As one of New Mexico’s largest cities, Albuquerque is a hub for activities and entertainment. The fast pace of the Duke City has a lot to offer, but it can definitely take its toll after a while. If you need a break from the urban lifestyle, a visit to the quaint village of Chimayo, NM may be in order. Located approximately an hour and a half from Albuquerque, Chimayo is a peaceful and charming escape that immerses visitors into the traditional culture of the Southwest. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway or family vacation destination, here is everything you need to know about a trip from Albuquerque to Chimayo!
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The Turquoise Trail: Road From Albuquerque to Chimayo
The Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway
is a 50-mile road that encompasses 15,000 square miles in the heart of central New Mexico. Not only does it pass through major cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but it also includes interesting things to see and do on the way to Chimayo. Here are some interesting facts you need to know to fully enjoy the Turquoise Trail along with stops we highly recommend.
The name “Turquoise Trail” comes from the blue-green stones mined in this area by the early Pueblo tribes. It quickly became known throughout the world as a precious stone meant to be set in silver and gold. As more explorers, Spanish settlers, and missionaries began frequenting the region, the trail was used to make travel between major cities easier. Today, the scenic byway is home to many modern settlers and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year.
As the home to the Museum of Archaeology & Material Culture, Cedar Crest is the perfect place to explore the history of New Mexico’s earliest inhabitants. The mountains in this area also boast an archaeological continuum of human activities from the end of the last Ice Age through today.
This area is a mecca for outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. In addition to bicycle trails, horseback riding, climbing, and skiing, visitors of Sandia Park can also enjoy attractions like the Tinkertown Museum and the three-ring circus.
With a history dating back to the early 1800’s, Madrid was mostly known as one of the few places in the world to mine hard and soft coal. Today, the art-centered town is recognized for its summer theater productions, the Old Coal Mine Museum, and their Fourth of July and Christmas celebrations.
San Marcos/Lone Butte:
Located on a high plateau, this area was once a major center for pottery and farming. While it is now mostly residential, there are still plenty of activities for visitors to take part in including two New Mexico movie ranches (where over 100 movies have been filmed) and wildlife viewing.
Where to Stay in Chimayo
Once you arrive at our historic village, we invite you to check into Casa Escondida
! Meaning “hidden house” in Spanish, the pristine countryside bed & breakfast provides a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere that is perfect for couples and families. Plus, the traditional decor and architectural elements of each guestroom
make you feel like you are staying in an authentic, rustic Southwest lodge. Guests of Casa Escondida are treated to that famous Southwest hospitality, modern amenities, and a hot breakfast
each morning of their stay.
4 of the Best Things to Do in Chimayo, NM
1. Visit the El Santuario de Chimayo
This quaint and historic Catholic church is Chimayo’s most famous treasure, and it’s not difficult to understand why! Not only was this the site of a miracle in New Mexican folklore, but it’s also the final destination for the annual Santuario de Chimayo pilgrimage
. Every Holy Weekend, pilgrims from all over the nation flock to the El Santuario de Chimayo
to worship, ask for divine intervention, and use the legendary Chimayo Holy Dirt
to heal themselves. While in Chimayo, you’ll be welcomed to attend any of the church services or simply take a look around.
2. Learn History at the Chimayo Museum
The Chimayo Museum
, formerly a 19th-century home, now houses several interesting artifacts, photographs, and special events relating to our village’s history. They are dedicated to educating the public about the rich history of Chimayo and creating a deep appreciation for the role the village has played in Southwestern culture.
3. Dine at the Rancho de Chimayo
This award-winning restaurant is recognized for its irresistible Southwestern dishes rooted in cultural influence. Owner Florence Poulin has created a full menu of dishes inspired by her own family’s recipes. During your visit to the Rancho de Chimayo
, you won’t want to skip indulging in the mouthwatering cuisine, unique cocktails, or crave-worthy desserts.
4. Explore Santa Fe
Located just 35 minutes south of Chimayo, Santa Fe is known as one of the top cities in the nation. During your visit to Chimayo, making the drive to Santa Fe is an absolute must! You’ll be able to browse through some of the country’s most appealing museums
, embark on world-renowned hiking trails
, shop along Canyon Road
, and much more. The opportunities for memory-making fun are nearly endless!
Make Your Stay at Casa Escondida Even More Memorable
Whether you want to treat your sweetheart to an extra special surprise or simply treat yourself, we’ve got you covered! Our wide selection of vacation packages
are the perfect way to enhance your experience with us. Find the one that best fits your style and budget and don’t forget to make your reservations