Excursion One: Bandelier National Monument

The Anasazi, the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indians, left very interesting village sites scattered across the Southwest in such places as Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelley and Bandelier.

This trip offers a voyage into the past and the fascinating world of the Ancestral Puebloan people. As we travel north from Santa Fe, your guide will give an introduction to the geography and people of New Mexico.  We cross the Rio Grande valley and travel up into the Jemez Mountains, an unusual volcanic mountain range.  We make a stop at a spectacular overlook then proceed to Bandelier National Monument, a 34,000-acre park managed by the National Park Service at the heart of what was one of the largest population centers for the Pueblo people.

Once at Bandelier, your guide will lead a walk through what was once a thriving community. You’ll see ancient cliff dwellings, the remains of a large village with its ceremonial structures, and rock art drawings, all beside a lovely creek running through large trees below sculpted volcanic ash cliffs. For the adventurous, there are ladders to explore the cliff dwellings.