help with santa fe intinerary please

May 19th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 91
help with santa fe intinerary please

I've been researching all the posts about santa fe, and they have been very helpful, here is our tentative scheudule in August

Tues- arrive in the afternoon, walk around/dinner in santa fe
Wed- AM-leave early for abiquiu- spend majority of day there hiking/seeing sites
Early evening- 10,000 waves spa
Late dinner in santa fe
Thurs- AM Taos taking high road, visit Chamayo, and eat early lunch at rancho de chimayo Spend rest of day in Taos- mainly to see taos pueblo
Dinner in Taos (any suggestions?)
Drive back taking low road
Fri am Georgia O Keefe Museum
Drive back to Alb via Turqouise trail, Lunch in Madrid
Leave late afternoon

Questions- Is this too much? Should we spend more time in santa fe itself? If so what should we skip? We are not big shoppers. We are leaving the kids with grandparents and want to do as much as possible as our vacation time is VERY limited. Any other visits on the high road to Taos?

clelbong is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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We were in Santa Fe last fall, and planning to go again this fall, so I thought I'd throw in my $.02.

You write you're not into shopping, but it's almost impossible to be in Santa Fe without being drawn into at least some of it. And how about art, or history, or just relaxing over a great margarita, some chips and salsa? Obviously, I think you're short-changing Santa Fe.

I've not been to Abiquiu, so I don't know what to suggest you skip. But I will say that 3 of the 4 in our party questioned whether Chimayo and other high-road stops were worth the extra time for that route. And Taos Pueblo, while certainly worth a visit, is not a WOW!! type of experience.

I guess my bottom line suggestion is that you somehow carve out another half day for Santa Fe. I understand your wanting "to do as much as possible" but IMO, Sant Fe is close to a "less is more" destination.
beachbum is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 11:25 AM
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If you're into hiking, Bandelier National Monument offers great scenery. You could probably do this in a few hours one morning.
njgirl is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Some ideas, first I'll politely disagree w/beachbum, I spent nearly an entire day @ Taos Pueblo talking to the residents & wandering around. However, try & go first thing in the morning prior to all of the tours showing up. Since you seem to be traveling around a bit, I also prefer staying in Taos to Santa Fe. It is cheaper & less crowded (just a personal preference). Bandelier is also worth the trek. There are also a lot of little towns & places to stop on the high road that feature artists, crafts, etc.
SAnParis is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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There is also a church (really more a chapel) that has a never ending supply of healing dirt or some such thing. I forget the story, but it is well worth a stop. Someone please help me here...something de chiminayo ???
SAnParis is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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We are already booked into 3 nights at Old Santa Fe Inn. As for spending more time in Santa Fe, so far we have dedicated most of tues afternoon, and Wed night. Has anyone been to Abiquiu? Is it worth dedicating most of one day there? and also, any restaurant suggestions for Taos? So would it be better to take the faster routes and spend the whole day in Taos?

Thanks again

ps. when i tried to look up my post, i could not find it when I looked in the new mexico section, only the general United States section, is there a way to change this?
clelbong is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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clelbong, Every post in the US forum goes into the same bucket. I don't know why Fodor's makes you think you're posting something to a specific state.

SAnParis, as long as you "politely" disagree... ;-) I do agree with you. My first visit at Taos Pueblo was almost 20 years ago, and aroused (can I say that?) a completely different feeling than the one I had last year. When I asked a local about it, he said the Pueblo is better experienced than seen. And I don't think clelbong has allowed enough time for that.

The chapel name you're looking for is Sanctuario de Chimayo, our favorite stop on the high road. There's that small room with the healing dirt, and the room next to it with all the crutches, burn masks, and other stuff left behind by those who've been healed. Makes you wonder. But then, the gift shop, snack bar, ristra vendors..... also makes you wonder.

Not knowing anything about Abiquiu, clelbong, I was thinking you could best carve some time out of your Taos day. Leave early, high-tail it up there, see the Pueblo, and get back early to mid-afternoon, with enough time to explore some more of Santa Fe.

Bandelier is a great suggestion, but IMO clelbong already has too much in the itinerary for the short time there.

Not to hijack your thread, clelbong, but can anyone compare Bandelier to the Puye cliff dwellings? Seen one, seen 'em both?
beachbum is offline  
May 19th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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We usually just drive through Abiquiu on our way to Chama, but I think you could do a short hike and then head back to Santa Fe and spend more time there. Even if you're not a shopper, it's fun to wander around.

With the disclaimer that I have not actually eaten at any of these restaurants, I hear great things about Doc Martin's, Joseph's Table, and Lambert's.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Definitely eat in Santa Fe rather than Madrid. You're also missing major museums in Santa Fe, other than O'Keefe which will only take a few minutes. We go once or twice a year and spend most of our time in Santa Fe--there is so much to do and see and take in. Abiqui is quite a drive for this short stay, although the scenery is spectacular.
mahadana is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 10:20 PM
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Thanks for your replies, so I think we'll change a few things around to spend more time in santa fe. Maybe taking the high road both to and from taos and skipping chamayo. That way, we can leave early in the am, and be back in the afternoon in Santa Fe to spend more time there. Or we can skip the turqouise trail/Madrid back down to Alb and spend most of Friday in santa fe (our flight does not leave until 5pm).

