The crossroads of culture, commerce and community — Albuquerque is your portal to the Land of Enchantment and a major stop on the Camino Real or the "King's Road." New Mexico’s most populated urban center has long been considered one of most culturally diverse cities in the American West.
Founded in 1706 as a Spanish colony along the banks of the legendary Rio Grande Albuquerque’s history serves as a fascinating reflection on the unique story of the Southwest. Albuquerque has long been a multicultural home to farmers, traders, adventurers and travelers who journeyed to this crossroads of culture, commerce and community.
Hotel Chaco is within walking distance of the historic plaza and its quaint shops, brick paths, courtyards, and porticos. In Albuquerque's historic Old Town, you will find original Spanish Colonial architecture, as well as authentic Native American arts, crafts and handmade jewelry that is often sold directly by the artists themselves.
Head northwest of Hotel Chaco and take a short trip to the Rio Grande Bosque (the Spanish word for woodlands) and visit Albuquerque Bio Park’s award-winning zoo, botanical gardens and Tingley Beach.
Travel up Central Avenue along a section of the famous Route 66 to the lively Nob Hill District where you'll find mid-century modern design, parks, classic neon signs, and boutique shops. Continue towards the Sandia Mountains for a walk along the foothills, or see the entire city on a breathtaking ride on the world’s third longest tramway, bridging the northeast edge of the city to the crest line of Sandia Peak. On the east side of the Sandia Mountains is Highway 14 — the ancient footpath (now scenic byway) that leads through the historic, independent mining town of Madrid and to Santa Fe.
Heart of Albuquerque
The gateway to Albuquerque’s historic past, Old Town is where Alburquerque (the extra “r” was later dropped), New Mexico was founded by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez in 1706. It was constructed around a central plaza in the tradition of Old Spain. Today, the historic Old Town district stretches for 10 scenic blocks of brick walkways, porticos, cloistered courtyards, with a central gazebo standing in that very same plaza. Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque offers an authentic Southwestern experience, blending old world pride, heritage and landmark architecture with unique art galleries, traditional and modern art, history, museums, handmade crafts, specialty foods and other unique shopping opportunities.
In Old Town Plaza, you will find buildings that have survived since the Spanish Colonial era. Among these structures, you will find the revered San Felipe de Neri Church, built in the year 1793.
To learn more about this cherished Albuquerque district take a guided walking tour of Old Town and discover more about its fascinating history, landmarks, shopping, dining and events. For more information about what to do in Albuquerque, please visit: albuquerqueoldtown.com.
Old Town is also home to amazing museums including the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Explora Science Center, the Turquoise Museum and others.
Heritage Inspirations offers immersive and enchanting walking tours of Old Town and the burgeoning Sawmill District on Friday and Saturday afternoons. These two-hour historic tours depart from Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and end at Hotel Chaco. (Tour times: Fridays from 1 to 3 pm; Saturdays from 3 to 5pm) Learn more and book your tour below.
ABQ Trolley Company tours also depart from Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town.
In historic Old Town, you'll find an array of authentic Southwestern crafts, one-of-a-kind art objects, museum-quality Native American pottery, textiles, traditional turquoise jewelry and whimsical gifts and crafts. You’ll also find Mexican Folk art including traditional papel picado and whimsical piñatas alongside New Mexican religious art, decorative tin work, contemporary art and souvenir t-shirts. For more information on shopping destinations, hip and eclectic boutiques, fine art galleries and fine jewelry, please visit albuquerqueoldtown.com.
Just north across Mountain Road lies a neighborhood where the historic meets the innovative: The Sawmill District. This growing area named for its history as the American Lumber Company hub now houses shops and attractions dedicated to quality locally crafted goods and cutting edge experiences.
Spur Line Supply Co. features curated shoppable vignettes, innovative merchandising and captivating products. Explore a virtual playground as ARTECHOUSE, the first innovative digital art space dedicated to art and technology, brings its XYZT: Abstract Landscapes exhibition to the Sawmill District this summer and fall.
Explore Albuquerque’s newest destination for the savvy traveler just outside our doors. Originally the site of the American Lumber Company north of historic Old Town, the Sawmill District is being re-imagined and redeveloped into a vibrant neighborhood of loft-style housing, artist studios and retail space. Its new shops, art and entertainment reflect New Mexico’s rich culture and emerging International trends.
TO-GO ORDERS AVAILABLE
The Sawmill Market brings to the Sawmill District a 25,000 square-foot food market with an array of local cuisine and culinary traditions.
Discover the best in crafted and quality merchandise centered around a minimal, high desert aesthetic at Spur Line Supply Co. This concept store features a men’s and women’s shop, children’s shop, record shop, stationary, home goods, furniture, coffee and doughnuts, apothecary and floral shop with an outdoor living concept. Merchandise originates from the Southwest and beyond
A HERITAGE INSPIRATIONS WALKING TOUR OF THE SAWMILL DISTRICT & HISTORIC OLD TOWN
Discover the burgeoning Sawmill District and historic Old Town through unique, immersive and enchanting walking tours Friday and Saturday afternoons. These two-hour historic tours depart from Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and end at Hotel Chaco.
