While the people of New Mexico have been here for thousands of years, they were not the first. That distinction belongs to the dizzying array of plants and animals found in and around Taos. New Mexico’s size, terrain and climate make it one of the most biologically diverse states in the country. In fact, over 4,500 different species of plants and animals call our man-made state border home.
Several life zones, including the alpine tundra, coniferous forests, woodlands, grasslands, and desert transition to and from each other. And that diverse ecosystem is especially apparent in the north. Drought-resistant plants like Russian Thistle–AKA tumbleweeds–and Prickly Pear cactus can be found south of Taos. To the north of Taos, hearty trees like Douglas fir and Juniper surround the landscape. Plants and trees make up over three quarters of the biological diversity in the state.
But the other quarter does not lack excitement, either. New Mexico features elk, deer, antelope, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats (yes, there is a difference). The state animal is the black bear, native to the mountains of northern New Mexico.
And that’s not even mentioning the most diverse landscape in the state: the Rio Grande Valley. Making its way from the southern border to the north, the Rio Grande Valley is home to three turtle species, nine lizard species, 13 snake species and more than 60 mammal species. The valley features over 200 species of birds that use it as a home or mating grounds every year.
Now knowing the wealth of biological diversity in northern New Mexico specifically, you can understand why Taos was such coveted land since the beginning. Thanks to conservation and environmental efforts, most of these species have remained in their original environments, cohabitating with us at El Pueblo Lodge. Whatever reason it is you travel, keep an eye out for our wild neighbors. As you’ve read, we have quite a few of them.
Regardless of if you first heard of Taos or its neighboring Greater World Earthship Community, the two have become synonymous. And if you’re traveling via the roads with no straight path to follow, the Earthships are an absolute must visit for road trips.
The Earthships are, in a way, the most appropriate manifestation of Taos one can find. Its combination of Pueblo adobe plaster, artistic building techniques and overarching bohemian values all play a role in the world’s first completely sustainable Earthship community.
Earthships were created in the 1970s by architect Michael Reynolds, who still works and resides in the Taos Earthship community. Earthships are built with entirely recycled and natural materials designed to produce all the water, electricity and food for the entire year. Today, more than 80 structures house over 130 people full-time.
While the Earthship way of life has gained minimal traction in the U.S., it has erected entirely sustainable structures in Canada, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Argentina, Uruguay, Haiti and even Easter Island. In a world where more energy- and cost-efficient housing is increasingly important, Michael Reynolds’ Earthship vision brought to Taos over 50 years ago remains relevant.
The best part? The Earthship Visitor Center is open every day of the year (minus Christmas and Thanksgiving) for self-guided tours from 10am-3pm. To plan a more immersive, multi-facility experience, simply call ahead a book a time on the Earthship Community website.
The Greater World Earthship Community is still a private community, so please respect all rules and signage. Within these infinitely fascinating and inviting homes, you’ll find equally interesting and welcoming people with stories of how they built it and–more importantly–why.
Our friendly staff can recommend many more exciting attractions to discover in Taos and we located near the historic Taos Plaza. You can also browse our Taos blog for more information on local tours, events, attractions and landmarks. El Pueblo Lodge is perfect for family holidays, romantic getaways and business vacations. We are the number one reviewed Taos hotel on TripAdvisor and our amenities include free wifi, cable with HD flatscreens, fitness room, pool and free breakfast.
The reason we advocate not having a compass in Taos, New Mexico is because there’s awe and wonder in every direction. Chances are you’ve made your way here, not for the chance to run into a celebrity, but the chance to see something naturally inspiring.
That’s why you should follow these accounts that give you that New Mexico adventure and picturesque landscapes every day, no matter where you are at the moment. And as always, follow us first @elpueblolodge
This first page is just a taste of what you’ll find in each of the accounts we’ll feature. Other-wordly sunsets, real-time blizzards and Taos culture that’s been shared for generations.
Featuring some of the most pristine photography you’ll ever find of New Mexico, this page tags each photographer so you can get caught down your own rabbit hole of New Mexico experiences.
A very well-curated Instagram page, this influencer owns her own New Mexico travel company, so she’s guaranteed to show you the best the state has to offer. Maybe she’s even your next trip planner to Taos.
Branded as New Mexico’s Premier Travel Company, this page is run by @taoschic above and gives a New Mexico tourist, past or future, the yearning to try and capture the same experiences she does.
