Hop aboard the FSL New Mexico bus tour!

Nancy McCluskey-Moore and Jim Cowlin

Spanish exploration and colonization in the Southwest took place over nearly 300 years. Nowhere is it more evident than in New Mexico where Spanish heritage is an enduring legacy. The Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries is sponsoring a bus tour of Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque on October 15-21, 2018.

This Spanish Heritage Tour will follow El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road of the Interior Lands, from Las Cruses to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. This international trail of commerce linked the nations of Spain, Mexico and the United States. The peoples, commerce and ideas that traversed the road helped shape the Southwest and our nation.

On this tour you will visit historic sites and museums that tell the story of this important period in American history. In Las Cruces, you’ll spend time in the plaza in historic Old Mesilla. On the way to Santa Fe, a tour of the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Coronado Historic Site is on the agenda. Each tour participant will receive a New Mexico Culture Pass to cover admissions to all the state museums and historic sites.

In Santa Fe, you’ll explore the Plaza and spend time in the New Mexico History Museum. For a taste of the Spanish colonial way of life, there will be a guided tour of El Rancho de las Golondrinas Living History Museum. There also will be ample free time to explore Santa Fe on your own.

The tour will travel the High Road to Taos with a stop in Chimayo to visit El Santuario de Chimayo and a weaving shop that has been in operation for five generations. A tour of the Taos Pueblo is planned, as well as a walking tour of historic Taos. A tour of the Hacienda de los Martinez, a Spanish colonial “Great House” built in 1804 is also on the agenda. You’ll have a morning to explore Taos on your own.

The final stop of the tour will be in Old Town Albuquerque with its centuries old adobe buildings and the historic San Felipe de Neri Church within easy walking distance of the hotel.

You’ll enjoy luxury accommodations at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces, the Inn & Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe, El Monte Sagrado in Taos and Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque. You also will have an opportunity to sample the cuisine in several of New Mexico’s finest restaurants.

The fee for the tour is $1,895 per person, double occupancy. The tour fee includes transportation, accommodations, meals as specified on the itinerary, on-location tour guide services, tour directors’ services and gratuities for food and lodging services. A portion of the fee is a donation to the Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries. To register for the tour, visit sbfsl.org, click on “trips” and download the registration form and trip itinerary.