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Albuquerque tours and excursions

Albuquerque tours

Hot-air balloon tours

Several companies offer hot-air balloon rides over Albuquerque and the Rio Grande. As well as the spectacular flight itself, World Balloon provides a light breakfast, local sparkling wine and a commemorative certificate.

Tel: +1 505 293 6800
Website: http://worldballoon.com

Bike tours

Based in the Old Town, Routes Rentals offer hugely enjoyable two-hour bike tours through the glorious woodlands that line the Rio Grande, plus an extensive programme of speciality tours, include various itineraries that trace the locations seen in TV epic Breaking Bad. You can also simply rent a bike and do what the hell you like.

Tel: +1 505 933 5667
Website: http://www.routesrentals.com

Albuquerque excursions

Ácoma Pueblo

Perhaps the most remarkable of all New Mexico's native American communities, Ácoma Pueblo perches atop a remote desert mesa 80km (50 miles) west of central Albuquerque. Known as Sky City for its dramatic setting, Ácoma was besieged by Spanish conquistadores in 1598, but remains proudly important, and can be visited on daily guided tours led by its Pueblo inhabitants.

Tel: +1 800 747 0181
Website: http://www.acomaskycity.org

Turquoise Trail

Designated a National Scenic Byway, the Turquoise Trail is an alternative back route that threads between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, through a succession of revived former ghost towns that lie on the eastern slopes of the majestic Sandia Mountains. The trail follows NM 14, starting around 26km (16 miles) east of central Albuquerque and continuing for about 98km (61 miles) to Santa Fe. Several of the long-abandoned mining towns en route, including Cerrillos and larger Madrid, have been revitalized by an influx of artists and craft workers, and are now filled with quirky galleries, cafes and B&Bs, as well as some fascinating museums.

Tel: +1 505 281 5233
Website: http://www.turquoisetrail.org

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Andaluz

Built just before World War II by local-born Conrad Hilton, as the flagship property for his new hotel chain, this magnificently restored downtown gem is a delightful place to stay. Guest rooms are beautifully furnished and very comfortable, while the public spaces are superb, and include an excellent Spanish restaurant.

Hotel Blue

Just west of downtown along legendary Route 66, this four-storey 1960s hotel has spacious, airy rooms at reasonable rates, decorated with a certain Art Deco flair. The rooms are on the small side, but there's complimentary breakfast, coffee, and a free shuttle service to and from the airport, bus or train station.

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

A short walk north of Old Town, this 11-storey hotel blends Native American, Mexican, Spanish and Western cultural traditions and includes a fitness centre, two well-respected restaurants and bars, and an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool. There's even a wedding chapel, should you decide to get hitched.

Embassy Suites Hotel Albuquerque

One of the city's most attractive hotels, on the northeast edge of downtown, this all-suite property features a full-service day spa and a lovely open atrium with a cascade and meandering water trails. Each of its sizeable suites features a separate living area with sofa bed, armchair and well-lit work/dining table, wet bar, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker.

Sandia Resort & Casino

Showcasing the native American heritage of the Southwest this swanky Pueblo-owned hotel occupies a dramatic mesa-top location in the city's northeastern quadrant. Amenities include a full gaming casino championship golf course full-service spa and several outstanding restaurants. Some of the fanciest rooms in the state boast lavish bathrooms and enjoy breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains and Rio Grande Valley.

Econo Lodge Old Town

It's hard to find cheap rooms near the Old Town, so this attractive, well-kept chain motel, just a couple of minutes' walk west towards the river, is a real boon. Features include free breakfasts and wi-fi, and a heated indoor pool.