Five-Night Land-Only (Post-Tour Included)

September 30-October 5, 2022

Overview & Pricing

Hotel: Hotel Chaco (Albuquerque) and Eldorado Hotel & Spa (Santa Fe)

Activity Level

Days: 6

Travel Host:
Illinois Sports Tours Staff
Email Host

"We look forward to hosting you in New Mexico!"

Package Overview

Spend more time immersed in the excitement of the International Balloon Fiesta with the University of Illinois Alumni Association, EXPLORERS Alumni Travel Program, and Illinois Sports Tours by exploring more of what New Mexico has to offer. Packages include all aspects of our three-night tour, plus in-depth visits to Chimayo, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home Studio, Santa Fe hotel accommodations, and more!


Package Includes:

  • Three (3) nights deluxe hotel ACCOMMODATIONS at Hotel Chaco (King-Bedded rooms only)
    • Check-in: Friday, September 30
    • Check-out: Monday, October 3
  • Friday evening WELCOME RECEPTION featuring an industry speaker, with light food and drinks included
  • ADMISSION and TRANSPORTATION to Balloon Fiesta Park for Saturday and Sunday’s Dawn Patrol, Mass Ascension, and Saturday’s evening Balloon Glow (three sessions)
  • Chaser’s Club HOSPITALITY including seating for breakfast and dinner, cash bar, and premier viewing location next to launch field
    • Gondola Club Hospitality upgrade is available – see MISC for more details!
  • Sunday evening DINNER and FLAMENCO performance
  • Monday exclusive group TRANSPORTATION to Santa Fe
  • Two (2) nights deluxe hotel ACCOMMODATIONS at Eldorado Hotel & Spa (King-Bedded rooms only)
    • Check-in: Monday, October 3
    • Check-out: Wednesday, October 5
  • Monday guided afternoon in Chimayo with ADMISSION to El Santuario de Chimayo, the Chimayo Museum, and lunch
  • A Tuesday BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home Studio in Abiquiu
  • ADMISSION to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe on Tuesday
  • Wednesday morning AIRPORT TRANSFERS to Albuquerque International Sunport
  • Balloon Fiesta SOUVENIRS
  • TAXES and GRATUITIES on all included items


PLEASE NOTE: Transportation to/from your home city to Albuquerque is not included.


*Pricing per person, based on occupancy.

Single Double
$4,569 $3,499


*Extra nights. Price per person.

Date Single Double
9/29/22 (Albuquerque) $599 $300
10/5/22 (Santa Fe) $319 $160


Occupancy Rules:
Max Occupancy: 2
Max Adult: 2
Max Children: 1


Hotel Chaco

2000 Bellamah Ave NW - Albuquerque, NM 87104


Situated in the heart of Albuquerque in the Historic Old Town and new urban Sawmill districts, Hotel Chaco is a boutique hotel that beckons to luxury travelers seeking authentic original experiences. This Old Town Albuquerque hotel is the most distinct hotel in all of New Mexico. The unique room layouts and Albuquerque suites are designed by world-famous architecture firm Gensler, and feature authentic interior design with the best collection of contemporary Native American New Mexican artists on display. Hotel Chaco was also recognized as a Top 10 Best New Hotel of 2017 by USA TODAY 10Best.

Hotel Information

Standard Guestroom

Max Occupancy: 2 / Max Adults: 2 & Max Children: 1

PLEASE NOTE: Only King-bedded rooms are available!

Hotel Chaco’s 118 luxury Albuquerque suites and guest rooms are custom-designed with relaxation and peace in mind. Rooms have extended ceiling heights with expansive windows and balconies offering majestic views of the Sandia Mountains, the downtown skyline, historic Old Town, the west mesa, and the property’s stunning desert gardens and pristine pool.

The guest rooms in this luxury hotel in Albuquerque are well appointed with a soothing neutral color palette, tile flooring, a relaxing armchair, large executive workspace and heavy blackout curtains.

