Welcome to New Mexico
New Mexico, billed as the 'land of enchantment', is a geological
wonderland featuring everything from the high Rocky Mountain ranges
of the north, the Chihuahuan Desert in the south, the great plains
in the east, the spectacular canyons of the west and, cutting right
through the centre, the Rio Grande, a river much revered in a state
were water is sacred. A rich heritage of ancient Native American
culture and Hispanic occupation combines under a bright blue sky,
making a fascinating and colourful mosaic that quite understandably
draws thousands of visitors looking for a destination that brings
surprises at every turn, and reveals hidden treasures behind every
mysterious rock formation.
Originally the home of the Anasazi people, who evolved into
today's Pueblo Indians still living in their traditional
settlements, New Mexico was also the scene of territorial wars
between the legendary Apache and Navajo tribes. Along came the
Spanish explorers and by 1610 the capital of Santa Fe had been
founded and settled.
Today the dual Spanish and Indian heritage provides for some
fascinating historic attractions in the State, and the 'living
museums' of the pueblos welcome visitors. The state was also home
to some of the most legendary mountain men and notorious cowboys,
like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, not to mention cattle barons
like John Chisum who grew rich rounding up longhorns on the
southeastern plains. From cowboys to alien space ships is a big
leap, but one New Mexico makes with ease in the town of Roswell in
the southeast, where UFO enthusiasts flock to investigate the famed
Aside from its historic and physical attractions New Mexico has
the special appeal of being caught in a time warp. A laid-back
attitude prevails even in the cities, and the pace is as slow and
languid as the ascent of the myriad of colourful hot-air balloons
that fill the skies over the city of Albuquerque in the
world-famous annual festival.
Information & Facts
The summer months from May to October are the warmest, but also
the wettest. July and August receive the most rainfall, about 30 to
40 percent of the annual total, which occurs mostly during brief
thunderstorms. During the height of summer the temperature averages
90°F (32°C), with cooler temperatures at higher altitudes. January
is the coldest month with average temperatures ranging from 55°F
(13°C) in the central and southern valleys to 35°F (2°C) at higher
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
GMT -7 (GMT -6 from March to November).