While some people think spring is the most romantic season, others say fall is for couples, but Chimayo in the wintertime is the most romantic place on Earth. The crisp weather allows you to cozy up with your loved one and spend the day exploring this stunning region without the crowds. Plan your dream getaway with a couple of these romantic activities and you will have a memorable vacation that you won’t soon forget.
Santa Fe is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the Southwest and draws a large number of visitors each year, but just outside the city limits lie several towns with their own charm. From old-west style towns to mountain villages and artist meccas, these towns are more than worth the trip.
#5: Los Alamos:Because the Southwest is covered in so many national treasures, from the Grand Canyon to Mesa Verde, places like Los Alamos get overlooked. The secret gem of Los Alamos is the gateway to 3 national parks that offers some of the best outdoor excitement in the state. Bandelier National Monument has cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and over 70 miles of hiking trails offering no shortage of activities. Valles Caldera National Preserve is a 13-mile-wide volcanic depression that provides some of the best fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and even hunting. Did you know that the atomic bomb was created in Los Alamos? You can learn about its inception and other feats of science, engineering, and technology at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
#4: Las Vegas:If you thought Las Vegas was in Nevada, you were (partly) wrong. New Mexico has a charming town just East of Santa Fe that looks right out of a Western movie–mostly because Las Vegas is a popular set to stage Western films. Starting in 1913, the town was the main backdrop for many silent films and has grown in the film world to host classics like Easy Rider, Convoy, and Red Dawn. Today the town is still used frequently for movies ranging from comedies like Wild Hogs and TV series like House of Cards, to the music video for Beer for my Horses by Toby Keith. Head into town, see if you can spot a building from your favorite scenes, and experience the true West!
#3: Madrid:Just south of Santa Fe lies a ghost town turned into an artist’s oasis. While the town only consists of a couple hundred people, the art scene is thriving. The town boasts having the most artists per capita in the entire United States and it is apparent from the second you arrive. Meander through the colorful village filled with teals, reds, lime greens, deep blues, and every other color of the rainbow. The art you will find here is as unique as the town itself. Even the restaurants create culinary masterpieces! The Mine Shaft Tavern and The Hollar are two of the most unique eateries around Santa Fe and are more than worth the trip. Don’t forget a stop at Shugarman’s Little Chocolate Shop to satisfy your sweet tooth with some world-class chocolate.
#2: Jemez Springs:Drive along Highway 4 through the beautiful mountains to the Northwest of Santa Fe and you’ll stumble upon a serene mountain village called Jemez Springs. As the name suggests, there are natural thermal pools all around the town, with one of the most popular being the Jemez Hot Springs. These relaxing blue pools are surrounded by warm adobe buildings and scenic mountain views. If relaxation is what you’re after then a trip to Jemez Springs is your solution. The area also has several primitive hot springs tucked into the forest and requires a little adventure to get to. Between the McCauley Warm Springs, Spence Hot Spring, and San Antonio Hot Spring, you can find somewhere secluded to enjoy the natural surroundings.
#1: Chimayo:Just 40 minutes north of Santa Fe, a trip to Chimayo is absolutely essential. The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway is one of the most beautiful drives in the state and plants you in the holy town of Chimayo. The town is most famous for El Santuario de Chimayo, a stunning catholic chapel that is now an important pilgrimage site bringing over 300,000 visitors per year. There are several other chapels and religious sites in the area to visit as well as the plentiful weaving shops. You can find the perfect accent rug or wall piece in one of these artisanal weaving shops and watch them create their masterpieces right before your very eyes! While in town make sure to stop by the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant for some of the most flavorful Mexican food your taste buds will ever experience. They have been satisfying guests for over 50 years and recently won the James Beard Award! Chimayo is also home to Casa Escondida, an enchanting bed & breakfast in the foothills of the Sangre de Christo and Jemez Mountains. With so much beauty around, you’ll want to stay a couple of days to absorb everything Chimayo has to offer. Add these towns to your bucket list and spend some time touring around. Spend the day mountain biking in Los Alamos and relax in the warming pools of Jemez Springs afterward. Take the scenic route to Albuquerque and stop for a bit in the colorful town of Madrid. Escape from the city for a weekend in Chimayo and wander through the magnificent cathedrals and culturally rich town. The possibilities are endless in these unique New Mexico towns. Ready to tour New Mexico? Book a stay at Casa Escondida, a hacienda-like Bed & Breakfast in Chimayo, NM.