Eldorado Hotel & Spa

309 W San Francisco Street | Santa Fe, NM 87501


For centuries men have searched for the legendary city known as Eldorado – the City of Gold. Despite their failure to find any cities of gold, history has shown this expedition to have been a journey of epic proportions. This unique AAA Four-Diamond-rated Santa Fe hotel and spa shares the story of Eldorado with a modern twist. Located just steps away from the historic Santa Fe Plaza, the thrill of discovery is met with true reward — celebrating centuries of tradition and culture in a bold new expression of design and creativity.

Hotel Information

Standard Guestroom

Max Occupancy: 4 / Max Adults: 4 & Max Children: 3


Balloon Fiesta Park

Albuquerque, NM

Saturday Morning Mass Ascension & Twilight Twinkle Glow

Admission to Saturday's morning and evening sessions.

Mass Ascension, a launch of all the participating balloons has been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and is the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, also known as zebras because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as traffic cops, coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner. Weather permitting, balloons begin to launch at about 7:00 AM on mass ascension days, led by a balloon flying the American flag to the strains of The Star Spangled Banner.

The events now known as balloon glows were invented in Albuquerque in 1979, when local pilots inflated balloons on Christmas Eve night as a thank you to local residents. The sight of balloons lit from within at night like giant holiday ornaments is breathtaking and glow events are now held all over the world. Balloon Fiesta launched its Balloon Glow, the world's biggest, in 1987. Balloon Glow all burns, when all the balloons fire their burners and light up at the same time are perhaps the most spectacular single moment in all of Balloon Fiesta. The Balloon Glows, followed by New Mexico's most spectacular fireworks displays, are now among Balloon Fiesta's most popular events.


Sunday Morning Mass Ascension

Admission to Sunday morning's session.

Mass Ascension, a launch of all the participating balloons has been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and is the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, also known as zebras because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as traffic cops, coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner. Weather permitting, balloons begin to launch at about 7:00 AM on mass ascension days, led by a balloon flying the American flag to the strains of The Star Spangled Banner.



Saturday & Sunday Chaser's Club Hospitality

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is offering a special package for guests who would like to upgrade their Balloon Fiesta experience. Your Chasers’ Club ticket gives you guaranteed seating in a private outdoor patio located next to the launch field where you can enjoy traditional New Mexican food catered by Little Anita's along with non-alcoholic drinks. Coffee is provided and is served along with hot cocoa in the mornings and iced tea and lemonade are served during evening sessions. Chasers' Club guests will also have access to private restrooms located within the Chasers' Club area.


Gondola Club Hospitality Upgrade

Upgrade to Gondola Club Hospitality for all three sessions.

Enjoy Balloon Fiesta from one of the most picturesque locations in Balloon Fiesta Park. The Gondola Club is a private area away from the crowds, and includes delicious food, local entertainment, courtesy shuttles, and indoor restrooms just for our guests. The Balloon Fiesta is a truly unique experience, and Gondola Club tickets allow guests to experience this world-class event in a very special and private setting. Just imagine being able to have a private seat complete with wonderful food while looking out over a Mass Ascension, Special Shapes Rodeo, a balloon glow, competition or fireworks.

Please note this is an optional hospitality upgrade, and you will be charged an additional $399 per person.

$399 per person

Dinner and Flamenco Performance

At Tablao Flamenco Albuquerque, passion and energy come alive nightly as you experience flamenco in its most intimate, powerful setting in the heart of historic Old Town Albuquerque. Featuring a world-class line-up of artists, the Tablao Flamenco presents a dynamic schedule of performances, featuring the premier artists from Spain and the United States, and delivers the traditional Spanish tapas experience, created by world-renowned Chef Mark Miller of Santa Fe`s Coyote Cafe and Hotel Albuquerque`s Chef Gilbert Aragon.


Monday Tours

Monday includes guided tours to El Santuario de Chimayo and the Chimayo Museum, and includes lunch.

