Across the country, there are few states that offer as much natural beauty and charm as New Mexico. While shows like Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul have focused their attention on the state’s vast arid deserts and sleepy suburbs, you have to see it to understand how grievously they do it a disservice. New Mexico is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, with breathtaking views that could give The Grand Canyon a run for its money. With some of the country’s most glorious national parks and two UNESCO World Heritage sites, there’s a damned good reason why they call it the land of enchantment.
Here are a few suggestions for enjoying this beautiful and diverse state.
Take a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque
There are few experiences that give you the unique and thrilling perspective of a balloon ride and Albuquerque balloon rides are a great way to view the diverse terrain New Mexico’s largest city. As the world slowly shrinks away beneath you, and you float into the Heavens it’s an incredibly meaningful experience alone or a moment of unparalleled romance if you’re riding with a partner. You’re sure to be awed by the silvery flourishes of the Rio Grande glistening in the sun and marvel at the magnificent Sandia Mountains.
Walk in the footsteps of the Pueblo peoples at Chaco canyon
Chaco Culture represents the synergy of ancient culture and national heritage about as well as any of the country’s best National Parks. Wandering through the remains of the ancient buildings at Chaco Canyon (the construction of which began in the mid-800s), the scale and complexity of the architecture is awe inspiring and humbling. Chaco’s unique architecture is uncommon for its time, because it was built according to a plan that pre-dates modern high rise apartment blocks.
When intact, the structures of Chaco consisted of hundreds of rooms, stacked several stories high. In fact right up until the 19th century, the buildings at Chaco held the record for being the largest in North America.
Be awed by the Bisti / De-Na-Zin badlands
If you love to travel off the beaten track, then prepare to be dazzled by one of the most unique and beautiful locations on the planet. When you enter the 41,170 acres of this undiscovered treasure near to the Chaco National Park, looks like you’ve stepped off a spaceship onto the terrain of some vast and mysterious new planet.
Its geology is as diverse as it is stunning, alternating between grasslands and wondrously bizarre rock formations in a landscape of white, gray and red.
Plunge into the mystery of the Carlsbad caverns
When sulphuric acid dissolved in the limestone beneath the Chihuahuan desert, it resulted in these astonishing underground rock formations. A range of guided tours are available which are well worth considering, however we’d still recommend coming back just to meander at your own pace in the cool depths, marvelling at the incredible beauty and diversity of the caverns.