Trails of the American Southwest

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Duration: 12 Days | 11 Nights
Destination: Las Vegas - Los Angeles, USA
Group Size: Max 20 Pax
Departure Dates: 2024 – May 12, June 16, July 28, August 11, September 15, October 6

• Eco-friendly tour promoting sustainable tourism
• Light to moderate hiking planned on most days
• Transportation in a minibus with driver/guide
• Stay on the Las Vegas Strip
• 3 nights in downtown San Francisco

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of the American Southwest, from the dazzling lights of Las Vegas to the breathtaking wonders of nature. Start your adventure in Las Vegas, a city renowned for its vibrant nightlife and world-class entertainment. From there, head to the Grand Canyon and marvel at its immense size and awe-inspiring beauty.

Continue your exploration to Monument Valley, where towering red rock formations stand as timeless sentinels. Journey to Page and witness the captivating Horseshoe Bend, a majestic curve of the Colorado River that leaves visitors in awe. Discover the wonders of Zion National Park, with its dramatic cliffs and lush canyons.

Next, explore the surreal landscapes of Bryce Canyon, where unique rock formations create a fantastical panorama. Traverse Death Valley's otherworldly terrain, with its vast salt flats and soaring sand dunes. Experience the tranquility of Mammoth Lakes, nestled in the Sierra Nevada, offering stunning alpine scenery and outdoor adventures.

Continue your adventure in Yosemite National Park, where towering granite cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees await. Journey west to San Francisco, a city of iconic landmarks, cultural diversity, and stunning views. Explore the charming coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel, with their picturesque beaches and charming streets.

Visit Santa Maria for a taste of California's famous wine region, and soak up the Spanish colonial charm of Santa Barbara. Finally, immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, where you can explore Hollywood, stroll along the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic city.

This remarkable itinerary showcases the diverse beauty of the American Southwest, offering a blend of natural wonders, cosmopolitan cities, and coastal delights. Prepare to be enchanted by the magic of this captivating region.

Day 1: Las Vegas
Arrival in Las Vegas. You will be met at the airport by your driver for your transfer to the hotel. Enjoy an included welcome drink as you get to know your fellow travelers and your tour guide.

You will get your travel kit including a reusable water bottle and an insulated bag that will come in handy during the planned picnics.

Day 2: Las Vegas - Grand Canyon (280 miles - 4h15)
Head towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, superb geographical phenomenon. Stop in Seligman on the iconic Route 66. Lunch on your own, then discover one of the wonders of the world : the Grand Canyon. Located at 6971 feet above sea level the Grand Canyon is the spectacular result of millions of years of wind and water erosion. Surrounded by a magnificent forest, the canyon seems to be protected by a lush screen of greenery. This will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. We suggest a 1.7 mile hike (1-2 hours) to Ooh Aah Point. Overnight in the Grand Canyon village.

Day 3: Grand Canyon - Monument Valley – Page (325 miles – 5h30)
Depart the Grand Canyon by driving along the scenic Desert View Drive. Stop at the Desert View Watchtower. Modeled after ancient Puebloan watchtowers, the Watchtower at Desert View features murals by Hopi artist Frank Kabotie. Time permitting, you may have a chance to climb the stairs to the top for an outstanding view of the Canyon and the surrounding area. Continue on to Monument Valley, where you will find yourself surrounded by imposing, crimson monoliths. This 25 mile-long and 16-mile wide desert plain has served as the backdrop to numerous westerns including five John Ford classics. Enjoy an included lunch of Navajo specialties followed by a jeep tour of the valley with local a Navajo guide. Arrive in Page in the afternoon. Change at your hotel then enjoy a dip in Lake Powell weather permitting. Overnight in Page.

Day 4: Page – Horseshoe Bend - Bryce (150 miles – 2h40)
To start the day you will visit Horseshoe Bend (1.2 mi roundtrip hike): a geologic masterpiece sculpted by the Colorado River. Horseshoe Bend is an example of what happens when water takes the path of least resistance. With the help of gravity, the Colorado River began cutting through rock layers deep and fast. The result is the 270° bend in the river. Discovered by Mormons at the end of the 19th century, Bryce Canyon is considered one of the jewels of the National Parks system. The shapes, colors and shades of the stone and the famous Pink Cliffs are constantly changing from dawn to dusk. Hike down the canyon to get closer to the hoodoos (thin spires of rock)*. Picnic lunch in the park (not included, a stop will be planned before arrival into the park for you to purchase picnic items). Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore the park at your own pace. Overnight in the region.

* this hike is not advised for people with heart conditions due to significant elevation change.

Day 5: Bryce Canyon – Zion – Las Vegas (250 miles - 4h45)
Departure for your visit of Zion National Park. Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures. Picnic lunch in the park (not included, a stop will be planned before arrival into the park for you to purchase picnic items). This afternoon, we return to Las Vegas. Rest of the day at leisure to try your luck gambling, do some shopping, or enjoy on of the many world class entertainment options the city has to offer. Optional: join your guide on a visit of Las Vegas by night. Overnight.

Day 6: Las Vegas - Death Valley – Mammoth Lakes (352 miles – 6h00)
Today you will drive through the Nevada Desert and cross the border to California where you will descend into famous Death Valley. At 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth. The landscape is so deserted that the first cowboys to have crossed it said of it: "Not a stream to drink from, not a tree to hang on". You will discover Furnace Creek, and the sand dunes of Stovepipe Wells. Lunch on your own. This afternoon, we drive high into the Sierra Nevada range as we make our way to the resort town of Mammoth Lakes. Overnight.

*If the Tioga Pass is closed, the groups will be relocated to Bakersfield

In case of extreme heat (41 Celsius / 105 Fahrenheit and above), the visit of Death Valley will not be possible and will be replaced by the visit of Calico Ghost Town or Tonopah Historic Mining Park.

