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.
- Spend an evening listening to a Navajo storyteller
- Visit the largest archaeological preserve in the USA
- Travel by boat along the San Juan river
- Journey to Chaco Canyon, a veritable city state
- Marvel at ancient rock art, towers and shrines
- The New World
- Rock Art
- All Inclusive
- Special Access
On our first day, we fly to Albuquerque from London. We arrive in the evening and from here we check in to our hotel.
In the morning, we drive out from Albuquerque to visit the Petroglyph National Monument, which protects cultural and natural resources including rock art and five volcanic cones. In the afternoon there is free time to relax and explore the town.
Today, we visit the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque town, part of the university. The museum houses and displays artefacts from Ancestral Puebloan cultures from over 11,000 years of history. After lunch, we visit Acoma Pueblo, one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the United States, inhabited for over 2000 years.
Our next day of adventure, we drive out to Chaco Canyon to visit the sites of Pueblo Bonito, the largest great house surviving from Chaco Culture, and the other great houses of Chetro Ketl and Casa Rinconada. Later on, we continue to Durango, which is our base for the next two days.
Today we drive to Chimney Rock, which is a world-famous and truly remarkable natural rock formation that is a key landmark for some Native American communities. Later on, we drive to walk among Aztec Ruins: the remains of a 900-year-old Ancestral Puebloan structure with 400 masonry rooms.
We visit Mesa Verde today, which is famous for its cliff dwellings. For over 700 years Ancestral Puebloans lived high up in structures they built here. We can visit Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House. Later, we drive on to the town of Cortez.
We drive out to Crow Canyon, where we have special access to the laboratories of the research centre. Here we can talk to archaeologists and visit excavations if they are taking place. After lunch at the centre, we drive on to the town of Bluff, stopping off at Hovenweep, which is a complex of 6 prehistoric villages constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries.
This morning we have a very special scenic river boat ride down the San Juan River to admire the magnificent views and appreciate the waterway that was the lifeblood of the region for the prehistoric people. After a picnic lunch, we continue our drive onto the incredible Monument Valley, whose scenery is world-famous for featuring in many western films. This incredible site is characterised by its sandstone buttes, which reach to over 1000 feet!
This morning, we drive to Canyon de Chelly and have a relaxing morning. After lunch, we have a special tour in off-road vehicles to explore the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. People have lived in the canyons here for over 5000 years. Tonight we have extraordinary insight into Native American life with a Navajo storyteller and campfire.
We drive out to Santa Fe, with plenty of rest stops at points of interest. Arriving in the early afternoon, there is some free time to relax or explore Santa Fe town.
Today we visit the beautiful town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the morning we visit the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and then in the afternoon there is free time to explore the beautiful town or rest in the hotel.
We have a very special morning visiting the petroglyphs of Mesa Prieta. The volcanic rocks here served as the perfect canvas for rock art drawings as well as other archaeological features including shrines, water control system and gardens. This site's remote location means it is little-frequented by tourists. In the afternoon, we tour Taos Pueblo, which has multi-storied structures that have been continually inhabited for 1000 years.
On our final day, we drive to Albuquerque where we can visit the Albuquerque Museum, which displays finds from across the region. Later on, we travel to the airport for our flight back to London.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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