Royal Road Tours

Custom-Designed Trips for Curious Travelers

Custom-Designed Trips
For Curious Travelers

A unique experience

For over twenty years Recursos de Santa Fe / Royal Road Tours has offered educational programming, including workshops for writers and scholarly conferences. The mainstay of our business has been, and continues to be, unforgettable, idea-driven trips throughout the greater Southwest, Latin America, and beyond. Our staff—working as Royal Road Tours—brings years of expertise, academic and scholarly fluency, and an unerring instinct for getting beyond the ordinary itinerary to something extraordinary. Clients such as The School for Advanced Research, The Smithsonian, The American Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University, and others agree.

Why Royal Road Tours?

From concept to delivery, we provide a full-service solution
to cultural institutions interested in bringing their members a travel program that is distinctive and memorable.
Big-idea Trips
Whether it's paleoastronomy, emerging culinary scenes, the archaeology of sound, the flora of the Silk Road, or the birth of Modernism, Royal Road Tours starts with what's interesting, exciting, and new. The result? Trips that are about more than place, and the chance to experience ideas embedded deeply in their context.
Unique Itineraries
There's what everyone does when they visit a place, and then there's the special, the unique, the unexpected. Royal Road Tours specializes in those. It could be dinner in a famed artist's house, access to private collections, time in an active archaeological site alongside thousand years-old mosaics. Whatever it is, every itinerary delivers something you'll get nowhere else.
Culturally-sensitive explorations
For more than twenty-five years, Recursos de Santa Fe / Royal Road Tours has promoted responsibility toward indigenous cultures around the world through seminars, study tours, and conferences. Over this time, we have developed a belief in informed travel. Simply put, Royal Road Tours strives to promote an appreciation of the natural and cultural resources of our world without consuming or destroying them.
Experienced Delivery
After a quarter-of-a-century taking people to places both nearly impossible to access and drive-up easy, we know how to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch. That means from initial marketing to your members to getting everyone home after ten days in the jungles of the Yucatán, Royal Road Tours has got it covered. It'll look easy, but it's not.
Global Reach
Royal Road Tours got its start in the American Southwest—an area where we still deliver without parallel—and has, since then, gone on to offer trips around the world. We work with a closely-vetted team of operators, scholars, and advisors to bring our clients the experiences and quality they demand, wherever their interests might take them.
Excellent Reputation
Our longterm relationships—not only with our clients, but with our experts and our providers—is a testament to our reputation for integrity, service, and the delivery of unmatched experiences that exceed expectation. We encourage you to ask around.

Our Team

Scholars, intrepid explorers, passionate curators of experiences, our leadership team is committed to making every trip memorable: from design to delivery.



Ellen Bradbury Reid grew up in Los Alamos, where her father worked on the Manhattan Project. She became an art historian, and worked on Mabel Dodge Lujan’s papers at the Beinecke Library, Yale University. She served as Curator of Primitive Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and also as the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe (now the NM Museum of Art). She has published several books, including From the Far Away Nearby (on Georgia O’Keeffe); Contemporary Mexican Art and Design; and I Wear the Morning Star, a catalogue of material culture related to the Native American Ghost Dance of the 1890s. More recently she has been working on the history and legacy of the Manhattan Project, serving as a consultant for Race for the World’s First Atomic Bomb: A Thousand Days of Fear (PBS/BBC, 2015). She has published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, and recently organized the conference, “Legacies of the Manhattan Project,” held in 2015 at the Santa Fe Institute.



Tari Carlson grew up in the Philadelphia area but has traveled and lived all over the place. She studied languages and art history at university and spent a year living and studying in Munich, Germany. Having married a landscape architect, and growing up the daughter of an avid gardener and blue ribbon winner at the Philadelphia Flower Show, naturally she developed an interest in floral and landscape design. She started a floral and design business and has been running that as well as working with Royal Road Tours for the past twenty years. Tari has designed botanical tours for the company and hopes to share her love of the flowers and landscapes around the world with travelers.

Our Clients

We've worked with most major cultural institutions in the US. Here's a small sample.

Custom-designed, big idea trips
around the world.