The official Visit Taos Instagram page, most of their content is sourced from local and tourist photographers documenting their individual experiences through breathtaking images and lenses.
One of New Mexico’s most influential influencers, this page takes you hiking through every forest trail and canyon run from the hiker’s point of view. There are few better ways to see yourself in a New Mexico hiker’s boots.
Featuring a blend of local photographers and the best videography you’ll find on this list, this page also provides stories and history nuggets in some of the captions, adding a unique element to its posts.
This page has no shortage of gorgeous landscape shots, all sourced from local and tourist photographers on their New Mexico adventures. Even without a plan to visit, these posts will undoubtedly brighten your feed.
Also sourcing its images from a variety of other pages, this is one of many New Mexico traveler pages that you can use to find a myriad of influencers and photographers from all over the world.
With so much happening in the world today, we wanted to take a moment to turn your attention to something else. If you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month and Taos has more than its fair share of Women’s History around every turn. We’re highlighting a few women who have graced Taos’s past and elevated it to the cultural and artistic slice of heaven we know it as today.
An early 20th century painter, photographer and actress Marjorie Eaton broke ground for women for her modernist paintings as well as her role in the original Mary Poppins. Eaton first arrived in Taos in 1928 and is quoted saying “I realized I had found my soul when I arrived in Taos.” Her exhibit Marjorie Eaton: A Life In Pictures is on display at the Fechin House through March 29, 2020 in Taos.
Mabel Dodge Luhan
A patron of the arts and a legendary hostess, Mabel Dodge Luhan turned Taos into an “international salon,” persuading notable authors and artists like Aldous Huxley and Georgia O’Keefe to visit (and stay.) Her house is a brilliant display of history and character and is a visitor’s favorite in Taos.
A tremendously respected abstract expressionist and minimalist, Agnes Martin released some of her most coveted work while in Taos. While living in Taos from 1952-57, her work reflected an abstractionist tone, exhibited today at the Harwood Museum of Art. She returned to Taos in 1973 where she lived until passing in 2004.
Millicent Rogers (as seen in this photo above, Rogers poses with one of her numerous dachshunds in the living room of her apartment at 14 East 68th Street in New York City in December 1944)
A socialite, philanthropist, art collector, fashion icon, standard oil heiress and mother, Millicent Rogers was one of the most influential and eclectic women to ever call Taos home. Her home, known as Turtle Walk, contained over two-thousand Spanish colonial and Native American artifacts. Celebrated in Taos, she has a museum dedicated to her that is as interesting as she was.
After a day of traveling and exploring everything Taos has to offer in the chilly winter weather, there’s no better feeling than a warm room and cozy bed. El Pueblo Lodge not only has guest rooms with real wood-burning fireplaces, but kiva fireplaces, in true New Mexico fashion.
Here’s the 101 on everything Kiva. These distinguishable fireplaces have become a signature design element in southwestern architecture. The origin of the word “kiva” comes from Pueblo cultures dating back to the 8th century. Kivas were circular underground meeting places used for religious and spiritual ceremonies as well as other important gatherings. This style, along with countless other architectural designs, was adopted into contemporary use.
Kiva fireplaces are built deliberately for style and practicality. The broad base of the fireplace allows more heat to radiate around the bottom, heating the room longer and more efficiently. The narrow flume consolidates smoke for quicker ventilation. Traditional kivas, like the ones featured in many of our rooms, contain a nicho, a recessed mantle cut into the wall used for decorations, and a banco, a bench around the base of the fireplace.
The difference in heat distribution from kiva fireplaces is very noticeable from other modern fireplace options. The southwest history and design just add to its allure. We promise a warm welcome and an even warmer stay at El Pueblo Lodge.
What’s in a culture? It’s the people and the traditions, but most importantly it’s recognizing the heritage and history behind it. This month is National Hispanic Heritage Month and we wanted to celebrate with a little bit of history here.
From the ancient ruins found in the Taos Valley, history indicates that people had been living there since nearly 1000 years ago. Further exploration in the area spans back more than 500 years ago further showcasing that the lifestyle and customs had largely been that of Spanish origin. Taos itself was first explored in 1540 by Hernan Alvarado, a captain to Coronado who searched for the “seven cities of gold” and believed he found it with the adobe clay that glitters in the sun. Today, Taos Pueblo, a settlement dating back generations, is made entirely of that adobe clay and open to the public for a small entrance fee.
