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.