Living in Taos

Northern New Mexico is a special place, but what’s it really like being here? If you’ve ever considered visiting or living here, we can help you find answers to your questions.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

President Barack Obama's March 25 proclamation of the 242,555-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument fulfilled a decades-long goal for conservation-minded outdoorsmen who have fought for preservation of this iconic Western landscape and the diverse wildlife that inhabit it. Included among the monument boundaries are some 60 miles of Rio Grande trout water that tumbles between 800-foot canyon walls from the Colorado border downstream to the town of Pilar, N.M.

The national monument will protect the heritage of our region’s diverse Hispanic and Native American communities, protect wildlife habitat prized by hunters and anglers and boost economic vitality in Northern New Mexico.

“This American Land” recently aired a segment highlighting Rio Grande del Norte and the people working to protect this special place.

Transportation In and Around Taos

This post contains transportation info on how to get to Taos and how to get around once you're here. There are shuttle services from the Abq and Santa Fe airports to Taos and limited public transportation in the town of Taos.

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Snow Sports Near Taos

The most familiar attraction and the highly popular recreational activity here is snow play. Taos is within a one to two hour’s drive from several ski and snowboard areas.  From Angel Fire resort to the east to Sipapu to the south, and farther south Santa Fe Ski Area, snowboarding and skiing alike, along with other snow play such as snowmobiling, sledding and snow shoeing are long welcome at these areas.   On up north, there is Wolf Creek in Colorado and Red River Ski Area.  Stay tuned for what is to become of Ski Rio!  Pavel Lukes of this very Dreamcatcher Real Estate brokered its purchase by a group of international investors who promise to breathe new live into the long-inactive alpine ski area.

Shopping in Taos

The Taos Historic District is home to numerous shops and galleries. There’s something for everyone from Native American drums and moccasins to chile ristras to southwestern clothing and jewelry, leather work, pottery and more! For shopping connoisseurs Taos is a delight. There are many owner operated boutiques where treasures, not found in any mall, can be discovered. Expect to be surprised and delighted!

Visit these websites for more information:

    www.taoschamber.com
    www.madeinnewmexico.com
   
www.johndunnshops.com  

Taos Area Publications

The Taos News

    Reporting the news of both Taos County and the Moreno Valley, the Taos News is a weekly newspaper devoted to local news, sports and announcements. Includes “Tempo,” the arts and entertainment supplement and “El Mercado,” with real estate listings and classified ads.

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Lodging in Taos

Warm hospitality is the cornerstone of the wide range of lodging options in Taos. These include a full-service resort, hotels and motels, historic inns, cozy lodges and Bed & Breakfasts. Beautiful destinations await you…in town, out of town or in the Taos Ski Valley. Taos has something for everyone’s budget. You can visit www.taoschamber.com or www.taostrips.com to help you plan your trip.

Vacation Rentals

Taos Vacation Rentals by Premiere Properties in Taos, New Mexico offers a large selection of Vacation Rentals, Vacation Homes, Casitas, Chalets, Condo Rentals & B&B’s in the town of Taos and the Taos Ski Valley in beautiful Northern New Mexico.  With over 75 vacation rental homes to choose from, Taos Vacation Homes specializes in “upscale owner managed” vacation rental properties, assuring the best quality in Taos, New Mexico vacation lodging accommodations.  With our large selection of Taos vacation rentals and rates from economy to luxury, we are sure to find the best vacation home rental for you in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.  Premiere Properties’ priority is to cater to our guests and insure that they have an exceptional Taos vacation rental lodging experience. You can reach them at 1-800-987-8423

Bed and Breakfast

Casa Europa

Immerse yourself in the magical world of the Southwest when you stay at Casa Europa. This spacious 18th Century Pueblo-style adobe rests under giant cottonwoods 1.6 miles from Taos Plaza, surrounded by open pastures and majestic mountain views…

      Casa Europa
      840 Upper Ranchitos Road
      Taos, New Mexico 87571
      (888) 758-9798
      (575) 758-9798
      www.travelbase.com
      casa-europa@travelbase.com    

Dreamcatcher Bed and Breakfast

Our Taos bed and breakfast is a 1940s adobe home which sits nestled in a serene, wooded area just a 10 to 15 minute walk from Historic Taos Plaza. Spend a lazy afternoon relaxing in our hammocks or snuggling up with a book by the fire. Dreamcatcher Bed & Breakfast is the perfect Taos bed and breakfast to designate as your starting point to all of what Taos and northern New Mexico have to offer.

