Start: Las Vegas (NV) Finish: Las Vegas (NV)
Tour code: SCCSPM18
Native American history, surreal landscapes, wild western antics and fabulous Sin City fun - this USA trip has it all, and so much more. Starting off in Las Vegas, you'll journey down Route 66 to the mighty Grand Canyon, cruise across glittering Lake Powell and stand in awe at Monument Valley, and watch the sun set amidst the spectacular spires of Bryce Canyon.
Location: Las Vegas (NV)
Accommodation: Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino
An entertainment oasis surrounded by desert, with a reputation almost as big as the fortune's many have made (and lost) here, Sin City is a place unlike any other. The entertainment capital of the world, Vegas is famed for its glittering casinos, all you can eat buffets and shotgun weddings ordained by none other than Elvis himself! After settling in to your hotel and meeting up with your Travel Director this afternoon, the bright lights and lively antics of Vegas will undoubtedly lure you in. Take a walk down the Strip, where the city's finest hotels and grandest casinos can be found, or head over to the Downtown area to explore the artsy Fremont East district.
Location: Las Vegas (NV), Flagstaff
Accommodation: Days Hotel by Wyndham
Are you ready to get your kicks on Route 66? If the answer is yes, today's the day of your tour to do so! Heading east, you'll take your place in road tripping history as you cruise down the most iconic road in the United States. Along the way, you'll stop off in the famous towns of Kingman and Seligman, known as the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66”, for a glimpse of all things Americana, complete with classic motels, kitsch petrol pumps and steaming slices of apple pie. Arrive in Flagstaff and rest up before tomorrow's full-day excursion to see the extraordinary landscapes of the Grand Canyon.
Location: Grand Canyon
Nothing can quite prepare you for your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. One of the world's 7 natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's estimated to be around 2 billion years old, with a layer of rock at the bottom of the canyon said to be some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet. Take your time exploring the incredible geology of the land, or to make your visit extra special, why not treat yourself to an Optional Experience^ that could see you flying in an aircraft over the North and South rims. Feeling distinctly in awe you'll then visit the Grand Canyon Village, which boasts some impressive national historic landmarks and historical buildings.
Location: Page (Lake Powell), Flagstaff
Accommodation: Quality Inn View of Lake Powell - Page
Meals: Iconic Breakfast
This morning before you depart your Flagstaff hotel, enjoy an Iconic Breakfast at Charly's Pub & Grill. You'll then make a stop at Wupatki National Monument, a landscape dotted with over 2700 pueblo ruins built by the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and Navajo people. Driving on through the Painted Desert, named for its rainbow of colourful sedimentary layers stretching some 418 kilometers into the horizon, you'll then arrive at sparkling Lake Powell. America's second largest man made reservoir and something of a mirage in an otherwise landlocked desert, you'll have the chance to board a cruise that will open up the fascinating geography of the area. Travelling through canyons and spotting towering Navajo sandstone formations that boggle the mind, this is an optional not to be missed. Tonight, you'll spend the evening in the Arizonan city of Page.
Location: Kayenta, Monument Valley
Accommodation: Kayenta Monument Valley Inn
Giving the term ‘iconic' a whole new meaning, Horseshoe Bend is first up on today's roll call of phenomenal sites. Carving a perfect horseshoe shape through the 366 m sandstone cliffs, test your nerve as you peak over the edge before heading on to explore Monument Valley in an open air-vehicle. Immortalised as the setting for countless movies and TV shows, Monument Valley is an emblem of the wild west, with its rusty red spindles and grand buttes thrusting 366 m skyward from the barren valley below. Named the ‘Valley Between the Rocks' by the Navajo people who have lived here for centuries, you'll likely feel very small and insignificant as you learn about the geology and history of the area.
Location: Durango, Teec Nos Pos, Mesa Verde National Park
Accommodation: Durango Downtown Inn
The first stop of today will see you standing in the exact spot where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet at Four Corners, before heading on to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mesa Verde National Park. Home to the Pueblo people for over 700 years, Mesa Verde protects nearly 5000 archeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings, and offers a fascinating glimpse into Native American history. Not done with historical insight just yet, you'll then finish today in the old Colorado mining town of Durango, which boasts tasteful hotels, lovely tree lined streets and Victorian-era saloons reminiscent of the town's wild west history.
