The single most defining feature of New Mexico is its adobe architecture, as seen on homes, churches and even shopping malls and motels. A sun-baked mixture of earth, sand, charcoal and chopped grass or straw, adobe bricks are set with a similar mortar, then plastered over with mud and straw. The soil used dictates the colour of the final building, so subtle variations are apparent everywhere. These days, most of what looks like adobe is actually painted cement or concrete, but even this looks attractive enough in its own semi-kitsch way, while hunting out such superb genuine adobes as the remote Santuario de Chimayó on the “High Road” between Taos and Santa Fe, the formidable church of San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos or the multitiered dwellings of Taos Pueblo, can provide the focus of an enjoyable New Mexico tour.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why Atlanta is one of the top 10 cities you should visit in 2017

Why Atlanta is one of the top 10 cities you should visit in 2017

Georgia’s leafy capital is due its time in the spotlight. Dynamic, progressive and home to one of the country’s most exciting food scenes, Atlanta is the ne…

11 Jan 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
The best places to travel alone in the USA

The best places to travel alone in the USA

Traveling alone isn’t just empowering – it’s also, say many, more enriching. Without the buffer of a travel companion, there’s a heightened immediacy to…

09 Jan 2017 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are the…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month