Last week, I told you about our stay in the Grand Canyon where we paid $270+ for a pedestrian but conveniently located motel room in the park. By contrast, when we visited Page, Arizona, we chose to rent a townhouse via VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner). We stayed in a gorgeous, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom townhouse with full kitchen, living area, laundry, BBQ, huge garage, view of the Glen Canyon Dam – all for $130 US a night. Right?! It was awesome!
When you all stay in the same room, like we did in the Grand Canyon, you feel a lot more conscious of waking others up – especially since we didn’t all wake up at the same time. In our townhouse, we had the luxury of getting up when we wanted to and going into a living room area, make coffee, etc. without feeling like we were going to disturb others. We did all our own cooking and did a bit of laundry, which was a bonus.
Tourist info is housed in the Page Museum and the folks there were enormously helpful. They encouraged us to visit Lower Antelope Canyon and also do the boat tour, which we did.
Antelope Canyon was a revelation. It cost us $28 per person to do a one hour tour (only 7 of us on the tour). The canyon is on Navajo land and you must have a tour guide to enter the canyons. Nikki was our Navajo guide and she was amazing. She explained that Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, carved out of the ground by annual, summer ‘monsoon’ rains. You walk out onto the desert floor and then descend stair cases into the canyon. The colours and contours are unbelievable.
Here’s a taste.
What was shocking to me, was that there was no tourist trap stuff here at all. No gift shop, no kitch to buy – it was almost disappointing! For another $28, we also did a boat tour on Lake Powel that took us through similar rock structures but above ground. Also amazing.
On the way home, we drove through much-hyped Sedona. After what we’d seen in the Grand Canyon and Page, this was a profound disappointment. Sedona is tourism on steroids. There’s only one road into town and it takes you past every tourist trap shop, restaurant (which we were told were disappointing and overpriced) tour guide posts… it was awful. People come here to see the red rocks that surround Sedona and they are beautiful but it was lunch-bag-let down.
The one highlight was the Chapel of the Rock – a Frank Lloyd Wright designed church built into the rock that was truly beautiful.
If you visit Arizona, please make Antelope Canyon part of your visit – it is truly worth the trip and worth every penny you spend. We all agreed that that one-hour tour was the most amazing thing we saw in our week in Arizona. And use VRBO – one of the best thrifty decisions we made on this trip.
What’s your best thrifty travel tip?