The Ultimate 5-Day New Mexico Itinerary
New Mexico is really “the Land of Enchantment,” rich history, several National Monuments, breathtaking views of the desert, tall standing beautiful mountains, natural springs, caves, and so much more. In this five day itinerary, I have tried to cover all my favorite attractions in New Mexico. It’s a pretty rushed itinerary and involves a lot of driving, but can be tailored per your needs.
- Day 1: Fly into Albuquerque International Airport/Sunport (ABQ)
- Day 2: Petroglyph National Monument & Sandia Peak Tramway
- Day 3: Bandelier National Monument
- Day 4: The Blue Hole
- Day 5: Carlsbad Caverns National Park & White Sands National Monument
Day One: Albuquerque
Reach Albuquerque, New Mexico, and rest up!
Flight – Fly to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
Train – Amtrak offers passenger train service on the Southwest Chief that runs between – Chicago and Los Angeles, stopping at Albuquerque (ABQ),
Drive – You can drive to New Mexico if you live in any neighboring states, but please be advised that you will have to drive a lot within New Mexico to get to the main attractions, so please plan accordingly.
Day Two: Petroglyph National Monument & Sandia Peak
While in Albuquerque, do visit the Petroglyph National Monument & the Sandia Peak Tramway.
Petroglyph National Monument: Protects and preserves one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings/drawings created by the early dwellers of the region, Read More. Address: GPS Lat: 35.139 Long: -106.711
Sandia Peak Tramway: Ride the aerial tramway at Sandia Peak to catch some breathtaking views from the observation deck atop 10,378 feet. You will get to see a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley, an option to grab a bite and see a beautiful sunset. Address: 30 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122
Once done, drive to Santa Fe, stay there overnight.
Day Three: Bandlier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument preserves a gorgeous canyon with evidence of human inhabitance going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, caves, masonry pueblos, and a lot more to explore, Read More. Address: 19955 Highway 70 West, Alamogordo, NM 88310
Next, drive to Santa Rosa, stay there at night, and visit the Blue Hole the next day.
Day Four: The Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is a natural wonder that you must see while you’re in New Mexico: Truly, a deep blue pool of water appears amid the desert like a blue gem emerging from the earth’s surface, Read More. Address: 1085 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435
I would recommend you wrap up as soon as you can and head to Carlsbad. It’s a long three and a half hours drive to Carlsbad from Santa Rosa.
Day Five: Carlsbad Caverns National Park & White Sands National Monument
Carlsbad Caverns National Park: This is one of the oldest and very famous cave systems in the world, well-known for a large number of stalactites and stalagmites. There are around 120 known caves in the park, and the number keeps growing, Read More. Address: 727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
White Sands National Monument: is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. The glistening white gypsum sands spread over 275 square miles of desert, wave-like patterns, make it a picture-perfect place, Read More. Address: 15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544
This marks the end of the five-day itinerary. If you are flying out back home from Albuquerque, it’s a four-hour drive from White Sands National Monument.