New Mexico Tourist Attractions

By | January 3, 2023

Special churches, temples and monasteries

St. Francis Cathedral
The St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe was built from 1869 to 1887 by Archbishop Lamy, who is also buried in the chancel of the cathedral together with seven other archbishops of the city. It was built on the foundations of an older church, of which only one statue of the Virgin Mary has been preserved. This statue, brought to Spain from Santa Fe in 1625, is the oldest statue of the Virgin Mary in the United States. Archbishop Lamy was the first bishop of Santa Fez. In 2005 the cathedral was built by Pope Benedict XVI. consecrated to the basilica.

Contact 131 Cathedral Place
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504

San Miguel Mission
The San Miguel Mission or San Miguel Mission Chapel in Santa Fe is a Spanish mission church that was built between 1610 and 1626. It is considered the oldest church in the United States where services are still held. During the Pueblo uprising in 1860 it was partially destroyed, but was completely rebuilt in 1710. It is considered a National Historic Landmark.

Contact 401 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

San Felipe de Neri Church
The San Felipe de Neri Church is a Spanish colonial church built in 1792 in Albuquerque. It is the oldest standing building in Albuquerque. The original building was completed in 1718, but fell in 1792 and was rebuilt in another location in the Old Town Plaza the following year. In 1861 two towers were added. A school has been attached to the church since 1861 and a monastery for women since 1881. The church is currently undergoing renovations both inside and out.

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Contact 2005 Plaza street Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104

Plaza de Española Mission and Convent
The Mission Museum “Plaza de Española” is a replica of the 199 remains of the Mission Church in the San Gabriel settlement, which was excavated by the University of New Mexico in 1598 and was built by Spanish missionaries. It is characterized above all by an artistic construction with elements from the past four centuries. Today there is a museum and a monastery.

Contact 706 Bond Street
Espanola, New Mexico 87532

San Francisco de Asís Church
The San Francisco de Asís Church in Taos is a mission church built between 1772 and 1816 by the Spaniards. It was built by Franciscan monks and its patron is Francis of Assisi. The church is built of clay and has inspired a large number of artists. Georgia O’Keffe alone has painted four paintings with the Mission Church as a motif.

Contact 60 Sant Francis Plz
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Santuario de Chimayo Church
The Sanctuario de Chimayo Church in Chimayo is a Roman Catholic church built in 1816 by Spanish settlers. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1970 and is now a pilgrimage church with around 300,000 visitors every year.

Albuquerque New Mexico Temple
The Albuquerque New Mexico Temple is the 73rd completed temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in 1998 in the presence of 6,500 parishioners. Around 70,000 visitors attended the ten-day opening ceremony. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley inaugurated the temple in 2000.

Bodhi Manda Zen Center
The Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs is a Buddhist center located in a former Catholic monastery. The founder and director of the center is the Japanese Kyozan Joshu sasaki Roshi. The center also has some hot springs that are open to the public for a few months a year.

Contact 13 Bodhi Drive
Jemez Springs, New Mexico 87025

Basilica of San Albino
The Basilica of San Albino is part of the Roman Catholic diocese of Las Cruces and is located in the city of Mesilla. The first church built on the site was completed in 1852, the current building was built in 1906 and is one of the oldest churches in the region. Church services are held in both English and Spanish to commemorate the time when the city was still Mexican territory.

Contact 2280 Calle Principal
Mesilla, New Mexico 87025

Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the main church of the Roman Catholic diocese of Las Cruces. It was built from 1965 to 1966 in a contemporary Southwest American style. Since 1982 it has been the cathedral of the diocese.

Contact 1240 South Espina Street
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001

Loretto Chapel
The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe is an earlier Catholic church that is now used as a museum and as a wedding chapel. It is best known for its high and pretty spiral staircase, around which some myths have grown. it was built in 1850. Today the church is in private hands and an entrance fee is required.

Contact 207 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

San José de Gracia Church
The San José de Gracia Church, also known as the Church of Santo Thomas Del Rio de las Trampas, was built in 1780 in Las Trampas, a colonial village founded in 1751. It is located on the original small town plaza. It is still used for worship and has been a National Historic Landmark since 1970.


Big celebrations and events

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a hot air balloon festival held annually in Albuquerque for nine days in October. With around 750 balloons, it is the world’s largest hot air balloon festival. It has existed since 1972 and the occasion of the first festival was the fiftieth birthday of the Albuquerque-based radio station KOB Radio. Special features of the festival include illuminated balloons that fly at night, the simultaneous start of several hundred hot air balloons and the many different shapes and patterns of the balloons. For example, there was once a milk cow or a Spongebob squarepants as a hot air balloon.


Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
The Santa Fr Chamber Music Festival is a six-week chamber music festival that takes place annually in June and July in Santa Fe. It was founded in 1972 and the first concerts were given in 1973. Well-known musicians as well as young musicians can be seen and heard annually in the St. Francis Auditorium and in the Lensic Theater.


Fiestas de Santa Fe
The fiestas de Santa have been celebrated annually since 1712. The reason for the foundation of the festival was the reconquest of Santa Fes by the Spanish colonialists in 1692. Today the city center of Santa fes is filled with music, art and food stalls during the festival and the end of the festival consists of a candlelit procession by the St. Francis Cathedral to the cross of the martyrs.