Day 7: Mammoth Lakes – Yosemite – San Francisco (300 miles – 6h30)
This morning we take a scenic drive on the Tioga pass as we enter Yosemite National Park. Yosemite will delight you with its Alpine landscape, with pine forests, waterfalls, and rivers, all dominated by the silhouette of great white monoliths. Marvel at the giant redwoods, Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and a few famous waterfalls such as Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls (often dry in the summer). Picnic on your own in the park (not included, a stop will be planned before arrival into the park for you to purchase picnic items). Continue towards San Francisco for a 3 night stay. Overnight.

Day 8: San Francisco
Start the day with a guided tour of San Francisco, one of the most photographed, filmed, and documented cities in the world. The city is a a tantalizing mix of history, modern sophistication, and stunning natural beauty. Start with (weather permitting) a panoramic view from the top of Twin Peaks, you will have an unrivaled perspective of the city from the bay to the Golden Gate strait. Next you will discover Golden Gate Park. Continue your tour with a stop at Alamo Square, where you will see the best examples of San Francisco's iconic Victorian homes, the “Painted Ladies.” Make a stop at the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy some time on your own for lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. End the day with stops at Chinatown, Union Square and the Civic Center, with is Beaux-Arts City Hall. Overnight.

Day 9: San Francisco
Start the day with a short hike to Muir Beach. The Muir Beach Overlook provides expansive views of the Pacific Coast, including the Point Reyes Peninsula. Relax on the beach or explore the several historic base-end stations, observation posts that were part of the San Francisco Bay coastal defense system. Next you will visit Sausalito, famous for it’s waterfront cafés, art galleries, and charming house boats. Time at leisure to enjoy lunch on your own. Return to San Francisco by taking a scenic ferry ride across the bay. Afternoon at leisure to do some shopping, visit one of the city’s world-class museums, or perhaps rent a bike for a ride along the waterfront. Overnight.

Day 10: San Francisco - Monterey - Carmel – Santa Maria (213 miles - 4h15)
Leave for Monterey Peninsula. Tour of the town of Monterey, particularly the fishing port and Cannery Row, made famous by the writer John Steinbeck. Visit of nearby Carmel, one the most charming coastal towns of California, with prestine beaches and trendy boutiques. Enjoy some time for lunch on your own. You will then drive along the superb Big Sur coastline: the majestic Santa Lucia range gives way to dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Stops will be made along the way to snap some pictures and enjoy a few short hikes to soak up the scenery. Arrival in Santa Maria at the end of the day. Overnight.

Day 11: Santa Maria- Santa Barbara - Los Angeles (219 miles - 4h30)
Morning drive to lovely Santa Barbara known for its golden beaches, palm-lined bay, red-tiled roofs and Spanish architecture. Visit the beautiful mission Santa Barbara, the largest Franciscan convent in California today, considered to be the queen of the California missions. Time for lunch on your own before continuing towards Los Angeles. Make a stop in luxurious Malibu for a visit of the Adamson House, a National Historic Site and California Historic Landmark. The Spanish Colonial Revival style home occupies one of the most idyllic oceanfront spots in all of Southern California. Situated near the Malibu Lagoon, the house boasts an exotic mix of Spanish and Moorish influences with dazzling displays of decorative tiles and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship including hand-carved doors, hand-painted frescoes, molded ceilings, distinctive cast ironwork and lead-framed bottle glass windows. Finally, we end the day with a stop at the Griffith Observatory to get some of the best views of Downtown Los Angeles as well as the famous Hollywood Sign, a landmark and American cultural icon.

Day 12: Departure
Day on your own and transfer to the airport depending on your flight schedule.

Selected Hotels:
Las Vegas - Luxor Hotel
Grand Canyon - Yavapai West Lodge, Best Western Plus at Lake Powell
Page - Western View
Bryce - Best Western Ruby's Inn
Mammoth Lakes - Mammoth Mountain Inn
San Francisco – Hotel Caza, Edwardian Hotel
Santa Maria - Santa Maria Inn
Los Angeles - Hotel June

Tour Price
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation (The price is based on 3* accommodation. 4* hotels can be organised if requested for an extra cost).
• All prices displayed are subject to availability and can be withdrawn or varied without notice.
• Prices are guaranteed once booking is confirmed by us and paid in full by the due date.
• Depending on your needs and group size (individual, couple, family, group, etc.) we will provide the final pricing for your tour.

• Shared-ride airport transfers on arrival and departure,
• M&G on arrival,
• Assistance with the airport transfer on the departure day,
• Transportation in a modern, air-conditioned minibus with English speaking driver/guide from day 2 to 11,
• Double occupancy per hotel room,
• Daily American or deluxe continental breakfast included
• Mandatory luggage handling (in Mammoth Lakes, San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles only, 1 bag per person, roundtrip)
• Welcome drink on arrival
• Entrance fees to the following parks and attractions:
- Grand Canyon
- Monument Valley with jeep tour and Navajo lunch
- Horseshoe Bend
- Bryce Canyon
- Zion
- Death Valley
- Yosemite
- Ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco
- Mission Santa Barbara
- Adamson House

• Taxes, service, resort fees and tips for the above-mentioned services (not to the driver and guide).

• Air fare
• Insurance
• Transfers or transportation other than the ones listed
• Services of a guide other than the ones listed
• Tips to the drivers and guide ($6 to $7 per day and per person for each of them, standard amount in the Australia and New Zealand)
• Personal expenses,
• Beverages and meals
• Any other visits, excursions, or entrance fees

Please refer to our Standard Booking Conditions for booking terms and conditions.