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Welcome to New Mexico

New Mexico will never be accused of being bland. Ancient adobe houses, real-life cowboys, legendary extraterrestrial visits and green chili cheeseburgers help put the state on the tourism map. Combine that with the state’s artistic spirit and dramatic scenery, and you’ve got a recipe for a vacation unlike any other.

Scenic Splendor

There’s plenty to do above ground, too. Trek desert trails to reach canyons and valleys, see bats take flight at sunset or enjoy a scenic cruise along the Walnut Canyon Desert Drive. Outdoor adventure and rich history come together at Bandelier National Monument about 100 miles north of Albuquerque. Spanning 33,000 acres of rugged mesa country, this area is teeming with petroglyphs, ancient ceremonial structures, hiking trails and wildlife.

A brown adobe church stands against a clear blue sky.

Wildlife Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

New Mexico offers year-round fishing across the state. In the northwest, cast your line from San Juan River, Navajo Lake State Park and Navajo Nation — all are abundant in various species of trout. Jicarilla Apache Reservation is home to large rainbow trout in Stone Lake, as well as largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill in Mundo Lake. Serious anglers can even go ice fishing in Eagle Nest Lake State Park during the winter months. South of Albuquerque, Elephant Butte Reservoir teems with walleye, catfish, crappie, white and black bass, and stripers at the foot of the namesake rock formation.

Deep Caves, Tall Dunes and Rugged Canyons

Ready to get wild? New Mexico’s natural wonders rival anything else found in North America. For starters, you’ll find the world’s biggest gypsum dune field in New Mexico’s backyard in the shimmering, awe-inspiring White Sands National Monument in the south. Discover the sport of sand sledding, which involves careening down dunes at high speed. Next, go underground and explore Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Hike to the Big Room to witness stunning cave formations from the Ice Age and descend a rope ladder used by early explorers.

A balloon hangs over a rock ridge to the left of a full moon as a crowd watches.

Immersive Southwest Culture

Albuquerque was once home to Native American tribes and Spanish colonies. Today, its distinct culture and colorful past are on full display for all to experience. Meander through Old Town to see Pueblo-style buildings, the city’s first church and New Mexican art at a handful of galleries. Learn about Native American tribes and gaze at ancient designs engraved on volcanic rocks at Petroglyph National Monument or the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. While you’re here, take a tram up spectacular Sandia Peak to view the city from a beautiful new perspective.