Taos, NM Enables Traveler Access To ‘Experiential Travel’ Opportunities with Custom & Self-Guided Itineraries

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“Experiential travel” – the newest buzz word when it comes to travel trends – is made even easier by exotic and authentic Taos, New Mexico, with the addition of innovative paid as well as free self-guided tour itineraries for the creative tourism traveler.

"Gone are the days of bystander-travel; when it comes to Taos, our visitors want to stray off the beaten path and live like the locals do in order to fully maximize their travel experience,” said Town of Taos Mayor Darren Cordova

"Experiential travel” – the newest buzz word when it comes to travel trends – is made even easier by exotic and authentic Taos, New Mexico, with the addition of innovative paid as well as free self-guided tour itineraries for the creative tourism traveler.

Unlike “theme park” travel where destinations are simply checked off the “did it” list, experiential travel elevates vacationers from being a simple observer to an active participant – and each time you participate, you receive a different value and different experiences from a destination. Today’s experience-focused traveler wants to enrich their lives by absorbing the culture of a different region through the history, traditions, arts/crafts, cuisine, and architecture, in order to connect and better understand other people’s perspectives.

“Gone are the days of bystander-travel; when it comes to Taos, our visitors want to stray off the beaten path and live like the locals do in order to fully maximize their travel experience,” said Town of Taos Mayor Darren Cordova. “Through our many self-guided and customized tours, visitors to Taos are able to experience the culture, traditions and history of Taos with all their senses. Seeing the beautiful architecture, tasting the authentic rellenos smothered with green chile, feeling the splash of the water during a white water rafting trip, smelling the smoke rising from the kivas at Taos Pueblo, and hearing about the lives of Taos’ remarkable women at a museum – those experiences are unique to Taos and distinguish it from any other place in the world.”

Paid Tours.
Innovative paid tour packages focus on Taos’ 2012 traveler education theme, “The Remarkable Women of Taos and Northern New Mexico,” and are offered through customized, packaged tours by tour companies Artours, Ltd. and Seven Directions.

Seven Directions is now offering an all-inclusive 5-day, 4-night “Remarkable Women of Taos” tour in 2012. Shorter tours are also available. The adventure follows in the footsteps of some of Taos’ most internationally influential women whose independence, creativity and passion greatly contributed to what Taos is today – creative, unconventional, rejuvenating and exotic. Guests who participate in these tours will be granted rare access to many hidden gems in Taos including La Fonda’s Hotel’s Karavas Forbidden Art Room which houses D.H. Lawrence’s famous paintings that were regarded as “obscene” in the 1920’s and were banned in London.

Other exclusive features of the tour include: a private guided tour of Taos Pueblo (1,100 year old UNESCO Living World Heritage Site and National Trust for Historic Preservation Landmark, http://www.taospueblo.com); visits with pueblo artists including internationally recognized fashion designer Patricia Michaels; talk with the Friends of DH Lawrence organization President about Lawrence’s Taos legacy and his nine forbidden paintings housed at Hotel La Fonda; private dinner and tour at the Millicent Rogers Museum (http://www.millicentrogers.org); lunch at private home on Santa Clara Pueblo; and much more. The deadline for booking the May Remarkable Women of Taos tour is April 18, 2012 – but other tours will be available later this year. For more information or to book, call (877) 992-6128 or visit http://www.sevendirections.net.

Artours of Taos will customize similar 2012 tours for small or large groups. For Artours information call (800) 582-9700 or visit http://www.artoursltd.com.

Added Taos Experience Opportunities.
A trip to one of the world’s most transformative and inspiring art colonies wouldn’t be complete without a chance to tap into one’s “inner artist.” Professional Taos photographer Geraint Smith and graphic designer Lesley Cox co-created Wild Geese Eco Adventures – guided outdoor experiences aimed at increasing awareness about wildlife, environment and history/culture of Northern NM. The tours give amateur and professional photographers numerous opportunities to photograph the breathtaking landscapes of the Taos area that have inspired internationally renowned photo-artists like Ansel Adams.

