With so much to do and see in and around Taos, it can be a daunting task to pick where to go. To get more up close and personal with the history, culture, scenic beauty and historical characters of this place, we suggest guided tours. Here are some to consider during your stay.
Earthship Biotecture Tour
Experience the ultimate off-the-grid living with a 1-hour guided ($10) or self-guided ($8) Earthship tour, a type of passive solar house made of both natural and up-cycled materials such as earth-packed tires and glass bottles, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Taos’ Earthship community is located just past the Río Grande Gorge Bridge. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week, year round from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day. Call (575) 613-4409 or visit earthshipglobal.com.
Enchanted Circle Brewery Tour
Visit four breweries tasting your way through the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway from Taos to Red River to Angel Fire. With a flight of beer included at each of the breweries, you’ll be glad you’re not driving. Each stop offers a full restaurant (food not included in ticket price). Pickup at Taos Plaza Gazebo or at your accommodation. Custom pickups from Red River or Angel Fire available. Tours start at $107 per adult (21 and over only) and disembark at 5 p.m. Presented by Turquoise Tours, (575) 776-8687 or visit turquoisetours.us.
Ghosts of Taos
Visit the spirit realm of Taos in this eerily fun and informative guided tour by author and paranormal investigator Melody Romancito. Visit haunted byways of the Historic District such as the Old Taos County Court House, Bent Street, a haunted inn and so much more. Fee is $20 per person. Discount for families with children and groups. To schedule a tour, email email@example.com or visit ghostsoftaos.wordpress.com.
High Road Artisan and Wine Tasting Tour
The High Road goes through the Sangre de Cristo mountain range between Taos and Santa Fe traversing awe-inspiring scenery, while also providing a glimpse back in time to New Mexico’s Spanish colonial roots. Visit historic sites, artists’ studios and sample New Mexico wines. Then follow the scenic Río Grande Corridor route back into Taos. Finishing up by going north along the spectacular low road that parallels the Río Grande and is the southernmost end of the Río Grande Gorge. Offered May through November by Heritage Inspirations. (575) 779-5516, heritageinspirations.com.
Taos Walking and Trolley Tours
Hosted by Turquoise Tours, this one-hour, about half-mile walking tour takes you through the historic downtown area as your knowledgable guide tells tales of Taos’ history and the characters of the past. Tours start under $20 per adult and begin at the gazebo on Taos Plaza at 11 a.m. Other times are available if requested at the time of booking. Because most of this tour is on sidewalks, it’s wheelchair accessible. Turquoise Tours also offers a three-hour private tour. Call (575) 776-8687 or visit turquoisetours.us.
Another option is spending a day on a Taos history tour with Robert Cafazzo going off the beaten track and see what’s hidden in plain site. From specialty tour offerings such as O’Keeffe in Taos to the Spirituality Tour, Cafazzo knows Taos. For details and booking information, call (575) 758-4101 or visit twograces.com.
If you’d prefer to have wheels under you, hop on a red trolley for a fully narrated tour of Taos. What locals refer to as simply, “The Trolley,” this enlightening excursion offers two tours: Taos Pueblo Excursion or the History and Culture Tour.
Both tours run twice daily from May through October. There are two boarding locations: the Taos Visitor Center on Paseo del Pueblo Sur at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and at Atira’s on Taos Plaza at 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at the Visitor Center, on the Plaza at Atira’s, on the trolley or online at taostrolleytours.com.
Taos Pueblo Guided Walking Tour
Taos Pueblo, more than 1,000 years old and the soul of Taos, is a must-see. You do not have to go on a guided tour to walk around the Pueblo Plaza, but in order to truly learn of its history, culture and people a tour is highly recommended. Tours begin at 9 a.m. and run every 20 to 30 minutes on the hour (Taos Pueblo closes at 4 p.m.). To book a private tour or large tour groups, please contact the tourism office. Call (575) 758-1028 or visit taospueblo.com.
Kayaks and Funyaks
Rafting isn’t the only adventure to be had on the Río Grande. If you like being in sole control of your water vessel, then try renting a kayak or funyak (small, one- or two-person canoe-shaped inflatable rafts).
Cottam’s: 1-800-3228267, cottamsriogranderafting.com
Los Rios River Runners: (575) 776-8854, losriosriverrunners.com
New Mexico River Adventures: 1-800-983-7756, newmexicoriveradventures.com
New Wave Rafting: 1-800-984-1444, newwaverafting.com
Interested in trying this rapidly growing sport that will be featured in the 2020 Olympics?
Taos is one of the best spots in the U.S. for beginners to learn to climb. Join world-class guides on perfect beginner cliffs that literally start as easy as a flight of stairs or venture off on your own to discover one of more than 800 climbing routes in the Taos vicinity. Guides can provide all the equipment, teach the basics to someone who has never climbed, get a group or family set for a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventure or guide the most experienced climber up the area’s longest, most difficult cliffs. Contact Mountain Skills Rock Climbing Adventures by calling (575) 776-2222 or visit climbtaos.com.
Take a Llama to Lunch Wilderness Day Hike
Explore the Rocky Mountains and High Desert with a rescue-llama companion on a 5- to 6-hour hike. With the llamas carrying the gear, you’re free to enjoy the hike bag-free. Along the way, learn about the New Mexico’s history, folklore and ecology and enjoy a gourmet calibre lunch. Please note that all participants must be able to complete the 5-mile trek independently, as riding the llamas is forbidden. Excursions from $138. Call Wild Earth Llama Adventures at 1-800-758-5262 or visit llamaadventures.com.