Santa Fe Opera and Birding Tours

Santa Fe Opera and Birding Tours

If you are interested in the Santa Fe Opera and Birding Tours, come and join us at Kaiyote Tours!

Santa Fe Opera Festival 2020

Every year the Santa Fe opera performs 5 separate operas and for one week every year in August, the Santa Fe Opera performs all five operas. There will be Southwest birding every day. There will be morning and afternoon bird walks and trips to culturally significant sites and there will be free time for you to visit the great city of Santa Fe.  

Opera Pavilion:  The Santa Fe Opera is an outdoor pavilion that is completely covered and so no concern for getting rained on during the evening rain showers and when an evening rain shower does come by, it is beautiful to watch is pass by; to smell the rain and watch the lighting safe from your opera chair.  In the arid Southern Rockies, rain comes by as isolated short-lived storms and is always welcome and wonderful.  

Beautiful Walks:  There will be visits to the La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs, the Rio Charma Valley, Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Bandelier National Monument, Hyde Memorial State Park, Randall Davey Audubon Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, Georgia O'Keeffe’ s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, Pecos National Historic Site and historic walking tours of Santa Fe.
 
Audubon Center:  At the edge of Santa Fe is the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary. Birds to see: Steller's Jay, Spotted Towhee, Northern Mocking Bird, Sage Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, Vesper Sparrow, Northern Roughed-winged Swallows and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
 
Santa Fe Mountains:  About 30 minutes outside of Santa Fe are the arid Ponderosa Pine mountains of the Southwest. This is the southernmost area of the Southern Rockies. Home to many unique birds that love the arid west:  Juniper Titmouse, Pinyon Jay, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Clark' Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Cassin's Finch, Western Tanager and Townsend's Solitaire.
 
Georgia O'Keeffe:  The Ghost Ranch, just outside Santa Fe was the home, studio and inspiration for many of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings. The 21,000 acres ranch is and museum is open to the public, where you will enjoy birding, walking and being inspired by this wonderful landscape. Favorite birds here: Woodhouse's Scrub Jay and the Broad-tailed Hummingbird.
 
Lodging:  We will be staying for six nights at a family owned B&B, located within a 10-minute walk for the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Each room is a small suite with plenty of space including a small sitting area, kitchenette and decorated with beautiful southwest design in an historic adobe building.
 
Preview Dinners:  The Santa Fe Opera has wonderful pre-opera talks and dinners. For three nights, dinner will be at the opera restaurant and every night we will attend the opera pre-talk discussion.
 
Picnic Dinners:  The Santa Fe Opera is famous for its "tailgating" parties before the opera. There will be three nights that we will have a picnic dinner at the opera.  It is a unique and fun experience at the Santa Fe opera and people show up early and "tailgate" for dinner.  The opera house also sells picnic baskets to accommodate these activities.  The opera house opens the parking lot 3-hours early to accommodate tailgaters. The opera house is located about 15 minutes north of Santa Fe surrounded by a beautiful arid southwest landscape of mesas, pinyon pines, chamisa and sagebrush. The weather in August is perfect; warm and dry during the day and cool, with occasional showers in the evening.
 
For recent photos click here:  Newsletter Archives (opens new page)
 
More photos can be found here:  Photo Gallery (opens new page)

If you are a birder and an opera lover, you will not want to miss this event.

If you are not an opera lover, you can sign up for the daytime activities without the opera, there is a price deduction. 

Highlights:

  • Birding tours every day in the beautiful state of New Mexico. 
  • Visiting the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu.
  • Seeing a great opera every night!

 Printable Bird List 
(This is a checklist of birds that we have seen on this trip) 

  • Travel Dates: August 16 - 22, 2020 (annual trip, dates vary each year) 
  • Group Size: 6 travelers, spaces left for 2020 = 6
  • Trip Length: 7 days
  • Rates Rate per person = $3,950 (based on double occupancy)
  • Rates include:  Lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Santa Fe opera tickets for five nights, daily birding tours and airport transfer for Albuquerque Airport.
  • Not included: Airfare to Albuquerque
  • Adventure level:  Easy, please check the "Welcome" page for definition

Special note:  If you are not an opera fan, it is possible to join the tour at a reduced price that does not include opera tickets or dinner: $2,950 per person (based on double occupancy)

Special offer:  Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Western North America” by David Allen Sibley.  You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and know the beautiful birds! 

Elevation:  The elevation of the city of Santa Fe is 7,200 feet.  Most of the daily birding tours will be at elevations from 6,300 - 7,800 feet.  There will be one birding tour at 10,300 feet.  If you might be sensitive high elevation, we recommend arriving in Albuquerque a day or two early to help you better acclimate.  Please contact us for more info about elevation. 

2020 Itinerary

Day 1  Sunday August 16:   Fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Shuttle transfer from Albuquerque to Santa Fe
  • Arrival day:  No scheduled activities
  • Dinner:  TBD

Day 2  Monday August 17

  • 6:00am – 8:00am:  Randall Davey Audubon Center
  • 8:00am – 9:00am:  Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm:  Randall Davey Audubon Center
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm:  Tour Historic Santa Fe Plaza
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm:  Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm:  Leave for opera
  • 5:30pm:  Pre-view dinner buffet and opera talk
  • 8:00pm:  The Magic Flute (1791) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Day 3  Tuesday August 18

  • 6:00am – 8:00am:  La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs
  • 8:00am – 9:00am:  Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm:  White Rock and Valles Caldera National Preserve 
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm:  Bandelier National Monument
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm:  Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm:  Leave for opera
  • 5:30pm:  Tailgate picnic dinner at the opera
  • 7:00pm:  Opera talk
  • 8:00pm:  Tristan and Isolde (1865) Richard Wagner

Day 4  Wednesday August 19

  • 8:00am – 10:00am: Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm:  Echo Amphitheater, Abiquiu
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm:  Ghost Ranch and Rio Chama Valley
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm:  Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm:  Leave for opera
  • 5:30pm:  Pre-view dinner buffet and opera talk
  • 8:00pm:  M. Butterfly (2020 world Premier) by David Henry Hwang

Day 5  Thursday August 20

  • 6:00am – 8:00am:  Santa Fe Canyon Wetlands
  • 8:00am – 9:00am:  Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm:  Galisteo Basin Preserve
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm:  Pecos National Historic Park
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm:  Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm:  Leave for opera
  • 5:30pm:  Tailgate picnic dinner at the opera
  • 7:00pm:  Opera talk
  • 8:00pm: Rusalka (1901) Antonín Dvořák 

Day 6  Friday August 21

  • 6:00am – 8:00am:  Randall Davey Audubon Center
  • 8:00am – 9:00am:  Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm:  Hyde Park, Aspen Vista and Black Canyon
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm:  Picnic lunch
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm:  Santa Fe Botanical Garden
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm:  Afternoon break
  • 5:00pm:  Leave for opera
  • 5:30pm:  Pre-view dinner buffet and opera talk
  • 8:00pm:  The Barber of Seville (1816) Gioachino Rossini

Day 7  Saturday August 22

  • Departure day:  You will be transferred from your hotel in Santa Fe to the Albuquerque airport