The gateway to Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, and other northern New Mexico communities is the Albuquerque International Sunport (tel. 505/842-4366 for the administrative offices; www.cabq.gov/airport; call the individual airlines for flight information).
Airlines serving Albuquerque include American (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com), Continental (tel. 800/523-3273; www.continental.com), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com), Express Jet (tel. 888/958-9538; www.expressjet.com), Frontier (tel. 800/432-1359; www.frontierairlines.com), Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525; www.flynaa.com), Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com), United (tel. 800/241-6522; www.united.com), and US Airways (tel. 800/235-9292; www.usairways.com).
Immigration & Customs Clearance -- International visitors arriving by air, no matter what the port of entry, should cultivate patience and resignation before setting foot on U.S. soil. U.S. airports have considerably beefed up security clearances in the years since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and clearing Customs and Immigration can take as long as 2 hours.
Getting into Town from the Airport -- Most hotels have courtesy vans to meet their guests and take them to their respective destinations. In addition, Airport Shuttle of Albuquerque (tel. 505/765-1234; www.airportshuttleabq.com) in Albuquerque runs vans to and from city hotels. Find Checker's booth near the baggage claim area. In Santa Fe, Roadrunner Shuttle (tel. 505/424-3367) meets flights and takes visitors anywhere in Santa Fe.
Driving is the best way to see northern New Mexico, so you'll want to either drive here or rent a car.
Albuquerque is at the crossroads of two major interstate highways. I-40 runs from Wilmington, North Carolina (1,870 miles east), to Barstow, California (580 miles west). I-25 extends from Buffalo, Wyoming (850 miles north), to El Paso, Texas (265 miles south). I-25 skims past Santa Fe's southern city limits. To reach Taos, you have to leave I-25 at Santa Fe and travel north 74 miles via US 84/285 and NM 68, or exit I-25 9 miles south of Raton, near the Colorado border, and proceed 100 miles west on US 64.
Parking is quite available and reasonably priced throughout the region both at meters and in city parking garages.
Because Santa Fe is only about 58 miles northeast of Albuquerque via I-40, most visitors to Santa Fe take the bus directly from the Albuquerque airport, at a cost of about $20 to $25 one-way. Sandia Shuttle Express buses (tel. 888/775-5696 or 505/474-5696; www.sandiashuttle.com) make the 70-minute run between the airport and Santa Fe hotels 10 times daily each way (from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, 6:30am-6pm; from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 8:45am-8:20pm). Reservations are required, ideally 48 hours in advance. Two other bus services shuttle between Albuquerque and Taos (via Santa Fe) for $25 to $35 one-way: Faust's Transportation (tel. 888/830-3410 or 505/758-3410) and Twin Heart Express & Transportation (tel. 800/654-9456 or 505/751-1201).
The public bus depot in Albuquerque is located at 100 1st St. SW. Contact Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma (TNM&O; tel. 505/242-4998; www.tnmo.com) for information and schedules. Fares run about $15 to Santa Fe and $25 to Taos. However, the bus stations in Santa Fe (858 St. Michael's Dr.; tel. 505/471-0008) and Taos (5 miles south of the plaza at 710 Paseo del Pueblo Sur; tel. 575/758-1144) are several miles south of each city center. Because additional taxi or shuttle service is needed to reach most accommodations, travelers usually find it more convenient to pay a few extra dollars for an airport-to-hotel shuttle.
Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245] or 505/842-9650; www.amtrak.com) passes through northern New Mexico twice daily. The Southwest Chief, which runs between Chicago and Los Angeles, stops once eastbound and once westbound in Gallup, Albuquerque, Lamy (for Santa Fe), Las Vegas, and Raton. The Albuquerque train station is in the center of downtown, with easy access to hotels. A spur runs on a limited schedule from Lamy approximately 20 miles to downtown Santa Fe, within walking distance to the plaza.
You can get a copy of Amtrak's National Timetable from any Amtrak station, from travel agents, or by writing Amtrak, 400 N. Capitol St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. You can also check Amtrak timetables online, at www.amtrak.com. A photo ID is required for check-in.
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.