This new tour is not to be confused with the extremely popular Presley Tours Southwest Canyonlands tour but includes different attractions focusing on the culture of the Southwest Native Americans.
This Southwest Native American Cultural Tour, offered for the first time by Presley Tours, is designed for individuals who desire an understanding of some of the indigenous cultures of the Southwestern United States, with a focus on the Pueblo cultures of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and the Hopi people. The tour aims to further knowledge, understanding and respect for ancient cultures which this landscape has shaped. Once we reach Albuquerque, the tour will be accompanied by a local “Southwest” Native guide in addition to your Presley tour director. This outstanding tour offers locations not offered by most tour operators. The tour will be offered as a motor coach tour or by air, for those who choose to arrange their air into Albuquerque to meet the group. Air travelers will be picked up at the airport by the hotel shuttle.
• June 19–30, 2013 (12 days)
Those departing by motor coach will depart today and continue to Oklahoma City to overnight. Hotel: Springhill Suites, Oklahoma City.
Today we motor coach to Albuquerque, NM, where this evening we meet our Southwest Native guide for an orientation meeting at our hotel. Guests flying into Albuquerque will be picked up at the airport by the hotel shuttle. Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Albuquerque.
After breakfast, we visit New Mexico’s 400 year-old capital city, Santa Fe, an hour north of Albuquerque. Downtown Santa Fe is home to numerous galleries, museums and restaurants and has long ranked as a favorite destination. It is one of America’s oldest and most beautiful cities founded by Spanish missionaries a decade before the Pilgrims reach Plymouth Rock. Spread across a high plateau at the foot of the stunning Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this city still glories in the adobe houses and baroque churches of its original architects. On the way, we visit the mission church at Santo Domingo Pueblo. Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Albuquerque.
Following breakfast, we visit the Turquoise Museum and Albuquerque’s Old Town District. The Turquoise Museum and its collection of turquoise have been used as a source of information for over 40 years. Hear about the history of turquoise and its important relationship to the people of the Southwest. After lunch, we see traditional dances and learn about New Mexico’s pueblo tribes at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, whose purpose is to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo Culture and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo People in New Mexico. It is the gateway to 19 pueblos in New Mexico.
Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Albuquerque.
Today we follow the old U.S. Route 66, as our tour visits the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. The Pueblo of Laguna and Acoma Pueblo have many ties, including location, language and a shared high school. Mission San Jose de la Laguna was erected by the Spanish at the old pueblo, finished around July 4, 1699. The Laguna people value intellectual activity and education so a scholarship program has led to many well-educated Lagunas. Uranium mining on the pueblo land has contributed to this scholarship program. The Lagunas enjoy baseball and are skilled in pottery. Laguna Construction Company, a construction company owned by the Pueblo of Laguna, is one of the largest U.S. contractors in Iraq, with reconstruction contracts worth more than $300 million since 2004. The Acoma have continuously occupied the area for over 800 years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. Sky City or Old Acoma is one of three Acoma reservations. Today’s journey concludes in Window Rock, AZ. Hotel: Quality Inn, Window Rock.
A magnificent opportunity awaits us today as we tour Canyon de Chelly – the spiritual heart of the Navajo – in a customized jeep! The breathtaking and awesome scenery provides an experience of a lifetime as the inspiring Canyon De Chelly Tour Guides engage you from the beginning to the end, and beyond! From a range of natural landscape, including an array of colorful culture that inhabited the canyon’s past to present, discover just how versatile time has been on Mother Earth. The views can be picturesque! Your exploration through the vibrant artworks of nature keeps unfolding where time never stood still. The oral stories that are told from generation to generation will unravel with the secrets the canyon possesses. We also visit the historic Hubbell Trading Post, where Native Americans would bring their goods to trade or sell. What a fantastic day!! We return to our hotel in Window Rock for the night.
Hotel: Quality Inn, Window Rock.
This morning we visit St. Michael Indian School, founded in 1902 by Saint Katharine Drexel. Today’s school provides education for students from kindergarten through high school. We observe demonstrations of traditional jewelry making, weaving and have lunch with the students. In the afternoon, we travel to Gallup for a presentation at the Southwest Indian Foundation. The Foundation started in 1968 to provide assistance for the Native Americans of the area, emphasizing self-help in order to restore pride and independence. The non-profit organization offers assistance to the elderly, handicapped and families with dependent children. They serve the Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and other pueblo tribes of the area. Profits from their catalog merchandise go directly back to the Native Americans in their many philanthropic programs. Hotel: Quality Inn, Window Rock.
Today takes us to Monument Valley, in the northern extreme of the Navajo Reservation. This area became world famous after serving as the backdrop for numerous Westerns. We will enjoy it from a unique perspective – through the eyes of our Native guide. Enroute, we visit Dine College, the oldest tribally controlled college in the United States and the Code Talkers Museum in Kayenta. The museum is dedicated to providing historical clarity, accuracy and context in preserving the extraordinary contribution of the Navajo Code Talkers for future generations. The museum serves as the repository for the once-secret military voice code and the legendary skill, endurance, courage and ingenuity of the Navajo Code Talkers. Leaving Monument Valley, the tour continues to Moenkopi for the night.
Hotel: Either Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites or Cameron Trading Post Lodge.
Today we explore the Grand Canyon, a sacred and majestic landmark to many of the cultures that have lived in and around it. Hear the stories of the early people who lived here from the Native American perspective. Hotel: Either Moenkopi Legacy inn and Suites or Cameron Trading Post Lodge.
As we depart from Moenkopi, we visit the mesas of the Hopi people. A native guide leads a walking tour of Old Oraibi, one of the oldest Hopi villages. Oraibi was founded sometime before the year 1100 AD, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements within the United States. Archeologists speculate that a series of severe droughts in the late 13th century forced the Hopi to abandon several smaller villages in the region and consolidate within a few population centers. Oraibi remained unknown to European explorers until about 1540 when Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Tovar encountered the Hopi while searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Today we drive through the lands of the Southwest Native Americans as we return to Albuquerque for the night. Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Albuquerque.
Whether by plane or by motor coach, today we depart from our awe-inspiring Southwest Native American Cultural Tour with fantastic memories, new-found friends and remarkable photographs !!! We motor to Oklahoma City for the night.
Today we return to our departure points via motor coach with memories of the interesting, enjoyable and truly memorable activities from the Southwest Cultural Tour.
MOTOR COACH DEPARTURES: East Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur, Springfield, Litchfield, Pontoon Beach, Hazelwood, Kirkwood