Summer is finally here… WAIT. Summer is almost over? That can’t possibly be! There is still so much to do, more ice cream that needs to be eaten, and more trails that need to be explored. Luckily, autumn is the perfect time to break out your mountain bike for a scenic adventure. The picturesque mountains change from a lush green forest to a beautiful golden color as the daytime temperatures drop to cool and comfortable levels. While there are tons of great trails to explore, some of our favorites really shine in the fall. Test out your skills and immerse yourself in nature on any one of these great trails.
Tesuque Peak via Aspen Trail 11.5 milesAspen Trail is quite accurately named as the trail up is covered in large aspen trees. During the fall, aspen trees melt into a bright yellow and cover the hillside in golden waves. The moderately graded trail leads you to the top of Tesuque Peak where you will enjoy panoramic views of the Santa Fe wilderness.
Water Canyon Trail 1.8 milesThe Water Canyon Trail leads you through an old canyon with a seasonal stream. While the stream only runs during the spring and early summer, there is enough water to support lots of aspens along the trail. You’ll find a fork at about a mile into the trail; a right will take you to an old reservoir and you can explore the remains of the concrete dam. If you venture left, you’ll keep heading up the trail filled with yellowing aspens. Either way, this is a great easier trail that the whole family can enjoy!
Borrego Trail 1.5 mileThis trail has a bit of a steeper gradient which is perfect for working up a sweat and building those calf muscles. There are a lot of switchbacks winding through pines until you reach the high point then a fun ride down into the meadows. You’ll cross creeks, meander through green meadows, brush against golden trees, and see beautiful views the whole way. Double back to return to the trailhead or keep riding until you meet Bear Wallow Trail 182 to Hwy 475 and make a large loop.
Perimeter to Walnut Canyon 6.9 mile loopThis technical ride is the perfect place to test out your biking skills and have a blast in the woods. There are lots of rocky obstacles and constant ascending and descending making it quite fun. After exhausting yourself on this section, the trail mellows out to be a little smoother. This is an expert trail and offers lots of options to merge with other trails and create your own custom loop.
Rift Valley Trail 12.6 mile loopThe best part about the autumn season is the cooler weather. Trails that would be unbearable during the heat of summer are suddenly accessible and fun to ride. The Rift Valley Trail is desert riding at its finest, so even though the sun isn’t as intense, make sure to bring more than enough water and snacks. This mellow grade trail is great for beginners and intermediate mountain bikers. From technical rock crawling to low-incline easy rides, the area has a trail for everyone. Bring water and snacks for a perfect day exploring the New Mexico wilderness. After you’re done on the trail, return to Casa Escondida B&B for an evening of relaxation and peace as you gaze out on the mountains you just climbed. Ready to bike New Mexico this fall? Book a stay at Casa Escondida, a hacienda-like Bed & Breakfast in Chimayo, NM.
There is no feeling quite as liberating as the fresh air blowing past you as you whisk down peaceful roads bordered with scenic views as far as the eye can see. Santa Fe has been rated one of America’s best Mountain Bike Towns by USA Today and also one of the Top 10 Mountain Biking Destinations in North America! With that being said, exploring the Santa Fe bike trails is a necessity for your New Mexico getaway itinerary! To help you get started, here are just some of the best trails that we most highly recommend to our guests. Find a full list of thrilling Santa Fe bike trails and more outdoor activities in our handy New Mexico Vacation Guide! It’s easy to download for yourself and, the best part, it’s absolutely free!
5 of Our Favorite Santa Fe Bike TrailsThe curving mountains and varying terrain of the Santa Fe area make for some incredible biking opportunities. What’s even better? There are literally dozens of trails for you to choose from! Whether you are seeking a leisurely ride through the mountains or an exhilarating journey down the mountain, we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed! Take a look at our favorites and find the ones that are best suited to your skill level and desires.
