The state of New Mexico, also known as the “Land of Enchantment”, has the highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska and is located in Western America . A holiday in New Mexico can easily be combined with a tour of Western America. Also check out our New Mexico Campervan Tour .
History and inhabitants
Before the arrival of the Europeans, Indian tribes such as the Navajos and Apaches populated the area. The elevated city of Acoma Pueblo is the oldest inhabited place in the US. The oldest house dates from 1144, but this place may have been inhabited since the beginning of the era.
Landmarks in New Mexico
According to fun-wiki, New Mexico borders the country of Mexico and the states of Texas , Oklahoma, Arizona , Colorado , and Utah . The state has a lot of natural beauty, such as the stalactite caves at Carlsbad and the white sands of White Sands National Park. These parks are highly recommended to visit during your New Mexico vacation.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a World Heritage Site and located in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. The park is best known for its underground caves. You can enter the caves in two ways, through a natural entrance and through an elevator that goes straight to the 230 deep part. The park contains about 116 caves of which only 2 are open to the public: the Carlsbad Caverns and the Slaughter Canyon Cave. If you are on holiday in New Mexico, it is definitely recommended to visit these caves.
White Sands New Mexico
The White Sands National Park is located about 25 km from Alamogordo at an altitude of 1291 meters. The area comprises a 710 km2 field with sand dunes and gypsum crystals. The dunes do not consist of sand as the name suggests, but of pure gypsum (gypsum crystals). In the gift shop of the park you can buy sleds that are suitable for sliding down the dunes, this is especially nice for a holiday with children.
Capital Santa Fe
The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe. This city has a large artist community. The art movement harks back to ancient Apache and Navajo traditions found in painted pottery, weaving, and jewelry. Modern painter Georgia O’Keeffe played a major role in putting the state on the map. During the New Mexico vacation, visit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and Canyon Road, where you can visit many art galleries. Also very worthwhile are the Mission of San Miguel and the Cathedral Basilica of St.Francis of Assisi.
In addition to Santa Fe, New Mexico has a number of larger cities such as Albuquerque, Gallup and Taos. These cities are very nice to visit during your New Mexico vacation.
Albuquerque New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is located in the far north of the Chihuahua Desert and on the Rio Grande River. The city is also located on the legendary Route 66. This makes a New Mexico holiday easy to combine with the surrounding states. Here you will find Sandia Peak, one of the longest ziplines in America. From here you have a magnificent view over the Canyons. The Hot Balloon Festival takes place once a year in Albuquerque. This festival is the largest Hot Balloon Festival in the world and hundreds of hot air balloons take off here.
Gallup New Mexico
Gallup is nicknamed the ‘Heart of Indian Country’ and is located in the middle of several Indian reservations. There is a real Western atmosphere everywhere here. Visit the Gallup Cultural Center and the Navajo Code Talkers Museum. Near Gallup you will find Red Rock Park, this park is known for the red rocks.
Taos attracts many tourists every year because of the surrounding nature, the beautiful weather and the presence of Spanish and Indian heritage. Immediately north of Taos is one of the last remaining examples of Adobe housing. These homes were built and inhabited by the Pueblo Indians. Other recommendations to visit during a New Mexico vacation are the Harwood Museum of Art and Kit Carson’s house and museum.
Kitchen in New Mexico
The state has its own cuisine, the New Mexico chile, a pepper, being the best known. These peppers are often dried in ristras (long bunches on a rope) which are also used as decoration. You are guaranteed to encounter this a few times during your New Mexico vacation.
Other typical dishes are the Bizcochito butter cookies with cinnamon and anise and the spicy bread pudding Capirotada. A well-known restaurant in Albuquerque that has been serving New Mexico cuisine for 35 years is Los Cuates.