One such Wild Geese Eco tour, the “Abiquiu and Ghost Rancho Photo Tour,” launches on April 21. Students will photograph the haunting yet enchanting landscape of O’Keeffe country, exploring/photographing the geological formations, birds, archaeology and river ecosystem of the area. The full day tour includes lunch. Space is limited to 12 students.

Photo classes for children and families are also available through Wild Geese Eco Adventures in addition to photography tours of Chaco Canyon, Valle Vidal, Farm Tours of Northern NM and more. A portion of the proceeds from the tours benefit the Wild Geese Fund, which supports programs for children in nature. For more information or to reserve a tour, contact Wild Geese Eco Adventures at (505) 501-4880 or (575) 741-0098 or email info(at)wildgeesehome(dot)com. Visit http://www.wildgeesehome.com for more information.

And if cooking (and eating) is your “art”, take advantage of pre-scheduled as well as customizable classes with the Cooking Studio Taos and its Chef Chris Maher who has traversed the world, cooking for Presidents, Hollywood studios, and corporate guests, as well as teaching Taos locals and visitors the ins and outs of ethnic specialties. Visit http://www.cookingschoolsofamerica.com/Cooking-Studio-Taos.html for more information.

Fechin Art Workshops also provides opportunities for students to learn from master painters through a number of workshops including “What Painting Is” led by artists David Leffel and Sherrie McGraw. Limited-space workshops are available through the summer and can be found online at http://www.fineartservices.info/workshops or by calling Elise Waters Olonia at (575) 751-0647.

Self-Guided Tours.
For the traveler who wants to explore Taos’ independently, half and full-day self-guided tours can be downloaded online for free and are available at the Taos Visitor Center. Visit taos.org for a complete list. Self-guided tours include, among others:

Taos in the Movies Tour – Most people may not know it, but many box office hits and favorites have been filmed in Taos including “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Easy Rider” and “No Country for Old Men.” Recommended stops (and former movie sets) include, among others: Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and San Francisco de Asis Church.

Wild Wild West Tour – A trading center since pre-Spanish times, this little outpost on the northwestern-most point of the Old Santa Fe Trail became the stuff of legends. Recommended stops include: Taos Pueblo, Taos Plaza, Governor Bent House/Museum, Kit Carson Home, Hacienda de los Martinez and an historic tour of Taos via trolley.

Labyrinths of Taos Tour – There are currently seven private labyrinths in the Taos area that are open to the public. Recommended labyrinth stops include: Adobe and Pines Bed and Breakfast, Touchstone Inn, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, First Presbyterian Church, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM.

Birding Tours – Taos’ varied eco-zones and elevations make it a bird watchers paradise. Recommended stops include, among others: Taos Canyon, Taos Ski Valley and NM 518 marshes.

Family Tours – Taos is a well-matched destination for kids because of its many outdoor adventures and unique cultural activities designed not only to entertain but teach. Recommended stops: llama trekking along the Gorge or Sangre de Cristo mountains, Twirl Toystore and Playspace, white water rafting, Taos Pueblo, Harwood Museum (kids art program).

Area Day-Trip Driving Tours – Half-day and full-day self-guided driving tour recommendations are available at taos.org/visit/itineraries. Some day trips include stops to northern NM pueblos including Taos Pueblo, followed by a drive to Bandelier National Monument. Driving tours such as the “Enchanted Circle”or “Native American Northern Pueblos and Bandelier” tours can be downloaded for free at http://taos.org/visit/maps-printable-resources.

Self-guided Remarkable Women of Taos tours are also available throughout the year. Stops include: Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Harwood Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum and many other incredible Taos locations. Profiles of Taos’ historic and contemporary women are detailed on taos.org/women and also include each individual’s “favorite places” that you can visit today.

For a complete list of custom and self-guided tours offered in Taos, or information on Remarkable Women of Taos and Northern New Mexico visit http://taos.org/visit/itineraries, http://www.Taos.org\women, and the site’s Printable Maps and Resources.

CONTACT: Erica Asmus-Otero Erica(at)griffinassoc(dot)com (505) 259-2202

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