco Culture, both World Heritage sites, and other significant sites of the Southwest during this new tour.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Strater Hotel

Durango, Colorado, United States

Originally constructed in 1887, the fully renovated Strater Hotel continues to maintain an authentic, Victorian atmosphere. The hotel features 93 guest rooms, all uniquely decorated in Victorian style, with period wallpaper and one of the world’s largest collections of American Victorian walnut antique furniture. Each guest room features a private bath, air conditioning, a telephone/voicemail, cable television, complimentary WiFi, and laundry service at an additional charge. Dining is available in the Mahogany Grille and the Diamond Belle Saloon offers a and authentic ragtime piano bar experience. The hotel’s Henry Strater Theatre offers live entertainment year-round, featuring melodrama, vaudeville, comedy, music, and more. The charming shops and restaurants of Durango are just outside the hotel’s doors.

Number of nights: 1

Casa Blanca Inn & Suites

Farmington, New Mexico, United States

Casa Blanca sits in a quiet residential neighborhood just a few blocks from the shops and restaurants of Farmington’s Main Street. The inn was built in the 1940s, the home of a wealthy family that traded with the Navajos. There are nine spacious rooms, each with private bath, pillow-top beds, line-dried linens, cable television, a coffee maker, complimentary WiFi, a hair dryer, iron, ironing board, and robes. The inn has a guest library, living room, and dining room, and outside are beautiful gardens, shade trees, ponds, and inviting sitting areas. Relax at day’s end in the soothing hot tub, and wake to a delicious Southwestern-style full breakfast each morning.

Number of nights: 2

Thunderbird Lodge

Chinle, Arizona, United States

Thunderbird Lodge sits on the site of the historic 1896 Chinle Trading Post and is Navajo-owned and operated. The lodge is motel-style and built of adobe, and the grounds are laden with tall shade-producing cottonwood trees that were planted in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps—a beautiful thing on a hot day!

There are 73 rooms, each with air-conditioning, cable television, a telephone, coffee maker, iron, ironing board, and hair dryer. Complimentary WiFi is available. Cell service is available within walking distance from the hotel, but is spotty. Onsite is a restaurant, business center, guest laundry, and trading post. The Trading Post is a gift shop, where you can purchase Navajo-made jewelry, pottery, rugs, and more. 

Number of nights: 2

Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Grants, NM

Grants, New Mexico, United States

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Grants-Milan is a simply decorated, modern and comfortable hotel chosen for it’s location and services. There are 76 guest rooms, each with a flat-screen cable and satellite television, telephone/voicemail, coffee maker, microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, iron, and ironing board. A hot breakfast buffet is available each morning. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool tub, a fitness center, a business center, and complimentary WiFi.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

The Hotel Albuquerque Old Town sits in the heart of Albuquerque’s historic Old Town Plaza and museum district, and is within walking distance to shops, galleries, museums, and restaurants. The hotel was recently renovated, and features hand-forged iron chandeliers, Navajo rugs, and historic photographs, all working together to create an inviting, authentic New Mexican feeling. The hotel has 188 rooms, each with private bath, sitting area, television, telephone/voicemail, complimentary WiFi, hairdryers, iron and ironing board. Services include an ATM, business center, and laundry / dry cleaning services. There is an outdoor pool, work-out facility, Joseph’s Salon and Say Spa, and the lovely Grand Sala, an inviting great room for gathering, reading, or relaxing. Cristobal’s restaurant serves tapas and traditional Spanish recipes and is open for dinner, and the Café Plazuela Cantina serves lighter New Mexican fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Levels

Activity Level 3: Moderately Active

Expectations: This is a moderately active program incorporating walks and hikes from 1 up to 7 miles round-trip with options (at times) for shorter walks and hikes, most on well-marked trails. This trip visits several remote areas, so it should be expected that many of the trails will be rocky, uneven and dusty with little or no shade in many areas visited. Elevation gains during walks and hikes can be strenuous and participants may be affected with shortness of breath. The time on the trails will be taken at an easy to moderate pace suitable for study. A full-day 4-wheel drive tour is also included with off-road driving featuring uneven, rocky and dusty road surfaces. There will also be quite a bit of paved road driving to visit these National Parks and Monuments and these drives will often be through Navajo lands. Vans/coaches will be airconditioned. The sun will be very strong, so participants are urged to bring a sunhat, sunglasses and sunblock. It is also highly recommended to dress in layers and wear trail shoes with a sturdy tread or well-worn hiking boots as well as having rainwear on hand. A full list of suggested items to pack and “what to expect” will be included with your pre-tour documents.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a somewhat vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to five hours of physical activity per day and can endure a fair amount of physical exertion.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

All Roads Are Good: Native Voices on Life and Culture (Native American Studies)
By: West, W. Richard
Lonely Planet Southwest USA (Regional Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, McNaughtan, Hugh, McCarthy, Carolyn, Pitts, Christopher, Walker, Benedict
American Indians/American Presidents: A History
By: National Museum of the American Indian, Trafzer, Clifford E.
CREATION'S JOURNEY Native American Identity and Belief
By: National Museum of the American Indian (

Also Recommended

Essays on Native Modernism: Complexity and Contradiction in American Indian Art
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions [A Cookbook]
By: Smithsonian American Indian, Divina, Fernando, Divina, Marlene
Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations
Native American Dance: Ceremonies and Social Traditions
By: National Museum of the American Indian (U. S.)
Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History
By: Joe S. Sando
Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Navajo
By: Charles River Editors
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII
By: Nez, Chester, Schiess Avila, Judith
Indian Arts of the Southwest
By: Page, Susanne, Page, Jake
Falling Girl: A Navajo Nation Mystery
By: Chappell, R. Allen
Runner in the Sun (Zia Books)
By: McNickle, D'Arcy
The National Parks: America's Best Idea
Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces
By: NMAI
30x48 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (30x48 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.