What to Expect: Acoma Pueblo Day Tour

Acoma Pueblo, occupied since 1144 – 1150 AD, counts as the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. If part of what you expect to experience on your trip to New Mexico, is a sense of Native peoples’ lives, traditions, art, culture, etc. then Acoma is the perfect opportunity to get a touch of an ancient yet presently existing past.

First, you’ll meet your guide at Hotel Chaco’s lobby and they’ll get you set up for the hour drive West along I-40 to Acoma Pueblo’s Visitor Center, where you will then meet your personal interpretative guide. The first stop will be to tour the Pueblo, referred to as Sky City because of the rocky 367-foot outcrop it sits atop.

Adobe brick wall at Acoma Pueblo.
Alleyway in between adobe brick buildings at Acoma Pueblo.
Adobe brick buildings at Acoma Pueblo.
Black and white Acoma Pueblo pottery.
Adobe brick building overlooking Acoma Pueblo's Sky City.
Turquoise window frame on an adobe brick building in Acoma Pueblo.

As you shuttle through the Pueblo for your one and half hour tour, you’ll get to see the Puebloan motif decorated San Esteban del Rey mission church, honor the Pueblo’s burial grounds, hear all about their history and culture, and meet artisans selling their wares.

After you’ve either shuttled or walked (recommended!) back down to the Visitor’s Center, you’ll get to explore the Haak’u museum, watch their 17 min film “Connection to the Land” in Cultural Center Cinema, and enjoy a”Meet the Artist” experience following the video, and finally indulge in a specially prepared gourmet lunch.

One thing you’ll get from us, that you’ll get nowhere else, is a scenic interpretive journey from the Pueblo to Albuquerque. Your guide will drive your through Acomita, or Little Acoma, regaling you with stories based on local knowledge.

Adobe brick structure at Acoma Pueblo.
Road to Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.

So, if you can’t imagine visiting New Mexico without being seeped into tribal lands, architecture, history, and art, then this trip is for you. Visit an ancient continuously occupied village atop a sandstone bluff overlooking towering monoliths and get a feel for living history!

Meet Acoma Pueblo Guide, Brandon Valdo (Turtle)

My name is Brandon Valdo, also known as Turtle to my family and my people. I am Heritage Inspirations Exclusive Tour Guide. I’m from the Pueblo of Acoma. I’m 39 years old and have lived in Acoma all my life. I’m a father of two children and have worked at the Acoma SkyCity Cultural Center as a tour guide for 7 years. I enjoy my Acoma history and my way of life and most of all enjoy teaching guests about the history. My grandma Pearl Valdo and her parents were the first ones along with many families in the 1950’s to start tourism to Acoma. Since then it has been the first business in the pueblo. I feel very connected to my past and have taken on where my family has left off. Learning many traditions and learning the language as I grew up with my family and there is so much more to learn to pass on to my children. The story of my people and my ancestors is an awesome part of who we are as Acoma People. I look forward to meeting you all.


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