Located at the base of the tallest peaks in New Mexico, 400-year-old Taos is a friendly little town long known as an artist's colony and center for outdoor activities.In Taos, you can go from hot-air ballooning and river rafting to touring art galleries and impressive museums.There are many other things to do, such as hiking, skiing, fishing and sampling the excellent restaurants.Nearby, visitors can learn about a thousand years of history at a still-inhabited Native American pueblo.Conveniently situated just 70 mi northeast of Santa Fe, Taos caters to travelers while avoiding the feeling of a tourist town.On the northern edge of the Taos sits a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark: Taos Pueblo.The Native American community has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years, and is comprised of stunning multi-storied adobe buildings set against the backdrop of forested and snow-capped peaks.Despite its reputation as one of the more private and secretive pueblos in the southwest, Taos Pueblo eagerly welcomes visitors to its 95,000-acre community of 4,500 people.
There are also public dances at various times during the year, as well as locally produced arts and crafts with a focus on jewelry.
Given the location of Taos on a vast high-altitude plateau between two mountain ranges, the area is well known among ballooning aficionados as one of the world's best places to fly.
Taking off from the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge, Taos-based pilots fly visitors down into the bottom of the great gorge to dip the basket in the river, look for wildlife and explore ancient petroglyphs from the air.
After that, tours lift over the great volcanic plains of the west mesa for a view that reaches well into Colorado and to the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
Looking north from Taos all the way to the Colorado border, pretty much everything you can see is part of the vast El Rio Grande del Norte National Monument established in 2013.
The monument encompasses nearly 250,000 acres of public land.