Golden Aspen Rally
The Golden Aspen Rally, formerly known as Aspencade, is one of three annual US motorcycle rallies. Since 1986 it has been taking place in the third week of September in Ruidoso. There are always around 30,000 motorcyclists.


The White Sands International Film Festival
The White Sands International Film Festival was founded in Alamogordo, but moved to Las Cruces in 2009. It is a festival for feature films and documentaries with a special focus on filmmakers of Hispanic origin, which are also actively promoted by the festival.


Zoos, parks and amusement parks

Albuquerque Biological Park
The Albuquerque Biological Park is an environmental museum that includes an aquarium, botanical garden, zoo, and lake. Concerts and other events take place there again and again.

Contact 903 10th Street Southwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Alameda Park Zoo
The Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo is the oldest zoo in the American Southwest. It was founded in 1898 and is over five hectares in size. Animals of the zoo to be mentioned are the white sand sandfish, the Mexican gray wolf and the Hawaiian reindeer. The zoo has around 60,000 visitors a year.


Wildlife West Nature Park
The Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood is both a nature park and a zoo. It is managed by the New Mexico Wildlife Association and tries to keep wildlife in their natural environment and way of life. The park also offers various student programs in which children, but also adults, can get to know the natural life of animals and how to deal with them.

Contact 87 North Frontage Road
Edgewood, New Mexico 87015

Cliff’s Amusement Park
Cliff’s Amusement Park is an amusement park in Albuquerque that was founded in 1959. There are roller coasters, family rides, white water rides and the Kiddieland with many different attractions for small children.

Contact 4800 Osuna Road Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109

Roswell incident

The Roswell Incident is known to have occurred on July 8, 1947, when an object unknown to the population crashed at the time. The day after the crash, the Fort Worth Air Force Base announced that the crashed object was a weather balloon and not – as the press said on the day of the crash – a vehicle from extraterrestrial life.
In truth, it was a neoprene balloon from the top secret MOGUL project, with which one could have detected an atomic bomb explosion. The American population should not know this because the project had the highest confidentiality priority and the Soviet Union should not know about it during the Cold War.
This cover-up by the military was uncovered by reports, but what it really was was not clear.
It was only years later that new speculations and conspiracy theories emerged about the Roswell crash. The book “The Roswell Incident” by Berlitz and Moore, published in 1980, theorized that it was the crash of an alien flying object at the time and the US government wanted to cover it up to avoid popular excitement.
In this book it was claimed that the body of an alien was found at the time, which the military later dissected. Witnesses were also given for this, but they did not exist.
The crash from 1947 gradually became the subject of various science fiction productions such as Star Trek and Futurama. The “Santilli film”, which shows the autopsy of an alien, finally became known in the 90s.
The director allegedly received the footage from a military cameraman who was said to have filmed the autopsy in 1947.
However, it turned out that the recording was a fake.
Nevertheless, the town of Roswell has attracted large numbers of alien tourists since the 80s. There are various alleged crash sites, alien museums and science fiction festivals.

National parks

The only national park in the state of New Mexico is the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. A description of the park and all other national parks in the USA can be found at Goruma.

There are also 35 state parks in New Mexico.

Other natural beauties

Lechuguilla cave system
The Lechuguilla cave system is a stalactite cave in the limestone of the Guadalupe Mountains that extends down to 500 m and is considered one of the most beautiful caves in the world. At 3,270 meters, it is the fifth longest cave in the world and the deepest in the USA. So far around 200 km of the cave have been explored. It is located in the “Carlsbad Caverns National Park”. However, only selected natural scientists have access.

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Bandelier National Monument
The Bandelier National Monument is an area of ​​13.6 hectares on the Rio Grande, which is preserved by the National Park Service. Most of the area that was once inhabited by Pueblo peoples is now an advertised wilderness in which nature is to be preserved. The main attraction of the site is the Frijoles Gorge, formerly inhabited by the Indians. A total of over 100 settlements can be traced there. In the largest settlement you can still see the remains of the community house and the ceremony cave. Another highlight is the Painted Grove in the south, a cave painted with prehistoric petroglyphs.


White Sands National Monument
The White Sands National Monument is a gypsum desert in the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. It belongs to the Chihuahua Desert, which is the largest gypsum desert in the world with 700 km². The area was declared a “White Sands National Monument” in 1933. The gypsum with the precipitation from the surrounding mountains reaches Lake Lucero, which has no drain. In the summer months, the lake dries out and gypsum crystals remain, which are thrown into dunes by southwest winds. This offers a highly extraordinary natural spectacle.


Colin Neblett Wildlife Area
Founded in 1950/1951, the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area is home to various wild animals such as reindeer, moose, turkeys, bears and grouse. The area offers various leisure activities such as bike tours, hiking, watching animals and, under certain conditions, fishing and hunting.

Capulín Volcano National Monument
The Capulín Volcano National Monument preserves the area around the Capulín volcano. The area has been owned by the National Park Service since 1926 and has been a National Monument ever since. It is located in northeastern New Mexico and the highest point of the volcano offers breathtaking views. The large volcanic field around the Capulín volcano contains over 100 other volcanoes.

Capulín Volcano National Monument