Native American Series of Tours

I am pleased to announce that Sinclair Travel Center of Mesa, Arizona has accepted ten of my tours to Indian Country for their winter and spring group touring schedule.  They are providing all sales.  Call Louise at 480-981-3795 to make reservations soon.


Besh Ba Gowah Luminaria

Festival of Lights at Besh Ba Gowah   December 20   Enjoy an afternoon/evening tour to Globe AZ to celebrate amongst the 12th Century Pueblo Ruins and experience mesmerizing Apache dancers, flute music, & storytellers.  Dinner is included as well as brief tours in the mining towns of Globe & Miami.   $99pp


 The Heard MuseumDay Tour of The Heard Museum January 21  Tour the museum’s finest art pieces to tell the past and present stories of Southwestern Native People.  See a spectacular display of 400 Hopi Katsina Dolls, a  Navajo Hogan, the outdoor Veterans Memorial, and more. Lunch is included at the museum’s Courtyard Cafe specializing in native cuisine.    $99pp

Santa Fe Red Chilis

Santa Fe Art & Culinary Tour  January 27-30 In Santa Fe, you will stay at the exquisite Inn of the Governors and explore art from centuries old treasures to contemporary works.  Tour the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, the Palace of Governors, the Loretto Chapel, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the International Folk Art Museum. The distinctive cuisine of Santa Fe includes a blend of Native American and Mexican foods.  You enjoy a cooking demo at the Santa Fe School of Cooking $599pp (add $150 for single)


Pueblo Grande Ruins

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park   February 26 This day tour includes a visit to the largest archeological park in Phoenix to see the ruins of the ancient Hohokam people but also includes a Public Art Tour via the Phoenix Sky Harbor Sky Train, the Tempe Center for the Arts, and a yummy lunch.    $79pp

Fort Apache Historic Buildings

The White Mountain Apache Experience   March 4 & 5    Hold onto your seat as we drive through the winding Salt River Canyon which seperates the San Carlos and White Mountain Apache Tribes.  Then enjoy a private tour of the White Mountain Apache Cultural Center in Central Arizona.  The museum is a monument to the Tribe’s history to celebrate the Apache heritage.  Visit Fort Apache, the Theodore Roosevelt School, and the Kanishba Ruins.     Stay overnight at the HonDah (Apache) Casino in Pinetop AZ and enjoy a visit to Greer AZ for some antique shopping.      $199pp (Add $50 for single)

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Native American Ruins Tour March 15 – 16  Join us on this road tour through a scenic loop in the high Ponderosa Pine forests of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument followed by a tour of the ancient Wupatki Ruins nestled between the Painted Desert and Ponderosa highlands.  The second day includes a visit to Montezuma Castle National Monument to marvel at the 20 room high cliff dwelling of the ancient Sinagua people.  $249pp (Add $75 single)

Durango-Silverton Train

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Mesa Verde Tour   March 18 – 21  This four day tour heads to Farmington, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado where we board the historic narrow gauge train to visit Silverton, a historic, bustling resort town perched at 6500 feet, between high desert and an alpine wonderland.  This train ride showcases the absolute beauty and panorama of Colorado. The trip also includes a tour of Mesa Verde National Park to see the ancient ruins of the early Puebloans.   At least one scrumptious meal is included each day.    $599pp  (Add $150 for single)



Casa Grande National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument & Gambling Tour March 24 Travel through the Gila River Indian Community to Casa Grande Ruins, our nation’s first archeological reserve, declared a National Monument in 1918, that date to the Hohokam period people in the 13th century who farmed the valley. Dine at the Wildhorse Pass Casino & enjoy some gambling.  $89pp

Herb Stevens, Director of the San Carlos Apache Cultural CenterSan Carlos Apache Day Tour   March 29  The San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation was established as a place to house captured Chiricahua Apaches during the latter 1800s.  It remains the world’s first concentration camp still existing to this day.  Learn the Apache perspective of this time period at the San Carlos Apache Cultural Center.  Lunch at the Apache Gold Casino followed by a shopping visit to the Pickle Barrel Trading Post in Globe, Arizona.   $89pp




Monument Valley LookoutMonument Valley & Canyon de Chelly Tour  April 9 – 12  This tour includes three nights in Northern Arizona’s Navajo Country.  Experience the natural wonder of Monument Valley National Park, a photographers paradise.  Enjoy multiple stops at Navajo Tribal Center, trading posts, and museums (including the Navajo Code Talkers Museum) to get to know Navajo culture, past and present.  Our second breath-taking location is Canyon de Chelly National Monument where we take a Navajo Guided Tour of the Lower Canyon.  See majestic cliffs with ancient petrogliffs where a peaceful sense will overcome you.  Both parks are absolutely beautiful.  $659pp (Add $175 for single)

Call or visit Sinclair Travel Center – 6134 E. Main St, #106 Mesa, AZ – to book your tour(s) soon. 480-981-3795   You can request more detailed information about each tour of interest.  Flyers are available.


The Uros People of Lake Titicaca Peru

Our greeting by the Uros People

Our greeting by the Uros People

A favorite stop on my recent tour of Peru was the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca.  The Uros are a pre-Incan people who live on forty-two self-made floating islands.  Their lifestyle is fascinating and we were fortunate to be invited to share their world.

The Uros use bundles of dried totora reeds to make reed boats (balsas mats), and to make the islands themselves.

An elder man demonstrates the island construction process

An elder man demonstrates the island construction process

The larger islands house about ten families, while smaller ones (like the one we visited), only about ninety feet wide, house only two or three.  The islets are made of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The dense roots that the plants develop and interweave form a natural layer called Khili that support the islands. They are anchored with ropes attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away fairly quickly, so new reeds are added to the top constantly, about every three months. Simply walking on the island is a treat. There’s a spring to every step as the island sinks about 2-4″ depending on the density of the ground underfoot. As the reeds dry, they break up more and more as they are walked upon. As the reed breaks up and moisture gets to it, it rots, and a new layer has to be added. It’s a lot of work to maintain the islands.

A Uros woman displays her embroidery depicting her family life.

A Uros woman displays her embroidery depicting her family life.

Tourism provides financial opportunities for the natives, while simultaneously challenging their traditional lifestyle.  I can only imagine what goes through their heads as each new group of tourists near their homes.  However, they graciously invite us to enter their private dwellings.  We try on their traditional dress, see how they prepare foods and cook, and  meet their children.  One tiny, little boy ran straight for my husbands pants leg and grabbed hold, saying “Hey mister!” grinning from ear to ear.  What a welcome!

Supporting the arts of the Uros people.

Supporting the arts of the Uros people.

We later boarded one of their dragon-shaped reed boats and were oared to another island community across the calm waters of Lake Titicaca.  Breathtakingly quiet!

Our Uros Host

Our Uros Host

Our private guide in Peru was Peter Lauffer, ITMI Tour Director. For more information about touring Peru and the the Uros Islands, email

The majority of the information for this blog was taken from Wikipedia.  Read more about these people and visit soon.