Visiting ABQ

Discover Why Albuquerque Should Be Your Next Destination

Nestled between the towering Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley, Albuquerque is rich in culture and heritage. Our city is home to countless breathtaking sceneries and is brimming with vibrant energy. Year after year, people travel to enjoy ABQ’s quality of life.

The temperate climate and various attractions of Albuquerque draw skiers, museum-goers, balloonists, and adventure-seekers of all kinds. The proximity to both mountains and rivers and central location along both old Route 66, and later, Interstate 40 have been attracting people to the area for years. Some have stayed for a few days, others for a lifetime, but nearly everyone who’s ever been here has wonderful things to say about the city.

Let the Sunshine Kiss Your Skin

The sun shines more than 300 days a year in Albuquerque! Average winter daytime highs are in the upper 40s to low 50s in Fahrenheit while dropping into the mid-20s F overnight. The occasional snowfall often melts by the mid-afternoon. Summer daytime highs are normally in the low to mid-90s F while dropping into the pleasant 60s F overnight, and the heat is quite tolerable because of ABQ’s low humidity.

Sandia Mountains

The Sandia Mountains—named for the watermelon red color that envelopes the mountains at dusk—are the predominant geographical feature visible in Albuquerque. This mountain range includes Sandia Peak and is situated to the East of the city. The Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest single-span aerial tramway in the world that runs from the base of the mountain to the peak. Enjoy miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, visitor centers, and scenic viewpoints.

At the Sandia Mountains, the temperature often runs 10-15 degrees cooler than the city, and the elevation at the peak is just over 10,600 feet. You can hike, bike, or drive to the top. Our ski run during the summer is also a choice spot for downhill mountain bikers.

Wildlife

Although they are elusive, black bears, mountain lions, and deer may be observed during your hike if you are lucky to spot them. There are also many bird species and other little critters for you to see. We recommend bringing your binoculars along for the adventure. Don't forget to hydrate and bring a few snacks!

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The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande runs through the heart of Albuquerque with miles of beautiful walking and biking trails. We love kayaking during spring and early summer when the snowmelt from the north creates the ideal river conditions. From Bernalillo to Tingley Beach, it’s a 26-mile float where you can see all types of wildlife including various bird species, coyotes, beavers, porcupines, and turtles. Located 1.2 miles from the Tingley Beach trailhead, El Cuervo is the perfect place for you to rest up before and after your trip.

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Relax and Enjoy

Known for abundant sunshine and panoramic views under an eternal blue sky, Albuquerque is at the heart of New Mexico’s attractions. Ride the world-famous Sandia Tramway for skiing, golf along the Rio Grande, join a tour through the oldest wine country in the US, drift over the mesa in a hot air balloon, or simply rest and relax.

No matter what your travel goals are, we can meet your needs with our warm, southwestern style!

Albuquerque Old Town

El Cuervo is just a mile east of the Old Town Plaza—a great place to go shopping, visit museums, and get some wonderful authentic regional food. You can hail an Uber, ride a taxi, or take a 15-minute stroll to the plaza. We also have Pace bike rentals on-site if you prefer to pedal your way through the historic neighborhoods.

Old Town is Albuquerque’s first neighborhood. It was settled in 1706 near the banks of the Rio Grande River as an agricultural community and military outpost along the Camino Real between Chihuahua and Santa Fe. Old Town was organized in the traditional Spanish pattern of a central plaza, surrounded by homes, churches, and government buildings. Some of the ancestral houses are still standing and are being used as both residences and commercial spaces.

On the north side of the Old Town Plaza, you will find the San Felipe de Neri Church, which was founded in 1706. This religious establishment has been in continuous use for more than 300 years. Built in 1793, the present church has more than 800 families registered as active parishioners.

The San Felipe de Neri Church is listed on both the State and National Register for Historic Properties and is opened to the public daily. The Church Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Donations are accepted.