If you’re willing to drive a bit, Albuquerque holds the National Hispanic Cultural Center. This 16-acre center holds an art museum, performing arts complex, education center, history and literary arts building, outdoor patios and plazuelas, a restaurant and a gift shop for you to take a little piece of heritage home with you. The center looks to showcase the history through a mix of traditional and contemporary events that showcase art, music, dance, theatre, lectures and family events. There’s something for everyone looking to explore the Hispanic culture.
This month, we hope you take a moment to learn and experience the Hispanic history, culture, and maybe even venture to check out our lovely Taos Pueblo or the National Hispanic Cultural Center. After all, the best adventure is the one into history.
While perusing our website or Instagram feed, you may have noticed the phrase “Have No Compass.” On a few occasions, we’ve been asked what that phrase means.
Well, for anyone that has ever been to Taos before, you know what a special place it really is. Our colorful community is a mecca for everything arts and culture – being a shine to Southwestern style. So many visitors unintentionally find their way to our front doors, and say “this place is so cute, do have any rooms available?” After offering them a fresh baked cookie, we chat about their travels and welcome them to Taos!
Here’s what we’ve gathered: whether they were on a simple day trip from Santa Fe or taking part in an ambitious road trip of the Southwest, there’s one thing these visitors all have in common – the unique desire for wanderlust in their lives. Those that proudly wander with no real intention and no final destination. There’s no better place than Taos to do just that.
This makes us believe that we’re a story of the wanderer, the curious traveler and the adventurer. We proudly offer accommodations to those that have no particular direction but absolutely fall in love with our charming little town.
We welcome you to switch off your GPS, tuck away that compass and explore everything Taos has to offer.
During the summer months, Taos comes alive with the sound of music. From rock ’n’ roll to country, swing and more, there’s something for every music lover this month in Taos. Here are a few of our picks for can’t-miss performances:
1. Taos Plaza Live: Every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Taos Plaza you can pull up a lawn chair or spread out a blanket for an evening of live music and dancing. It’s a family affair that brings locals and tourists alike to this historic plaza. And while there is no Taos Plaza Live on July 19, the community will celebrate Fiestas de Taos in the plaza July 20-22. Expect music, dance and a celebration of this community’s historic culture.
2. Taos School of Music: If classical music is more your groove, head over to the Hotel St. Bernard and Taos Community Auditorium for the Taos School of Music’s 55th season. The summer season also features concerts performed by Taos School of Music’s nearly 20 outstanding young artists in Taos and Taos Ski Valley. To learn more about Taos School of Music or order tickets, visit taosschoolofmusic.com.
3. Motet on the Mesa: On July 27-28, you’ll find Motet on the Mesa, an intimate festival that includes two days of music and Taos Mesa Brewing brews. Go for the beats, stay for the starlight camping at a vintage trailer hotel — Hotel Luna Mystica — just steps away from the festival. Click here to learn more.
Artistry and inspiration are in the air this spring in Taos. Taos Spring Arts: Celebrating Art, Culture and Music will showcase the best of Taos’ creative community with a season of museum exhibitions, art shows, film and music festivals and more. With more than 20 events throughout the spring, there’s something for everyone!
Here are a few of our top picks for art lovers:
Mobile Museum of American Artifacts Taos Residency
Now through April 30
This traveling museum will engage the Taos community in participatory art installations and acequia-themed events that celebrate local traditions. The project’s goal is to acknowledge the culture embedded in everyday objects, illuminating their role in history and sparking community dialog, all in a museum-like setting. MMoAA activities include the capture of oral histories related to objects, including the acequia culture; lectures and community presentations around water and cultural topics; and a teen and undergraduate intern program to educate and engage our youth. The residency will conclude with a public exhibition celebrating water, acequia culture and the oral histories attached to this community treasure.
Pecha Kucha: Water is Community
Sunday, April 8, 7-9:30 p.m.
As a culmination to the weekend of “Water is Community,” Pecha Kucha Volume 26 brings a dozen community members to the stage of Taos Community Auditorium to talk water. The term “Pecha Kucha” is Japanese, and refers to the sound of “chit chat.” Presenters are given an opportunity to showcase and present 20 images of their work, with images changed every 20 seconds. There is a $10 entrance fee.
