A vibrant day trip

Journey to the historic village of Chimayo, known for its legendary "holy dirt" and its rich artistic heritage – and some of the best chile you've ever tasted! On this immersive day trip, join Elaine Ritchel of Santa Fe Art Tours and Angelisa Espinoza of Heritage Inspirations on an excursion designed to awaken your senses. Visit the Santuario de Chimayo, sift its sacred healing earth through your fingers, feast your eyes on handcrafted textiles and tinwork in local artisans' studios, awaken your tastebuds during a private heirloom chile tasting, and indulge in a delicious gourmet lunch prepared by Angelisa.

The Colors of Chimayo day trip departs from Santa Fe and Taos, enabling visitors in both cities to experience this vibrant cultural corridor. Guests based in Taos will travel south with Angelisa along the historic High Road, which is home to numerous historic villages. Guests based in Santa Fe will journey north with Elaine and, along the way, stop at an art gallery in the Village of Tesuque to tune into the visual arts and prepare for the rich sensory experiences that await.

We'll then meet in Chimayo for an afternoon of cultural activities.

El Santuario de Chimayo

With as many as 300,000 visitors per year, and around 30,000 during Holy Week alone, the historic Santuario de Chimayo is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in the United States. Within the Santuario is a small room called el pocito, or "little well," where an unassuming hole in the dirt floor contains earth culled from the nearby hills. This earth is claimed to possess healing properties, and the crutches, photographs, and other offerings left in the Santuario stand as testament to its power.

The Artisans

Delight in a kaleidoscope of color and texture at Ortega's Weaving Shop, where patterns perfected over nine generations grace blankets, jackets, and other lovingly woven accessories. We'll also visit Centinela Traditional Arts, a tapestry gallery specializing in hand-woven wool products using natural dyes, custom-dyed yarns, handspun yarns, and the traditional Chimayo and Rio Grande weaving styles. The weaving gallery is run by Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, award-winning weavers whose work has been shown in museums worldwide.

Finally, we'll meet Sharon Candelario, a native of Chimayo who specializes in black etched tin. While tinwork is a local art that dates to the 1800s, black etched tin, which features intricate designs carefully etched into blackened tin with a nail, is the trademark of the Candelarios.

The Chile Tasting

It wouldn't be New Mexico without some chile! Join Carlitos Medina, whose family has lived in the region for eight generations, for a private chile tasting. Spark your palate with a sampling of heirloom chiles and chile blends prepared by Carlitos – and get in on his secret recipes and personal tips for cooking with chile.

The Experience

  • Sit back, relax, and take in the breathtaking landscape of New Mexico while your guide escorts you to Chimayo
  • Visit the historic Santuario de Chimayo
  • Explore local arts such as weaving and tinwork
  • Awaken your tastebuds with a local chile tasting
  • Savor a gourmet lunch prepared by Angelisa
  • Discover the history and magic of Chimayo

The Details

Who: All adults and children 12+ are welcome. If you have younger children, please contact us directly to discuss tour options.
When: Available on select Saturday afternoons and by request. Please see our calendar for scheduled tours.
Where: Colors of Chimayo departs from Santa Fe and Taos. Our meeting location will be provided in your confirmation email at the time of booking.
How long: We'll depart at 9:00 am, and you'll be back in either Santa Fe or Taos at approximately 3:30 pm.
How much: $199 per person plus tax. Includes transportation, all studio visits, chile tasting, lunch, and bottled water.

Please note that the exact route and selection of artisans' studios may vary.