Luxury Tours & Excursions
Tours Created by Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist, Bruce Sawyer

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Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Explore the ancient ruins of Chaco Canyon! Chaco Canyon: an Ancient Story Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancestral Puebloans. Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen...

Guides & Staff

Our Guides & Staff Touch the Southwest prides itself on working with the finest guides in the region.  Each has been handpicked for their educational and professional backgrounds, their outgoing personalities, and their dedication to providing our clients with the...

Dwan Light Sanctuary

Want to check out a spectacular temple? Look no further than the Dwan Light Sanctuary! A Sanctuary of Light The Dwan Light Sanctuary (DLS) was designed by Virginia Dwan (conceptualizer and funder), Charles Ross (solar spectrum artist), and Laban Wingert...

The Manhattan Project: Project Y

You might know that New Mexico has an explosive history, but did you know about its involvement with the Manhattan Project? The Manhattan Project The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear...

Scandalous Tour Vehicles

Why do some tour operators have a hard time keeping their vehicles clean? Last week we were in Santa Fe visiting with the concierge and front desk people in some of the hotels. More than several of them mentioned how some tour companies in the area do not keep their...

Notable New Mexican: Maria Martinez

Explore the incredible pottery style of a notable New Mexican, Maria Martinez! Early Beginnings Born in 1887, Martinez was from the San Ildefonso Pueblo, a community located 20 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. At an early age, she learned pottery skills from...

Carlsbad Caverns

Get ready to dive into the wonders of Carlsbad Caverns! History of Carlsbad Carlsbad Cavern is one of over 300 limestone caves in a fossil reef laid down by an inland sea 250 to 280 million years ago. Twelve to fourteen thousand years ago, Native Americans lived in...

The Margarita Trail

New Mexico is full of arts and culture, but that doesn't mean it doesn't know how to party. This is where Santa Fe's infamous Margarita Trail comes into play! The Margarita Trail is an invitation to explore 45 of Santa Fe’s finest margaritas, each crafted for the...

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Check out this incredible national park of volcanic proportions: Capulin Volcano National Park! A Volcanic Landmark Capulin Volcano National Monument is a well-preserved, relatively young (55,000 to 62,000 years old), symmetrical cinder cone. It rises steeply from the...

Jimmy Santiago Baca: Notable New Mexican

The Land of Enchantment inspires not only visual artists, but crafters of the written word as well. This is certainly true for New Mexican-born poet, Jimmy Santiago Baca. Humble Beginnings Baca was born in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, in 1952. Abandoned by his parents...

Petrified Forest National Park

Wood turned to stone--it sounds like something out of a fairy tale! However, this fairy tale has come true in the unparalleled Petrified Forest! Petrified Forest National Park Though not technically, in New Mexico, the Petrified Forest National Park is a star of the...

Albert Looking Elk: Notable New Mexican

One of our favorite aspects of New Mexico is the art, which is part of why we're so excited to tell you more about Taos Pueblo painter, Albert Looking Elk! Born around 1888, Albert Looking Elk initially started down an artistic pathway as a model for E. Irving Couse,...

Bandelier National Monument

Join us and explore Bandelier National Monument and catch a glimpse into the history and wonder of New Mexico! Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going...

New Mexico’s Musical Highway

What if you could create a musical masterpiece using only your car? On the Musical Highway, you can do just that! On the Musical Road On this quarter-mile section of the highway, the rumble strips have been engineered to sound like the song “America the Beautiful.”...

International UFO and Research Center

Love UFOs but the UFO Festival isn't quite enough for you? Then be sure to check out the International UFO and Research Center! A Curious Incident An unidentified flying object crashed on a ranch northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, sometime during the first week of July...

White Sands National Monument

We all know New Mexico is full of natural splendor, and one of the most notable enchanting landmarks is White Sands National Monument. Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders with great, wave-like dunes of gypsum sand...

Cider 66 Festival

Grab a glass and raise a toast to the Cider 66 Festival! Cider & Music This one-day event will be one cider-filled, rocking event complete with a classic car show, vintage items, memorabilia from Route 66 and food trucks of all types. Join us for live music including...

New Mexico’s History of Tech

You already know New Mexico is famous for its beauty and cultural features, but did you know it is also the birthplace of electronic and tech powerhouses? Silicon Valley of the Southwest New Mexico has been the home of many world-famous tech companies. First and...

UFO Festival in Roswell

What would you do if you saw a UFO? An Out of This World Festival The UFO Festival in Roswell, New Mexico is a fun time for the whole family! In 2018, the festival hosted over 20,000 aliens in Roswell with people from 43 states and 7 different countries. Last year...

Rudolfo Anaya: Notable New Mexican

New Mexico has been home to many talented people. This week, we would like to further explore notable New Mexican Rudolfo Anaya. Rudolfo Anaya: The Early Years Rudolfo Anaya grew up in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His father was a vaquero from a family of cattle workers...

Meow Wolf Meets George R.R. Martin

Feeling that void in your life since Game of Thrones ended? Us, too. However, Meow Wolf has something that might sate your need for Game of Thrones while we anxiously wait for George R.R. Martin to finish the next book. Game of Thrones Meets Fun House In the...

