Northcentral New Mexico -- The most highly populated and well-traveled area of the state, northcentral New Mexico roughly includes the cities of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. It's also the economic center of New Mexico. In this portion of the state, lush mountains seem to rise directly out of the parched plateaus that have made New Mexico's landscape famous. Temperatures are generally lower in this area than they are in the rest of the state, and skiing is one of the most popular winter activities in both Santa Fe and Taos.
Northwestern New Mexico -- Head to this region if you're interested in Native American culture. Sandstone bluffs here mark the homes of Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache Indians, in an area once inhabited by the ancestral Puebloans (also known as Anasazi) of the past. My favorite places to visit in this section of the state are Acoma Pueblo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Aztec Ruins National Monument. A major portion of the northwestern region is part of a Navajo reservation, the largest in the country. This is also the gateway to the famous Four Corners region. The town of Grants, near Acoma, offers a glimpse into uranium mining. Railroad fanatics, hikers, hunters, and fishers should make a trip to Chama, home of the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad and a popular starting point for outdoor adventures.
Northeastern New Mexico -- Covering the area north of I-40 and east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, northeastern New Mexico is prairie land once inhabited or visited by some of the West's most legendary gunslingers. Towns to visit for a bit of Wild West history are Cimarron and Las Vegas. The northeastern portion of the state also includes attractions such as Fort Union National Monument, a portion of the Santa Fe Trail, Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands, and Capulin Volcano National Monument. Due to its abundance of state parks and wildlife reserves, as well as the fact that it borders the ski resort towns of Angel Fire, Taos, Red River, and Santa Fe, this region is an excellent area for sports enthusiasts.
Southwestern New Mexico -- This region, like northeastern New Mexico, is another great place to visit if you're interested in the history of the Wild West and Native American culture, as it was once home to Billy the Kid and Geronimo. The Rio Grande, lifeline to this part of the state, acts as a border between the southwestern and southeastern portions of the state. Attractions west of the river include Gila National Forest, once home to the Mogollon Indians, whose past is preserved in the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The Chiricahua Apaches, a tribe once led by Geronimo, also lived in this area. The town of Silver City, which survives as an economic center of this area, was once a booming mining town. Surrounding ghost towns weren't as lucky. Las Cruces, at the foot of the Organ Mountains, is the state's second largest city, and Truth or Consequences, named for a television and radio game show, offers abundant hot springs.
Southeastern New Mexico -- Bounded on the west by the Rio Grande, to the north by I-40, and to the east by Texas, southeastern New Mexico is home to two of the most interesting natural wonders in this part of the country: Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument. The underground caverns, filled with stalactites and stalagmites, are infinitely interesting and hauntingly beautiful. Snow-white dunes at White Sands National Monument, which rise out of the desert landscape, are an extraordinary sight as you make the drive to Alamogordo. White Sands is a great place to camp out and watch the sunrise. This portion of the state is yet another former home of Billy the Kid. It's also where he died. Southeastern New Mexico has something of a controversial past as well: The world's first atomic bomb was detonated here.
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.