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Colorado Trains and Colorful Balloons

11 DAYS • 14 MEALS This is a tour for those who like to travel differently. Ride two Amtrak trains, four historic railroads, and attend the Albuquerque balloon festival.
This tour departs from the Chicagoland/Wisconsin Area

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The Mayflower Tours Way
  • 11 Day Amtrak and Motorcoach Holiday
  • Free home or local pick up and return
  • 14 Meals (4 dinners, 2 lunches and 8 breakfasts)
  • Travel cross country aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr to Denver and home from Albuquerque aboard the Southwest Chief (coach service)
  • Spend 2 nights in Colorado Springs and visit the beautiful Garden of the Gods
  • Ride to the clouds on the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway
  • Journey into the “Grand Canyon of the Arkansas” aboard the Royal Gorge Railroad
  • Ride through the Rocky Mountains aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
  • Experience a piece of western history aboard the Durango & Silverton Railroad
  • Visit Santa Fe and see Loretto Chapel and Governor’s Plaza
  • Enjoy the best of the Balloon Fiesta including the evening Balloon Glow and spectacular fireworks display
  • Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and enjoy free time in Old Town
  • Marvel at the “Mass Ascension” of the balloons and watch as the sky above Albuquerque fills with color in a spectacular display of sight and sound
  • $55 in Mayflower Money
Day One — Enjoy Amtrak to Colorado Board Amtrak’s California Zephyr train service for the overnight journey to Denver, the Mile High City. Day Two — Arrive in Denver After our early arrival in Denver this morning we are joined by a local guide who shows us the Mile High City, part historic western town and part thriving modern city. From the Victorian mansions of “unsinkable Molly Brown” to the gold-domed State Capital, Denver is a blend of old and new. After lunch we travel to Colorado Springs. Lunch Day Three — Colorado Springs In Colorado Springs we visit the stunning Garden of the Gods, a 1300+ acre park where flora and fauna reflect the rich diversity of the terrain, and red sandstone formations tell a unique geological story. The Garden lies at the base of Pikes Peak, which is our next adventure. "Ride to the Clouds!" and board the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest cog railroad in the U.S. stretching nine miles long. Breakfast Day Four — Royal Gorge Scenic Railway Welcome to Canon City, home of the Royal Gorge. Today we enjoy another journey by train aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railway. The 12-mile route follows the most famous portion of the old Denver and Rio Grande Western train line. We ride through the "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas" on an unforgettable journey over the famous Hanging Bridge, which clings precariously to the steep granite walls of the Royal Gorge. This evening we gather for dinner together. Breakfast and dinner Day Five — Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Today we'll ride the original Rio Grande Line over the Rockies aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. This is America's most spectacular narrow gauge steam railroad, covering over 50 miles of wild and rugged territory between Antonito and Cumbres Pass. We enjoy lunch at the halfway stop, Osier, as we imagine the gold and silver miners and loggers who traveled the same route long ago. Breakfast and lunch Day Six — Durango & Silverton Train its "full steam ahead" again today as we board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Voted one of the "Top Ten Most Exciting Train Journeys in the World" by the Society of American Travel Writers, this route winds through the spectacular and breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million acre San Juan National Forest. The locomotives used today remain 100% coal-fired, steam-operated and are maintained in their original condition. This evening we gather again for dinner and reflect on our day's adventure. Breakfast and dinner Day Seven — Santa Fe and Albuquerque Depart Colorado and make a stop in historic Santa Fe, New Mexico. We visit Loretto Chapel, a marvel of architectural ingenuity and see Governor’s Plaza will provide a variety of shops and artist studios. Breakfast and dinner Day Eight — Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta It’s an early start today as we depart for the Fiesta Grounds and the Opening Ceremonies. Founded in 1972, the Fiesta began with 13 balloons and has grown to more than 600 balloons from all over the world. We view the “mass ascension” of these specially shaped balloons as they lift off at sunrise. Later a local guide joins us for a tour of Albuquerque to learn about the history of the area. Just before dusk, the burners of nearly 500 balloons are ignited and the evening sky fills with a kaleidoscope of brilliant, luminous color at the Balloon Glow, followed by a vivid fireworks display. Breakfast Day Nine — Indian Pueblo Cultural Center The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center was designed to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and features original artwork, exhibits and theater presenting the accomplishments of the people of New Mexico. Later, enjoy free time in historic Old Town before our farewell dinner hosted by our Tour Manager. Breakfast and dinner Days Ten and Eleven — Travel Home After free time in the morning, we climb aboard the Southwest Chief. Sit back and relax as the beauty of the nation’s landscape captivates you. Breakfast
Day One Overnight on Amtrak (coach service)* Days Two and Three Drury Inn, Colorado Springs, Colorado Day Four Comfort Inn, Alamosa, Colorado Days Five and Six Sky Ute Casino, Ignacio, Colorado Days Seven through Nine Hyatt Place Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico Day Ten Overnight on Amtrak (coach service)*

*Call for rates on sleeping accommodations aboard Amtrak.

Departure Date Per Person Twin Single Room
September 30, 2017 $3,099 add $999 Available
Reserve now!
October 5, 2017 $3,099 add $999 Available
Reserve now!

Tour Activity Level
LEVEL 3: A blend of longer and shorter days on this program with more walking tours mixed with some periods of standing. Expect more of the touring to be over uneven surfaces or involve stairs.