Location: Durango, Moab
Accommodation: Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott
Before you depart Durango, railway fans can opt to board a traditional coal-fired locomotive to explore the remote wilderness in style. Afterwards, it will be all eyes to the horizon today as you make the spectacular drive through the San Juan Mountains, passing wildflower meadows and majestic peaks as you soak in some of the most glorious nature in all of the United States. Stopping in Silverton to meet the rest of your group, make a beeline for Empire, formerly known as Blair Street, which was once notorious for brothels and boozy establishments during the silver rush period. Journeying on, you'll pass through Ouray (pronounced you-ray), a little town sandwiched between towering peaks, before arriving into Moab, Utah's adventure capital. Surrounded by rugged, rusty red canyons, this place is basically a pilgrimage for mountain bikers and hikers alike looking to escape civilisation in the otherworldly landscapes.
Location: Arches National Park
Another day, another icon, this time courtesy of Arches National Park. Over 2500 naturally formed sandstone arches cover the landscape here, more than anywhere else on earth. After seeing them for yourself, standing in absolute amazement the one question you'll likely be asking, is ‘how?'. A highlight of the park and the most photographed of all the sites, is Delicate Arch. Standing 60 feet (18 metres) tall and in stark contrast to the horizontal planes surrounding it, this natural wonder is one of the enduring symbols of the American West. For an even better view, join us for an Optional Experience hike, where we'll steadily climb 480 feet (146 metres) uphill for uninterrupted and unparalleled views, and may require a moderate level of fitness.
Location: Moab, Green River, Torrey
Accommodation: Broken Spur Inn
Strong coffee and a big breakfast are the two requirements this morning to prepare for another action packed day of sightseeing on your USA canyon tour. First up is Canyonlands, Utah's largest national park that boasts sky high canyons, deep craters and majestic buttes, forming a surreal landscape. Stopping by the ‘Island in the Sky' mesa for spectacular views and sheer sandstone cliffs, you'll then travel on to Dead Horse Point, another soaring mesa that sits 610 metres above the Colorado River and is one of the most photographed vistas in the world. From one bizarrely named place to the next, you'll continue on to the colourful and wonderful Goblin Valley State Park, where sandstone goblins and twisted formations create a striking resemblance to the surface of Mars. After an enthralling day, you'll spend the night relaxing in the quiet town of Torrey.
Location: Torrey, Kanab, Bryce Canyon
Accommodation: Bryce View Lodge
Named the ‘Land of the Sleeping Rainbow' by Native Americans, Capitol Reef's colourful landscapes, towering domes and slot canyons will be your first port of call today. It's here you'll also find Waterpocket Fold, a 160 kilometer long crack in the earth's crust that's well worth a look. Driving along Byway 12, we challenge you to drag your eyes away from the windows as you twist and turn through Dixie National Forest, with soaring ponderosa pines stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. As if the sights couldn't get any better, you'll then stop off at the 260 million year old Grand Staircase, named for its uniquely striped layers of rock, before finishing yet another spectacular day amidst the sunset coloured spires of Bryce Canyon.
Location: Bryce Canyon
Have we saved the best till (almost) last? That will be the question on everyone's lips as you venture into Bryce Canyon National Park, where repeated freezes and thaws of the park's soft sandstone and limestone landscape over millions of years, have created the fascinating formations you'll find here. Stand in amazement in front of the multicoloured ‘hoodoos' and vast amphitheatres, then take a stroll along one of the many juniper lined trails to the viewpoints hugging the rim of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
Location: Zion National Park
Travelling back to Vegas today you'll make one final stop at Zion National Park. Marvel at the soaring red and white cliffs and vast canyons that stand in stark contrast to the soft wildflower meadows and hanging gardens that can also be found here, as a result of the park's lower elevation in comparison to the others. Travelling along the Virgin River Gorge for your final drive, you'll no doubt be feeling reflective about the incredible sights and experiences you've witnessed over the past 12 days. Your trip will come to an end at McCarran International Airport, or at Rio All-Suites Hotel for those extending their stay in Sin City.
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
City orientation tours
Audio Headsets provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
Variety of Optional Experiences
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
1 Iconic Breakfast
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries
Many meals included
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