The Land of Enchantment
Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment for a reason.
The light, the land, the people and the food enchant
everyone who visits here. New Mexico is small in
population, large in area and huge in heart. The
very names of New Mexico evoke strong images. Mountains
called Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) and rivers
named Rio Grande and Pecos come to life. Other New
Mexico names are part of our American folklore: Ghost
Ranch, Georgia O’Keeffe, Los Alamos, Billy
the Kid, Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns, Taos, Truth or
Consequences, Route 66, White Sands, Santa Fe Trail,
Chaco Canyon, Albuquerque Isotopes, Adobe, Balloon
Fiesta, Alamogordo, Anasazi, Geronimo, Red and Green
Chile, Chimayo, D.H. Lawrence, Navajo, Kit Carson,
Zia and Zuni Pueblos. The area between Santa Fe and
Taos is the most popular tourist destination in the
History, Culture & Spirit
New Mexico began as a tropical ocean. When the ocean dried up the dinosaurs
lived here. Millions of years later Man appeared. The ancestors of the present
Pueblo Indians were the Anasazi. Their sites can be visited at Bandelier and
Puye (close by) and Chaco Canyon (2 hrs). In the 1500’s the Spaniards
came up the Rio Grande Valley, conquered the Pueblos and started their own
settlements in Espanola, Santa Fe and other parts. Among these
settlers were “hidden Jews” fleeing the Inquisition in Europe.
In August of 1680 The Pueblo Revolt began. The Indians drove out the Spanish
settlers from northern New Mexico. Twelve years later the Spaniards reconquered
Santa Fe and New Mexico. New Mexico became part of the independent nation of
Mexico until August 1846 when, during the Mexican-American War, American troops
marched into Santa Fe. New Mexico became a state in 1912, the only bi-lingual
one in the union. New Mexicans are proud of their tri-cultural heritage- Indian,
Hispanic and Anglo. In the 1940’s the atomic bomb was developed at Los
Alamos. It was first tested at Alamogordo. In the 1960’s the “hippies” came
to northern New Mexico and settled communes. In the 1970’s they evolved
into a New Age movement. Lama Foundation, 3HO and other holistic and spiritual
organizations, clinics and communities are still here. New Mexico has always
been a sacred land for the people here. There are many spiritual and pilgrimage
sites of all denominations. The most famous is the Santuario de Chimayo. Every
Easter thousands of pilgrims walk to this humble church from all over the southwest.
Art & Cultural
Another kind of pilgrimage happens each year in northern New Mexico-a pilgrimage
to the arts. Each summer many come to enjoy the open air Santa Fe Opera. In
July/August, around the Santa Fe Plaza, there is Spanish Market and Indian
Market, one of the biggest art and crafts events in the world. In the fall,
small towns in northern New Mexico have weekly artist studio tours. Northern
New Mexico is the second largest art market in the USA after New York. The
nearby Flea Market is another good place to find crafts and gifts.
On certain feast days the pueblos are open to the public. There are dances,
food, and crafts. Many of these pueblos are in the Espanola Valley.
New Mexico is a recreational playground. Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking on
the Rio Grande and Chama Rivers are only 30 minutes from our properties. Hiking,
Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Rock Climbing can be done in the Sangre
de Cristo or Jemez Mountains or down in the Rio Grande Valley.
Downhill Ski season is from Thanksgiving to Easter. Most ski resorts are within
an hour drive of our properties. These include Santa Fe, Pajarito, Taos, Sipapu,
Red River and Angel Fire. There is also cross-country skiing, ice-skating and
World class Fly Fishing is nearby in the streams and rivers of the area. There
is also lake fishing.
Golf Courses are a recent addition the area but their numbers are increasing
quickly. They include Black Mesa, Towa (36 holes), Los Alamos, and Santa Fe
just minutes away.
New Mexico is a land of geological change. There are extinct volcanoes and
active hot springs. Most of the hot springs are in the wild, open to all for
the price of an exhilarating hike. Many are in the mountains and some are right
on the Rio Grande where you can plunge into the cold water. There are also
commercial spas such as Ojo Caliente, Jemez Springs and Pagosa Springs. Wherever
you go the hot springs of northern New Mexico are a treat.
When you think of New Mexico food you think of hot chile peppers. It is the
state obsession. Chile here is not the Texas chili powder; it is the fresh
pepper, which comes in red or green. If you want both together ask for “Christmas.” Chile
goes on everything from burritos and enchiladas to stuffed sopaipillas. New
Mexican food is a combination of Indian and Spanish food and is similar to
Mexican food but different. It doesn’t have to be spicy but often is.
The Espanola Valley is the heart of this cuisine and every fall you can smell
green chile being roasted. Santa Fe has over 200 restaurants of every kind.
Many like Coyote Café serve nouveau southwestern cuisine.
Santa Fe style comes out of pueblo and Hispanic origins. It may be traditional
or have a modern flare. Santa Fe style is seen in the architecture and design
of the area. It often uses local materials such as wood, from the mountain
forests, for beams (vigas) and ceilings (latillas), mud for adobe brick and
rock for walls. Many of the houses are adobe or look adobe. Floors are often
Mexican tile (saltillo). There may be a Navajo or Oriental rug on the floor
or wall. The furniture may be Spanish traditional or modern. Staying in a Santa
Fe style home can add to your New Mexican vacation experience.