Taos Pueblo Travel Guide

  • Ruins of earlier church
    Ruins of earlier church
    by toonsarah
  • Taos Pueblo
    by toonsarah
  • Things to Do
    by toonsarah

Taos Pueblo Highlights

  • Pro
    MarkJochim profile photo

    MarkJochim says…

     Very scenic and historic. FRY BREAD!!! 

  • Con
    Jim_Eliason profile photo

    Jim_Eliason says…

     Mostly converted into a Tourist sight 

  • In a nutshell
    ray_d profile photo

    ray_d says…

     Nice to visit once. I liked the people. 

Taos Pueblo Things to Do

  • The old church and cemetery

    As the Spanish conquered the area now known as New Mexico, they brought with them their religion, which they imposed on the defeated inhabitants. Thus the first Spanish-Franciscan mission was built here in Taos Pueblo by Spanish priests using Indian labour in about 1619, and was dedicated to St. Jerome – San Geronimo. It did not last long....

    more
  • Visiting the pueblo

    The Pueblo is located a few miles north of Taos itself and you’ll need a car to get here (or take a taxi). It is open Monday - Saturday 8.00am - 4.00pm and Sunday 8.30am - 4.00pm. The guided tours start from 9.00 am. I recommend coming early when the light is better for photos and there are fewer people around – we arrived soon after 9.00am on a...

    more
  • San Geronimo Church

    Our tour of Taos Pueblo started here, at the church that sits in the heart of the village. And isn’t it a stunner, with that combination of adobe and white against the blue sky? I could have photographed it for hours! Only the exterior though, as photographing the interior is strictly forbidden.This church, the third in the pueblo to be dedicated...

    more
  • Multi-storey living

    The most distinctive structures in Taos Pueblo, and the ones you will see in every photo, are the multi-storied, multi-home North House (Hlauuma in the native Tiwa) and South House (Hlaukwima). These are considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the USA, and are really an early example of an apartment block, though built in...

    more
  • Red Willow Creek

    A small stream runs through the heart of the Pueblo, known variously as Red Willow Creek or Rio Pueblo de Taos. The stream begins high in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, at the tribe’s sacred lake, Blue Lake. A traditional belief among the Taos Pueblo people is that their ancestors originated from the waters of this lake. The land that surrounds it...

    more
  • Visiting the Pueblo

    Parking is outside the main entrance: get there early in the day as it can fill quickly. Lock your car and don't leave any valuables in plain sight. Tickets are obtained at the booth just outside the entrance and are $10 for adults, $5 for students over 10 year of age, and free for children 10 and under. Allow a couple of hours for your visit, most...

    more
  • Cemetery and ruin of San Geronimo Church

    On the northwest side of the pueblo and encircled by a low wall is a cemetery with the remains of the 3rd church of San Geronimo (St. Jerome), patron saint of the pueblo mission. The information I've been able to gather has been inconsistent at best but according to an NPS document on historic places, two earlier churches were destroyed, in 1637...

    more
  • North and South Houses

    The two largest and oldest structures in the pueblo are North House (Hlauuma) and South House (Hlaukwima). North House has five levels and is the largest inhabited, multistoried building of its type in existence. South House is across the creek and is four stories high. When both adobe structures were built, they had no doorways or windows: access...

    more
  • Things to know: why it's special

    Taos was designated a UNESCO site due to preservation of the ancient village structures by people indigenous to the pueblo, and efforts to provide maintenance of those structures using materials native to the region. While that isn't always possible, care is taken to try and preserve the appearance and integrity of this historic place.Safeguarding...

    more
  • The Creek

    Red Willow Creek - also known as Rio Pueblo de Taos - flows between north and south sides of the pueblo, and is the primary source of water for the inhabitants. The origin of the creek is Blue Lake, high up in the Sangre de Cristo mountains and very sacred to the Taos' creation story as the birthplace of their people. The lake and surrounding lands...

    more
  • Kivas

    Behind a barrier on the northeast corner of the pueblo are three kivas. Pronounced "KEE-vah", these underground chambers are primarily for religious rituals by tribal males, and have existed in the Southwest for many centuries. If you ever visit Chaco Canyon, you'll be able to see the roofless ruins of many excavated circular kivas dating back well...

    more
  • "New" San Geronimo Church

    The fourth (or third, depending on the source) San Geronimo Mission was built in 1850 after the previous one in the cemetery was destroyed in the revolt of 1847. The newest of the pueblo structures, it's made of adobe and has some nicely carved vigas and old santos. As she's often closely associated with the Earth Mother of tribal beliefs, a santo...

    more
  • Hornos

    Before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500's, pueblo bread was made from ground corn and cooked, tortilla style, on hot, flat stones. The Spanish introduced wheat and these beehive-shaped ovens for baking foods made from it. Seen all over the Southwest, hornos (OR-nos) can be made of sandstone, lava rock, adobe or a combination of the...

    more
  • Beautiful blues - more than decoration

    Just like the beehive ovens, the custom of painting doors and window frames various shades of turquoise blues or greens came with the Spanish, and is believed to keep evil spirits out and good ones in. This custom is also observed in other corners of the world - including parts of the Mediterranean, Africa and southern United States - and...

    more
  • Downtown circle

    There is not much to do except for a visit of the church and browsing of the shops that surround the central open area. The church is elaborate and spacious in the context of the adobe architecture but this does not say much. Only a guide can let you in. The other area available for a peek is around the ruins of the old church turned into a...

    more
  • Taos Cemetary

    The Cemetary is built on top of the old mission church where many of the residents perished during an attack by US forces.

    more
  • Taos New Mission Church

    Here is the current church in the Pueblo. It is a cross between Pueblo and Spanish Mission Architecture.

    more
  • Taos Pueblo

    The main attraction here of course are the Pueblo buildings themselves. Many of which are still lived in

    more

Taos Pueblo Restaurants

  • MarkJochim's Profile Photo

    by MarkJochim Written Apr 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Look for signs that read FRY BREAD on dwellings in the pueblo; you can enter the kitchen and buy a piece of fresh bread dough that is flattened and deep-fried until puffy and golden brown. It is topped with honey and powdered sugar. Yum!!