Santa Fe Rail Trail (Easy)This 17-mile long trail is one of the most popular in Santa Fe! The asphalt and dirt terrain makes it perfect for bikers, hikers, and even horseback riders. Beginning at the Railyard, the Santa Fe Rail Trail runs to the outskirts of town at Rabbit Road.
Santa Fe River Trail (Easy)The River Trail is a 3-mile paved road that flows alongside the Santa Fe River. In addition to scenic views and peaceful parks, the road will lead you through historic Downtown Santa Fe, Frenchy’s Field, and much more!
Dale Ball Trails (Easy to Intermediate)3 separate trails make up the Dale Ball Trails system, meaning a new adventure each time you visit! For some of the best mountain biking in Santa Fe, the locals highly recommend the trail that begins at mile marker 1. You can bet that you will encounter some stunning views of the Santa Fe mountains along the way!
Aspen Vista Trail (Intermediate)This action-packed mountain trail is filled with incredible views and excitement on the way down. You’ll begin on Tesuque Peak at 12,000 feet to take in the scenery before you journey down the side of the mountain. The Aspen Vista Trail is 10-miles long and is sure to keep your adrenaline pumping from start to finish. Keep in mind that snow on the trail is very likely during the winter months!
Pajarito Mountain Bike Trails (Easy to Difficult)Consisting of 1,200 feet of downhill freeride trails, the Pajarito Mountain Bike Park is an exhilarating and one-of-a-kind mountain biking experience. It is also a two-time winner of the Top 5 MTBparks Riders’ Choice Awards for the Southeast Region! The park itself contains 30 trails that vary from beginner to expert levels, so you’re sure to find your perfect bike trail match. Find your favorite and enjoy many more amenities including a lift service.
Immerse in Outdoor Adventure During Your Stay at Casa EscondidaNorthern New Mexico is a wonderland of outdoor recreation and adventure. Discover it all when you stay at our beautiful bed and breakfast in an ideal location! Conveniently nestled between Santa Fe and Taos, our inn places you just minutes from some of the region’s best outdoor destinations. You will also enjoy cozy and comfortable guest rooms, a traditional New Mexican breakfast, and a peaceful countryside setting all in one! Plan the getaway of a lifetime and book your favorite Casa Escondida room today!
Hundreds of years ago, when the Native Americans inhabited the region that is now Santa Fe, a half-mile stretch of land was used as a farming community and art colony. Today, that same land has been transformed into one of the best shopping experiences in New Mexico. Canyon Road in Santa Fe is an enchanting collection of art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. Adorned with traditional adobe architecture and old-world charm, this beautiful and enriching destination is the perfect place to shop, dine, and explore during your Santa Fe getaway. For more local attractions like Canyon Road in Santa Fe, download our Free Vacation Guide. It is filled with all the best recommendations for Santa Fe, Chimayo, and surrounding areas.
What You’ll Find at Canyon Road in Santa Fe
Boutique ShopsThere is no better place to find the perfect gifts and souvenirs than a local Santa Fe store. Along Canyon Road, you’ll find a wide variety of shops offering an abundance of products such as apparel, local art, designer jewelry, and home decor. Here are just a few boutique shops that are well worth the visit:
- Silver Sun (Handmade Jewelry)
- Leslie Flint (Folk Art and Furniture)
- Desert Son of Santa Fe (Designer Handbags and Apparel)
- Gannon’s (Antiques and Art)
- Soulful Silks (Hand-Dyed Silks)
GalleriesCanyon Road is home to more than 100 art galleries and artist studios. Art lovers will discover a utopia of styles from contemporary to traditional. There is also an array of art forms including photography, graphics, engravings, sculptures, and more. Take a look at these fascinating galleries you’ll encounter on Canyon Road:
- 3 Studios Gallery
- Roybal Fine Art
- Vivo Contemporary
- Pachamama Spanish Colonial Arts
- Canyon at Palace
Canyon Road Santa Fe RestaurantsWe hope you’ve worked up an appetite because you won’t want to miss out on these deliciously good dining options. Serving up traditional Mexican and a variety of other cuisines, the restaurants on Canyon Road will send your taste buds into a paradise of flavors.
