13 days in New Mexico, Pagosa Springs & Denver Itinerary

13 days in New Mexico, Pagosa Springs & Denver Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in New Mexico, Pagosa Springs & Denver Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly + Drive:  10​h 15​min
1
Carlsbad
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
2
Albuquerque
— 1 night
Bus:  1​h
3
Santa Fe
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Taos
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Shuttle + Fly:  4​h 30​min
6
Denver
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
End: Newark

2
nights
Carlsbad

Carlsbad ©
Carlsbad is a city in and the county seat of Eddy County, New Mexico, United States. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape at Hall of The White Giant, then explore the striking landscape at Lion's Tail, and then explore the striking landscape at Giant Dome.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Carlsbad sightseeing planner .

Newark to Carlsbad is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Newark to Carlsbad due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in December, expect nights in Carlsbad to be about the same, around 31°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Albuquerque.

Things to do in Carlsbad

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Highlights from your plan
Big Room ©
Big Room
Lion's Tail ©
Lion's Tail
Giant Dome ©
Giant Dome

1
night
Albuquerque

Albuquerque ©
Albuquerque remains one of the state's secret jewels, as its tourist attractions are often overshadowed by the more popular holiday destination of Santa Fe.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): soar above the sights with a balloon tour, then take in the spiritual surroundings of San Felipe de Neri Church, and then get to know the fascinating history of Albuquerque Old Town. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): explore the striking landscape at Petroglyph National Monument, then get a new perspective on nature at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, then explore the engaging exhibits at Explora Science Center and Children's Museum of Albuquerque, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Capilla de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

Before you visit Albuquerque, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Carlsbad to Albuquerque in 4.5 hours. Another option is to fly. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Carlsbad in December: highs in Albuquerque hover around 49°F, while lows dip to 28°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Santa Fe.

Things to do in Albuquerque

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Highlights from your plan
Albuquerque Old Town ©
Albuquerque Old Town
Balloon Rides
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center ©
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

2
nights
Santa Fe

Santa Fe ©
Santa Fe continuously ranks among the world's top holiday destinations, attracting visitors with its unusual combination of scenic beauty, rich history, cultural diversity, and high concentration of performing arts venues, fine restaurants, and interesting attractions.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, examine the collection at New Mexico History Museum, take a memorable drive along The Plaza, then contemplate the long history of Loretto Chapel, then explore the world behind art at Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and finally look for gifts at The Shop - A Christmas Store. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Absolute Nirvana Spa & Gardens, get to know the fascinating history of Canyon Road, then see the interesting displays at Museum of International Folk Art, and finally ponder the world of politics at New Mexico Legislature.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Santa Fe fast, fun, and easy.

Take a bus from Albuquerque to Santa Fe in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Albuquerque in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Santa Fe, with lows around 22°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can drive to Taos.

Things to do in Santa Fe

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
Loretto Chapel ©
Loretto Chapel
Canyon Road ©
Canyon Road

1
night
Taos

Taos ©
Many residents have shunned fast-paced city living for Taos's laid-back vibe and blend of Spanish, Native American, and Anglo cultures.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): snap pictures at Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, admire the masterpieces at Millicent Rogers Museum, explore the ancient world of Taos Pueblo, then browse the exhibits of Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then take in the exciting artwork at Las Comadres, and finally don't miss a visit to Taos County Courthouse Murals.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Taos attractions planner.

You can drive from Santa Fe to Taos in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Santa Fe in December since evenings lows in Taos dip to 13°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Taos

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Vietnam Veterans Memorial ©
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge ©
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Taos Pueblo ©
Taos Pueblo

2
nights
Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs ©
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Wolf Creek Ski Resort. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls, then stroll through Piedra River Trail, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Pagosa Springs trip maker tool .

You can drive from Taos to Pagosa Springs in 3.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Pagosa Springs can reach 38°F, while at night they dip to 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to travel to Denver.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Wolf Creek Ski Resort ©
Wolf Creek Ski Resort
Piedra River Trail ©
Piedra River Trail

3
nights
Denver

Denver ©
Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Denver is known for parks, museums, zoos & aquariums, historic sites, and childrens museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens, contemplate the long history of Union Station, admire all the interesting features of Coors Field, and admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Denver online sightseeing planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and train from Pagosa Springs to Denver in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, flight, and train; or drive. December in Denver sees daily highs of 43°F and lows of 19°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Coors Field ©
Coors Field

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