Jemez Pueblo San Diego Feast Day Celebration

Tour meets at 9AM in Hotel Albuquerque’s lobby in Old Town and ends around 4:00 PM at the same location.

$225 per person + tax for party of two | $199 per person + tax for party of three or more

Includes Jemez Pueblo entry fee, feast day observance privileges and a traditional meal in a family home.

Jemez Pueblo celebrates many feast days throughout the year.

Come join us on November 12th for their San Diego Feast Day!

We’ll pick you up at Hotel Albuquerque’s lobby at 9 AM where your guide(s) will get you set up for the one hour+ drive northwest of Albuquerque to the Jemez Historical Site.

You will spend just over one hour walking this site and learning about the people of Giusewa, the ancestral village of present-day Jemez Pueblo. The people of Jemez first came to these mountains in the 1300s and have overcome many hardships and oppression over the centuries. Guests of this tour will learn about colonization of New Mexico by the Spanish and the conflicts that lead up to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

In the site you will visit the Mission of San Jose de los Jemez which was constructed between 1621 & 1622.  Its walls are a staggering 6 to 7 feet thick. Fragments of selenite, a translucent crystalized mineral, were discovered during the 1921 – 1922 excavation of the mission church. This would have drawn in sunlight to illuminate the atmosphere within.

We will walk the ancient Plaza of Giusewa, where fathers once taught young men to “skin rabbits, deer, bear and mountain sheep they had hunted” and mothers taught young women to “grind corn with stones called metates, to cook wafer-thin corn bread on stone griddles and to make stews of corn, beans, squash and wild game” – Jackson Hill Sunfield Trail Guide

Guests will have the opportunity to climb down through a hatchway on a wooden ladder into a sacred Kiva. Kivas like this have been used for centuries for religious ceremonies, re-structuring communities and social gatherings. It is rare that non-Puebloan people can visit the interior of a kiva and this tour is a perfect way to experience this sacred site.

Once we’ve finished roaming the Jemez Historic site, we will journey on the short distance to Jemez Pueblo also known as the village of Walatowa, the Towa Indian word for “this is the place”. There you will experience the Feast Day of San Diego.

Ruins of San Jose de Los Jemez Mission, Jemez Historic Site, New Mexico will be the terminus of the 15th Annual Commemoration of 1680 Pueblo Revolt Aug. 12. The site sits at almost 6,200-feet in elevation – nearly 600-feet higher than the start of the 13-mile pilgrimage run from Walatowa plaza at Jemez Pueblo.

This celebration is for Saint Diego the patron saint of the village of Walatowa. This pueblo feast day celebrates gratitude and Puebloan blessings with a procession into the great plaza of Jemez Pueblo. Sacred dances by many of the Pueblo’s clans honor revered spiritual beings and give thanks for the bounty of the harvest. Feast day celebrations combine distinctly Puebloan traditions steeped in Native American spiritualism intermixed with more modern Catholic beliefs.

The Pueblo requests that you please stay clear of the dancers and because of the sacred created space, they ask that no photography be taken and that no revealing clothing be worn. This is a prime opportunity to be present to their time-worn traditions and honor the opportunity to be witness to these rituals. Be thankful that this extraordinary tour will give you an opportunity to touch an ancient yet presently existing past.

Once in the Pueblo, you will meet Puebloan families, be inspired by the unique architecture and see sites like sacred Kivas and the Puebloan motif decorated San Diego Mission Church. The church is open to all visitors and worshippers and this is a very special opportunity for you to experience firsthand Puebloan traditions and practices.

Throughout the pueblo many of the clans of Jemez will be dancing their traditional Puebloan dances that have been danced for a millennium. Drumming and singing will vibrate through the air around you as headdresses bob and dancers step gingerly forward with prayers of peace. Many of the dances taking place will honor the harvest of the season.

If you’re up for an enchanting spiritually oriented experience with an interesting mix of Spanish and Indigenous traditional observances and you happen to be available November 12th – then this special annual event is just for you!



Puebloan feast day’s are not only a sacred celebration but also a time to give thanks. It is a time for puebloan families to share their heritage with visitors. Our dear friends Joe and Althea Cajero have blessed us by offering to have us join them and their family at Joe’s parent’s home for a traditional home cooked meal. This is the opportunity for you to talk with their family about tradition, gain more insight into the feast day and what it means to them, and to take away a better understanding of their beautiful culture and way of life.