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Arriving

By Plane -- The Taos Regional Airport (tel. 575/758-4995) is about 8 miles northwest of town on US 64. Most people opt to fly into Albuquerque International Sunport, rent a car, and drive up to Taos from there. The drive takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. If you'd rather be picked up at Albuquerque International Sunport, call Faust's Transportation, Inc. (tel. 575/758-3410), which offers daily service, as well as taxi service between Taos and Taos Ski Valley.

By Bus -- The Taos Bus Center is 5 miles south of the plaza at 710 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (tel. 575/758-1144). TNM&O arrives and departs from this depot several times a day.

By Car -- Most visitors arrive in Taos via either NM 68 or US 64. Northbound travelers should exit I-25 at Santa Fe, follow US 285 as far as Española, and then continue on the divided highway when it becomes NM 68. Taos is about 79 miles from the I-25 junction. Southbound travelers from Denver on I-25 should exit about 6 miles south of Raton at US 64 and then follow it about 95 miles to Taos. Another major route is US 64 from the west (214 miles from Farmington).

Visitor Information

The Taos County Chamber of Commerce, at 108 F. Kit Carson Rd., Taos, NM 87571 (tel. 575/751-8800; www.taoschamber.com), is open in summer, daily 9am to 5pm. It's closed on major holidays.

City Layout

The plaza is a short block west of Taos's major intersection -- where US 64 (Kit Carson Rd.) from the east joins NM 68, Paseo del Pueblo Sur. US 64 proceeds north from the intersection as Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Camino de la Placita (Placita Rd.) circles the west side of downtown, passing within a block of the other side of the plaza. Many of the streets that join these thoroughfares are winding lanes lined by traditional adobe homes, many of them over 100 years old.

Most of the art galleries are located on or near the plaza, which was paved over with bricks several years ago, and along neighboring streets. Others are in the Ranchos de Taos area, a few miles south of the plaza.

Maps -- To find your way around town, pick up a free Taos map from the Town of Taos Visitor Center, 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (tel. 800/732-TAOS [8267] or 575/758-3873). Good, detailed city maps can be found at area bookstores as well. Carson National Forest information and maps are available in the same building.

Getting Around

By Car -- With offices at the Taos airport, Enterprise (tel. 575/751-7490) is reliable and efficient. Other car-rental agencies are available out of Albuquerque.

Parking -- Parking can be difficult during the summer rush, when the stream of tourists' cars moving north and south through town never ceases. If you can't find parking on the street or in the plaza, check out some of the nearby roads (Kit Carson Rd., for instance); there are plenty of metered and unmetered lots in Taos.

Warning for Drivers -- En route to many recreation sites, reliable paved roads often give way to poorer forest roads. When you get off the main roads, you don't find gas stations or cafes. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended on snow and much of the unpaved terrain of the region. If you're doing some off-road adventuring, it's wise to go with a full gas tank, extra food and water, and warm clothing -- just in case. At the higher-than-10,000-foot elevations of northern New Mexico, sudden summer snowstorms are not unheard of.

Road Conditions -- Information on highway conditions throughout the state can be obtained from the State Highway Department (tel. 800/432-4269).

By Bus & Taxi -- If you're in Taos without a car, you're in luck because there's local bus service, provided by Chile Line Town of Taos Transit (tel. 575/751-4459). It operates on the half-hour Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm in summer, 7am to 6pm in winter, and on the hour Sunday 8am to 5pm. Two simultaneous routes run southbound from Taos Pueblo and northbound from the Ranchos de Taos Post Office. Each route makes stops at the casino and various hotels in town, as well as at Taos RV Park. Bus fares are 50¢ one-way, $1 round trip, $5 for a 7-day pass, and $20 for a 31-day pass.

In addition, Faust's Transportation (tel. 575/758-3410) has a taxi service linking town hotels and Taos Ski Valley. Faust's Transportation also offers shuttle service and on-call taxi service daily from 8am to 5pm (special arrangements made for after-hours; Sun by appointment only), with fares of about $10 anywhere within the city limits for up to two people.

By Bicycle -- Bicycle rentals are available from Gearing Up Bicycle Shop, 129 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (tel. 575/751-0365); daily rentals run $35 for a full day and $25 for a half-day for a mountain bike with front suspension. From April to October, Native Sons Adventures, 1334 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (tel. 800/753-7559 or 575/758-9342; www.nativesonsadventures.com), rents front-suspension bikes for $25/half-day and $35/full day. It also rents car racks for $5. Each shop supplies helmets and water bottles with rentals.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.