Located between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Glorieta Mesa, Cicuye (or Pecos) once thrived as an important trading center for the nomadic Plains Indians and the Rio Grande Pueblo Indians. In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadores and Franciscan priests arrived in the New World, constructing massive Mission churches at many of the Pueblos, and fervently forcing the Native people to convert to Catholicism. The remains of the Mission Church at Pecos are a testament to that era.
Part of Bandelier National Monument, Tsankawi is located on a mesa with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Tsankawi has numerous cave dwellings with remarkable petroglyphs along the cliff walls. The trails here are more rugged than at the main park – you’ll walk along ancient footpaths without rail guards and concrete steps. For the adventurous hikers, there are options to explore beyond the mesa loop, off the beaten path to secluded caves and rarely seen petroglyphs.
The Ancient Puebloans established many villages along the Pajarito Plateau of the Jemez Mountains that flourished from the early 1100s until the mid 1500s. Tyuonyi Pueblo, the Cliff Dwellings and the Alcove House – all located in Frijoles Canyon – reveal the rich culture of the native people. Visiting Bandelier is an exhilarating adventure for adults and children! Enjoy the petroglyphs, climb into some of the cave dwellings and imagine life as it once was in this lovely canyon.
A visit to Puye is enchanting and enlightening. The mesa top dwellings have been excavated and partially rebuilt, offering visitors a glimpse of the past. The views of the surrounding mountains are breathtaking and it is easy to let your imagination go: picture daily life atop the mesa, most likely challenging in many ways but peaceful and spiritual. In addition to the mesa top tour, take an insightful walk along the cliff dwellings with Native American guides, all from Santa Clara Pueblo.
Known as the Lourdes of America, Chimayó is a lovely Spanish Land Grant Village nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It has been and still is a spiritual place for both the Native American and for the descendants of the Spanish settlers who now live there. Visit the Santuario de Chimayó and the Santo Niño Chapel, enchanting sites steeped in mystical and magical stories of healing, and meet the artists as well as the traditional weavers of Chimayó. As part of the tour, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Native American Pueblo of Pojoaque and truly get a taste of what makes New Mexico culturally rich.
New Mexico’s natural beauty and depth of history come together as you take one of America’s Scenic Byways, the Turquoise Trail. Our excursion introduces visitors to the quaint towns of Cerrillos and Madrid, both important mining towns in the late 1800s. Predating the Anglo settlements, the Ancient Pueblo people mined the Cerrillos Hills around 1000 AD for turquoise and lead. Today, these towns are charming stops, offering visitors a glimpse into the colorful history of New Mexico.
For those who love Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, this 5-hour tour is a must! We’ll take you to the environs of Abiquiu, a picturesque region of New Mexico that captured O’Keeffe’s heart and imagination. Take a short walk at Plaza Blanca (“The White Place”), with its spectacular rock formations, visit Ghost Ranch where O’Keeffe had a home and marvel at the landscapes, and learn about the unique history of the Genízaro who settled in this area in the mid 1700s.
Join us on a 6-hour excursion that takes you up along the Rio Grande to Taos and Taos Pueblo. We’ll stop at one of the most photographed and painted churches in New Mexico, the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. In Taos, visit the Plaza and the John Dunn House Shops before touring Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage site, with its multi-storied adobe buildings set against the spectacular backdrop of the Taos Mountains.
Ride the High Road to Taos and experience the history and culture of the Native Americans, the Spanish settlers, and the Anglos who came in later years. Visit the famed Santuario de Chimayó, often called the “Lourdes of America” and renowned for its “healing dirt”. Stroll through historic Taos Pueblo, nestled against the grandeur of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and meet talented artists, returning to Santa Fe by way of the scenic River or Low Road.