Travel to New Mexico?
This is one of the most attractive and artistically-oriented states in the
USA, a uniquely colourful, bohemian, Indian-Mexican haven for alternative characters ranging from Navajo and Pueblo native Americans to Hispanics and affluent whites, set in a
variety of plains, deserts, mountains, forests, rivers (including the Rio Grande) and dormant volcanoes. There are a number of attractive towns and plenty of activities available,
including many health resorts/spas.
- It can be ridiculously expensive in places, particularly Santa
- The desert heat or altitude may
get to you, if the wallet doesn't collapse first.
Oct-April for deserts; try spring for desert flowers but high ground is always 'wintery'.
OK: July-August sees thunderstorms and heavy showers which don't usually last long, are refreshing and can be dramatic.
Fe, the capital of New Mexico is small, bohemian, multicultural, artistic and tourist-friendly, with fascinating old buildings downtown, a buzzing Plaza, adobe-style structures all around, fine dining and terrific live music including opera with a view of the Jemez Mountains.
The climate's excellent, the walking's superb, the surroundings are gorgeous and the locals lively.
Santa Fe is neither low-cost nor is it easy to find accommodation or parking in season, the altitude of 7,000ft (2,330 m) can negatively affect visitors, especially on arrival from sea-level or during exercise, while the city and indeed the state has a reputation for extremely bad and/or drunk driving, including frequent running of red lights, so beware.
The city is famous for festivals (the Fiesta de Santa Fe in mid-September is particularly notable) and superb museums, most of which are in the downtown area of Museum Hill and are affiliated with or subsidiaries of the Museum of New Mexico. More Santa Fe.
Taos, 70 miles (113kms) north of Santa Fe is ideally
positioned for hiking excursions into the Sangre de Cristo and San
Juan Rocky Mountains, including skiing at the Taos Valley, Red River
and Wild Rivers National Recreation Area and also rafting in the
There are also several arty museums including the excellent Millicent
Rogers Museum of Native - American and Mexican art and the Taos
Pueblo, a large Native American building.
de Cristo Mountains
Rising east of the Rio Grande in
the north of the state, part of the immense Rocky Mountain System
which continues north all the way into Canada.
The southwestern-most range of the Rockies leading up to the San
Juan Range, north state.
this is the place that gave the world the nuclear bomb, so if mushroom
clouds are your thing, try the Bradbury Science Museum for the grim
details, or for less destructive interests, the Los Alamos Historical
and Manzano Mountains
Rise east from the Rio grande Valley, running north south near Albuquerque.
head to Downtown for some history, especially the Indian Pueblo Cultural
Centre and the Albuquerque Museum, or for human biological history,
the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology near the University.
Try also the Petroglyph National Monument for ancient writings,
and the Sandia Peak Tramway for lazy appreciation of the mountain.
Hike and ski in the nearby mountains.
Juan Mountains rise west of the Rio grande and
the parallel range, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, all part of
Farmington, lying at the foot of the range this is a good gateway town
for further exploration into the San Juan Mountains.
Chama: a narrow gauge steam
railway, the Cumbres and Scenic Railroad, runs up into the mountains
of Colorado from here.
Chaco Culture National Historic Park: Pueblo Indian buildings of varying degrees of size and accessibility;
hike to lose the tourists. Also consider the Aztec Ruins Monument
for a reconstructed Aztec building.
Shiprock, for the annual autumn Navajo
Fair plus a distinct and well plugged volcano.
either a weather balloon or a UFO landed
here in 1947, check it out at the UFO Museum and
If unimpressed, the Roswell Museum and Planetarium exhibits items
from within the Milky Way.
western buildings on Main St, Lincoln
State Monument, once playground to Billy the Kid.
biggest desert in North America though most of it is in Mexico, some parts
in Texas and Arizona, but there are a few attractions in this part.
Hiking: all the mountain ranges. Sandia and Manzano mountains, though unimpressive at a distance are better close up.
Mountainbiking: Sandia, Manzano Mountains and easy-to-navigate Santa Fe 'Rail with Trail', but beware 'goat's head' thorny seeds that are widespread and will trash normal tyres.
Horse back riding
Caving: Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Skiing and Snow boarding: Santa Fe; Sandia and Manzano Mountains; Los Alamos.
Springs National Recreation Area.
Possibly: Very Large Array, the huge radio telescope near Socorro; New Mexico
Ranch and Farm Museum, near the Orgon Mountains.
Festivals and Events
Indian Market, Santa Fe, artifacts made by Native American people.
Sept-Oct, Navajo Fair, Shiprock.
October, International Balloon Festival, Albuquerque, it's a lot of hot air.
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