Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Adult Classes and Trips
Inquiries regarding class or itinerary details may be directed to / 520-883-3030.
For assistance with registration please contact the Reservations Coordinator at / 520-883-3025.



Valle Guadalupe: Exploring Baja’s Hinterlands
May 12 - 17, 2024


Valle de Guadalupe is set on a spectacular alluvial plain surrounded by olive orchards, beautiful vineyards and expansive ranch lands. The area has evolved into a wine and culinary mecca. On this tour we visit the best wineries and farm-to-table restaurants, and learn about the history of native cultures, as well as colonial ones, and their relationships with the land. Distinctively significant is the indigenous community of San Antonio Necua, connecting early Spanish and Russian settlers to the valley. Highlights include an afternoon at a tribal community, several wine tastings, over-the-top culinary experiences and Pacific ocean-front hotel accommodations.

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Birding the Chiricahuas
June 3 - 5, 2024
Southeastern Arizona is a paradise for birders. Join us for three full days exploring different elevation habitats as we search for great birds! Among our targets will be the Mexican Chickadee, Elegant Trogon, Montezuma Quail, Painted Redstart and Red-faced Warbler.  We will also do some owling at night and set up a blacklight to see what insects we can attract. Our leader is Jeff Babson, owner of Sky Island Tours, who is an expert birder, plus has a keen eye for butterflies and dragonflies. The price of this tour is all-inclusive covering three meals a day, lodging and transportation from Tucson. We will stay at the Southwest Research Station nestled in the oak-pine woodland of Cave Creek Canyon.

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Saguaro Fruit Harvest
June 27 or 29, 2024
High summer is the beginning of the O’odham calendar, as this is the time to harvest saguaro fruit. Spend the morning gathering fruit in the O’odham manner, using a harvesting pole made from the ribs of the giant cactus. The class begins with a blessing and song by our O’odham friends who share their family stories about the importance of the saguaro. We learn about different ways that the fruit is prepared and preserved, and about the animals that use the saguaro for food and shelter. This class will take place entirely outdoors at a site a couple of miles from the Museum.

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Prices and Registration Details - June 29

Northern Spain via the Slow Train
September 12 – 26, 2024

The rain in Spain falls mainly north of the plain. And that is why the land is emerald green. This is the land that the Celts originated from and that the Basques continue to inhabit. On this tour we learn about Bronze Age castros, Roman gold and iron mining, and Asturian and Cantabrian traditional lifeways. As a counterpoint to the old, we visit Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum of modern art, and learn about and taste Basque culture. We explore the hinterlands of farms, forests and hamlets, walking a stretch of the Camino de Santiago. Our coastal route follows the narrow-gauge local train, the FEVE, from which we hop on and off for stays at seaside towns, where we drink apple cider and enjoy regional seafood and Asturian fabada. Then there is the fairytale scenery:  the northern edge of the peninsula falls dramatically into the Cantabrian Sea in steeply tilted rock walls. To complement the landscape, we share lessons on the geology of the Iberian Peninsula.

New Mexico:  Pueblo Feasts, Heritage Farming and the Atomic Bomb
November 6th – 13th, 2024
For over four centuries, the Old-World charm of Santa Fe has captivated travelers with its Spanish and Pueblo heritage.  In ancient times, Native Americans hunted and fished in the luxuriant valley at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, growing crops in the fertile plain of the river below.  Later, Santa Fe was established as a Spanish provincial capital. On this week-long tour, ethnologist Jesús Garcia connects the social, cultural, historical, and indigenous aspects of New Mexico.  Highlights include Los Alamos, the epicenter of the top-secret Manhattan Project; the bountiful feast celebration day at Jemez Pueblo; the sacred village of Chimayó; and the picturesque Los Luceros Ranch, specializing in traditional crops. Visits to iconic galleries will be extra special with guest lectures by renowned indigenous historians. If this wasn’t enough, we explore the rich history of conversos and Crypto Jews – Spain’s Jewish citizens who were forced to leave their country for not converting to Christianity.  

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