In the Land of Enchantment, there is no shortage of magnificent sights to behold. New Mexico is home to natural wonders, rich history, and fascinating quirks that separate it from the rest of the United States. These 10 excellent sightseeing tours provide a wide range of opportunities to experience the breadth of what the state has to offer.
Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the country and the oldest city in the state. There’s a lot of history here and a lot to see—historic architecture, the Palace of Governors, the miraculous staircase at Loretto Chapel and the oldest mission church in the U.S., San Miguel. For the not so faint of heart, take the Ghostwalker or Spiritwalker tour of the city and meet the unexpected.
A ride in this open-air trolley is front row seats to the sights and sounds of the City and has been for more than 10 years. Highlights of The Best of ABQ City tour include the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, ABQ BioPark, Route 66, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Downtown ABQ, University of New Mexico, Nob Hill, Tingley Beach and contemporary iconic cultural spots like where Breaking Bad was filmed. Get a hop-on hop-off pass and extend the tour into a two-day experience.
The sights you’ll see on any one of the scenic drift adventures offered are all about the unfolding history of the landscape you’ll be drifting by. Painter Georgia O’Keefe and photographer Ansel Adams were so taken with this area it defined much of their work. Limestone and sandstone cliffs dwarf the river hiding many secrets you just might get a glimpse of … ancient Native American ruins, old homesteads, traces of dinosaurs, soar-ing bald eagles and indigenous wildlife.
Get the real scoop on what happened in July 1947 in what has become a classic American tale known as “The Roswell Incident.” The tour takes you through town and to the former Roswell Army Airfield where the incident unfolded. Was it a UFO or a weather balloon? You’ll have an expert guide and local UFO researcher taking you through the details of this event. Along the way, you’ll see a lot of historic Roswell and the surrounding area. At the end, you’ll have enough information to draw your own conclusions.
This regional tour company provides day trips to some of the most iconic cultural sites and natural landscapes in the state. See the scenery made famous by George O’Keefe. Walk the ancient Ancestral Puebloan ruins at Bandelier and Chaco Canyon. Be a part of history at Pecos National Historic Park. Create your own custom hiking, photography or day-tour to sites on your New Mexico bucket list.
There were secrets galore in this region during the 1940s under the umbrella of The Manhattan Project, a research undertaking which produced the first atomic bomb. This tour provides a peek into what transpired at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where World War II scientists lived and worked as the project unfolded. You’ll also explore the archaeology, geology and scenery of the the Pajarito Plateau and the volcanic Jemez Mountains. The fascinating history of the area unfolds with an expert guide and comfortable transportation.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the authentic stories of the people and the places of New Mexico, then this eco-nature touring company is just right for you. They offer heritage culture and nature tours that run the gamut from a Billy the Kid outing of the Old West to a trek along the El Camino Real to a night experience at White Sands National Monument. Tours are all-inclusive with transportation, food and permits included.
The tour to take with this company is of Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest continuously inhabited city in North America. You’ll stand on the Gorge Bridge and enjoy views of the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge below, wander the historic Taos Plaza, all of which is on the National Register of Historical Places and get a photo in front of the iconic San Geronimo church. Particulars about the indigenous Tewa peo-ple, their history, art and culture provide enlightening insight into this area, as well as the entire Land of Enchantment.
If your spirit animal is the horse, a ride on Dancer, Raider or Kissey into the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness with a Native American guide will open your psyche to a whole new perspective on life. These day or multi-day journeys are designed to explore the wildlife, flora and fauna you’ll see all around, to actively enjoy the rugged landscape in a safe way and to retrace routes that have been traveled for hundreds of years. All levels of horseback riding experience welcome.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a bucket list item. This magical festival has been held since 1972, launching over 500 balloons into the air each October. One of the best ways to experience this spectacular event is through Globus tours, where a local balloonist educates guests on the amazing sport of ballooning and gives you a little backstory about the fantastic festival.