Boasting a mesmerizing mix of cultures, landscapes and cities, New Mexico more than lives up to its nickname the ‘Land of Enchantment’. As well as beautiful mountain ranges and delightfully desolate desert scenery, it has terrific towns to visit that exhibit a fascinating array of American, Mexican and Native American influences.
Set in the southwest of the US, the former Spanish colony is bordered by Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas with Mexico lying to the south. Defined in many ways by the Rio Grande that runs down the middle, it is impressively one of the most diverse states in the nation. This is because it is not only home to the rugged Rocky Mountains and unusual red rock formations but magnificent mesas, canyons and forests too.
As its age-old landscapes have been inhabited for millennia by Native Americans, it should come as no surprise to learn that New Mexico boasts some of the most extensive Ancestral Puebloan ruins in the country. These include Chaco Canyon and the Gila Cliff Dwellings with both the Aztec Ruins and Bandelier national monuments also attracting lots of visitors.
This rich cultural heritage, however, still lives on in numerous towns and cities like the historic Taos Pueblo and Farmington, which act as gateways to the nearby Navajo Nation. Its state capital Santa Fe also has amazing Native American art galleries and interesting historic sights to check out with awesome adobe architecture on show.
After having explored its archaeological sites and visited all Albuquerque’s enticing attractions, the other main thing to do in New Mexico is hike, mountain bike and horseback ride around its national parks. While the vast caves at the Carlsbad Caverns need to be seen to be believed, the shimmering dunes at White Sands and spindly rock formations of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks are arguably just as impressive and unique.