- El Farol (Santa Fe’s Oldest Restaurant)
- Geronimo (Voted one of the Top 100 Restaurants in America)
- Compound Restaurant (Tasty Southwestern Cuisine)
- The Teahouse (Exceptional teas from China, India, Japan, and Santa Fe)
Canyon Road EventsEvery season, Canyon Road hosts a signature event that is sure to delight everyone in the family! If you’re planning a visit to Santa Fe soon, mark these fun-filled events in your calendars! Canyon Road, Santa Fe Christmas Eve Farolito Walk: This is one of Santa Fe’s most beloved holiday traditions. Thousands of farolitos (luminary lanterns) light up the night throughout various gardens, streets, and courtyards. Visitors will be able to enjoy this festive celebration with bonfires, live music, hot chocolate, and traditional warm biscochitos. Canyon Road Spring Art Festival: One weekend every spring, Canyon Road comes to life with exceptional exhibits, artist receptions, and creative demonstrations. One of the most popular events of this festival is the artist race. 53 Canyon Road gallery artists set up their easels along the historic trail and must complete an original work of art in 5 hours. These masterpieces will be sold to the public in a silent auction at the end of the day. ARTfeast Edible Art Tour: Whoever said food can’t also be art has never been to this festival! Santa Fe’s top restaurants and chefs team up with Canyon Road galleries to bring their savory works of art to you. It’s the perfect harmony between one’s love for delicious food and fabulous artwork. Historic Canyon Road Paint Out & Sculpt Out: Every year in October, hundreds of artists line Canyon Road to bring their visions to life before your very eyes. You will see all kinds of artists creating various masterpieces such as pottery, carvings, weavings, jewelry, glass blowers, and much more!
Discover the Rich Culture of Santa Fe During Your Stay at Casa EscondidaLocated just minutes from Santa Fe in the historic village of Chimayo is our enchanting bed and breakfast. Our secluded, country setting offers guests a tranquil escape while still allowing convenience to local attractions. Choose from our collection of 9 beautifully decorated guestrooms and augment your experience with one of our tempting vacation packages. We look forward to welcoming you to Chimayo soon! Photo Credit: Dean_Fikar/Getty Images
It’s no secret that the Southwest has some of the most intricate and gorgeous woven works in the world! If you love to admire Mexican-inspired tapestries that are full of color and personality, then a visit to the Centinela Traditional Arts is a must! This gallery in Chimayo hosts hundreds of traditionally woven tapestries and wool products that you can admire and even purchase to bring home with you!
Chimayo Weaving HistoryIn 1540, nearly 5,000 churro sheep accompanied Coronado and his men during his famous expedition. Since the sheep were valued more for their wool than as food, the settlers established them in New Mexico as their flocks. In 1840, when blankets were in high demand from nearby trading partners, tens of thousands of woolen blankets were shipped from New Mexico. The highly popular creations became known as the Rio Grande blanket. This was a general term that encompassed the weaving traditions of Hispanic New Mexico. Yet, in the 1880’s, new breeds of sheep with inferior wool and negative changes to lumber looms made the blankets plummet in value. When mill-woven blankets took over the industry, the Rio Grande weavers fell off the map. Nonetheless, they continued their weaving efforts to make blankets for their families and friends! In the early 1900s, weavers from Santa Fe started a new blanket style that simply consisted of two stripes and a center design. This became known as the “Chimayo Design,” and it began a brand new industry for the weavers. This style is apparent in most of the blankets displayed in Centinela Traditional Arts and is widely recognized throughout the nation.
Things to See in Centinela Traditional Arts
Weavings/BlanketsThe designs you’ll find in many of the blankets at Centinela Traditional Arts have been used to decorate shelves, tables chairs, couches, and beds. They come in many different patterns, colors, designs, and sizes ranging from 15×30 to 54×84. You’ll be sure to find the perfect one to accent your home or just keep you warm.
RugsRugs with the Chimayo design have become very popular over the past few years. Whether you’re looking for a hall runner, a small accent rug, or a colorful rag rug, the Centinela Traditional Arts has plenty for you to choose from.
PillowsThese decorative pillows feature some of the best Chimayo weaving designs. The best part is, they all are made of soft wool. Wouldn’t you love resting your head on some of the world’s most comforting material?
