Chimayo.....worth a day trip?

Old Jul 6th, 2002, 02:45 PM
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Chimayo.....worth a day trip?

Would love to hear from anyone who has been on a day trip from Santa Fe to Chimayo, to visit the church with the "healing dirt." If you have one day to drive out from Santa Fe, is that a good place to go? Or how about Bandelier Nat'l Monument? Thanks.
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 08:41 AM
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Hi, I have done both day trips, and I personally liked Bandelier. It is a beautiful place to hike in addition to having the Anasazi ruins. There is not much in Chimayo besides the church. Taos is also a good day trip from Santa Fe, but I prefer to take the freeway route, not the high road, and spend more time in Taos than on the road. Enjoy your trip, New Mexico is wonderful.
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 09:26 AM
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If I had to make a choice, I'd also prefer Bandelier, but I love the high road to Taos. If you take it, it's not just for Chimayo, but for all the little towns and churches on the way. It's best to use a guidebook like Journey to the High Southwest.
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 09:26 AM
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The church is pretty cool, but very brief. I would only bother as an aside on the way to Taos. The signs posted all over indicating "do not leave valuables in car" pretty much indicate how welcome tourists are to the area.

You could visit on the way to that great restaurant for the sunset....can't for the life of me remember the name.
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 08:32 PM
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Bandelier is great, and the road to Los Alamos is amazing. But, for some reason, I have always enjoyed a little visit to Chimayo. It is small ( the dirt hole is frequently refilled), but it is a cute church and interesting to see the Pilgrims. I like to pair the trip to the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant (if it is still there) and a stop at Ortega's to look at the handmade rugs. If you can find the flea market north of Sante Fe on the way to Chimayo (near the opera I think), it's fun to visit it too. Also, the high road to Taos is beautiful and different, and you pass out of the way pueblos who sometimes have arts fairs on weekends. The traffic is slow on weekends.
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 05:45 AM
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In a word, yes. I think it is definitely worth the trip. Although I don't necessarily believe in the healing powers of the dirt, I was incredibly moved by the devotion of the pilgrims and their stories. Plus, the mixture of Christianity and mysticism is an important part of the culture of the area.

I agree with GB, combine it with a visit to Racho de Chimayo (wonderful food and a beautiful outdoor patio area) and Ortega's for rugs. You won't regret it.

Bandelier is also interesting in a historical kind of way. You might especially enjoy it if you enjoy hiking. The caves are interesting, but the museum didn't do a whole lot for me.
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 05:58 AM
J T Kirk
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I prefer Bandelier. The drive there, as already mentioned, is awesome.
Once you get there, you hike into a narrow valley, bordered by red mesas. The sky is a breathtaking blue. You see, and can feel, how the Indians lived those many hundreds of years ago.
The only thing that can mar the beauty of Bandelier is the sheer number of people who visit and the heat during the summer.

As an alternative and if you want a drive through some great scenery, head to Abiquio. Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch is about 10-15 miles up the road. There is some gorgeous scenery there. If you have a 4WD, you can drive back into the valleys. Pretty cool.

Actually, you could probably do Abiquoio and Chimayo in the same trip without doing too much backtracking.
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 12:38 PM
x-new mexican
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i used to be the sous chef at rancho de chimayo several years ago and i highly recomend it for authentic new mexican cusine. there is also a hacienda across the street from the restaurant that is quite nice. get the green chili and say hello to mrs j. bandelier is a beautiful trip as well.

take the high road all the way to taos
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:40 PM
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Old Jul 24th, 2002, 03:50 PM
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Having just returned from a visit to Chimayo and the Rancho de Chimayo, I would say, no, its not worth the trip. We drove from Santa Fe to Chimayo for dinner at the Rancho de Chimayo, based upon the suggestions on this board, and I have to say, the dinner was mediocre at best. The Rio Grande and Chevy's chains had better southwestern food, in my view. Then on the way back from Taos to Santa Fe, on the High Road, we stopped at Chimayo to see the santuario, and I must say it was a non-event, perhaps because we are non-believers.

On the other hand, the day trip to Bandelier, with the afternoon at the Los Alamos museum, as really enjoyable for us. So if you are looking for a day trip from Santa Fe, I must vote for Bandelier/Los Alamos and say skip Chimayo (although we stopped in other towns along the high road and enjoyed them -- purchasing artwork in Truchas along the way).
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 04:01 PM
another x-newmex
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The Rancho de Chimayo restaurant is hit or miss. I've had great dinners and dinners that made me glad that at least the drive was pretty.

Bandelier, on the other hand, is always great. It might be even great in the rain. In fact, I remember hiding out a 10 minute rainstorm under a tree, and finding a hummingbird nest the size of a thimble.

You could try Anthony's on the Delta (by the Delta?) in Espanola. Espanola is Santa Fe's neglected underachieving cousin kind of city. You'll see a very different culture there, but the food at Anthony's was darned tasty (if it's still open).
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