Day 1 New Orleans
Welcome to the USA! The tour will begin after guests have met at the specified departure location in New Orleans for a Welcome Meeting (guests should look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the reception desk where the meeting will take place). Tonight, we will start our journey by doing some sightseeing in New Orleans, a.k.a. the Big Easy, taking in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relaxing in the Garden District, and absorbing the atmosphere of the French Quarter.
Day 2 New Orleans - Houston (384 miles)
Today, we have quite a journey ahead of us as we travel from New Orleans to Houston, Texas. On the way, we will stop on Avery Island to tour the Tabasco Sauce Factory. When we arrive in Houston, the largest city in Texas, we will be able to take some free time to explore the myriad museums and shops. The city is also well known for the arts and its up-and-coming culinary scene.
Day 3 Houston - San Antonio (189 miles)
Today, we will drive along US Highway 10 until we reach San Antonio. A little piece of Mexico in the U.S., San Antonio is the home of the Alamo(at your own expense). We can stroll along the famous River Walk(at your own expense) and get to know the city's many canals and backstreets by night.
Day 4 San Antonio - Carlsbad Caverns National Park (397 miles)
Driving across Texas, we will enter the deserts of New Mexico on our way to the Carlsbad Caverns, one of the largest in the world. It has still only been partially explored. We will hike deep into the 8.2 acre Big Room and beyond. In the evening, we will take a seat outside the park to witness the overwhelming sight of thousands of bats flying from out of the cave. This occurrence is seasonal, as the bats migrate south in October for the winter, and is best viewed in July and August.
Day 5 Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Santa Fe (272 miles)
Today, we will continue on our way to Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, where we can visit the town plaza that is surrounded by pueblo architecture, view the south-western art and décor at local museums, or enjoy a drink and take in the city's quaint atmosphere.
Day 6 Santa Fe - Mesa Verde National Park (259 miles)
Today, we will continue to Mesa Verde National Park, home to the largest and best-preserved cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians. The park protects over 4,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most-notable and best-preserved in the U.S. We will get the chance to explore one such dwelling on a short walk or, for an additional fee, join a ranger-led walk to reach the more difficult to access sites.
Day 7 Mesa Verde National Park - Monument Valley (93 miles)
After driving through fascinating desert regions, we will reach Monument Valley, which has served as the backdrop for countless western films and is part of the biggest Native American reservation in the country. It is so named for the giant sandstone formations scattered across the desert. The angle of the sun causes the color of the landscape to change multiple times over the course of the day, meaning it's nearly impossible to take a bad photo here. We will see all the magnificent sights in Monument Valley in the back of a Jeep with the help of a Navajo guide.
Day 8 Monument Valley - Grand Canyon (154 miles)
Today, we will drive from Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon, topping at a Native American trading post along the way. The total drive will take around four hours. Words don't do justice to the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. This stunning gorge is 1.5 kilometres deep, formed by over six million years of erosion from the Colorado River. You'll spend two nights here, in order to allow a full day of exploration tomorrow.
Day 9 Grand Canyon
Today is a free day to explore the Grand Canyon. Stroll along the meandering South Rim Trail or hike your way along the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you might even opt for a scenic helicopter flight over the area (at your own expense). In the early evening, relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset.
Day 10 Grand Canyon - Las Vegas (275 miles)
Today, we will drive from the Grand Canyon, crossing the western deserts of Arizona to Las Vegas. Along the way, we will drive along a section of the famous Route 66 and stop in the nostalgic township of Seligman. Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world, but there's plenty more to do along the Strip for gamblers and non-gamblers alike, including casinos, shows, shops, amusement rides, dance clubs, and great value all-you-can-eat buffets.