Taos Pueblo was constructed sometime between 1000 and 1450 BCE, according to the pueblo's website. Occupied by the Spanish as part of the region of Nuevo México, it was the site of the Pueblo Revolt which successfully expelled the Spanish from New Mexico for 12 years, the only natives to be do so. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, and tourism is the primary source of income for the roughly 150 full-time residents. Please respect all rules put in place by the residents, as this keeps everyone safe and respects the traditions and beliefs of the tribe.
It is easy to enter the pueblo from the Highway to the Town of Taos, but traffic can make the short drive take upwards of an hour.
It costs $16 to park in one of the lots and enter for adults, $14 for students and groups, and free for children 10 and under.
The pueblo is open from 8:00am to 4:30 pm Monday-Saturday, and from 8:30am to 4:30 pm Sundays.
The pueblo can have unexpected closures due to religious activities or deaths, so be prepared for that.
The entirety of the pueblo (save those areas off-limits to tourists) is accessible by walking. Residents have cars they may be driving around in the pueblo, but if you take standard precautions you won't be in any harm.
Since Taos Pueblo is a Native American site, there are rules that tourists are expected to follow to ensure the safety of the tourists, tribal members, and the sanctity of the site.
The website gives the rules as follows:
1. Please abide by “Restricted Area” signs. These areas are designated to protect the privacy of our residents and the sites of our native religious practices.
2. We ask not enter doors/homes that are not clearly marked as businesses. Some of the homes are used as a place of business which are clearly marked with signs. Other homes are not open to the public.
3. Please do not photograph tribal members without permission.
4. Absolutely no photography in San Geronimo Chapel.
5. Please respect our cemetery by not entering, it also holds the ruins of the old church. An adobe wall surrounds this area, this is the boundary.
6. Do not enter the river — our sole source of drinking water.
7. And last but far from least, as we welcome you into our home please respect it as it was your own home. There are rules in place to ensure a great visit for visitors and to ensure the culture and traditions of our home are maintained and kept in tact.
- Hlauuma (North House) - the largest building in the pueblo, with turquoise-blue doors leading to local artisan shops.
- Hlaukwima (South House) - the compound on the opposite side of the pueblo, but is considered more sacred than the North house, so access may be denied at times.
- Ruins of St. Jerome Catholic Church - the original church built by the Spanish, was destroyed by the Americans when the pueblo tried to revolt from the New Mexican territory's governor's anti-Native American policies. Now home to the pueblo's cemetery, but can be seen on a standard tour of the pueblo.
Wander the (non restricted) areas of the pueblo. Take in the scenery of Taos Mountain in the background, or of the river that divides the pueblo in half.
Most every house in the pueblo contains an art studio or a restaurant. There are paintings, pottery, sculptures, and jewelry for sale (all made by the seller or their family).
Note: These galleries and restaurants are the primary source of income for the residents, and many rely on tourism to make ends meet. That being said, don't be pressured into buying something at every store you go to just for this reason.
There are fewer restaurants than there are galleries, but each one is still unique. All serve traditional meals, with more non-traditonal drinks (soda, beer, etc.)
There is no sleeping accommodations anywhere in the pueblo, but there are hotels in Taos.