International Folk Art Market

Let's go on an adventure and explore the International Folk Art Market together! What is the International Folk Art Market? Imagine a place where cultures from all corners of the globe are celebrated; where folk artists, often marginalized in their own communities,...

Fireworks for the Fourth!

Start planning now to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks at Freedom 4th! Freedom 4th is hands down the best fireworks show in New Mexico (and possibly beyond, but we might be a little biased). Plan your trip to New Mexico with us and let's all go to Balloon...

Opera Season in Santa Fe

Warm up those pipes, because it's almost time for opera season in Santa Fe! While we love showing off the natural wonders and splendor of New Mexico, we at Touch the Southwest also love the culture and art of the area. That's why we're so excited about the upcoming...

Flamenco Dancing in Albuquerque

theGet your dancing shoes on and get ready to celebrate the Festival Flamenco Albuquerque! Fabulous Flamenco History Each June, the National Institute of Flamenco and the University of New Mexico host Festival Flamenco Albuquerque to bring the finest flamenco artists...

Spring Art Festival at Canyon Road

Want to celebrate the art and beauty of the southwest? Join us in beautiful Santa Fe for the 8th Annual Spring Art Festival at Canyon Road on May 10th and 11th! A Feast of Artistic Talent at Canyon Road Join the festive spirit as dozens of artists provide an...

Photo Friday: Plaza Blanca

Happy Friday! This week highlights a beautiful landscape beloved by the renowned Georgia O'Keefe: Plaza Blanca. Plaza Blanca: Artistic Inspiration When Georgia O'Keefe came to New Mexico, she was awed by the natural beauty of "The White Place", or Plaza Blanca. Fans...

One Star Review: Badlands National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Badlands National Park in South Dakota left a review that fell into the latter category: I didn't...

Photo Friday: You Had One Job

Happy Friday! This week, we're focusing on the lighter side of travel. That is to say, sometimes you encounter things that make you smile. Such is the case with this Photo Friday's feature and the one job they road crew had: We get it, we've all had those days when...

One Star Review: Arches National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Arches National Park in Utah left a review that fell into the latter category: "Delicate arch looks...

Photo Friday: Newspaper and Coffee in Santa Fe

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday feature is a candid shot of a Santa Fe resident enjoying an early morning coffee and newspaper. It's easy to over-saturate ourselves with activity on vacation. We're on vacation--it's exciting! We want to maximize our vacation...

One Star Review: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee left a review that fell into the latter category:...

Photo Friday: Lavender in Taos

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday feature highlights one of the natural beauties of New Mexico: lavender. Lavender: the Purple Beauty This gorgeous purple flower is well known throughout the region, flourishing against the adobe buildings and Taos's iconic blue...

One Star Review: Grand Canyon National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Grand Canyon National Park left a review that fell into the latter category: Went to the Grand...

Photo Friday: San Francisco de Asis Mission

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday comes to us from the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church. Artistic Inspiration Located on the main plaza of Ranchos de Taos, San Francisco de Asis Mission Church is a beautiful example of New Mexico's architecture. It was built...

One Star Review: Denali National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Denali National Park left a review that fell into the latter category: "Two of the trails were...

Photo Friday: Pronghorn Antelope

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday features one of New Mexico's finest species of wildlife, the pronghorn antelope: These animals are known for running alongside trains. Our own Bruce Sawyer photographed this fellow walking alongside the Santa Fe railroad...

One Star Review: Yosemite National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Yosemite National Park left a review that fell into the latter category: “Utterly horrible place. No...

Phto Friday: Monsoon Sunset

Happy Friday, everyone! This week's Photo Friday features a gorgeous New Mexican monsoon sunset: In the summer, the clouds roll in and the rain cools the desert, giving us a brief respite from the heat. The desert blooms are a sight to see, some of which last only for...

One Star Review: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Carlsbad Caverns National Park left a review on Yelp who fell into the latter category. "Unless you...

Photo Friday: Sky City

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday features the ladders at Sky City, Acoma Pueblo. This is the time of year when the pueblos hold their feast holidays, some of which are open to the public. According to the cultural center's website, Sky City is "part of New...

Professional Wanderer: A Business is Born

Bruce settled into life in Flagstaff, Arizona. At one of his residences in town, he lived next door to a man named Joe Anderson, a business professor at Northern Arizona University. After hearing Bruce's plans for his future, Joe encouraged Bruce to take his...

From the Newsletter: Santa Fe BITE’s Green Chile Cheeseburger

Green chile burgers are huge in Santa Fe and, somehow, they're even better in the summer! "It's very popular and a really big deal," says John Eckre, owner of the Santa Fe BITE restaurant in New Mexico and creator of their famous green chile cheeseburger. "People...

Photo Friday: Enchanted Squirrels in Trees

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday feature comes from our very own Bruce Sawyer, a feature he calls "Enchanted Squirrels in Trees." Bruce was hanging out near a lake one day, relaxing and enjoying the sun. On the slopes leading down to that lake, there is a...

