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North America
Albuquerque Balloon Festival...

Albuquerque Balloon Festival & U.S. National Parks

12 days
12 days
Group size1535 travelers

4.5 out of 5 stars

Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Discover America’s high-flying traditions and natural wonders.

You can’t help but gaze in awe as you watch hundreds of balloons fill with hot air and float gracefully upward, covering the sky with color. You’ll have the same reaction again and again on this inspiring tour, as you marvel at the Grand Canyon, see the famed Old Faithful, and stand in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Each day displays a new destination—and with it new landscapes and adventures.

Your tour package includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 11 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 9 sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
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Included highlights

  • Albuquerque Balloon Festival
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon
  • Zion National Park
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Albuquerque, New Mexico2 nights
Day 1: Arrival in Albuquerque
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to New Mexico! Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at this evening’s welcome dinner.

Day 2: Albuquerque Balloon festival
Included meal: Breakfast

Wake up early to start your day at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

  • Watch hundreds of balloons take to the sky en masse during the “mass ascension”
  • Enjoy access to a hospitality tent stocked with hot drinks and light snacks
  • See the sky light up during the festival’s AfterGlow Fireworks Show this evening

Please note: Travelers looking to take a hot air balloon ride must book this independently and far in advance through Rainbow Ryders.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado1 night
Day 3: Mesa Verde via Durango
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Colorado, stopping in the Old West mining town of Durango en route to Mesa Verde.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Kayenta, Arizona1 night
Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park & transfer to Kayenta
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a guided tour of Mesa Verde National Park.

  • View fascinating 800-year-old cliff dwellings that honeycomb the walls of the canyon
  • Enjoy free time to visit either the gift shop or Spruce Tree House and Museum

Pass by Monument Valley’s iconic “Mexican Hat,” a sombrero-shaped rock formation, as you travel to Kayenta, Arizona. Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Grand Canyon, Arizona2 nights
Day 5: Grand Canyon via Tuba City
Included meal: Breakfast

Learn about the culture and history of the Navajo tribe during a stop at the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum. Meet with Navajo leader Peter MacDonald and learn about the World War II Code Talkers.

Please note: Meeting Peter MacDonald is not guaranteed.

Then, pay a visit to the Cameron Trading Post before arriving at the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival, take a scenic walk along the South Rim with your Tour Director.

  • Marvel at the rocky formations that reflect millions of years of geological evolution
  • View the Colorado River running one mile below
Day 6: Free day at the Grand Canyon
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day at the Grand Canyon or add an excursion.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride

From $259 per person

Zion National Park, Utah1 night
Day 7: Transfer to Zion National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Pass by the beautiful Vermilion Cliffs National Monument before arriving in Zion National Park.

  • Discover why 19th-century Mormon settlers named the park after their heavenly city
  • View the yellow-and orange-hued dramatically eroded sedimentary rocks
  • Take in magnificent vistas on an open-air tram ride with guided commentary
Salt Lake City, Utah1 night
Day 8: Salt Lake City via Bryce Canyon National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

En route to Utah’s capital city, stop to visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • Tour the park by bus and on foot
  • Take in up-close views of its distinctive pink limestone and sandstone formations, including awe-inspiring arches, spires, and bridges
  • View colorful rock pinnacles known as hoodoos

Then, continue on to Salt Lake City.

Jackson, Wyoming3 nights
Day 9: Transfer to Jackson & Grand Teton National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Cross into Wyoming on a scenic drive to the resort town of Jackson. Then, set out to explore Grand Teton National Park, home to the youngest mountain range in the Rockies.

  • Drive through stunning Logan Canyon and past turquoise Bear Lake
  • Tour Grand Teton National Park by bus and on foot
  • Try and spot elk, coyotes, black bears, wolves, and the elusive mountain lion

Please note: The visit to Grand Teton National Park may take place on day 10 depending on seasonality and weather.

Enjoy a free evening in Jackson.

Day 10: Yellowstone National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Venture out for a full day of sightseeing in Yellowstone National Park, designated as the world’s first national park in 1872.

  • Drive through the park with stops for photos
  • See cascading waterfalls, bubbling mud pots and the famous geyser, Old Faithful
  • Keep an eye out for the bison, mountain goats, moose, and grey wolves that call the park home
Day 11: Free day in Jackson
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Enjoy a free day in Jackson.

Then, head to a local restaurant to celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.5 out of 5

Based on 57 authentic traveler reviews
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    5 out of 5 stars

    10/6/23 by 1st-time traveler Lynn

    Everything about the trip was fantastic. The travelers, tour guide and bus driver were also fantastic. Had a great time

    5 out of 5 stars

    Balloon festival / National parks
    10/6/23 by 1st-time traveler Mary Lou

    This trip was wonderful. Our tour guide Reann went above and beyond. She was such a wonderful guide. Sure we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the feast early, but so worth it. The food was great not a bad meal the whole trip. The mountain ranges were awesome. Wish we had more time at B...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful trip!
    10/6/23 by 1st-time traveler Nancy

    Wonderful trip…… terrific tour guide, ReAnn and bus driver, Robin! We covered a lot of territory (about 1200+ miles) with attention to detail in and out of hotels. Nice pace for tours, frequent stops to stretch and use facilities as needed. Provided meals were all good options. We thankfully had ...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 11/9/23

    Thank you for leaving a review. We are glad that y...

    Read more +
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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque

    This freshly renovated hotel is located in the heart of downtown Albuquerque, NM. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, panoramic views of the Sandia Mountai...

    Read more +
    Far View Lodge
    Far View Lodge

    This newly renovated hotel is located outside Mesa Verde National Park. Guests enjoy traditional Western décor and delicious dining. Outside, you’ll b...

    Read more +
    Hampton Inn Kayenta
    Hampton Inn Kayenta

    This cozy hotel is located in Monument Valley on the Navajo Reservation. Guests enjoy a fitness center, pool, and laundry service. Nearby, you’ll find...

    Read more +
    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon
    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon

    This comfortable hotel is located just 15 minutes from the Grand Canyon National Park entrance. Guests enjoy the indoor swimming pool, a full breakfas...

    Read more +
    Holiday Inn Express Springdale - Zion
    Holiday Inn Express Springdale - Zion

    This rustic, lodge-style hotel is located in Springdale, Utah next to Zion National Park. Guests enjoy a fitness center, pool, and laundry facilities....

    Read more +
    Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City Downtown
    Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City Downtown

    This new hotel is located in the heart of Salt Lake City. Guests enjoy the indoor pool, fitness center, and spa. Nearby you’ll find the Pioneer Memori...

    Read more +
    Elk Country Inn
    Elk Country Inn

    This western hotel is located in the Historic neighborhood. Guests enjoy a fitness room, a free ski shuttle, and a picnic area. Nearby, you’ll find Gr...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
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    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


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