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New Mexico

8 of the Most Beautiful Places to See in New Mexico

Jamie Delos Reyes

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The “Land of Enchantment” offers a wide array of nature experiences, unique cuisine, and rich culture. With both Native American and Hispanic ancestries, this state is the best of both worlds. Check out the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico!

1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Tes

This hidden gem is composed of over a hundred and twenty caves that are mostly hidden beneath the surface. As a result, the limestone-covered landscape has become one of the most famous attractions in New Mexico.

You can join tours of several kinds at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. You may choose to try the bat tours, cave tours, or tours above ground. If you want to enjoy the serenity of the cave, self-guided audio tours are also available. Just be sure to have the map with you so you don’t get lost in this massive underground spectacle. Finally, there is also a wide range of activities that you may try up above the cave. There’s a hiking, cycling, and camping – just be sure to bring enough supplies to last your trip!

2. White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Conde Nast

White Sands National Monument is located in the south of New Mexico, just an hour drive southwest of Alamogordo. Surrounded by rocky mountains, this desert is an extraordinary sight to visit. This massive landscape is gleaming with white gypsum sand and features towering dunes that go as high as 60 feet.

Tourists and locals alike can explore this monument through the Interdune Boardwalk or the Dune Life Nature Trail. You should never miss out on the chance to experience one of the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico.

3. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Rove

People from across the globe flock to Albuquerque, New Mexico to witness this colorful event. Happening every Autumn, Albuquerque hosts the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. This decades-old tradition started in a parking lot with only a couple of balloons.

Now, the almost 400-acre park is filled with over 500 balloons who participate in the festival. This fiesta lasts for nine days and is jump-started by the spectacular “Mass Ascension”, followed by the rest of the unique displays and their programs, as well as nighttime presentations. These massive colorful balloons are not the only ones to see here, you may also check out the live musicians during a craft show, and a dozen of street performers mixed with the numerous vendors in the area.

Not only is it a fun way to explore the state, but once the balloons fill the air, the sky becomes one of the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico.

4. Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Busy.org

This historical landmark is preserved by the National Park Service and the city of Albuquerque. Perfect for those who want to discover a bit of history, the Petroglyph National Monument will surely soothe your history fix. The park’s most famous feature is the petroglyphs, a collection of over 20,000 images that were carved in the rocks by the natives who lived there a few millennia ago.

This area which spans up to 7,000 acres features five dormant volcanoes, a basalt slope, and an expansive plateau. Hiking is also popular in this attraction. With three main hiking routes, you may choose the difficulty of the terrain that you’d like to go to.

5. Bandelier National Monument

This former home of ancestral Pueblo people, the Bandelier National Monument encompasses some of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes and archaeological ruins. Reaching up to about 35,000 acres, structures such as masonry walls and dwellings were carved from the volcanic rock. The Petroglyphs in the area show the way of life of the Pueblo people. This National Park features hiking trails, campsites, and an educational museum– surely one of the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico!

6. Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Plugon

Taos Pueblo is the oldest inhabited dwelling in all of America. Built using straw-reinforced mud bricks and timber-supported roofs, it has braved the humid weather and has stood for more than a millennium. Around a hundred and fifty people call these apartment-style structures their home. The residents often welcome visitors and give them a tour of their community.

It is also perfect for photo opportunities. Sometime over the year, the Pueblo is closed down to the public to host their annual traditional events. Now, Taos Pueblo is both a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In honor of the designation, the residents and the authorities help hand in hand to preserve this well-beloved town.

7. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

This park is located in the North of the mining town of Silver City. Built around the year 1300, Gulla Cliff Dwellings consist of 42 rooms in six caves. The Mogollon Native Americans built these dwellings into the face of the cliff. There are also a number of natural caves and hot springs that are accessible through the hiking trails.

Tours of this park are available daily.  With the starting point the cliff dwellings themselves, you will get to learn about the culture of the Mogollon people and the history of this place. The park is open daily and the trail to the Cliff Dwellings are closed by 5 PM. Recently though, the park has started to offer moonlight hikes on specific summer dates.

If you’re interested to join this particular activity, make sure to check with the park staff first. There are not a lot of accommodations in the area. So if you’re planning to stay the night, book as early as you can for they only have a very few rooms available.

8. Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park used to be one of the largest Native American pueblos in New Mexico. This historical park was inhabited by at least 2,000 residents from the early 14th century until about the 1840s. Now, the park has a visitor museum that features exhibits and the park’s history as one of the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico.

You can also try the Ancestral Sites Walking Tour which features an over a mile hike that explores the idea of how the indigenous people lived back in the day. You can also go around the Civil War battlefield of Glorieta Pass, a 2-mile trail, which you can accomplish with or without a guide. Van tours are also available in the area and to the nearby Forked Lightning Ranch.

New Mexico prides itself with an abundance of picturesque landscapes and historical landmarks. Make sure to personally check out the places mentioned on this list on your visit to this state.

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