Tour are held Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit HeritageInspirations.com for pricing and availability.
Hotel Chaco, inspired by the Native American culture that resonates with vibrancy throughout the region, is your portal to New Mexico's roots. We encourage visitors to travel to Chaco Canyon and discover the inspiration behind our hotel.
Albuquerque and New Mexico are also the heart of diverse Native American cultural experiences. New Mexico is home to 19 recognized pueblos, including Acoma, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Taos, and Santo Domingo. Some open their homes and public rituals to visitors during feast days; others encourage visiting their museums and exploring their landscapes. We encourage you to experience Native American culture in all of its variety and depth, and chart your own Albuquerque tour bridging the past to the future. From the ancestral sites of Chaco Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument, Bandelier National Monument, and Mesa Verde, to the modern day Pueblos and sovereign lands of the Jicarilla-Apache and Diné peoples, your journey will be breathtaking.
This National Monument along Albuquerque's west mesa features symbols and designs etched into the volcanic rock by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers 700 years ago. Petroglyph National Monument.
A journey 60 miles west of Albuquerque will lead you to Acoma Pueblo, also known as Sky City. Acoma pueblo sits atop an ancient mesa; it is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America and the 28th Historic Site designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Rich in cultural heritage, living and ancient, we encourage you to visit Acoma Sky City Cultural Center and Haak'u Museum.
Your journey may include a trip, north, to Taos Pueblo, where Native Americans have continuously dwelled for 1,000 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taos Pueblo is vibrant. Join in on one of their guided Albuquerque tours, or explore on your own. Learn more about Taos Pueblo.
Native Culture continues to thrive all around us, through modern design, fashion, home decor, creativity, commerce and technology. Experience North America’s largest pow wow, The Gathering of Nations, which happens annually in April in Albuquerque
Located in Albuquerque between Old Town and Downtown, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is the gateway to the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. The center features a museum, contemporary gallery, gift shop and Native American Dances every weekend.
NOTE: If you do venture to one of the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico, please visit their website for specific rules and regulations, and observe these basic rules, in addition to each Pueblo’s requirements: Photography is often not allowed, and certain dress or behavioral codes are requested of all visitors and guest.
ROADS TO THE SOUL AREN'T PAVED
In ancient times, Chaco Canyon was the political and economic capital of the Southwest. A grand network of buildings skillfully constructed of stone and wood rose from the unyielding ground, immense kivas topped by rough-hewn timber brought to the region from many miles away. The native peoples of Chaco Canyon created a gathering place for countless visitors, and a cultural crossroads surrounded by protective cliffs and mesas.
The Chacoan people left behind an ancient, archeological marvel and a physical blueprint.
Today Chaco Canyon is a gateway to a place born of modern geography: Northwest New Mexico is a special place, with beautiful and diverse natural topography and landscapes.
On June 18, 1823, while leading an expedition to the heart of Hopi lands, Mexican soldier José Antonio Vizcarra (soon to be the third Mexican governor of New Mexico) dipped into a canyon and came across the remains of the largest series of structures built by man in North America. What Vizcarra found in that canyon was more than impressive — it was a rare design that, to this day, stands the test of time. Constructed of sandstone and timber, Chaco Canyon was the cultural center for the Ancient Pueblo people between 900 – 1150 AD. Now managed by the National Park Service, Chaco Canyon is a testament to human ingenuity and the merging of spiritual life, community and commerce.
In 1987 Chaco Canyon was designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. This is a reflection of its extraordinary cultural and physical significance. The purpose of UNESCO designations is to preserve and protect World Heritage Sites for the benefit of humanity. The program's recognition of Chaco Canyon pays respect to the ancient and the Native cultures.
The designation is not granted lightly; there are only 802 designated UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites in the world. Of those, nine UNESCO designated sites are in the United States and three are in the Southwest. The Southwest designations include Chaco Canyon, Taos Pueblo and Mesa Verde. All three are within a day's drive from our hotel near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
Owner & Guide
Phone: 1-888-344-TOUR (1-888-344-8687)
Heritage Inspirations offers half and full-day excursions, multi-day adventures, and custom-crafted itineraries. With more than twenty tours across Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos including active outdoor expeditions, specially curated walking tours, and roving glamping adventures, Heritage Inspirations has a unique and dynamic option for every traveler. As a partner of Heritage Inspirations, Heritage Hotels & Resorts provides an exclusive discount to those who stay at one of our properties in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Taos before or after a tour.
Heritage Inspirations, Heritage Hotels' partner tour company, offers day trips from the hotel to Chaco Canyon on Saturdays. These trips will include guided tours, activities, and a gourmet lunch catered by Hotel Chaco. Learn more and book your day tour.
Overnight glamping trips to Chaco Canyon are also available from Heritage Inspirations. These tours are scheduled around the summer solstice and fall and spring equinoxes, but custom private tours are available as well. These tours allow visitors to experience the distinctive light patterns formed in the ancient, sacred architecture as the sun rises. Native American dances may also be witnessed at Chaco Canyon during these special times of year. Learn more and book an overnight glamping tour.