Best Things To Do in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
Taos is one of the oldest native pueblos in the United States. Their community has been continuously inhabited for 1000 years.
Its culture and architecture, preserved over time, earned it the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO. So now we will tell you what to see in Taos Pueblo.
In Taos, you can enjoy the amazing scenery and traditional architecture. You can also learn about the history of the Pueblo community, visit museums, go hot air ballooning, ski, and much more.
We visit Taos Pueblo and the area in winter. In the post, you will find photos of us with snow and other images with better weather to get an idea of the landscape during the rest of the year.
Visit Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo is home to the native Tihuas community and if you visit the town, you will see their incredible traditional architecture.
This architecture is based on adobe complexes that have hardly changed in the last millennium. Nor have many of their customs changed, as they are one of the communities most attached to their traditions.
There were no doors or windows in their houses, so the entrance was from above and they used stairs to go down into the interior.
Most of the buildings you will see were built between 1000 and 1450 AD.
However, they have been able to adapt and today you can see how some of the old residences have been transformed into galleries and restaurants.
Among the most important sites in Taos Pueblo are the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
The visit to the village is done with a local guide, so you can learn much of its history and ask all the questions that arise when you see this wonderful town.
Make a Stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
We hope you don’t have vertigo because the Gorge Bridge is 198 meters above the river, making it the fifth-highest bridge in the United States.
Above its railings, you will be able to observe the cliffs of the gorge and the turbulent river that flows below.
You can also walk along a path that skirts the gorge, from where you will have great views of the landscape surrounding the bridge.
Visit Taos Plaza and the Historic District
Taos Plaza was born in 1796 when the King of Spain granted the land to a group of 63 families. The houses were built forming a quadrilateral to use the complex as a fortress.
It then became the center of town, and today, as in ancient times, it is where farmers’ markets are held, and locals come to listen to live music.
Among the most exciting places to visit are the Taos Art Museum, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, and the Kit Carson House Museum.
In addition, you will find many restaurants and stores in downtown Taos.
The Millicent Rogers Museum
We recommend including the Millicent Rogers Museum in the list of what to see in Taos Pueblo because it is one of the best places to learn about native art in the entire region.
Among its permanent exhibits is a collection of Native art from prehistoric times to the present, including objects from the various tribes of the Southeast, such as the Navajo, Zuni, Pueblo, and Apache peoples.
It also has a collection of art and products from the Spanish era. It includes everyday objects used by the early settlers and religious art and farming tools.
They also have collections of jewelry made with turquoise and an exhibition of contemporary art.
Visit the Kit Carson House Museum
The Kit Carson House Museum is the oldest in Taos.
Kit Carson was fluent in several native languages, so he could negotiate and trade with different tribes. But when the American Civil War broke out, Carson fought against his former allies and defeated the Navajo people.
Many consider him a hero for his contribution to the American advance into the western territories. Thanks to this, it was made into several films from the silent film era until the 1940s.
The house was built in the first quarter of the 19th century in the Spanish colonial style with adobe walls.
And inside, you can see the typical artifacts that a family had at that time, such as an adobe oven. There is also an 1862 flag and a replica of the rifle Kit Carson owned.
Visit the Taos Museum of Art
The Taos Museum of Art is housed in the Fechin House, a name related to the painter who created the house.
In the house, you will appreciate the smoothness of the adobe walls, and you will be amazed by the quality of the carved furniture.
You will also see the art exhibits on display at the museum, including works by Fechin and other artists.
St. Francis of Assisi Church in Taos
The beauty of this church makes it on any list of what to see in Taos Pueblo. It is a large adobe building in the shape of a cross about 37 meters long, built between 1772 and 1816.
The roof is also built with adobe and wood, and two bell towers flank the entrance.
Despite being built with traditional materials, it has a modern appearance, which is due to the fact that the church had to be rebuilt and repaired on numerous occasions.
Its beauty inspired many of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings.
Reach the Top of Wheeler Peak
Wheeler Peak is the highest mountain in New Mexico, at 4011 meters.
There is a mountain trail along which you hike to reach the top.
It starts from the Williams Lake Trail. The entire trail, round trip, is almost 14 kilometers long. You can leave your car parked at the trailhead, and from there, you start hiking one of the best trails in the Rocky Mountains.
The road is not easy due to the climb and the winds of the mountain. But once you get to the top, you will feel it will be worth it, as you will have one of the best views in the state.
The Taos Ski Valley, Wheeler Peak Wilderness, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are all around you.
Ski in the Taos Valley
At Ski Taos, you’ll have things to do and fun to do all winter long.
