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Navajo Tours USA offers an opportunity for unique experiences. Stand on the land where Navajo healers still practice their traditional ceremonies. Hear the winds that carry the songs of nature. Echoes of the ancient Indian people that lived and still live on this land reverberate off the canyon walls.
Many travel guest request to attend healing ceremonies or meet Navajo Medicine Men or women. Sacred ceremonies are not included in the tour package. We at Navajo Tours USA feel it is not ethically sensitive to advertise the selling of our traditional medicine ways. Sacred ceremonies are private and usually reserved for tribal members and their families. We hope that you understand that this is something that can not be scheduled.
If traditional medicine ways are a particular area of interest to you please note that on your survey when you apply for admission to a tour package. We do have people trained in this area to answer some questions on this topic. Also, some information on this topic will be included in the storytelling time at the campfire and other spontaneous dialogue while on the tour itself. All things truly are connected within the Indian cosmology, so much so, that it is often hard to tell where one topic stops and another begins.
Another memory as a Navajo youth is bathing in the first winter snow and noting how cold and awakening the snow is. After such an experience I would race back inside the house and warm up by the wood oven.
I share these memories as a travel tip for your safety. If traveling to the northwestern region of New Mexico, during the late Autumn and Winter months, there is winter weather. Not a Bugs Bunny desert scene winter, but a winter over a mile high up from sea level. There is a need for coats, gloves and even thermal underwear if one intends to be outdoor for several hours. Some of the roads can be dangerous to travel, even with grading/salting of the roads. If traveling during winter conditions check out the website www.NMroads.com for some helpful travel routes and information.
A favorite of the winter months is the great snow setting on the environment. Fantastic scenery for photos such as snow capped Cabezon Peak, cedar branches with juniper berries set against snow are fantastic. If you are fortunate, understanding the seasonal cycles using the tools of the Ancestral Pueblos at Chaco Culture National Historical Park is amazing to experience. In each of these experiences, plan for colder weather and not short pants and tank tops.
Promoting responsible travel requires exploring the practice of sustainability in all environments we encounter. Ultimately, we want our travel guests to make positive impacts in the space they find themselves with efforts to maintain the integrity of local cultural heritage and the natural environment. When you visit the Navajo Nation area keep these 7 tips in mind.
1. Leave it be. Don’t take rocks or disturb rock formations. They are unique. Let’s preserve their uniqueness in every way.
2. It’s about tranquility and respect. Keep the noise to a minimum. If you need to cross a gate, close it behind you. You are most likely hiking through a ranch and you do not want to set free any livestock. Respect signs that say no trespassing.
3. Hiking etiquette. Let’s hike the right way. Stay on paths unless directed by your guide. Be conscious of your surroundings. Keep your footing away from vegetation, because native plant root systems anchor soil and prevent erosion.
4. It’s about attitude not technology. Be creative and capture those memorable moments, but don’t forget to also absorb this majesty and magic without the technology.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag. A shopping bag and water bottle will help curb your carbon footprint while traveling the Navajo Nation reservation.
6. Ask before you click. Ask permission before taking photographs of locals. Strike up a conversation, because storying breaks down walls of fear and just so you know, the Navajo philosophy of learning is sustained from storying.
7. Buy local. The Navajo Nation reservation has many local vendors selling authentic items. For many, this is their everyday income. Negotiating the price of a product is discouraged because many items already have a markup value less than 5%. We don’t recommend paying for photos, but exchanges are great!
These days, especially after attacks in Paris and elsewhere, people are weighing whether or not to travel internationally. We support either choice, reminding ourselves that our own local region has a myriad of attractions and natural wonders. If you go abroad, put things into perspective. “You have a higher probability of being hit by lightning than being a victim of terrorism,” says Peter Tarlow, president of Tourism & More, a travel security consulting company.
But always be aware of what’s going on around you.
In New Mexico, lightning is certainly something to be considered. In a weather emergency the safe place to be is indoors or in your vehicle. Weather radio is available, as are some phone apps where there is cell coverage. Our tour guides are best familiar with the area and will notify tourist guests of any warnings that have been issued by the National Weather Service.
We are in the high desert. You will need time to adjust to our altitude and hydration is important. You will be reminded to drink lots of water.
This is a wilderness area with certain inherent dangers; rock falls, dry river beds, and mud roads. Dry river beds can become raging rivers in a matter of moments and mud roads can turn into quagmires.
Yes, there are poisonous snakes and your tour guide will have venom kits with them. If you are on a special permission individual hike, you will be required to take your own venom kit with you. Our tour guides are trained in first aid and CPR. There are emergency helicopter flights to hospitals in Albuquerque and Farmington or other regional cities for life threatening emergencies.
Here are other things to consider
For more information on travel safety we recommend National Geographic Traveler Magazine Item# 7210-MA. Published 6 issues per year and rated 4 ½ stars. “National Geographic Traveler is a travel magazine that is the explorer’s guide to planning the perfect trip. With breathtaking photography of must-see destinations and practical tips for every traveler, it will inspire readers to book that next vacation.”
In today’s hectic world, we believe that travel is more important than ever. Learning about other cultures and being an ambassador for good can build bridges and promote peace.
Studies show that when you take a vacation, your brain gets restored; that makes us more productive. So what are you waiting for? Schedule your appointment with Navajo Tours USA today.