Texas Trip – Group Travel | Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Martin Robles
Photo Credit: Jessica Lutz
Photo Credit: Jessica Lutz
Photo Credit: Steve Baxter

Hidden Edens: Art & Intrigue in Marfa, Texas

from $1,640 USD per person for 4 days, 3 nights
See Dates
  • 10 People Maximum
  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Communities Up Close
See Dates
Trip Overview

Amidst the dry, windswept desert and sweeping, golden grasslands of deep West Texas, there’s a tiny, spectacular oasis, bustling with a culture all its own. Just 60 miles north of the U.S.–Mexico border, the city of Marfa boasts a natural beauty and distinct culture that draws art appreciators, ecologists, and historians from across the globe. Over the course of four days, we’ll head to “Far West Texas” to experience its magic up close. We’ll delve into this region’s unique collection of artwork, including nationally renowned large-scale installations as well as work by local artists. We’ll explore some of its natural wonders, too, dipping into the crystalline waters of a natural spring in the middle of the desert, searching for mysterious floating orbs along the vast horizon, and taking in breathtaking views of the Milky Way splashed across one of the nation’s darkest night skies.

  • Desert art installations
  • Natural spring snorkeling
  • Marfa Mystery Lights
  • Local history and cuisine


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Trip Leaders

Kelbi Delaune
Active in the arts throughout childhood, Kelbi would eventually receive a bachelor of fine arts in theatre for acting and directing. During her final year of studies, Kelbi traveled to West Texas on a research trip where she studied endangered fish living in desert springs. She immediately fell in love with biology and West Texas, and added a biology degree to her undergraduate studies. Now, Kelbi is an aquatic ecologist working on her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University, where she focuses on arid land aquatic ecosystems. She lives with her husband John, son Gatlyn, and a few pet roaches and beetles in a tiny home (a 1969 Streamline Countess) outside of Lubbock, Texas. Fueled by a passion for the Far West region of Texas, Kelbi looks forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge of the unique resources, places, and people that exist together in this unusual pocket of Texas.
Jessica Lutz
Native Texan and freelance photographer Jessica Lutz was drawn back to the vast horizons of West Texas in 2012 after spending thirteen years in New York. For over a decade, she served as a Brand Manager at National Geographic Society developing campaigns and raising funds for conservation initiatives. Since moving to West Texas, her photographic work has become a visual ethnography of the Big Bend and the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Her work can be seen in The New York Times, CNN and Al Jazeera, among other publications, and has led her on numerous long-term expeditions, including a month-long canoe trip down the Rio Grande for Texas Tribune and an exploration of the borderlands with Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Lutz also serves as a docent at the Chinati Foundation, a Contemporary Arts Museum in Marfa, and volunteers at the McDonald Observatory presenting star systems. She recently created Desert Veil, a clothing line designed as a wearable shade for desert dwellers. In her spare time, she and her partner spend time restoring an adobe along the Rio Grande.

Additional Info

Pricing & Single Accommodations

The total cost of this trip is $1,640. For those traveling by themselves, single accommodations will be provided at no additional cost. All rooms at the Hotel Paisano are outfitted with a queen-size bed and travelers wishing to share a room with their travel companion can be placed together. 

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins at noon with a welcome lunch at L&J Cafe in El Paso on Day 1. We recommend you arrive in El Paso the night before or some time in the morning on Day 1 so that you can meet our group for lunch and prepare for our three-hour drive to Marfa. Our trip concludes the morning of Day 4. If leaving Marfa by air directly after our trip, we’ll be available to transport you back to El Paso via van. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’re happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in the city on your own.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking four to six miles over the course of each day, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, and spending time in the desert. Travelers should be comfortable swimming, engaging in some light hiking, and climbing stairs.

  • All meals and transportation during the trip. Travel within Texas will be by foot and via private van.
  • Three nights of accommodations at the Hotel Paisano, Marfa.
  • An experienced guide to accompany you during the trip, as well as special local guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura fans, excited to explore all that West Texas has to offer!
  • Transportation to and from Texas.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for an  American visa, if applicable.
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Trip FAQ

By joining us, you'll be supporting local artists, businesses, and research. In sharing your experience with friends and family, you can help illuminate narratives of borderland communities, local culture, and important ecosystems. Additionally, you'll have opportunities to support local artists and artisans directly by purchasing art and souvenirs along our journey.

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Upcoming Departures

  • May 21–May 24, 2020
    from $1,640
Booking and payment processing partners may vary with departure date. Please see our full Terms and Conditions here.
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