Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour

Finding Your Bliss in the Land of Enchantment for Women

Road Scholar Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
91%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
6 days
From: $ 1,499 $ 250 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit the Santa Fe Mountain Cloud Zen Center and enjoy a private painting class
  • Journey by coach to Ojo Caliente and marvel at incredibly colorful landscapes
  • Enjoy creative cuisine at unique restaurants

Short Description

Learn about the restorative traditions of Santa Fe as you hear about traditional healing techniques, experience a Zen Center and soak in a mineral hot spring.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1
Program Registration, Orientation, Blessing Ceremony, Dinner
Santa Fe, N.M. D Inn on the Alameda
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration 4:00-5:00 p.m.: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in. Orientation 5:00-6:30 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Plated meal in hotel meeting room includes soup or salad, seasonal entrées, dessert, coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase).

Evening: Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.

Day 2
History, Healing Practices, Cooking School, Meditation Class
Santa Fe, N.M. B,L,D Inn on the Alameda
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 10 miles over the course of the day; walking several blocks over varied terrain with inclines.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet usually includes fresh-cut fruits, organic dairy and cereal products, juices, an array of pastries, and savory options like quiche or stuffed croissants, and locally-roasted organic fair-trade coffee, tea and water.

Morning: After breakfast, in our hotel meeting room, our Group Leader will present a historical overview of Santa Fe, as well as the history of healing practices in the area. Since early Native American civilizations spread throughout the Southwest, there have been medicine men and shamans; when the Spanish and Mexicans arrived in the 1500s, curanderos and curanderas came with them and shared their knowledge of herbs and other healing methods. With the influx of other cultures, additional groups brought their own healing methods and techniques. Today, the area boasts very contemporary practices brought by different religious groups, cultural groups and individuals; all seem to exist together in relative peace and harmony. After class, we'll go to the Santa Fe School of Cooking for a demonstration class presented by one of their accomplished chefs. Santa Fe's unique cuisine melds the region's rich cultural traditions with new ideas to create a contemporary style of health-conscious Southwestern fare. We will experience this unique cuisine in depth, including the techniques of master chefs, the lore of the region and fabulous food.

Lunch: At the Santa Fe School of Cooking we'll enjoy the dishes we saw prepared during the morning's class. Iced tea, coffee and water included.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll board our motorcoach and travel to the Mountain Cloud Zen Center for an introduction to daily meditation. Located just outside Santa Fe, the center combines traditional Japanese elements with Southwestern culture. Following our visit, we'll return to the hotel to enjoy some leisure time before dinner.

Dinner: Plated meal at a nearby local restaurant with a choice of entrées, tea, coffee and water (additional beverages may be available for purchase).

Evening: We will walk back to the hotel for rest of the evening at leisure to explore some of Santa Fe's nightlife, get to know our fellow participants, or relax at the hotel.

Day 3
Ghost Ranch Education Center, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
Santa Fe, N.M. B,L,D Inn on the Alameda
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 150 miles over the course of the day; optional hikes of up to 3 miles roundtrip with some elevation gains at Ghost Ranch.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we'll board our coach and travel 60 miles north to the Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center. Georgia O'Keeffe's first home in New Mexico was located on the ranch property. The ranch is now a retreat operated by the Presbyterian church, which maintains three small museums on site and also several hiking trails into the red-rock country that O'Keeffe's paintings made famous. While her original home is now in private hands and not open to visitors, we will have the opportunity to see the landscape that so enchanted O'Keeffe that she moved permanently to the area.

Lunch: At the Ghost Ranch cafeteria, enjoy a buffet with salad, an entrée, and dessert, plus water, coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll depart for Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs where we'll have the rest of the afternoon free to explore, soak, hike or walk the Resort's labyrinth. (Please bring a swimsuit and flip-flops if you intend to soak.) If you would like to schedule a spa treatment on your own, please call the resort ahead of time (800.222.9162) and schedule your treatment between between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The coach departs for Pojoaque, NM, at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner: On our way back to Santa Fe, we'll dine at Gabriel's, a lovely restaurant in Pojoaque. We’ll order off the menu, which includes a number of starters, soups, salads, entrées and desserts. Coffee, tea and water included; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Once back to the hotel, we'll have the rest of the evening at leisure to explore some of Santa Fe's nightlife, get to know our fellow participants, or relax at the hotel.

Day 4
Yoga Class, Lecture on Women Healers, Hands-On Art Class
Santa Fe, N.M. B,L Inn on the Alameda
Activity note: Gentle yoga class; getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 10 miles over the course of the day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet (after the yoga class).

Morning: This morning will begin with a gentle yoga class in the hotel meeting room. After breakfast, we'll enjoy a presentation by Patricia Padilla, an eighth-generation “Curandera” who will introduce us to the roles and history of these traditional women healers who have played, and still play, such a key role in their communities.

Lunch: Plated meal at the hotel includes a choice of entrées and non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea and water (additional beverages may be available for purchase.)

Afternoon: Following lunch, the motorcoach will depart for Santa Fe Art Classes. Guided by our instructor, a local artist, we will exercise our creative sides and create our own piece of art to take home.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like or sample the local cuisine. Santa Fe is known for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," northern New Mexico cuisine combines elements of Native American and Spanish influences. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 5
Georgia O'Keeffe lecture, Free Afternoon, La Casa Sena
Santa Fe, N.M. B,D Inn on the Alameda
Activity note: Walking up to a mile over paved sidewalks to Sena Plaza.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we'll enjoy an expert-led lecture on Georgia O'Keeffe. One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” O'Keeffe was a leading member of the Stieglitz Circle, early advocates of modern art in America. After moving to northern New Mexico in 1949, O'Keeffe spent the next 26 years producing distinctive and iconic paintings of the area's landscapes, flowers, and other regional subjects.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like or sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Most of the afternoon is free for independent activities. Then, at 5:00 p.m., we'll gather in our hotel meeting room for our program closing, after which we'll walk to Sena Plaza.

Dinner: Plated meal at La Casa Sena Cantina. La Casa Sena is a well-known contemporary restaurant in the Sena Plaza compound. We'll dine in the Cantina, home of the famous Cantina Singers, who will entertain us with some great music, usually Broadway show tunes. There will be several entrées to choose from, as well as an appetizer or a salad and a specially selected dessert.

Evening: Walk back to the hotel.

Day 6
Breakfast
Santa Fe, N.M. B
Activity note: Hotel checkout time: 11:30 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This is the last meal included in the program.

Morning: For those who are departing this morning, hotel checkout time is 11:30 a.m. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Availability

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Price From $ 1,499
Price Per Day: $ 250 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

45 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

91%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 38
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Finding Your Bliss in the Land of Enchantment for Women

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Company Reviews

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

roadscholar-827

Meals Included:

  • 12 Meals
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 3 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Low Salt, Low Fat, Gluten Free
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