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Ranches of the Southwest

Rugged America

Overview

Jump on a Harley or inside an American muscle convertible and start exploring the Southwest’s great open spaces. Hop between unique, boutique ranches which offer both rugged outdoor adventure and luxurious accommodations. Unexpectedly, in addition to the cowboys, bison, horse-riding and Native American culture, you will also find award-winning cuisine, a vibrant art scene, and local movements on the cutting edge. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Houston: Pick up your rental car at Houston Airport and drive 90 minutes into Texas Hill Country. You will be welcomed at your Relais & Chateaux ranch with a gourmet dinner and a massage after a long flight. 

Day 2 - Texas Hill Country: With the largest equestrian centre in Texas at your disposal, take your horse out to ride the 300 acres of trails around the Inn.  Then take a cooking class with ingredients from the organic garden before catching the local Rodeo. 

Day 3 - Austin:   Today continue on to Texas’ state capital where a local art guide will open up the city’s local contemporary art scene to you.  Enjoy some of the best Texas BBQ, watch thousands of bats come alive at sunset and stay late for Austin’s incredible live music scene. 

Day 4 – Austin:  Stay at your resort today, taking advantage of its all-inclusive menu of guided adventures, culinary classes, cultural encounters, healing spa treatments, and fitness and wellness workshops. In the evening, listen to country music around the fire and try a little two-step dancing.  

Day 5 - San Antonio: Drive to the home of the Alamo, where modern Texas was born.  Take a guided biking trip between its beautiful Spanish colonial churches and stroll into shops and cafes in the evening on the River Walk.

Day 6 – Marfa, TX:  Drive six hours across the wide open spaces of Texas, stopping at old deserted saloons before arriving in one of the strangest places in the world, Marfa. This internationally acclaimed centre for minimalistic art has truly unique galleries and public art installations. 

Day 7 – Cibolo Creek: Today enjoy all the activities available at the ranch including a guided ranch tour of the 30,000-acre property by Humvee or ATV to visit spectacular mountain vistas, natural springs, Native American rock art, and abandoned rock houses and ruins. 
 
Day 8 - Big Bend National Park:  Today wake up early for a naturalist-led adventure to remote Big Bend for hiking and rafting the Rio Grande. 

Day 9 - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico: Have a last look around Marfa before starting your journey to the state of New Mexico.  Stop along the way for lunch in old El Paso, Texas before arriving in New Mexico in the natural springs town of Truth or Consequences. 

Day 10 – Gila Mountains, New Mexico:  Accompanied by an adventure guide, go on an expedition on Ted Turner’s (founder of CNN) private land - hiking to stunning, panoramic views of the area and observing oryx, bison, and desert bighorn sheep. 

Day 11 - Santa Fe, New Mexico: Arrive in the unique town of Santa Fe and be welcomed into the home of a talented Native-American chef who will provide a cooking demonstration with pre-colonial ingredients from her garden. 

Day 12 – Santa Fe, New Mexico: Today, your expert art guide will explore the Native American influences on contemporary American art with a visit to a Pueblo to meet Native artisans followed by a gallery walk of Santa Fe’s top galleries. 

Day 13 – Alamosa, Colorado: Begin the day with a visit to the ancient healing springs of Ojo Caliente for a healthy dip, then visit Taos to tour the famous pueblo. In the late afternoon, arrive into Colorado at your working Bison ranch in time for dinner. 

Day 14 & 15 – Zapata Ranch:  Spend two full days at your working ranch, riding alongside herds of Bison and learning to herd cattle. In the evenings, slide down the lunar-like sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park. 

Day 16 & 17 - Colorado Springs: Drive north to Colorado Springs and then take mules up to the summit of Cheyenne Mountain, almost 3km in elevation, where you will be staying in a luxury cabin ranch with astounding views. Spend the next day exploring the Pike National Forest on numerous hiking trails or with guided nature walks. 

Day 18- Denver Departure:  Come back to earth from the clouds and depart back home from Denver.

Location

The Southwest United States is roughly made up of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Here you will find the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts as well as the Colorado plateau. The landscape here is absolutely unique and breathtaking.

Highlights

The U.S. Southwest is a unique place with many surprises. You will never be bored in this natural playground where the red-rock landscapes, thrilling wild west legends and mystic native American culture will always keep you on your toes. You must be ready for the next adventure at all times.

Accommodations

Along with this extraordinary trip, you will stay in some unique places. You will experience all that the wild south-west has to offer and be blown away at what you find. Each of your luxury accommodations provides the perfect resting place to unwind after a day of adventure. Your accommodations will range from hot spring cabins to country ranches to comfy lodge and of the resorts and spas. Everything is bespoke and can be tailored to your desires. 

Useful Info

Little known fact, but the deserts of the south-west region in the U.S. are often most stunning in the winter. The winter light takes the already stunning scenes and makes them absolutely breathtaking. 

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