White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Landscape in New Mexico
Black Mesa, New Mexico
New Mexico joins the "Four Corners", the only four-point in the United States where four states converge. Its capital is Santa Fe. Called Nuevo Mexico by the Spaniards from 1561, its name was then anglicized, becoming New Mexico. This state is one of the states with the largest open spaces. Its inhabitants, of Indian, Hispanic or Anglo-Saxon origin, form a delicious cultural mix that is expressed through the cuisine rich in peppers, art and of course architecture.
Discover the region
The state is crossed from north to south and divided in two by the valley of the Rio Grande, a famous river 1900 mile long. The Rio Pecos, Canadian River, San Juan and Gila are the other major rivers in the region. New Mexico has the particularity of being crossed by a line of ridges from north to south, giving rivers their future direction. To the east of this demarcation, rivers flow towards the Atlantic while to the west, they flow or head towards the Pacific Ocean.
New Mexico is characterized by a great variety of landscapes: mountains with snow-covered peaks and often covered with forests, mesas or vast plateaus bruised by erosion, typical of arid regions, multicolored deserts... The state also has the largest gypsum desert in the world called White Sands because of the white color of its dunes.
Several natural sites are worth a visit. The Tularisa basin, located between the Sacramento Mountains and the San Andres Mounts, is the reunification point for several rivers that do not reach the coast. The temporary lakes formed by these rivers are called "playas".
In the semi-desert plains of the South, climate-adapted plants such as cacti, yuccas, creosote trees and mesquites grow. The Capulin Volcano Monument houses a 60,000-year-old cone of volcanic ash. The Carlsbad Caverns, a group of 83 caves considered to be the deepest in the country (1600 feet), are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Exceptional show: every afternoon thousands of bats leave for their meals! The volcanic formations of El Malpais National Monument, the semi-precious stone deposit of Rock Hound State Park, and Living Desert State Park are also majestic sites.
The Indian site of Tronis, located in the middle of the desert, is a curiosity. During the summer solstice, for about ten minutes, the sun's rays pass through a crack in the rock at dawn, illuminating a stone that sparkles strongly. This site was used as a time indicator during the prehistoric period.
New Mexico has many Amerindian archaeological sites: Pendejo Cave (55,000 years old), Aztec Ruins National Monument (12th century), Bandelier National Monument (caves that have been inhabited for centuries), Chaco Culture National Historical Park (ruins of Anasazi villages from the 9th to 13th centuries listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites), or Santa Fe, one of the oldest cities in the USA.
Roswell, in the southeast of the state, is the UFO capital of the world. Hundreds of Americans live in caravans in the desert, waiting for the arrival of the aliens. It must be said that the sky is so pure there! Starry nights are pure wonder, conducive to imagination.