Stop Time in Taos
Few places in North America are anchored in a heritage like the Pueblo of Taos. This is the longest inhabited living arrangement in the US. The Pueblo still has ten families of around 150 native people working to maintain the culture and the adobe architecture for generations to come. A living artifact, the past and present form a delicate harmony to produce a unique travel experience. The environment says a lot about the sustainability of this community. Tucked up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with the Rio flowing through the center of the Pueblo, the inhabitants have maintained their lifestyle through wars, disease, cultural genocide and environmental impact to survive. From the efficiency of their adobe walls to provide comfort against extreme heat and cold, to the guiding wisdom of elders to keep the Pueblo vibrant, the way of life preserved within these walls is a testament to the strength and vision of native people, connected to this land with over a thousand years of tradition.
By Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
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Taos is great for food and art but take the time to drive out to Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited community in America. There is a beauty in it's age along with awe that people still live, work, pray, and play there.
By Cindy Pain
Adobe Under Approaching Rain
Summer afternoons in New Mexico usually mean thunderstorms. I went to Taos Pueblo in the morning, but the monsoon clouds caught up with me anyway. This thousand-year-old village recoats itself with adobe every year or two; each family is responsible for its own house within the historic compound. Even though Taos is a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is no museum; these are private homes of a small nation that has survived on its own land, farming and building continuously for at least a millennium...one of the few Native American peoples that has not been uprooted from its ancestral land.
By Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
The Taos Pueblos
The Taos Pueblo is one of the 21 UNESCO sites in the United States. This is a living UNESCO site meaning that there are people living in the Pueblo homes. I would suggest going early to stay away from the crowds. It's a better experience when it doesn't feel so crowded. There is a tour offered and you can take pictures for a fee. Jewelry and other crafts made directly by the Pueblo artists and sold within the various Pueblo homes. There is also traditional fry bread available which is a must (bring cash, it goes easier). When traveling to Taos, if coming from Santa Fe, make sure to take the "High Road" and stop by the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant in Chimayo.
By David Jedd
Turtle Dance at New Year's
It was bitter cold on New Year's Day but we woke up at dawn to go to Taos Pueblo. We'd heard that the residents perform a traditional Native American dance, called the Turtle Dance. As we waited for the men to leave the kivas, my toes turned numb and I wondered how they would be able to stand the cold for hours at a time. They were shirtless and chanted in their native tongue. It was a unique way to ring in the New Year in the U.S., a country where history and culture are so modern that it is refreshing to find places where it remains intact.
By Amber Nolan