Ski Taos has slopes for skiers of different levels, so if you’ve never skied before, it won’t be a problem. And if you need to, they also offer ski lessons, so you can learn before you hit the slopes.
They also offer guided snowmobile tours. A great activity to do with the family.
In addition, they have different lodging options, either a luxury hotel or apartments with up to 3 bedrooms.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
New Mexico scenery is one of the things to see in Taos Pueblo.
The scenic route of the Enchanted Circle will guide you through mountains, valleys, plateaus, national forest lands, and many towns in the interior of the state.
The Enchanted Circle is centered around Wheeler Peak and is a road trip that should be planned to be done leisurely, stopping to enjoy the outdoors and the views that appear at every mile.
If you visit the enchanted circle in summer, you can go rafting, biking, fishing, or climbing. In winter, in addition to skiing, you can go hot air ballooning and tubing, among other activities.
In Angel Fire, they have a bike park, which they say is one of the best places for cycling enthusiasts.
This tour is one of the most popular tours to do in the region.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon over Taos
If you liked the scenery from the road, imagine what it would be like to see it all from the sky.
Yes, it is possible to take a hot air balloon flight over Taos and the Rio Grande River.
Once you soar, you will toast with champagne to celebrate one of the best experiences of your life.
From the top, you can see the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the Taos Mountains, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the gorge.
You will be in the air for about an hour and a half, and the experience lasts more than 3 hours.
Along the way, take a look at Earthships Biotecture
It is a company dedicated to building houses with recycled materials.
They offer educational guided tours, where you can learn how they carry out their projects and why it is essential to recycle the materials they use, as well as know how it can be done.
Its main building combines solar architecture, renewable energy, integrated water systems, indoor food growing, and natural and reused resources.
In addition, there are trails outside where you can observe more projects, and as you walk around, you can read signs and videos that explain how they reuse material that others discard, such as car and bottle covers.
You will also learn about efficient water storage systems, which they use for cultivation.
Visit the Historic Hacienda de los Martinez
It is one of the few large Spanish Colonial-style homes still standing, which is why it is on our list of what to see in Taos Pueblo.
Built-in 1804 as a fortress with large adobe walls, it soon became a key commercial center on the frontier of the Spanish empire.
The Martinez family was also important to the history of New Mexico. Father created the first coeducational school in New Mexico and brought the first printing press to Taos.
The rooms and courtyards of the house provide a glimpse of what life was like in New Mexico in the early 19th century.
Demonstrations on the traditional arts and crafts of the area are regularly held.
And annually, they host the Trade Fair, where you can see a traditional mule-teaming demonstration, carving and carving displays, a blacksmithing demonstration, Comanchero stories and songs, Navajo wool spinning and weaving, live music, and you can also enjoy lots of food.
Enjoy the Road to Get to Taos
Several scenic routes will take you to Taos.
If you come from Santa Fe, you will arrive on High Road. You will pass through many towns that evidence the Spanish colonial past, such as Ranchos, Peñasco, Trampas, and Cordova.
From Talpa, you can drive through the Carson National Forest to Peñasco, a small farming community.
In Las Trampas, admire San José de Gracia, a church still in use after 225 years.
The Cerro de Chimayo Plaza is the southwest’s last surviving Spanish fortified plaza. The Santuario de Chimayo is probably the most visited church in New Mexico and is believed to have been built on sacred ground with healing powers.
Chimayo is also famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families, and many stores contain their work and fine handicrafts from the region.
It is advisable to have travel insurance purchased before flying to the United States. Travel insurance provides many advantages to having a satisfying trip without worries.
The healthcare system in the United States is very different from the one we have in Europe. And very expensive, when I say very expensive, I am talking about thousands of euros, for anything that in Europe would be free.
In order not to have bad luck in our experience in the United States. We recommend having travel insurance.
Taking out insurance means that if you need medical assistance, you will be treated in a well-equipped clinic or hospital with all medical expenses covered.
We recommend Heymondo’s travel insurance; it is the one we use. These insurances are very good, and you will be covered for up to 10,000,000 euros of covered medical expenses.
Get your travel insurance with a 5% discount here. It is much cheaper than you imagined and will give you peace of mind during your stay.
Well, as you can see, you will find many things on this road, be it incredible scenery or good cultural moments.
We hope you liked this list of what to see in Taos Pueblo. We think it is an incredible region because it offers us a lot of history and amazing landscapes. They know how to adapt its strengths to attract tourists without losing the traditions and traditional culture.
So if you are in the southern United States, we definitely recommend a visit to Taos.
Plan Your Trip to New Mexico
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Last Updated on 23 November, 2022 by Veronica