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Taos Pueblo Tour in New Mexico

Is it worth taking a Taos Pueblo Tour while exploring New Mexico? Definitely yes! Taos Pueblo in New Mexico is one of North America’s oldest continuously inhabited communities. Moreover, the multi-storied buildings have been dwelled for over 1000 years. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. It is an extremely picturesque place that is worth adding to the itinerary around New Mexico. The best idea is to take the Taos Pueblo Tour. This way, you learn as much as possible about the culture and history of this place. In this article, we will share with you our impressions of the Taos Pueblo Tour.

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Taos Pueblo historic buildlings with the view of Sangre de Cristo Mountains covered by snow in the backdrop.

Facts About Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo, also known as the place of the red willows, sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The historic Taos Pueblo, the northernmost of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos, is located at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos-speaking (Tiwa) Native American tribe of Puebloan people.

It lies about one mile north of the modern city of Taos, which is a perfect place to stay and offers many attractions.

The Taos Pueblo consists of ceremonial buildings and facilities, and multi-story adobe dwellings are an example of the living culture of the Pueblo Indian people. Taos Pueblo represents a significant stage in this region’s urban, community, and cultural life and development.

Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited and is the largest of these Pueblos that still exist. That is why is worth taking Taos Pueblo Tour. Book your tour on the official website, and make sure to follow all Taos Pueblo rules.

Our Experiences

My partner, Chris, and I took all the photos presented in this article during one of our trips to Taos Pueblo. It is best to purchase an additional photo permit in addition to the entrance ticket. We spent the day admiring the fantastic buildings and observing the lives of the locals.

However, we also followed all the rules, so we did not take photos of local communities or places where taking pictures was prohibited.

old historic houses in Taos Pueblo in New Mexico

Taos Pueblo as a UNESCO Heritage

Taos Pueblo is the only UNESCO Living World Heritage Site in the U.S. Since 1992, it has been a UNESCO Heritage Site. Before, in 1960, Pueblo was a National Historic Landmark.

Taos Pueblo Church with mountains in the backdrop.

How old is Taos Pueblo?

The ancestors of the Taos people lived in this valley near Taos Mountain of the Sangre de Cristo Range long before Columbus discovered America in 1492. Ancient ruins in the Taos Valley have been 1000 years. The main part of the present buildings was most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D.

The two structures called Hlauuma (north house) and Hlaukwima (south house) are considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the USA.

When the Spanish came to Pueblo country in 1540, some assumed they had found their “Cities of Gold” because of the micaceous mineral found in the clay used for mudding the buildings. Micca glitters in the light.

Taos Pueblo Church with Christmas tree at the front door.

How Were The Buildings of Taos Pueblo Constructed?

The Pueblo is made entirely of adobe. The earth is mixed with water and straw, then either poured into forms or made into sun-dried bricks. Large timbers support the roofs, and layers of mud cover the outside surfaces.

Interior walls are covered with white soil to keep them clean and bright. Adobe dwellings, built four or five stories high, were designed as lookout posts so inhabitants could see enemies if they approached.

The Pueblo is actually many individual homes. Furthermore, they are built side-by-side and in layers, with common walls but no connecting doorways. Finally, years ago, there were no doors or windows, and entry was gained only from the top through the roof – from holes in the ceiling.

Spanish explorers introduced doors that are still used today. Hence, the ladders against the sides of the buildings.

historic buildlings in Taos Pueblo

Who Lives in The Pueblo of Taos?

Around 150 people live inside the Taos Pueblo full-time. So, during your Taos Pueblo Tour, you will have a chance to see how they live. However, other families live around too. A reservation of 95,000 acres (38,000 ha) is attached to the pueblo.

The Pueblo land is home to nearly 4,500 people. The Pueblo Indians are about 90% Catholic, but Catholicism is practiced along with the ancient Indian religious rites. Tiwa is the native language of Taos Pueblo, and English and Spanish are also spoken.

The Taos Pueblo community is known for being one of the most private, secretive, and conservative pueblos. So check the rules and regulations you must abide by during your visit.

Taos Pueblo historical buildlings witjh mountain view in the backdrop.

How Do People Live in Taos?

Taos Indians who live inside the ancient village do not have running water or electricity. Resident Taos Indians still cook with traditional outdoor ovens called horno. So, try horno-baked bread or fried bread during your visit.

Local artisans make silver jewelry, mica-flecked pottery, and moccasins and sell them at many of the shops within Taos Pueblo. Their works combine Indian tradition with modern artistic expression, so it is worth visiting their shops inside Pueblo and Taos town.

Above all, the village is still governed by a Tribal Governor and War Chief with their staff. They are appointed yearly by the Tribal Council, a group of some 50 male tribal elders.

Trip Tip: You can support the local community by purchasing their handmade work during your Taos Pueblo Tour.

Taos Pueblo in New Mexico

How Old is The Pueblo Church?

The Church is among the most charming places you will see during your Taos Pueblo Tour. The present San Geronimo Chapel was completed in 1850 to replace the original church, which the U.S. Army destroyed in the War with Mexico in 1847. You can’t take pictures inside.

