New Mexico is an outdoor adventurer’s dream come true, providing them with white-water rafting trips or hot air balloon rides to boost adrenaline.
Take in the picturesque setting that inspired Georgia O’Keefe at Abiquiu and uncover Los Alamos’ once-secret nuclear legacy at Bradbury Science Museum. You can even find some incredible New Mexico water parks available, besides what is highlighted below.
1. Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo, located among sagebrush and blusher-pink mesas, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site offering culture, art and outdoor recreation of all sorts. You can float down either the Rio Grande or nearby Chama Rivers using a raft, kayak, funyak; hike canyon trails; hit Taos Ski Valley’s slopes or enjoy incredible sweeping views from a hot air balloon ride!
Navigate through this continuously inhabited village on your own or join a guided tour, learning horno bread baking from an interactive experience with a native grandmother. Witness the remnants of an 18th-century church (built through Spanish labor in 1619) as well as its successor after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680: San Geronimo Chapel and Kivas. Art lovers should visit Harwood Museum of Art which boasts an expansive collection of sculptures, paintings and pottery works.
2. Chaco Canyon
Chaco Canyon is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park, and you can spend any number of days experiencing its rich cultural legacy, ancestral Pueblo migration patterns, grand construction projects, and overall integration of diverse populations.
Attractions to look out for when traveling through northwestern New Mexico’s Park of Northern Lights. Only accessible by car on dirt roads, you should rent a 4WD vehicle if traveling during wet or snowy conditions to ensure safe passage and a successful visit.
Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito are two of the park’s most notable ruins, making up its Petroglyph Trail between them. Take this easy walk along cliff walls between them for an insight into how petroglyph panels were pecked, incised or abraded into sandstone by hand – perfect if you love stargazing! Plus, since this park serves as a dark sky site you can also witness amazing night skies!
3. Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers more than just caves; it’s an amazing destination. Explore the Natural Entrance and Big Room cavern chambers by yourself; they stretch more than a mile long! Keep an eye out for stalagmite dangling from their ceiling in this gigantic underground chamber that takes approximately one and a half hours to traverse.
The park boasts more than 120 caves, but only the main ones can be reached on your own (Slaughter Canyon and Spider Cave require full-day ranger-guided tours). To maximize enjoyment, it is strongly advised that tours be booked well in advance with National Park Service.
Between May and October, you can witness hundreds of thousands of bats leaving their caverns each evening during bat flight season. Additionally, stargazing on Walnut Canyon vista trail can provide ample stargazing opportunities. Just a short drive into town from the park offers you a flat spot perfect for setting up telescope and camera tripod for astrophotography photography.
4. Roswell Caverns
No matter your faith or opinion on aliens, Roswell UFO Museum makes for an interesting visit for all. Here, visitors can gain an in-depth knowledge of America’s wildest conspiracy theory while filling time between trips to Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands dunes.
New Mexico is an incredible land full of historical cultural remnants, otherworldly landscapes and unforgettable experiences. Long revered by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and lauded on shows such as Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, it also boasts numerous breathtaking national parks that make up this Land of Enchantment. Carlsbad Caverns are just 20-minutes away, and this smart property provides comfortable suites that are ideal for families or groups. Plus, there’s an attractive pool area and small gym – the perfect way to unwind after exploring them! Plus a complimentary breakfast!