Be careful when booking flights to New Mexico, it’s likely you’ll never want to leave the "Land of Enchantment." New Mexico still inhabits much of Spanish and Indian heritage and travelers on New Mexico flights will quickly get caught up in the state’s rich history and culture.
Be prepared to get totally absorbed in the culture when your flight to New Mexico arrives. The Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache tribes still occupy much of the New Mexico land and many of the tribesmen still speak their native language. The Navajo Indians, the largest Native American Group in the nation, have a reservation that covers 14 million acres in New Mexico. In fact, the Native American culture is so strong in New Mexico that tribal law holds more weight than state law in some reservations. Meanwhile, in small mountain villages throughout New Mexico, the Hispanic culture remains rooted in its Spanish history.
But when you book flights to New Mexico and experience the state, you’ll realize that not all is old and ancient. Tourism still serves as a large financial boost to the New Mexico economy. Tourists booking New Mexico flights and accommodations take plenty of time to visit the ruins at Fort Union and pay their respects to Billy the Kid.
New Mexico climate
The rainy season is July through early September. Santa Fe and Taos, at 7,000 feet, have midsummer highs in the low 90s (F). Albuquerque, at 5,300 feet, is about 10 degrees warmer. Summers in the plains and deserts usually exceed 100 degrees. Winter days in Santa Fe and Taos can be in the 50s, and some snow falls but melts quickly. The lower Rio Grande Valley gets under 2 inches of snow; the ski resorts receive up to 300. Spring and fall are mild.
Best Time to Fly to New Mexico
Summer is the high season and when most people book New Mexico flights and hotel rooms. The Santa Fe cultural season and Indian and Spanish markets are in full swing July and August. The Taos Pueblo Powwow is also in July and the Taos Arts Festival in September. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is in October. Most Native American ceremonial dances that are open to the public are held in summer, early fall, Christmas, and Easter. Thanksgiving through March, skiers flock to the mountains.
Spring is a mild, but windy, time to visit. October has the best weather and changing colors of mountain foliage. Late fall and winter are mild and cool in the desert regions. Winter, away from the mountains, is a good time for bird watching.
Getting around New Mexico
Regional airlines have scheduled New Mexico flights to in-state destinations. There is limited bus service, and trains traverse the state in the north and southwest. The best way to get around New Mexico is with a car.
Before setting out, make sure the vehicle is in good condition. If it breaks down in a remote area, you can be stranded for quite a while. July through early September is the rainy season, and warnings about flash floods in arroyos are serious—vehicles can be washed away.
Indian reservations and pueblos have their own customs and laws, including driving laws. Check with the visitor centers for full details.
Driving around Albuquerque is not difficult except for the local drivers. Pay attention as they tend to spontaneously turn and rush through yellow lights. Parking is very difficult around the University of New Mexico. Buses service the metropolitan area and taxis are available.
The Santa Fe and Taos Plazas are easily explored on foot, and both have bus routes to the outer reaches. Santa Fe cabs are not metered (they charge a flat fee based on distance), and Taos has limited taxi service. During peak seasons, parking in both cities is hard to come by.
New Mexico Travel Information
- Pay a trip to the Earthship World Headquarters, located in the Greater World Earthship Community near Taos, northern New Mexico. Earthships are passive solar homes made of tyres, recycled materials and rammed earth that are energy-efficient and self-sustainable.
- Late September/October is a “big” time in New Mexico. It’s when Albuquerque plays host to the world’s largest international hot air balloon festival and Las Cruces makes the world’s largest enchilada (Whole Enchilada Fiesta) – about ten feet in diameter.
- Visit the Navajo nation - the lands span parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico – which includes Angel Peak Recreation Area, the home of the "sacred ones", Chaco Culture National Historic Park, Morgan Lake, and the towns of Crownpoint, Nageezi, Nachitti, Newcomb, Shiprock, Thoreau and Tohatchi.
- DH Lawrence’s old house is in Taos. The writer and his wife Frieda were invited to New Mexico by the heiress Mabel Dodge Luhan and given a house in the mountains. Lawrence wrote about his time there in Mornings in Mexico, a collection of travel essays.
- No visit to the Land of Enchantment is complete without a trip to Roswell, the town where the flying saucer crashed (allegedly) in 1947. Roswell hosts a UFO festival each year with concerts, plays, parades, a fly-over event called Alien Invasion and planetarium show.
- The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa is known as "the scuba capital of the Southwest". This 81-foot-deep well, full of "crystal clear" spring water, is a draw for divers due to its visibility and its constant temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius.
- Want more information on New Mexico travel? Visit NewMexico.org