In 1619, Spanish Jesuits built the first Catholic church in Taos Pueblo and established the mission of San Geronimo or Saint Jerome. The original church ruins are on the village’s west side. However, religion is still complicated. St. Jerome’s Chapel dominates the landscape, but Puebloan people also use traditional kivas for religious practices.

historic buildlings

white entrance with white cross to the Taos Pueblo Church

How to Get to Taos Pueblo?

By Air

The nearest international airport is 135 miles away in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can also get it from Las Vegas, Denver, or Dallas. The regional airport is also in Santa Fe.

Taos Pueblo Driving Directions

From Albuquerque to Taos

Taos is located about 135 miles North of Albuquerque. If you are driving from Albuquerque, drive North on I-25. At Santa Fe, drive towards Espanola on US 285. In Espanola, look for NM 68 to Taos. The drive from Albuquerque takes approximately 2 and a half hours.

From Santa Fe to Taos

The most direct route to Taos, also known as the “The Low Road,” is 73 miles north of Santa Fe. The estimated Time is about 1 hour 25 minutes.

Another option is “The High Road” to Taos from Santa Fe. It travels through the mountains, past 13,000-foot peaks and small, isolated mountain villages. The distance is 105 miles, and the driving time is 2 1/2 hours from Santa Fe to Taos (no stops).

There are so many interesting places to stop along the way so that this trip can take 4 to 8 hours.

entrance to the Indian shop with inscription: Morning Talk, Jewelry, Pottery, Native Art.

Taos Pueblo Tours Hours & Fees

Taos Pueblo Hours

Pueblo of Taos’s opening days and hours may change. Above all, it is always worth checking on the official website if Taos Pueblo is open before you come.
Finally, from late Winter to early Spring the Pueblo closes for about ten weeks.
Phone number: 1-575-758-1028
Address: 120 Veterans Highway, Taos, New Mexico 87571

mountain view from the Taos Pueblo.
mountain view from the village.

Taos Pueblo Fees

Adults: $16 per person
Groups (8 or more Adults): $14 per person
Seniors: $14 per person
Students: $14 per person
Children 10 and under: Free

Taos Pueblo Tour

The best way to learn about the history and traditions of Taos Pueblo is on a guided tour. We highly recommend this solution to lear about this place.

Guided Taos Pueblo Tours are available daily starting at 9:00 a.m. and run every 30 minutes. Moreover, Tour Guides are volunteers and tell you about the highlights of the culture, history, and people.

Finally, guides take you to areas of significance in the village; you won’t miss important places. And don’t forget about tips. Put on comfortable shoes for this tour. Furthermore, after the rain, it is very muddy.

Taos Pueblo Visiting Rules

Above all, as a guest of the Taos Pueblo, you must respect their laws and customs. So, the most essential rules in Pueblo of Taos are:

  • respect the “restricted area” signs as they protect the privacy of Pueblo residents and the sites of native religious practices,
  • you can’t enter doors that are not shops,
  • also, you can’t photograph members of the tribe without permission,
  • you can’t take pictures in San Geronimo Chapel,
  • you can’t take pictures in a “restricted area,”
  • do not enter the walls surrounding the ruins of the old church and cemetery,
  • do not wade in the river — it is a source of drinking water for a tribe,
  • no photography on feast days,
  • all photos are for personal use only.
bildlings in pueblo.

Sources of information about the history of Taos Pueblo:

Your New Mexico Resources

If you are planning a road trip to New Mexico, please check our related articles. We share our experience & tips to help you prepare for your incredible adventure:


  1. I have never even heard of Taos Pueblo before. So much interesting history and such a unique authentic charm! Also, I just want to point out that the photos are absolutely stunning and you have done a great job capturing the full story through them!

  2. We missed a visit to Taos Pueblo when we visited New Mexico. Fascinating to read that this is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the U.S. We definitely would have taken a tour to learn more about the culture and history. Also interesting to now that the original Adobe houses needed ladders and were entered from the ceiling. A good spot to visit when we next get to Santa Fe.

  3. This is just amazing – if I ever make it back to the US, this pueblo is high on my list. Also, I need to check if it’s really this picturesque or if it’s just your photo skills 😉
    I particularly like the list you added on how to behave. Although most of your points shouldn’t even be worth mentioning, I sadly know from experience that many people are far less considerate than one would expect them to be.

  4. I remember learning about these structures made of adobe bricks as a child. I didn’t realize they originally used ladders to enter though. Amazing to hear about the culture and practices that are still alive there today.

  5. This is incredible, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before. Even more cool that people do still live here. It looks like a great place for photography too – such unique buildings. I’d definitely be interested to try to local bread. Did you try any other dishes? I have no idea what Taos food could be like, I’m curious.

  6. Visiting the Taos Pueblo seems like an immersive experience that offers a glimpse into a world with a deep-rooted history. I appreciate your tips on how to get there, as well as the reminder to respect the rules and regulations during the visit. This article has certainly piqued my interest in exploring this unique and culturally rich destination. Thanks for sharing your impressions of the Taos Pueblo Tour! 🌵

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