Taos Art Insurgency: The New Protagonists
April 21-May 12
The New Protagonists is a show that poses the questions: Who will be the artists that lead the way for the new millennium? And, what will be the movements and issues they champion? Taos is a major artist’s colony that has been at the forefront of all of the modern art movements initiated within the last 120 years, including Modernism, Abstract-Expressionism and Minimalism. The event will be held at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, which is also a host of the show.
The seasons are changing from warm summer to crisp autumn, and with this change comes one of our favorite Taos fall traditions: The Taos Fall Arts Festival. From Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 the festival will feature three major art shows: The Distinguished Achievement Award Showcase, The Taos Selects (an independently juried competition featuring more than 200 works of art from Taos County artists) and the Taos Open (featuring youth art, fashion and wearable art).
Held in venues throughout the Historic District, the Taos Fall Arts Festival is the oldest arts festival in Taos, celebrating its 43rd year in 2017. The festival showcases emerging and established artists within Taos County, and represents more than 250 Taos County artists of all mediums annually. Over the years, other art events have set their dates to coincide with the festival, which was founded in 1973 by a group of artists and gallerists. The season, known as “Grand Fall Arts,” is the largest arts event in northern New Mexico.
This year, several distinct art shows will be held at six locations along with a walking tour through Taos’ central core. The 2017 Fall Arts Festival will include both recognition for Best in Show and an award for a Local Emerging Artist. In addition, the Taos Environmental Film Festival will kick off Sept. 29, and incorporate films honoring the land, environment and people of New Mexico. This year’s Official 2017 poster, “Colors of Northern New Mexico,” was designed by local artist Ed Sandoval, and is a stunning rendition of the area near his birth place in Nambe, N.M. Get yours at http://www.taosfallarts.com/buy-posters.html.
Learn more about the Taos Fall Arts Festival at www.taosfallarts.com.
Movie geeks unite! The Taos Shortz Film Fest kicks off March 30, and this year will screen more than 100 juried global short films from more than 20 countries. After 11 years, this film-lovers festival has reached “The End,” and will be waving goodbye with its most passionate series of short films yet.
Recently honored by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the top “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the only short film festival in New Mexico selects compelling, thought-provoking and technically excellent short films from all over the world. This season’s programming will feature several special events, global short films, a Native American Showcase, a best of the fest retrospective and so much more.
This unique festival creates one-of-a-kind two-hour programs, featuring 10 to 12 short films from a variety of genres, including documentary, drama, comedy, animation and “Out of the Ordinary.” According to Taos Shortz, this “art” of programming is exclusive to the festival and takes the audience on a journey through time, cultures and belief systems.” Taos Shortz Film Fest tickets are on sale now; see the full schedule at www.taosshortz.com.
With a rich past steeped in art and culture, That same culture is thriving today, thousands of people visit Taos each year because of the beautiful art and active artists that call this place home. Our three major art museums are conveniently located down the street from El Pueblo Lodge and all provide a unique look into the incredible talent that has come from our quaint mountain community.
Less than one mile from El Pueblo Lodge, is the second oldest art museum in all of New Mexico. This beautiful showcase houses a permanent collection of nearly 2,000 art pieces and over 15,000 photographs. Both this collection and the rotating pieces provide a beautiful and awe-inspiring look at Hispanic, Native American, and local art creating the perfect blend to showcase life and inspiration of Northern New Mexico.
A three-minute walk from El Pueblo Lodge is Taos Art Museum. In the former home of artist Nicolai Fechin, this museum aims to bring the talents and works of local Taos artists to the public eye. Many pieces created by Taos artists have found their way to museums a far cry from Taos, NM and the Taos Art Museum is seeking to bring many of these pieces back home.
Last on our list is the Millicent Rogers Museum located only four miles from the lodge. This museum is home to incredible multi-cultural collections including work from the Taos Pueblo as well as many other Southwestern Native American art. From Kachina dolls to pottery and baskets, the Millicent Rogers Museum is one of the top Taos attractions to for visitors to see and experience the art and culture of the area’s native populations.
Of everything that Taos and the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains have to offer, local art and artists have been drawing people to the region for longer than anything else. Native American, Hispanic, and contemporary local art line the hallways of the many galleries and museums of Taos, New Mexico. Of all the places to experience the best of local art, the above three museums provide the greatest look into the unique world of New Mexican art.
What’s more, each museum is only a short commute from El Pueblo Lodge! So waste no time and make a reservation today to soak up all the best art and culture of Taos, New Mexico.