Where Traditions Run Deep

Wind your way through a high-country landscape of dramatic mountains and sweeping beauty on the High Road to Taos. On this journey to Old World New Mexico, visit a village of renowned weavers and chile farmers. At a 19th-century adobe church, discover sacred dirt believed to possess healing powers. Savor New Mexico cuisine from one of the region’s most revered restaurants. This northern Santa Fe County adventure showcases a rich past, still very visible in the present.

The Miracles of Chimayó

Drive north from Santa Fe to N.M. 503, the gateway of the High Road to Taos. The road meanders through the traditional farming community of Nambé and Nambé Pueblo, then rises through gold and rust-colored hills. At N.M. 76, turn left and head to Chimayó, settled by the Spanish in the 17th century. This tiny village of plazas and placitas, orchards and chile fields is home to El Santuario de Chimayó, a 19th-century adobe chapel and shrine. The chapel may be small, but it’s known far and wide. The dirt held in a small well is believed by many to have miraculous healing powers. You’ll want to try it for yourself after you see the  anteroom walls covered with crutches, photos, rosaries and other items left as thank-you gifts. Inside the church, brightly painted statues and wood screens depicting saints represent traditional Spanish Colonial religious art, made in the region for centuries.

You can buy similar work at El Potrero Trading Post, which has carved wooden statues and paintings of saints, tin crosses and other treasures. For work by master weavers, visit Ortega’s Weaving Shop, where a family of artisans has produced fine Chimayó weavings for eight generations. Watch an artist at work on a loom, weaving a blanket, coat, vest or other treasured textile, and pick up a personalized piece to take with you.

Oretga's Weaving

Savoring Traditional Cuisine

When hunger strikes, head straight to the historic Rancho de Chimayó restaurant, serving traditional northern New Mexico food in a 19th-century ranch house. The restaurant is so unique, the James Beard Foundation honored it with the prestigious America’s Classic Award. Try regional specialties such as chile rellenos, carne adovada and a sopapilla relleno stuffed with shredded beef or chicken, beans and Spanish rice and smothered with red or green chile. Locals order “Christmas” to get both. And don’t miss the margaritas. They’re outstanding.

Trading Post Treasures

On your return, pull in to the historic Nambé Trading Post, an eclectic collection of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings, Plains Indian bead and quillwork, cool cowboy boots and hats and so much more. Very few authentic trading posts remain from the Old West days, so this is one place you don’t want to miss.

Insider Tip

Every Holy Week, tens of thousands of pilgrims walk to Chimayó, a 26-mile trek from Santa Fe, and even farther for some. Seeking healing, a deep, spiritual experience and blessings, the crowds of the faithful head to El Santuario de Chimayó for Good Friday, creating a powerful and miraculous sight to see as they gather at “The Lourdes of the Southwest.”

Sundown Delights

Treat yourself to a spectacular sunset at Gabriel’s, where the tableside guacamole makes the perfect partner for a famous Gold Tequila Margarita. The restaurant’s Southwest and Old Mexico cuisine includes steak fajitas, chimichangas and chile rellenos. In summer, the patio’s a prime spot with mountain views and a romantic fountain, but the kiva fireplaces make the interior nice, too.


Luxurious Lodging

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is true high-desert luxury. Your casita comes with a kiva fireplace, Southwestern decor and grand views of the surrounding mountains. The resort’s spa offers Southwest-inspired therapies. Terra, Encantado’s acclaimed restaurant, blends regional cuisine with global influences. The resort’s “adventure architect” will lead you into the great outdoors for hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as tours devoted to culture and history.

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Insider Tip

In the heat of summer, cool off at glorious Nambé Falls, part of Nambé Falls & Lake Recreation Area. An easy hike up a hill leads to spectacular waterfall views from above. Another short trail takes you through a river to a beach area by the lowest pool. Be prepared to get wet!