Did you know that New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment? Knowing that the state has this nickname should be enough reason for you to want to visit it! Seriously. There is no doubt about how beautiful this state is. If you’re ready to get enchanted, don’t miss your chance and see these stunning places to visit in New Mexico:
Here are 8 stunning places in New Mexico that you should add to your must-visit list:
1. Blue Hole
If you want to swim into pristine waters, Blue Hole is one of the places to visit in New Mexico. This 80-feet circular, bell-shaped natural pool is perfect for scuba diving. In fact, it is one of the most popular dive destinations in the US for scuba diving and training. The Blue Hole is 64 degrees Fahrenheit so if you really want to cool down for the summer, you know where to go.
Many visitors and tourists now flock to the stunning Blue Hole because it appears in the midst of the desert like a literal blue gem. This is one of the seven sister lakes connected underground by a vast system of water. It looks magical, and the water is definitely prized for its beauty. Since the lake is unsurpassed for its clear, pure water, the management really works hard to keep it that way. For instance, they are particular about making sure the surface runoff won’t impair its purity. If you dive here, visibility is an astonishing 100’. That’s because the water renews itself every six hours. It is never really the “same water twice.” For sure, many individuals who want to cool down on a hot summer day and relax will want to come here.
Fun Fact: Before this place became known as a diving destination, it was actually an artesian well that was once used as a fish hatchery.
Location: Guadalupe County, near Santa Rosa, New Mexico
2. Carlsbad Caverns
These caverns are naturally crafted by the earth because of the sulfuric acid that dissolved in limestone. Also, did you know that there are 120 discovered caves here? Wow, that’s a lot. The number will still change and increase as exploration continues.
As Travel Channel put it, entering any of the caves in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is like entering a “larger-than-life sandcastle.” You will see drips of sand transformed into a stunning and twisting myriad structures of peaks and spires. It’s breathtaking beyond words.
The most popular activity to do here is the Cavern Tour. There are several guided cave tours you can choose from. You may opt to explore the Big Room Trail, the most popular route taken by adventurers and visitors. It is the largest single cave chamber by volume in North America. Exploring the 1.25-mile (2 km) trail only takes about 1.5 hours and you will see rewarding views and amazing cave formations of all shapes and sizes. If you are looking for something more fun and exciting, you can take strenuous tours where you can engage in pool crossings, ladder climbs, free climbing, and more.
Fun Fact: Actor and comedian Will Rogers called the Carlsbad Caverns the “Grand Canyon with a roof over it.”
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
3. Dark Sky
If you want to say “you are my galaxy” to your significant other, then you should go to the Dark Skies Trail and appreciate the majestic skies. It is the perfect destination if you want to set a romantic night or experience.
Not only it is eye candy, but the place itself is truly beautiful. If you haven’t seen amazing constellations through the naked eye, this is the place to go and experience it all. Dark Sky New Mexico boasts some of the best night sky observation conditions in the world. Indeed, this is one of the stunning places in New Mexico that you shouldn’t miss for the world! What are you waiting for? Add this to your itinerary list if you want to have a “star party” or if you want to spend a romantic night with your beau.
Fun Fact: They have over 300 clear days and nights per year, and you will clearly see the brilliance of the skies because there is no light or atmospheric pollution here.
Location: 30 Washburn Rd, Animas, New Mexico
4. Ghost Ranch
At first glance, this place will make you reminisce about some action films that you probably watched from the past. Well, that’s because this vast landscape of 21,000 acres rock walls with vibrant colors is truly picturesque. You will have the time of your life just trying to capture some photos of the Ghost Ranch. Get a sense of adventure and be closer to nature by exploring the stunning canyon and cliff country of New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch. Many artists of the 20th century get hypnotized by this place, and we can only guess why. The power of the scenery is too great to ignore.
Fun Fact: The Ghost Ranch is also known as the home of the American artist, Georgia O’Keeffee.
Location: 280 Private Drive 1708 Highway, US-84, Abiquiu, New Mexico
5. Bisti Bad Lands
One of the stunning places to visit in New Mexico is the Bisti Bad Lands. The place is highly known for its awesome and uniquely-sculpted rock formations. It is definitely perfect for individuals who are looking for one-of-a-kind scenery. If we were to find the right words to describe this destination, it would probably be “out of this world.”
The scenic and colorful expanse of undulating mounds and unusual eroded rocks that covers 4,000 acres is a visual feast. But if you plan to hike here, make sure you are equipped with a good compass. You should also be prepared to navigate without the visible reference points if you don’t want to get lost.
Fun Fact: The Bisti was actually once a coastal swamp of an inland sea. It was home to many reptiles, large trees, primitive mammals, and even dinosaurs. Today, it is a preserved area of a pre-historic swamp that is now a true desert wilderness.
Location: County Road 7297, Bloomfield, New Mexico
6. Brazos Cliffs
Can you believe that such a cool and picturesque destination exists in New Mexico?
Just 2,000 feet above the Chama River is the Brazos Cliff. This tall granite is the oldest rock that you can discover in New Mexico. The best time to visit here is during sunset where you will see how the light reflects against the rock which makes it more beautiful. Don’t you agree that it is definitely on the stunning places in New Mexico?
Fun Fact: The mountain range is part of the Tusas Mountains, which is the southern portion of the San Juan Mountains. It is well-known in Colorado.
Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
7. Valles Caldera National Preserve
Did you know that this National Preserve houses one of three supervolcanoes in the entire United States of America? That’s both amazing and terribly scary! Valles Caldera is also famous for its high mountain valleys. Since the whole place sits on an 89,000-acre land, there’s so much to do when you visit here!
If you plan on taking photos of the expansive grassland meadow, it’s best to come in the morning so you can fully capture the picturesque landscape, and abundant wildlife.
Fun Fact: Valles Caldera is the oldest of the three young caldera-type volcanoes in the United States. Netflix hit series Longmire fans would also be able to see the Sheriff’s cabin inside the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
Location: 39201 NM-4, Jemez Springs
8. White Sands
Don’t be fooled. This is not snow! The sparkling white sands are called gypsum. This is a soft mineral often left behind when water bodies evaporate. There are many gypsum dunes in the state, and these are results from the changes in the ancient landscapes way before the time of dinosaurs.
If you feel dramatic, why not ride a horse and capture the moment during sunset? There are also other fun activities you can do here such as hiking, backcountry camping, bicycling, dune sledding, and photography among many others.
Fun Fact: The white sand dunes actually cover over 275 square miles of the Chihuahuan desert. The National Monument protects over half of the sand dunes.
Location: Dona Ana County, New Mexico
Have you ever visited any of these stunning places in New Mexico? If so, don’t you agree that these places really belong to the Land of Enchantment? Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments below!