Native American Pueblos
The ancestral Pueblos of the American Southwest left us an extraordinary archaeological legacy in their magnificent dwellings, cliff palaces, towers, shrines and petroglyph panels. Once the hubs of an expansive civilisation, these sites were already abandoned when the Navajo peoples moved in after 1300, and so they simply described them as the ‘ancient ones’ or Anasazi, and left the deserted ruins well alone. Their civilisation continues today in the Native American Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona, stretching across the so-called ‘corner states’. Our tour of these pueblos includes exclusive special access affording us real insight, whether it’s behind the scenes at Albuquerque’s Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, or exploring the untouched settlements of the Gallisteo Basin.
- Discover extraordinary rock art and architecture of the Anasazi
- Travel with Dr Steve Lekson — director of over 20 archaeological projects across the Southwest — and enjoy special access to sites and excavations
- Immerse yourself in magnificent, sweeping landscapes of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona
- The New World
- Rock Art
- All Inclusive
We fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and transfer to our hotel.
We begin our tour with a special access visit to the fine Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque, where we enjoy an introductory talk and exclusive access to the museum’s reserve collections.
We continue to Acoma Pueblo, perhaps the oldest township in North America, occupied by the Acoma Pueblo tribe for more than 800 years.
We go cross country to Chaco Canyon, home to one of the largest concentrations of Anasazi ruins - ‘Great Houses’, Kiva shrines, rock art and more. This afternoon, we drive on to Durango, Colorado.
We spend the morning at Chimney Rock, an extraordinary outcrop rising like a lighthouse over the Piedra River plain. We move on to the Southern Ute Museum at Ignacio to explore the culture of the Ute indigenous peoples, and then to the ‘Aztec Ruins’.
We spend a full day at Mesa Verde, the largest archaeological preserve in the United States. There are over 600 Anasazi cliff dwellings here dating from the 7th century AD, including the marvelous Cliff Palace.
We move on to Crow Canyon Archaeological Centre to visit its laboratories, experimental archaeology and excavation. We also visit Bluff via the lonely towers of Hovenweep National Monument.
We take to the water for a trip on the San Juan River to see the Sand Island and impressive Butler Wash rock art panels. We move on to the iconic landscapes of Monument Valley.
We make our way to Canyon de Chelly where we transfer into smaller vehicles for a visit to the winding canyons of this redstone fastness. This may be a National Monument, but it is also the heartland of the Navajo Nation. The extensive canyon floor contains many monuments including great houses and the rock art of the Anasazi and Navajo peoples.
We travel from Chinle to Santa Fe, stopping en route at the historic
Hubbell Trading Post. Traders like Hubbell could be a vital help for the Native Americans in marketing their goods, textiles and basket-ware.
We enjoy a privileged full day of special access to the untouched settlements and rock art sites of the Gallisteo Basin to view further examples of Anasazi rock art.
Our final visit is to the 1000 year old Taos Pueblo, considered the oldest inhabited community in the USA.
We travel to Albuquerque before our flight back to the UK.
We arrive in London on the morning of Day 13.
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
- Hotels - 3 nights in an upscale boutique hotel in Albuquerque, 2 nights in a modern hotel in Durango, 1 night in a comfortable Cortez hotel, 1 night in a rustic hotel in Bluff, 1 night in a lodge in Mon. Valley, 3 nights in 4* Southwestern-style lodgings in Santa Fe
- Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Albuquerque
3 nights in an upscale boutique hotel in Albuquerque
2 nights in a modern hotel in Durango
1 night in a comfortable Cortez hotel
1 night in a rustic hotel in Bluff
1 night in a lodge in Mon. Valley
3 nights in 4* Southwestern-style lodgings in Santa Fe