Last question abiquiu or bandelier for hiking/walking around? I was set to go to abiquiu but i've been reading some good reviews for bandelier.
clelbong is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 05:44 AM
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I would probably skip the high road to Taos and Chimayo. They're both nice, but if you're short on time, I would vote for spending more time in Santa Fe, or even possibly going to Bandelier instead.

If you're early risers, you could always hike around the main trail at Bandelier in the morning and head up to Abiquiu in the afternoon. Both places can be visited in a half a day if that's all you have, but they also could easily be turned into full day trips with more time.

So... here's what I would propose:

Tues - Santa Fe (Check out the Plaza, the Guadalupe area, Canyon Road, drive around and look at the beautiful homes, go to a museum, etc.)

Wed. - Leave Santa Fe by 7 or 8, visit Bandelier and walk the main trail and climb up to the Ceremonial Cave. Afterwards, be sure to stop by the White Rock overlook on your way back to 84/285. The views are amazing! Then drive to Abiquiu and have lunch at the Abiquiu Inn (on the main road - you can't miss it - great food). In Abiquiu, visit Ghost Ranch, the village of Abiquiu & Georgia O'Keeffe's house (touring the inside is by reserved tour only, but you can see the house from the street), the Morada (also in the village limits), Echo Ampitheatre, Abiquiu Lake, and if you have time, the Christ in the Desert Monastery. (To get there, you have to drive about 15 miles on a twisting, turning dirt road. The scenery is great, but plan on at least 45 minutes driving either way.) On the way back, I would stop at Gabriel's for dinner (on 84/285 just north of Santa Fe) - their margaritas are excellent and they make fresh guacamole at your table.

Thurs. - Leave early for Taos (on the low road), visit the pueblo first, then the plaza area, then the Rio Grande Gorge overlook. The overlook is about 10-15 minutes west of the city, but it's worth the drive. For lunch, I've eaten at Eske's and Doc Martin's before - both were very good. On the way back, be sure to stop by Embudo Station - it's a little (and I mean little!) village on the banks of the Rio Grande (almost to Espanola) with a great restaurant and brew pub. Or you could skip over to Chimayo from here if you have the time. Personally, I think Chimayo and the restaurant are completely overrated. The Nambe Falls nearby are worth the trip though. 10,000 Waves would be a good ending to the day too.

Friday - spend more time in Santa Fe, and have lunch there too. Driving through Madrid is a good idea, but your restaurant choices there are very limited.

Hope that helps! The first time I went out there, I tried cramming in so much and decided halfway through the trip just to scrap everything and spend the 2nd half of the week exploring the city instead and come back again later. I've been there almost 8 times now and I still haven't seen everything I want to see! Enjoy your trip!

travel_addict is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Thanks so much travel_addict. I didn't think we could do bandelier/abiquiu in one day. I think we'll definitely follow your suggestions and spend most of friday in santa fe, before heading up to alb.

When you mention heading over to chimayo, can that be done by using the low road or are you suggesting we take the high road back to taos?
clelbong is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 03:33 PM
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You can get to Chimayo easily from 84/285 - just head east on 76 just south of Espanola. It's probably only 15-20 minutes from there, and actually almost at the beginning of the high road. Nambe Falls is on the way too. (I don't remember the exact road you have to turn off on, but I think it's pretty well marked.)

If you just do the main trail at Bandelier and don't plan on hiking the back-country or doing any big hikes in Abiquiu, you should be able to do both in one day. When you have more time, you could easily spend a day at both places.

Bandelier is around 45 minutes away from Santa Fe, and Abiquiu is another 30-40 minutes away from there.

One other thing to consider... if you are coming from a lower altitude, you may have a little difficulty adjusting to the 7,000 plus altitude there. In that case, you may want to consider switching Wed. & Thurs. plans around and hike on Thurs. instead of Wed. If you're used to hiking and are in pretty good shape, it probably won't be an issue though.

Enjoy your trip!
travel_addict is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Thanks again travel_addict, we will follow your suggestion and do Taos/10,000 waves first, to get acclimated to the altitude. I think we should be able to do Bandelier/abiquiu in one day. We are not athletes by any means, but still fairly young (mid 30s) and active (I climbed Chitzen Itza last year in Cancun when I was 5 months pregnant), so hopefully we'll survive! Thanks also for the great side trips, we will definitely try to go to the gorge, abiquiu inn, and nambe falls
clelbong is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Wow - Chitzen Itza while 5 months pregnant - I'm impressed! You'll be fine in New Mexico then. Let us know how your trip goes...
travel_addict is offline  
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