From the Newsletter: Spanish Summer Market

The 67th Annual Traditional Spanish Market is coming! This July, make your way to Santa Fe for the Spanish Summer Market! Approximately 250 Spanish Colonial artists from New Mexico and Southern Colorado will take part in this enchanting event. Enjoy music, local...

Photo Friday: 4th of July

Happy Friday! This week's photo feature comes to us all the way from Flagstaff, Arizona, featuring a participant in the annual downtown 4th of July parade. With the holiday weekend upon us, we wanted to offer up a few safety tips to help keep your 4th of July fun!...

Professional Wanderer: School Shuffle

In the fall of 1992, Bruce began school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He maintained a focus in geology and enjoyed life at the small school where he experienced a very traditional liberal arts education. However, something still didn't feel quite right....

From the Newsletter: Mariachi Madness

Celebrate 28 years of Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque! This spectacular event lives up to its name by presenting world-renowned professional groups showcasing a variety of styles within this cultural music tradition. Performances are passionate, heart rendering...

Photo Friday: Sunrise over Navajo Mountain

Happy Friday! This week's photo features a breathtaking sunrise over Navajo Mountain: Our fearless leader, Bruce Sawyer, took this photo from the east side of the Kaibab Plateau and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Yesterday was the summer solstice, so this...

From the Newsletter: Aliens are Coming!

Prepare for an intergalactic event! Thousands of aliens, humans, and pets are expected to invade Roswell, New Mexico to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the much debated 1947 UFO crash. Special events will include the alien human/pet costume contests (which now...

Photo Friday: Santa Fe Railroad Station

Happy Friday! This week's photo feature is of the Las Vegas, New Mexico Santa Fe Railroad station. Built in 1899, this railroad station was a major transportation hub for the growing southwest. It is the second largest train hub in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and its...

Professional Wanderer: University Life

At an elevation of 7,700 feet, Gunnison, Colorado was, to Bruce, an icebox in a hole. The town is completely surrounded by mountains and the cold air collects inside. Of course, after hitchhiking in the middle of a blizzard, Bruce knew he could easily withstand the...

From the Newsletter: Fireworks Galore!

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like...

Photo Friday: Pueblo Bonito

Happy Friday! This week's photo features the lovely Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Literally translated to "beautiful town", Pueblo Bonito is the largest and best known great house in northern New Mexico. According to the National Park Service, "Pueblo Bonito is the...

Professional Wanderer: Canyonlands Camping and Back to School

With summer drawing to a close, Bruce wanted to take advantage of the end of camping season. With that in mind, he and his dog headed to the southern area of the Utah campgrounds in Canyonlands National Park. There, Bruce set up camp. About 150-200 feet away, another...

From the Newsletter: Sparky’s Green Chile Milkshake

If you combine Santa Fe's official nickname "The City Different" with the oh-so-common question "red or green?", what do you get? Why, a crazy-unique dining experience at Sparky's BBQ and Espresso restaurant, of course! Celebrating more than 20 years in Hatch, New...

Photo Friday: Rio Chama

Happy Friday, everyone! This week's photo features the Rio Chama as it runs through Abiquiu. The Rio Chama is a major tributary of the Rio Grande that runs through New Mexico and Colorado. Humans have used this river for over 10,000 years, dating back to when humans...

Professional Wanderer: Camping and Edward Abbey

After Bruce realized he wanted to spend his life outside instead of inside a kitchen, he began to make plans. It took all winter for him to close out his life in Denver, including selling his house and nearly all of his possessions. In fact, he kept only what would...

Photo Friday: Santo Tomás El Apóstol

Happy Friday! This week's photo features Santo Tomás El Apóstol in Abiquiu, New Mexico. This Catholic Church was founded in 1754 by the Franciscans, a religious order within the Catholic Church that was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1209. Known for his affection...

From the Newsletter: InterPlanetary Festival

Okay, nerds, here's your mission: go explore the upcoming InterPlanetary Festival, where no human has gone before! This is the first ever expo of its kind, and it's happening right here in Santa Fe! Oh yes, you need to make a road trip! This absolutely free two-day...

Photo Friday: Ghost Ranch Tree

Happy Friday! This week's Photo Friday feature is a juniper tree near Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu by our very own Bruce Sawyer. Bruce said the tree reminded him of a Georgia O'Keefe painting, which is fitting considering O'Keefe's relationship to Ghost Ranch. After falling...

Professional Wanderer: Capitol Reef and Moab, Utah

With three weeks of vacation time from the bank, Bruce decided to head towards Yellowstone with his dog, Chalaco. Having worked in Yellowstone for a summer as a teenager, Bruce went back to Wyoming for a new adventure. However, snow and rain began to fall and, needing...

From the Newsletter: Taos Lilac Festival

Taos Lilac Festival: May 18-20, 2018 Finally, a time and a place for lilacs to show their true colors! Taos Lilac Festival attendees can meet and mingle with dozens of talented artisans and crafts people as they display their work. The goods available range from...