The masses are scheduled as follows:

Saturday
5:30 PM

Sunday
7:00 AM
8:30 AM (in Spanish)
10:15 AM

How Albuquerque Was Coined

The town was named after the Duke of Alburquerque in the early 1800s by Provisional Governor Cuervo y Valdez, the first “r” was dropped and the town became known as Albuquerque. In 1880, the railroad arrived and went through an area that is now called the “New Town”—the location of Albuquerque’s downtown business district today.

Authentic Adobe Homes

If you are looking for authentic adobe buildings, Old Town is the place to visit. True adobe is built with adobe bricks (made of mud and straw) that are sun-baked. The bricks are then covered by a layer of mud or cement to bind them together.

Adobe walls can be two feet thick. These structures provide excellent support and insulation and can last for decades or longer. Many newer homes in Albuquerque mimic the original adobe construction using modern frame/stucco techniques.

The labor-intensive cost of creating a true adobe home has prevented the traditional brick approach from being used. Another variation on adobe is straw-built homes, which use straw bales that are stacked to form walls and then covered with the traditional adobe mud or cement. The resulting home is extremely stable and has a large insulation factor, which contributes to its energy efficiency.

New Mexico Chile

Chile is the keyword in New Mexico, whether it’s red or green. It’s served as a sauce on burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and other traditional dishes. Until you get used to the hot spice, you should ask for it to be served on the side and add just the amount you find to your taste. Chile is made into the colorful Ristras that you will see hanging in front of the different buildings in Old Town. You can purchase your own in some of the shops surrounding the plaza.

Holiday Decorations

You will see Luminarias surrounding Old Town in December to celebrate the Holidays. Luminarias are made of candles set into a bed of sand and contained within paper bags. These decorations light the way along the streets of Old Town according to the tradition of lighting the way for the Christ Child.

How to Find Old Town

Old Town has been the center of Albuquerque’s history for more than three centuries. It is just off of Interstate 40—use the Rio Grande Blvd. exit south to the entrance at Mountain Road. If you prefer the Historic Route 66, just head west through Albuquerque until you cross Rio Grande Blvd. and you’re on the outskirts of Old Town.

For the best experience, we recommend parking your car and walking on the brick path that winds throughout Old Town. There are more than 100 attractions to visit, some of which are places you can buy souvenirs including:

  • 25 Art Galleries
  • Clothing Stores
  • Jewelry Shops
  • General Stores
  • Trading Posts

Many long-time residents of the area maintain “street shops” surrounding the plaza and sell their handmade goods out in the fresh air.

Enjoy a Shopping Spree

Shopping is a very popular activity in Old Town, and it’s easy to understand why. With more than 25 art galleries and almost 100 boutiques and stores in total, there are plenty of places to go on a shopping spree. You may want to browse around to get a good idea of prices, then make your selections.

Take a Walking Tour

Join a docent-led tour, which starts at the Albuquerque Museum, or pick up your self-guided excursion brochure. For a spooky good time, take an evening trip with New Mexico Ghost Tours and learn where the haunts hang out.

Immerse Yourself in Culture

Several fine museums are found around Old Town including:

Turquoise Museum (2107 Central Ave. NW, next to Walgreen’s)

A good place to learn about turquoise and silver jewelry to prepare for a shopping expedition.

Albuquerque Museum

The museum explains 400 years of New Mexico history. Old Town walking tours start from here, and they have some nice children’s exhibits including a dress-up area. Pick up a copy of their self-guided walking tour if you can’t make the guided one.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

A fun museum where science comes to life. Features include a life-sized Quetzalcoatlus soaring in the atrium, a planetarium show, a walk-through volcano, and a comet-busting adventure ride.

American International Rattlesnake Museum

Located inside a gift shop. The owners claim to have the world’s largest collection of live rattlesnakes.

Local Transportation

El Cuervo gives you access to Pace Bike rentals, so you can explore the downtown and Old Town areas. Uber and Lyft have very fast response times in the city and are often the preferred method of transportation. If you would like to rent a car, we have free parking on-site. We are more than happy to provide a list of transportation partners that will help you get out and see all that Albuquerque has to offer!

Special Events

Stay updated on the latest happenings in ABQ.