PursesMake a statement with a vintage Chimayo weaving purse! From eyeglass cases, large hauling bags, coin purses, and small totes, these lovely pieces of art are the perfect accessory. They also come in many different colors such as turquoise, green, cardinal, and beige.
Scarves and WrapsAnother great accessory, these stylish and irresistibly soft scarves/wraps keep you warm while giving you an elegant look. They are made by some of the most creative fiber artists in the industry, so you know you’re only getting the best! There is so much more to see at the Centinela Traditional Arts! Visit their website to find out more about what you’ll find, their traditional styles, and the weavers!
Take in Chimayo’s Rich History and Culture During Your Stay at Casa EscondidaChimayo is a beautiful and enchanting town nestled within one of the most beautiful regions in New Mexico. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and rich history at our charming bed and breakfast inn. Along with our eco-friendly guestrooms, you will also enjoy peaceful ambiance in our secluded setting and a deliciously traditional breakfast. Take a look at our nearby attractions to start planning your New Mexico getaway! Photo Credit: terry6970/Thinkstock
Since its opening in 1921, the El Potrero Trading Post has become a staple of Chimayo culture and hospitality. Alfonsa Vigil, the shop’s original owner, used to leave her kitchen doors open to weary pilgrims making a visit to the nearby Santuario de Chimayo. The business, originally named The Vigil Store, is now run by Alfonsa’s children, but her kindness and warm welcome to all remains a dominant trait in the store. Alfonsa’s memory is also memorialized by her picture hanging above the front door. During your Casa Escondida stay, a visit to the El Potrero Trading Post is a must! It’s the perfect place for the highest quality religious articles, green and red chile, New Mexican art, fresh produce, and even sacred dirt from the Santuario de Chimayo. Find more local places to shop like the El Potrero Trading Post when you request your free copy of our Chimayo Vacation Guide! You’ll also find a wide variety of things to do in the area including attractions, activities, dining, museums, and more.
Unique Things to Find at the El Potrero Trading PostChile: Dried powder and crushed varieties of green and red chile can be found at the El Potrero Trading post. Their savory flavors are perfect for adding just the right touch to many recipes. You can also bet that you will be using the best since the sellers make sure the chile powder is created with just the right roasting and sun-drying processes.
Food ProductsFor unique and authentic products, we highly recommend trying the food items offered at El Potrero Trading Post. Give any dish an exciting kick with their smoky chipotle powder. Wow your friends and family with an amazing dish made from their tasty salsa/taco mixes. One interesting delicacy you just have to try is their atole, a toasted blue corn meal breakfast drink that is lightly boiled and then served with milk and honey. You may also like to use the food you purchase with one of their El Potrero Trading Post recipes.
JewelryYou’ll find beautiful pieces of jewelry that are so intricate and lovely, it will be just like wearing artwork! The shop is proud to offer turquoise rosaries, hand amulets, earrings, necklaces, and hand-made reliquaries of Wando Lobito.
MilagrosThese tiny trinkets are actually religious folk charms that are intended for healing purposes. The milagro may symbolize something you need or want to be rid of. Tradition dictates that they are carried by the owner or given at church altars as a prayer request or a sign of thanks. Although this tradition is not as prevalent as it once was, many still carry this custom and the interesting knickknacks. El Potrero offers a wide variety of milagros in sterling silver, bronze, and tin.
Folk ArtNew Mexico artists include not just uniqueness, but personality into their masterpieces. Whether you’re looking for a painting, sculpture, religious artifact, or even a birdhouse, you’ll find the stunning masterpiece you want here.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) MerchandiseEvery November, one of the most sacred and festive holidays in the Mexican calendar is celebrated, the Day of the Dead! People honor their lost loved ones and celebrate their lives by bringing special foods, candies, and music to their graves. El Potrero Trading Post carries out this colorful and festive tradition through T-shirts, ornaments, rosaries, and more!