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Taos Pueblo Shopping

  • Traditional crafts

    Several of the homes in the Pueblo have been adapted to serve as small shops, selling a variety of traditional crafts. Even if you don’t want to buy anything it is well worth popping into a few as this gives you an opportunity to see inside the ancient dwellings. We particularly liked the Morning Talk shop, which had an interesting mix of pottery,...

    more
  • Crafts of the Pueblo

    As I mentioned, some of the houses have been turned into shops and all of the items sold are (supposedly) handcrafted by area tribal peoples. Among the offerings are leatherworks, jewelry, drums, photos and artwork, horno-baked bread and the pueblo's own particular style of pottery. Prices range from a little to a lot and not all vendors take...

    more
  • Handmade Indian Crafts

    This shop is worth stopping in if you make it to the Pueblo!! There was beautiful jewelry, Drums, Moccasins, blankets, pottery, woodcarvings, and other really great things. I especially loved the jewelry! about average

    more

Taos Pueblo Local Customs

  • Pueblo homes

    As well as the multi-storey homes of the two main houses, there are several streets of smaller individual ones. These are also built from adobe, in the traditional style. Many still have mica windows instead of glass, as you can see in photos one and three. In the first and second photos you can also clearly see the viga beams that support the roof...

    more
  • Traditional ovens

    If you have previously visited Acoma you will recognise these ovens shaped like beehives which you see outside most homes here too. Known as horno, these were introduced by the Spanish, who in turn had adopted them from the Moors – so if they look like something you have seen in North Africa it is not surprising. They are used for cooking the...

    more
  • Photographing the locals

    You have to ask first before taking photo's of the inhabitants of the Pueblo. This wonderful lady was selling delicious fry bread.

    more

Taos Pueblo Warnings and Dangers

  • Pueblo etiquette

    Taos Pueblo is not a museum, nor is it a historical recreation – it is a place where people live, it is their home. So remember to treat the people and properties with respect. Don’t enter buildings unless they are marked as shops, or open to the public, and don’t photograph the people without asking their permission.Visitors are asked to abide by...

    more
  • Rules and Regulations

    The pueblo isn't one of those recreated historical sites with people running about in period costume. It's still home to a small section of the Taos people and they're serious about how they expect you to behave in it. Even though I've mentioned most of them, here's the full list of rules from the website:1. Please report, and pay the appropriate...

    more
  • Photo Frustration

    This can be both the best and worst place for shutterbugs. Some of the ancestral homes that have been converted to shops have placed signs and displays outside, and tables have been set up here and there to sell fry and horno-baked breads, cold beverages and traditional foods. I'm a lover of beautiful, traditional craft and appreciate the effort to...

    more

Taos Pueblo Tourist Traps

  • Tatpong's Profile Photo
    Taos Pueblo

    by Tatpong Written Mar 14, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before you go to see Taos Pueblo, make sure that they are open to public. They usually close on Feb-Mar and sometimes if someone dies, they close for funeral. So, call them to make sure that they are open.

    Unique Suggestions: Call ahead to make sure they are open.

    Fun Alternatives: Taos plaza, Rio Grande Gorge bridge, Taos Ski Valley, Museum of Indian Art can be an alternative.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Taos Pueblo Off The Beaten Path

  • Pow Wow Weekend

    I had the incredible fortune to be in Taos Pueblo on the weekend of this huge Powwow. There were Native American participants from as far away as Idaho and Montana. The Powwow was held in a field outside of the Pueblo about 3 miles and about 5 miles north of the town of Taos. I was one of the few "white men" to be there but the participants were...

    more
  • Three Young Warriors

    Many merchant booths surrounded the dance area selling jewelry, food, pottery and other crafts. However, the hottest selling items were from the T shirt booths which sported two popular shirts. One showed a sillouette of an Indian brave on a horse and the shirt read "Home Land Security, Fighting Terrorism Since 1492. " The other read "Native...

    more
  • Preparing to Dance

    Not all of the Native Americans here were from the Taos tribe. Several of the ones that were, however, speak a language called Tiwa.

    more

Instant Answers: Taos Pueblo

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo Speed Trap
Warnings and Dangers
Village from a Distance
Things to Do
St. Jerome Church
Things to Do
Painted Door
Things to Do
Pueblo Adobe Detail
Things to Do
More Young Dancers
Off The Beaten Path
The Procession
Off The Beaten Path
Children Participated Also
Off The Beaten Path
Men Dancers
Off The Beaten Path
Opening Ceremony
Off The Beaten Path
Shop Interior
Things to Do
Many Shops Exist in the Pueblo
Things to Do
Tao Pueblo Cemetery
Things to Do
Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Parking at Taos Pueblo
Things to Do
Map of Taos Pueblo

View all Taos Pueblo hotels