Attention all Forum Users.
We’re working on a brand new shiny tool to make your experience as simple as possible.
Which means the community forums is now read only whilst we work on a new & improved ‘My Contiki’ space.


Western Highlight Optionals

6 Aug 2010 Andy said

I have booked myself on the Western Highlight tour next June and i'm trying to budget for the extras i will want to do as well as spending money<BR><BR><BR>In San Diego i'm asuming that it is Sea World or the Zoo but can you do one of these and the Harbor Cruise?<BR><BR>Has anyone on here done the hot air ballon in Phoenix? I've asked my friends and no-one has done a hot air ballon ride so i gues my question would be how did you find it? Was it worth doing?
  • Read the responses 7 responses so far
  • 7 Aug 2010 Shava said


    Yeah, on the first day you can do the harbor cruise and on the second day in San Diego you can either do Sea World or the Zoo.

    I thought the air balloon was totally worth the money, great experience and I got some gorgeous pictures from that flight… Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 7 Aug 2010 Natalie said


    I think I did all the optionals available on this trip. Sea World was FANTASTIC. The Shamu show is something I wont forget in a hurry.

    The Hot Air baloon was AMAZING!!! Definitely worth getting up at 4am for. If you’ve never done it before DO IT!

    The Helicopter ride over grand canyon brought tears to my eyes. Absolutely stunning.

    Western Highlights was by far my favourite part of North America.

  • 7 Aug 2010 Andy said


    Thank you both for your replies. From what Natalie has said i think i will do the hot air ballon ride. I was planning on doing Sea World as well. I went 10-15 years ago and i remember loving it but i don’t remember much else.

    I also want to do the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon as i imagine it is amazing.

    I think the only one i’m not planning on doing is the Imax at the Grand Canyon. I wasn’t sure about the variety show in Vegas but it looks like it isn’t available anymore.

    Did either of you do the Jeep ride in Sedona? How was it?

  • 7 Aug 2010 Pervy said


    Hot air Balloon ride is awesome, best one i’ve done with contiki while in the States. Jeep ride is fun. Plus it’s better than just looking around the town it goes from.

  • 7 Aug 2010 Natalie said


    Oh I forgot to mention the Jeep Ride. Absolutely freaking hilarious! Loved it. The cowboys that take you out are great. It’s such a beautiful town. I wish I could have had more time to look around.

    June’s going to be freaking hot around those parts. Hope you’re ready for it. When I was there end of May we had 37C in Phoenix. It was fantastic, but later in middle of June they were getting 47C. YIKES!

  • 8 Aug 2010 Andy said


    many thanks for your replies. I think that i’m going to do all of the optionals except this Imax at the Grand Canyon so i better get saving now.

    I expected it to be hot but almost everywhere is hot compared to England. I’ve got an extra 4 days in Vegas after the tour so i’m guessing i’ll feel it more then as i know it is very hot. That is also why i book on the 1st June tour rather than the middle of summer in July

  • 15 Aug 2010 Corinne said


    Definitely do as many optionals as possible. I did the wild western last year, which is continues from Vegas back to LA, and had the best time. I basically put the money aside at home for the optionals, and paid them all at once on my credit card, so I didn’t go into my actual spending money. Hot air balloon ride was very good, although I found it extremely hot (Over 120F) so take a hat or something for your head. The helicopter is definately worth doing, just think, when will you ever be back to the Grand Canyon? I didn’t do the IMAX or San Diego zoo. Half and half did the zoo and sea world, and both parties were impressed, so its a tough call.

    Also, if this helps, I gave myself $100 a day for food, drinks and souvenirs, and then I think £500 for optionals.

We are no longer accepting new responses to this discussion thread.



Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.