Enjoy the Rich Chimayo Culture at Casa EscondidaMeaning “hidden house” in Spanish, Casa Escondida definitely lives up to its name. Our charming and traditional bed and breakfast is nestled within the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. This provides a quiet, countryside atmosphere that is perfect for relaxing getaways and romantic escapes. Our inn also enjoys close proximity to other popular destinations including Santa Fe, Taos, and Jemez Springs. If that wasn’t enough, guests of Casa Escondida also enjoy traditionally themed rooms and savory complimentary breakfast each morning. It’s everything you need and more for the vacation you’ll never forget! Book your stay at Casa Escondida today! We look forward to welcoming you soon. Photo Credit: Esdelval/Thinkstock
Thousands of years before we walked this Earth, Southwestern Native Americans began creating the rich culture and traditions that we can still experience today. Santa Fe is a city steeped in this history. The locals are proud of their age-old traditions and values that their ancestors once held so dear. If you’d like to take a journey back in time and experience the colorful history and culture of New Mexico’s capital city, then a visit to the Museum Hill in Santa Fe is in order. A trip to this attraction is a great way to see how the art and culture of the Southwest Indians shaped city we know and love. Read on to learn more about Museum Hill in Santa Fe and the best things to see during your visit! Museum Hill in Santa Fe is just one of the many places to visit during your stay with us! Request your free copy of our Chimayo Vacation Guide to find all of the best local museums, attractions, activities, and more.
4 Places You Must See at Museum Hill in Santa FeAs soon as you arrive at Museum Hill in Santa Fe, an incredible journey into the past awaits you! Here are the museums and attractions you absolutely must see during your visit to the area.
Museum of Indian Arts and CultureThis Santa Fe museum fosters an appreciation for the knowledge of native arts, history, languages, and way of life. The state-of-the-art exhibits are both exciting and educational while driving a desire to learn even more from its visitors. As you explore the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, you will find mesmerizing pieces of New Mexican archaeology, photography, pottery, and more.
Museum of International Folk ArtAs one of the state’s most popular museums, the Museum of International Folk Art is a must for any visitor. Not to mention it holds the world’s largest collection of folk art! More than 150,000 artifacts call the museum home and over 150 nations are represented here. It is truly an extraordinary place to visit and houses a little something for everyone to enjoy.
Wheelright Museum of the American IndianThe Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is the oldest non-profit and independent museum in New Mexico. Their exhibitions feature a wide variety of interesting items including pictorial textiles, Southwestern jewelry, and native art. They originate every exhibit to bring you new research, fresh perspectives, and lively visual expression.
Santa Fe Botanical GardenThis unique attraction celebrates the rich horticultural heritage and biodiversity of the Southwest region. The landscape was designed by architect W. Gary Smith, meaning you’ll see plenty of stunning natural and manmade gardens. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is also well-known for their fun events and educational programs, so there is always something new to experience.
More Things to Do at Museum Hill in Santa Fe
Museum Hill Cafe in Santa FeDid all of that exploring work up an appetite? Stop by the Museum Hill Cafe for a delicious meal and fabulous mountain views. The cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves up a variety of fresh salads, delectable sandwiches, handcrafted desserts, and beer and wine.
Museum Hill in Santa Fe EventsThere are many opportunities to get involved and learn more history at Museum Hill. From fabulous galas, educational lectures, or hands-on workshops, you’re sure to find an event that is perfect for you. Take a look at the events calendar to find your favorite upcoming celebrations.
Immerse in the Rich History of Santa Fe During Your Stay With Casa EscondidaUnlike generic Santa Fe and Chimayo hotels, we incorporate the New Mexican culture and traditions into your accommodation experience. Our beautiful rooms are adorned with Southwest charm while still maintaining the modern amenities that you desire. We even serve a daily breakfast sprinkled with authentic New Mexican tastes and flavors. Our bed & breakfast is located in the historic town of Chimayo, one of the state’s cultural icons. You’re invited to escape to our countryside paradise! Book your dream getaway today or download our Free Vacation Guide for all the best local activities and attractions!
Each holy weekend, the small village of Chimayo instantly swells from 3,000 people to approximately 40,000! The El Santuario de Chimayo is the final destination of the largest annual pilgrimage in the United States. Despite its immense importance to the Catholic community, not very many people know about its existence. Here is everything you need to know about the Chimayo, NM pilgrimage and how you can experience it for yourself! The Chimayo, NM pilgrimage is just one of the many reasons to visit our historic Southwest village! Download your free copy of our Chimayo Vacation Guide right now for a full list of all the best recommendations for local activities, attractions, dining, and more.
