New Mexico – Land of Enchantment

By | July 5, 2022

On the Rio Grande

The US state of New Mexico is located high up in the southwestern United States, on the border with Mexico. Geographically, the state of New Mexico lies north and west of the ” Rio Grande ” river. In 1912 New Mexico became a US state. The mostly desert-like, dry, but also mountainous state is not densely populated in the area. The highest mountain in New Mexico is Wheeler Peak at 4,011 meters. The state is nicknamed – Land of Enchantment – (Enchanted Land).

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State Capitol in Santa Fe – “The Roundhouse”


State Capitol in Santa Fe - The Roundhouse

The largest city in New Mexico is Albuquerque with 450,000 inhabitants. New Mexico has valuable mineral resources such as uranium. Agriculture does not play a major role in the desert state. A major economic factor, alongside mining and tourism, is animal husbandry. The major rivers in the dry state of New Mexico are the Rio Grande, Canadian River and Rio Pecos.

Natural landscapes worth protecting

In addition to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, numerous other parts of the landscape in New Mexico were placed under protection and thus protected from destruction.

The country of the natives

The Native Americans have been living in New Mexico for thousands of years, initially as hunters and gatherers. For about 1,500 years, some Native American tribes practiced agriculture and became sedentary. They built settlements and dwellings that we now call pueblos.

Pueblo house in Santa Fe in New Mexico

After the Peace of the Indians (1780), the Spaniards ruled New Mexico until 1821. By 1846, the Mexicans were masters of the country. The Santa Fe Trail was an important trade route during this period. After the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the territory of New Mexico fell to the Americans. Mexico acquired southern New Mexico in 1853.

The state of New Mexico got its current size in 1863, after what is now Arizona was separated from the original territory.

Northwest Region – Indian Country

The Native Americans play the leading role in northwestern New Mexico. There are plenty of traces of settlements from the past to discover there. This is how the Anasazi people lived in Chaco Canyon. The very interesting Chaco Canyon is now protected as a National Historic Park. Other peoples of New Mexico’s Indian Country include the Najavo, Acoma, Zuni, Laguna, Jicarilla Apache, and Pueblos.

North Central Region – High Country

The north-central region of New Mexico is best known for its wide variety of recreational opportunities, culture, art and good food. The landscape can be described as quite beautiful.

Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico – USA

Northeast Region – Old Route 66

Extinct volcanic cones and mountains abound in northeastern New Mexico. The legendary Santa Fe Trail passed through the region. The cart tracks of the settlers on the way to the west can still be seen today. The historic Route 66 led in sections through what is now New Mexico.

Central Region – Heart of New Mexico

This region is referred to as the “Heart of New Mexico”. Centrally located is the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque. A great many of the country’s people live in the metropolitan area of ​​this city. Leisure and culture play a major role there. There are even vineyards to discover. Historic Route 66 also passed through this region of New Mexico.

Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks in New Mexico

Southwest Region – Old West Country

The Mogollon – Native Americans carved rock dwellings into the rocky flanks of the Gila Mountains around the 13th century. Today the region is protected as Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The famous Billy the Kid temporarily lived in the city of Silver City.

Southeast – Billy the Kid Land

Southeast New Mexico is a vast, endless plain. Holloman Air Force Base is located there. Among other protected areas, there is also the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, with endless, beautiful underground caves. Numerous bats are also at home in the caves.

The image of New Mexico is largely dominated by desert-like areas, stone worlds, caves and rock formations. The capital, Santa Fe, has Pueblo-style buildings worth seeing. In New Mexico there are settlement remains of past Indian cultures to discover.

Largest cities in New Mexico

  • Albuquerque
  • Santa Fe

See Countryaah for more cities in the state of New Mexico.

National Monuments in New Mexico

  • Aztec ruins
  • bandolier
  • petroglyph
  • Capulin Volcano
  • White Sands
  • El Malpais
  • Salinas Pueblo
  • El Morro
  • Fort Union
  • Gila Cliff Dwellings
  • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

National Park in New Mexico

  • Carlsbad Caverns

Spain – Mexico – United States

As early as the 16th century, the Spaniards came to New Mexico with their entourage in search of gold and wealth and encountered a flourishing Indian culture there. Missionaries followed, later came the white settlers. Dragging on until 1780, there was bloody fighting between the Native Americans and the Spanish in New Mexico.

The oil and the atomic bomb

Oil was discovered in New Mexico in the 19th century. The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated in the New Mexico desert in 1945 at the test site near Los Alamos. New Mexico has a diverse culture. Numerous Native American peoples have been and still are at home in New Mexico. The Spanish history of New Mexico is already 500 years old. The legendary Santa Fe Railroad runs through the country. Billy the Kid was in New Mexico.

Sights in New Mexico

  • Very Large Array
  • Petroglyph National Monument
  • Bosque Redondo
  • Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
  • Wheeler Peak
  • Pecos Historical Park
  • Sandia Peak Tramway
  • Los Alamos
  • Pueblos in Santa Fe
  • St Francis Cathedral – Santa Fe
  • canyon road
  • Museum of Indian Arts – Santa Fe
  • Rio Grande Zoo
  • Columbine Trail
  • Goose Lake Trail
  • San Albino Church
  • Lincoln National Forest

Map of New Mexico – United States

The map of New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. The map shows the neighboring states, the largest cities, the most important road connections and highways, the lakes and rivers in the American state. The area of ​​New Mexico is 314,915 km², making it the fifth largest state in the USA. About 2.1 million people live in New Mexico in 2019, the country as a whole is not densely populated, numerous landscape regions of the US state are unsuitable as settlement areas. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe.