Very Large Array & GhostTowns


Tour Number

Activity Level



Museums / Culture, First Time Visitor, Day Trip / Out of Town, Adventure / Active


Kid Friendly: Yes.

Friendly: Yes.

Maximum travelers: 4



English (fluent), Portuguese (fluent), Spanish (advanced)

Cowboys, Ghost Towns and Aliens

Experience the magic of space with a visit to the Very Large Array (VLA) Radio Telescope facility comprising of twenty-seven 25-meter radio telescopes. This is in part a SETI project, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, an exploratory science that seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology. This was also the location for the movie "Contact" starring Jodie Foster. On the way to the Plains of San Agustin, VLA location, we will be cruising through the countryside, gazing at gorgeous scenery of pale purple mountains and tan plains.

After our close encounter with the vast universe, we will pass through Magdalena, a historical mining town, visit stores, and stop for lunch at the Library in Magdalena-the old train station. We will also explore the historic ghost town/mine of Kelly just to the south. A trip into space and a trip into the past, this trip embodies the true meaning of the word awesome!

**This tour can either start in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.


Head South on I25 to Socorro
Take HWY 60 to the VLA
Plains of San Augustin
Tour site and Watch 9-minute film on radio astronomy
Drive to Magdalena
Lunch at the Old Train Depot
Visit shop in Magdalena
Visit Kelly Ghost mine
Drive back to Albuquerque

* Please note: In the summer the array will be in its best configuration (D) that will allow for a close view of all 27 radio telescopes. This will be amazing!

**This tour can either start in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

Meeting Location + Tour Duration

Meeting location: I will meet you at the hotel or any other specified location.

End location: I will drop you off at the hotel or any other specified location.

Duration: 8 hours

Tour includes a guided tour by VLA docent, duration will vary.


Air-conditioned, Isuzu Ascender SUV (2008) or Lexus SUV (2011), capacity 3-4 passengers

What’s Included

Other: Personalized tour (changes can be made at any time during tour)
Transportation to and from hotel (or other location)
Gourmet Lunch and Refreshments.

Estimated Local Cash Needed

15 USD - Guided Tour at the site and Entry Fee.

What’s Extra

Other: Personal expenses.


My SUVs can fit up to 4 people comfortably. Please inquire about larger groups.

A Recent Review of this tour

This tour is spectacular! Although the geography and the Very Large Array are well worth the trip, Mae, my tour guide, enhanced the trip tenfold. She is not only a very intelligent, well-spoken woman, her expertise as an archaeologist makes this trip so exciting, from the prehistoric significance of the area to the always scintillating topic of UFOs. Her sense of humor is terrific. But the most important thing is that she makes an ethereally beautiful, surreal location and brings it alive!
Patricia Baron

Read More Reviews For This Tour
Private tour guide Mae

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