Day Trip to Chimayó

There’s no shortage of things to see, do, and eat in Santa Fe. You could spend days visiting museums and soaking up the scenery. However, if you are ready to see more of Northern New Mexico, consider a day trip to nearby Chimayó. Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the village of Chimayó, is just 40 minutes from Santa Fe along The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway. This special place, known for its National Historic Landmark church El Santuario de Chimayó, also features several weaving shops, and delectable food.

road to chimayo2The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway

Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe

For a completely themed experience, reserve a room at the Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe. This boutique hotel is in the heart of downtown Santa Fe and is a part of New Mexico history. The hotel celebrates the rich culture of Chimayó—a truly distinctive village, steeped in tradition. Each room is beautifully decorated with historical photographs of Chimayó, handmade wooden crosses, woven bed throws, and custom weavings.

Each room at this hotel features hand-made wooden crosses created by the community members of Chimayó (Courtesy of Hotel Chimayó )
Each room at this hotel features handmade wooden crosses created by the community members of Chimayó. (Courtesy of Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe)

Breakfast on the Road to Chimayó

Before your day trip to Chimayó, grab a quick Santa Fe breakfast. A breakfast burrito is often the local’s choice for on-the-go nourishment. Bacon and red chile? Sausage and green? The choice is yours. If you would like to take more time to enjoy your morning meal—maybe you’d prefer it smothered—Tia Sophia’s or Plaza Café Downtown are conveniently located in downtown Santa Fe. And because we know that one breakfast burrito will not suffice, check out the stops along the Breakfast Burrito Tour to sate your hunger on all of the other Santa Fe mornings.

Tia Sophia'sBreakfast burritos at Tia Sophia's (Credit: New Mexico TRUE)

The Weavers of Chimayó

Did you know that Chimayó is famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families? Many shops in Chimayó contain their work and other fine crafts from the region. Definitely make plans to visit Centinela Traditional Weaving Arts and Ortega’s Weaving Shop to take home a rug, a jacket, a shawl, or a pillow.

Centinela Traditional Arts
Weaving traditions are passed on through family generations in Chimayó. (Photo courtesy of Centinela Traditional Arts)

Lunch at Rancho de Chimayó

After working up an appetite visiting area weaving shops, have lunch at Rancho de Chimayó. The restaurant serves world-class, authentic New Mexican cuisine from recipes passed down for generations. Here’s a tip: It is known for its Carne Adovada—pork that has been stewed to tenderness in Chimayó red chile. Grown from original seeds passed down generations, Chimayó heirloom chile has a unique, rich, and earthy flavor.

Another menu suggestion: the Combinación Picante—a tamale, rolled cheese enchilada, beans, posole, and the signature carne adovada. Use your sopaipilla (the puffy fry bread) to soak up the chile from your plate, but save some to douse in honey! That’s a true Northern New Mexican culinary tradition!

Rancho de ChimayoMake Rancho de Chimayó your lunch stop in Chimayó. (Courtesy of Rancho de Chimayó)

El Santuario de Chimayó

By then it will be time to reconnect and see why so many journey to Chimayó each year, hundreds of thousands in fact. Considered to be an important Catholic pilgrimage center, El Santuario de Chimayó, is known for el pocito, the small pit of holy dirt in the side chapel that many people claim possesses remarkable curative powers. During Holy Week alone, and in particular on Good Friday, tens of thousands of pilgrims make their way from Santa Fe to what is also called Lourdes of the Southwest. The santuario is open to visitors 9 am to 5 pm daily. Learn a bit more a bit more about its cultural legacy.

interior el santuario de chimayo
The interior of El Santuario de Chimayó, featuring the statuary and many religious paintings.

Relax and Reflect Back in Santa Fe

Round out your true Chimayó-inspired day back at Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe. Enjoy locally sourced cuisine, inspired by the flavors of Northern New Mexico at Estevan Restaurante. With an eclectic menu featuring favorites like the Chile Relleno and Carne Adobada Ravioli. Estevan is the only Santa Fe restaurant to serve Chimayó chile.

Finally stop into relax and reflect on your visit to Chimayó in Low 'n Slowthe hotel bar inspired by Jack Parsons and Carmella Padilla's book, Low 'n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico. Enjoy authentic New Mexican food and drinks surrounded by a car-themed decor with the "diamond-tuck upholstered seats, hubcapped light fixtures, while tables made of chromed chain-linked steering wheels." Specialty cocktails crafted by the professional mixologists add to the atmosphere and help create an unforgettable experience, as would a unique tour of Downtown Santa Fe and the historic Plaza in the establishment's custom '64 Chevy Impala lowrider. Tours are available with the seasonal Lowrider hotel package!

From hubcaps to tuck and roll upholstery, you’ll find car details here at the Low and Slow Bar.
From hubcaps to tuck-and-roll upholstery, you’ll find fun car details here at the Low 'n Slow.

A day trip to Chimayó is just one of many trips easily made from Santa Fe, so remember to squeeze in another day when planning your visit to Santa Fe. There is so much to see

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