A 14 day itinerary that combines the hedonism and bright lights of Las Vegas with some of the world's most beautiful and spectacular national parks. A beguiling and truly American eclectic trip in the continent-sized country's west.
After breakfast at the resort it's time to explore one final natural treasure - Arches National Park - which is again easy to reach from the resort, with the park entrance just over half an hour away.
Also again, the name does exactly what it says on the tin, since the park is home to several hundred immense sandstone arches that are an impressive fiery orange at any time but go a vivid vermilion at sunrise and sunset. As ever, the thoughtful park authorities have designated several great walking routes and it's hard to look beyond the Delicate Arch Trail, a three mile round trip that climbs 480ft to the iconic arch that graces Utah car licence plates. It's pretty picture perfect, but for sheer scale, you should also consider the Devil's Garden Trail, a gentle 1.5 mile loop taking in Landscape Arch, the single largest span arch in the world.
Head down South with the company of the Canyons of the Ancients National Park or Monument Valley
Today is by far the longest day on the road, with the journey from Moab taking approximately five hours if you were just to gun it straight. But to do that would be to miss out on yet more fascinating places on route. If you start early and worked fast, it might be possible to do all of the below, otherwise it may be an either/or situation so you'll need to decide which appeals more - a serious cultural highlight or one of the iconic views in America. You decide. If the cultural detour appeals, you should swing by the Canyons of the Ancients National Park which, despite sounding suspiciously like an Indiana Jones movie, is actually the home of the highest density of archaeological sites in the USA. Pop in to Lowry Pueblo to see an intriguing example of the sorts of Pueblan communities that once thrived in this region, known as Montezuma Valley, and complete with some 50 rooms (some three storeys tall) and kivas - areas used for religious or political meetings. This extremely interesting detour will add an hour or so on to the journey time, plus whatever time you spend actually at the sites. The alternative, or additional, trump (sorry) card this day is the incomparable Monument Valley, the setting for so many Westerns and one of the world's most famous views thanks to the flat-topped buttes and mesas (fast fact: buttes are where the flat top is narrower than the height of the structure, whereas mesas are vice versa) rising from the desert floor. Amazingly, given the proliferation of National Parks in Utah alone, Monument Valley has not been awarded this exalted status but it remains one of the most impressive landscapes on earth and somewhere to explore on foot (those walking shoes deserve a medal by now) or on horseback for added poignancy. Alternatively, it's possible to drive around the main events such as the Mittens, Three Sisters, Ear of the Wind etc, albeit it on dirt roads. And so, eventually, to the final and most luxurious stop on the trip, Amangiri.
Explore the history of the land.
This really ought to be the moment to put your feet up and enjoy two glorious days of unadulterated nothing other than eating well and enjoying spa treatments and sunshine, but Amangiri does an excellent line in activities, so you may find yourself irresistibly drawn to adventures such as a visit to nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the company of a palaeontologist to find fossils and petrified (as in turned to stone rather than scared stiff) dinosaur tracks. Alternatively, enjoy a morning kayaking on beautiful Lake Powell or see Amangiri from a different perspective after scaling the surrounding cliffs on via ferrata routes. Then there's the chance to learn more about local Navajo culture and rituals or to ride the resort's beautiful horses on stunning trails.
Time to say goodbye to the USA.
Arrive back into London Heathrow either late morning or early afternoon depending on which flight you took.
If you would like to book the itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.
If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.
If you are looking for something extra special, we can discuss with you upgrading your accommodation, flights or activities.
We rarely boast about our service but we believe it's what sets us apart and makes us truly original, so please forgive this moment of unabashed self-promotion.