More About the Chimayo, NM PilgrimageOn Good Friday, thousands of people gather in Chimayo, NM for the annual Holy Pilgrimage. Many of these travelers come from all over the nation and choose to walk hundreds of miles to the El Santuario de Chimayo. Some pilgrims even complete the journey barefoot while others carry a wooden crucifix with them! People participate in the pilgrimage for a variety of reasons. Some come to give thanks to God for answered prayers or to ask for divine intercession and enlightenment. Others travel to seek the miraculous healing powers of Chimayo holy dirt. This soil, which is found in a small hole within the El Santuario de Chimayo, can be rubbed on the skin, sprinkled on food, and even brewed in tea! When pilgrims arrive after their long journeys, they each take their turn taking a handful of the dirt before spending the rest of the day celebrating, praying, and worshipping on the church grounds.
History of the Chimayo, NM PilgrimageThe origins of the Holy Pilgrimage branch from two legendary miracles! The first took place on Good Friday in 1810. According to the legend, a group of men was engaging in conversation on a nearby hilltop when they saw a mysterious light shining in the distance. After an investigation, they discovered a half-buried wooden crucifix. They alerted the nearest church and the priest had the crucifix carried back with him. However, before dawn struck the next morning, the crucifix disappeared and was found right where it was first discovered. Two more attempts to bring the crucifix to the church ended with the same result. People began to assume that the land it stood upon was sacred! A few years later, a Penitente brother built a small shrine around the miracle crucifix. This shrine is now recognized as the El Santuario de Chimayo. While the crucifix was the church’s main draw for many years, it wasn’t long before a small hole containing “healing dirt” was discovered. Rumor has it that this is where the miraculous crucifix was buried! People from all over the world traveled to the church for a handful of the El Santuario de Chimayo holy dirt. The second miracle occurred in the early 1850’s when a member of an influential local family became seriously ill. He prayed to God for health and promised that if he healed, he would make the pilgrimage to the shrine of Santo Niño de Atocha in the town of Plateros in Zacatecas, Mexico. His prayers were answered, and the man stayed true to his word. During his journey, he came into possession of a paper mache doll of Santo Nino (Jesus as a child). Upon his return to Chimayo, he gained permission to build a private chapel just a few hundred yards from the church to house the doll. The chapel was completed in 1856 and has greatly contributed to Santo Nino devotees in Northern New Mexico.
Participate in the Holy PilgrimagePilgrims are not ordinary tourists! Instead, they seek to understand the essence of time, place, and the people they meet along the way. If you wish to participate in this year’s pilgrimage, you will be warmly welcomed into the village of Chimayo! To help you get started, take a look at this Chimayo Pilgrimage route map for more information on how to get to the El Santuario de Chimayo.
Stay at Casa Escondida for the Chimayo, NM PilgrimageWhether you’re participating in the pilgrimage or looking for a unique place to spend the holy weekend, Casa Escondida is the perfect place to stay! Our Southwestern bed & breakfast is located in the heart of Chimayo and just minutes from the El Santuario de Chimayo. During your stay, you’ll enjoy beautifully decorated and comfortable guest rooms, a peaceful ambiance, and a delicious daily breakfast each morning. Plus, our location in northern New Mexico will place you within driving distance of Santa Fe, Jemez Springs, and Taos! It’s everything you need and more for a holiday weekend you won’t soon forget! Reserve your stay at Casa Escondida today before we’re completely booked! Photo Credit: LizCoughlan/Getty Images
What’re your plans this July? Join us in our great state for the New Mexico Jazz Festival! For 14 years, this festival has graced Northern New Mexico with talented jazz artists. Even if jazz music isn’t your favorite genre, these concerts can be a time of discovery as you admire the passion of the artists and how their craft brings our community and its visitors together as one! Among all of our area’s arts and culture events, this festival is one of the most popular. It’s also one of the most accessible as it takes place over 17 days. Discover more things to do on your New Mexico getaway when you request a copy of our free Vacation Guide! Start planning right here.