New Mexico, USA
New Mexico, also known as the Land of Enchantment, sits in the heart of the American southwest between Texas and Arizona and shares a border with Mexico. At 315,000 square kilometers, it is the fifth-largest state in the nation by area. Formerly a Spanish colony after conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, New Mexico became a Mexican colony, then an American territory before becoming a state in 1912. Its population of about 2 million people makes it one of the least densely populated states in the country. New Mexico has a large Spanish-speaking population as well as many Native American communities, offering a unique culture that clearly stands apart from that of other states. It boasts a rich history and traditions and offers visitors majestic vistas, authentic cultural experiences, exciting outdoor adventures, and distinctive regional cuisine. New Mexico’s capital, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States and home to hundreds of galleries and artist studios.
New Mexico is also the home to three UNESCO world heritage sites, more than any other US state, all offering breathtaking experiences: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Taos Pueblo, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. There is a fourth New Mexico site under consideration for inclusion – White Sands National Monument, a dramatic landscape of rare white gypsum sand dunes. Enjoy looking at the stars? New Mexico also hosts one of only 11 International Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world – Cosmic Campground in the Gila National Forest. It also has some of the world’s best skiing and acclaimed museums affiliated with the Smithsonian, and the National Institute of Flamenco.