About Sandoval Tourism
The history of Sandoval County has been shaped by indigenous cultures, extreme topography, pioneer settlers and even conquistadors! Experience this history first hand at our monuments. Jemez Historic Site and Coronado Historic Site are state monuments rich with information. And don’t miss the Bandelier National Monument nestled in the Jemez mountains for an excellent example of ancient cliff dwellings.
Native American Culture
The ancient puebloans of the southwest travelled the lands of Sandoval County and settled along the rivers and mountain ranges. Today we are home to nine modern day pueblos . While each pueblo has its own tribal affiliation they have much history, tradition and language in common. Local spoken dialects include Tiwa, Keres, Tewa, and Towa and are derived from three ancient language families. Within each community a vibrant and distinct artistic style has developed. Native pottery, weaving and jewelry have come to represent the culture and history of the people. Pueblo communities continue to celebrate the cycles of seasons through song, dance and prayer. Sandoval’s pueblos welcome visitors on Feast days to share in these celebrations and traditions. On such visits it is not unusual to be invited into a home to partake of the feast and family spirit. Observe the traditional dances and experience the bustling marketplace of artists displaying their wares.
When planning a visit to these communities please be aware of restrictions on photography and other images and respect the traditions and privacy of the residents.
Algodones “Cottonwood” was originally founded as a military post providing security for the merchant wagon trains traveling between Santa Fe and Chihuahua, Mexico. In the late 19th Century it was the site of a military supply depot, occupied by General Kearney and the Army of the West in 1846. The Camino Real “Route 66” runs through the small village today. Further north you will find the small rural community of Pena Blanca.
A growing community located off I-25, Bernalillo has deep cultural roots dating back to the days of the Spanish explorer, Coronado. Bernalillo is Sandoval County’s seat and was historically known for its education, agriculture and trade. Bernalillo draws crowds to Las Fiestas de San Lorenzo and its Matachines dancing, its Christmas parade and activities, and this year the Town has started a new tradition over Labor Day Weekend, the Mountain West Brew fest to introduce the public to an assortment of “craft beers”. Whatever brings you to this location, you are sure to find its amenities pleasing and unique.
A quiet village with a pastoral setting along the bosque, Corrales is home to wineries, breweries, a grower’s market, galleries and historic sites. Located adjacent to the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho metro areas, Corrales offers eateries and small shops to the tourist who wants to experience the quaint village’s distinctive ambiance.
Cuba is located in the high desert and if offers a myriad of outdoor activities for hikers, cross country enthusiasts, hunters, fisherman and campers. There are also a number of simple walking trails around the area where you can take in the beautiful scenery. Visit nearby San Pedro Wilderness or Gregorio Lake, or if you prefer more action, the Sandoval County Fair takes place in Cuba every August.
More centrally located in Sandoval County and 60 miles north of Albuquerque, you will exit off of NM 550 at the small community of San Ysidro on your way to Jemez Springs. Jemez Springs is popular for its natural hot springs, hiking and camping. You can stay at a Bed & Breakfast while you take in a spa experience or enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Located close to the Red Rocks, Valles Calera National Park and Jemez Historic site, there is much to see and do in the area.
Placitas is located at the foothills of the Sandia Mountains with expansive views in all seasons. You can explore the Sandia Man Cave as you travel by car to the top of the Sandias. Placitas is home to many artists showcased in the Placitas Studio Tour. Located just off I-25 across from the Town of Bernalillo, the original Village of Placitas is approximately 8 miles along Highway 165.
Traditional Name in Keres: Kayete or Ko-Chits (I-25 Exit 264 or 259) Pueblo de Cochiti is located along State Road 16. Cochiti is home to the breathtaking Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Cochiti Pueblo owns and operates the Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course and a nearby convenience store and pizza restaurant. Cochiti Lake offers boating, campsites, scenic overlooks and picnic areas. RV camping, a nature trail and a visitor center can be found at the Tetilla Peak Recreation Area, just east of the lake.
Feast Day: July 14th
Traditional Name in Towa: Walatowa or Glusewa means “Place at the Boiling Waters” Jemez Pueblo is home to the Walatowa Visitor Center. The Visitor Center, located at the Jemez Red Rocks scenic area, provides information on the area, national forests and the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway. The Red Rocks Trail is open for guided hikes which must be scheduled. The center’s gift shop and museum focus on the history and culture of Jemez Pueblo. For snacks, gas, or to shop for crafts, visit the Walatowa Convenience Store.
Feast Days: Aug. 2nd & Nov. 12th
San Felipe Pueblo
Traditional Name in Keres: Kay-Tichi-Tya, means “People of San Felipe” (I-25 Exit 252) San Felipe Pueblo features Indian arts and crafts at Garcia’s Gift Shop and West Turquoise Trail Gift Shop. San Felipe Pueblo offers casino gambling and live entertainment at Casino Hollywood. There are 100 RV spaces with electrical hook-ups and an RV waste disposal site right next to the 24-hour San Felipe Travel Center, which has a restaurant, gift shop and truckers lounge.
Annual Feast Day: May 1st
The Gateway to the Jemez. We are located 23 mile west on US 550 from Bernalillo. Founded in 1699 by the King of Spain as a farming community. The Village of San Ysidro is governed by a Mayor and four Village Trustees. The Village hall is located at 398 State Road 4 San Ysidro, New Mexico 87053.
Traditional Name in Tiwa: Turf Shurn Tia, means “Green Reed Place”. Sandia Pueblo is located on State Road 313 (I-25 Exit 234), between Albuquerque and Bernalillo. The Bien Mur Indian Market Center has authentic Indian arts and crafts, and the nearby Travel Center offers gas, diesel, a deli and convenience store, discount cigarette sales and a car wash. Sandia Resort and Casino has gambling, a conference center, spa, fine dining and live entertainment in its outdoor amphitheater. Visitors can also enjoy teeing off at the scenic Sandia Golf Club.
Annual Feast Day: June 13th
Santa Ana Pueblo
Traditional Name in Keres: Tamaya, means “The People” Santa Ana Pueblo is located on State Road 313 (I-25 Exit 242), off US 550 in Bernalillo. Santa Ana owns and operates the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa and the Twin Warriors Golf Club. Nearby is a sister golf course, the Santa Ana Golf Club, and the Prairie Star Restaurant. Santa Ana Star Casino features gambling, live entertainment and bowling. The Warrior Gas Station & Convenience Store has everything you need to get you on your way, and nearby Jemez Canyon Dam Overlook has day picnic sites.
Tradition name in Keres: Kewa, means “Pueblo” Santo Domingo Pueblo, (I-25 Exit 259) on State Road 22, is known for its beautiful turquoise jewelry and its pottery. Various arts and crafts shops can be found at the Pueblo and near the Santo Domingo owned and operated Pueblo Gas Inc., which includes the Kewa Café. Be sure to stop in during Labor Day weekend for the Annual Santo Domingo Arts & Crafts Market, where artisans from throughout the area sell beautiful pieces of traditional artwork.
Annual Feast Day: August 4th
Traditional Name in Keres: Tsia .
Zia Pueblo is the birthplace of the familiar sun symbol, which adorns the NM state flag. Located off of US 550, Zia Pueblo arts and crafts are sold at the tribal administration complex. The Zia Pueblo Reservation has become a leader in tribal communities for on-location shooting of film projects and major motion pictures. The Pueblo manages the Zia Bernalillo Farmers Market.
Annual Feast Day: August 15th