El Santuario de Chimayo
Nestled in the village of Chimayo along the High Road to Taos sits a national historic landmark, El Santuario de Chimayo. The sanctuary is notorious for the unusual legend of its creation and as a present-day pilgrimage site. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States.” It is also often called the “Lourdes of America” for its magical healing soil. In the small prayer room next to the sanctuary is a round hole filled with this soil. In fact, many come to the church in pursuit of this soil, hoping to find a cure for their afflictions.

Chimayo Museum
The Museum is located in the Plaza del Cerro, one of Chimayo's historic neighborhoods. The Plaza was organized as a fortified community in the second half of the eighteenth century by the Spanish colonial administration of New Mexico. The rectangular Plaza is made up of a contiguous row of adobe buildings. It was designed to protect its residents from attack. It is one of the best surviving examples of a fortified plaza in New Mexico. The Museum building is a classic New Mexican adobe home with white-washed mud plastered interior walls, vigas as supporting ceiling beams and hardened mud floors. In the nineteenth century, it was the home of Jose Ramon Ortega y Vigil and Petra Mestas Ortega, ancestors of the world-renowned Ortega family of Chimayo weavers.


Tuesday Tours

Tuesday includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home Studio in Abiquiu and admission to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.

Home Studio
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was an important American modernist who painted the stunning architectural and landscape configurations of Northern New Mexico for more than 40 years. She bought a house at Ghost Ranch in 1940, and another in Abiquiu in 1945, which are now owned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era Abiquiu compound was in ruins and for the next four years O’Keeffe supervised its restoration. She moved from New York to make New Mexico her permanent home in 1949 and lived at these two houses until 1984, when she moved to Santa Fe. O’Keeffe’s Home and Studio in Abiquiu remain much as she left it.

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe and to the study and interpretation of American Modernism (1890's-present). The Museum organizes exhibitions of O'Keeffe's work and that of her contemporaries within the context of American Modernism. The Museum's collections, exhibitions, Research Center, publications, and education programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve diverse audiences.




What is a “Land-Only” package?

A Land-Only package includes all the items listed as “tour package features” EXCEPT for air transportation, airport/hotel transfers, and baggage handling. A Land-Only package would be appropriate should the tour participant not be able to conveniently depart/return from the same city listed in the Air package or wish to travel on their own. Please note flights and/or motor coach transportation to the destination city is not included in this type of package.

What’s included in my price?

Your final price includes room and all hotel taxes. It does not include items such as charges for meals, parking, rollaway beds, phone calls, valet and room service, or any other items of a personal nature.

What do “Single,” “Double,” “Triple,” and “Quad” mean?

Single, Double, Triple, and Quad refer to how many adults (13 and over) are sharing each room (total room occupancy). For example, if two adults wish to stay in the same room, the price would be the Double price, and this would be per person.

Do I need travel insurance?

Due to the investment of your travel package, we strongly recommend the purchase of appropriate insurance coverage. Medical insurance policies may not protect your travels away from home and often have out-of-network deductibles. Likewise, coverage through credit cards and travel suppliers can have shortfalls and not fully protect you. For additional information, please click on the Insurance link on the bottom right of this website.

What does the “Child” price mean?

Children’s prices are limited to those 12 years of age or under sharing a room with one or more adults and using existing bedding. For example, if the room is shared with one adult, the single rate applies as the adult’s price plus the child’s price. If the room is shared with two adults, the double rate applies as each adult’s price plus the child’s price.

What type of payments do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Debit cards featuring the Visa or MasterCard logo are also accepted; however, please be advised these types of cards typically have a maximum amount that you may charge daily. Please check with your financial institution.

When will I receive my trip documents?

Trip documents are typically emailed two to three weeks prior to departure for regular season football weekends and specialty programs while bowl game participants will receive theirs five to seven days out.  Itineraries for special events, such as the Final Four and Bowl Games, will be sent via email just prior to leaving. If you are not the main reservation contact and would like to receive the emailed tour documents, please add your email to the reservation or contact your booking agent.

If I’m not traveling, can I make a reservation for someone else?

When completing the reservation, use the name of the person for whom you are making the reservation. When entering credit card information, you may use your credit card and billing address for payment.

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