The Dreamcatcher
      416 La Lomita Road
      Taos, New Mexico 87571
      (888) 758-0613
      (575) 758-0613
      www.dreambb.com
      dream@taosnm.com    

La Doña Luz Inn, An Historic Bed & Breakfast

Delight in the ambience of our colorful 200 year-old adobe bed and breakfast. We offer fifteen rooms, richly decorated in the Taos tradition, with no two alike. Resplendent with original fine art, Native American and Spanish Colonial antiques and artifacts, our unique accommodations will evoke a strong sense of place and history. Rowena’s Room Patio Gates in Winter, La Doña Luz Inn, An Historic Bed and Breakfast in Taos, New Mexico USALocated in the heart of the historic downtown area, we are the closest of the downtown bed and breakfasts to the old plaza. Park your car and explore on foot; galleries, restaurants and museums are within easy walking distance. Amenities include four private hot tubs, wood burning adobe fireplaces, jacuzzi baths, patios, kitchenettes, refrigerators, cable Rainbow Room private hot tub, La Dona Luz Inn, An Historic Bed and Breakfast in Taos, New Mexico USATV w/HBO, VCRs and stereos. Enjoy horizon to horizon mountain views and a birds eye view of the historic downtown area from the private rooftop deck and hot tub of the Rainbow Room. All our rooms have private baths.

La Doña Luz Inn
      114 Kit Carson Road
      Taos, New Mexico 87571
      (800) 758-9187
      (575) 758-4874
      www.ladonaluz.com
      info@ladonaluz.com    

Orinda Bed and Breakfast

A 60+ year old adobe hacienda combining unequalled mountain views, a country setting, and walking distance to Taos Plaza. Experience serenity and spectacular sunrises. Orinda is a true expression of its’ meaning – “Harmony of the Soul.” Relax and feed your spirit while we take care of life’s little irritations. Orinda is individualized attention and attention to detail. Orinda sets in it’s own unique piece of Taos where it is surrounded by pastures, elms, and giant cottonwoods. We’re a short 10-minute walk to center of town with its famed plaza, excellent restaurants, galleries and museums.

Orinda Bed and Breakfast
      461 Valverde Street
      Taos, New Mexico 87571
      (800) 847-1837
      (575) 758-8581
      www.taosnet.com/orinda/
      orinda@newmex.com    

The Little Tree Bed and Breakfast

A charming and intimate four room bed and breakfast. Built with real adobe mud bricks and mortar in 1990, you will have all the benefits of modern construction while still in an authentic adobe hacienda that is re-mudded every year! The center garden courtyard’s portal, with comfortable rocking chairs and benches, provides the perfect place to take in our vast 360* views.  Light years from reality, our rural setting allows the quiet to seep into your bones. Although secluded, we are still an easy and scenic 5 to 10 minute drive from the wonderful restaurants and galleries that are on the northside of Taos.

The Little Tree Bed & Breakfast
      226 Hondo Seco Road
      Taos, NM 87513
      (800) 334-8467
      (575) 776-8467
      www.littletreebandb.com
      little@littletreebandb.com    

Touchstone Inn, Spa & Gallery

The Touchstone Inn, Spa & Gallery is much more than a Bed and Breakfast. We have been hosting the finest menu of rest and relaxation available in picturesque northern New Mexico since 1994. Our accommodations combine traditional adobe ambiance with all the modern touches you would expect from a luxury bed and breakfast. Art adorns the walls and the rooms all share a uniquely southwestern elegance. Couples looking for the perfect romantic lodgings can escape to Touchstone for a honeymoon or weekend retreat. Wake up to our complimentary gourmet breakfasts with a menu of natural foods. Our on-site spa facility offers professional therapeutic massage, baths, facials, and body wraps. The sauna and hot tub are complimentary. Like the town itself, the Touchstone Inn balances historical charm with modern touches to create an enriching experience.

The Touchstone Inn
      110 Mabel Dodge Lane
      Taos, NM 87571
      (800) 758-0192
      (575) 758-0192
      www.touchstoneinn.com
      touchstone@taosnet.com    

 

Taos Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns

Visit www.taos-bandb-inns.com for a comprehensive list of all Taos Bed and Breakfasts.

 

Hampton Inn

We have a special arrangement for our clients to receive a special rate at the Hampton Inn in Taos. Before booking, please call us at (575) 737-5700 for a Discount Password!


      1515 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571
      Taos, NM 87571
      (575) 737-5700
 

 

Green Building in Taos

Taos has become an epicenter for Green Building on our Earth. This is partly due to the historic influences of the adobe built Taos Pueblo, the amenable weather, and the enthusiasm of forward-looking builders who have dared, and our daring to use creative and sustainable thinking in their concepts and designs. Green building is a way to use natural materials, many of which are found in the Taos area, in order to live more naturally, leaving as few footprints as possible on Earth.

Adobe

Adobe has been used for eons in many cultures around the world. It consists of about 15 – 30% clay mixed with an aggregate of chopped straw, dirt, and water, then usually shaped into bricks and allowed to sun dry. Adobe has the ability to be built in a square, rectangular, or circular form. It does need mud or plaster coating in order for it to be more weatherproof. It is an excellent mass material, holding the heat and coolness well.

Taos is well-known for its many adobe-built homes and commercial buildings, including the Taos Pueblo, with a range of architectural style from Pueblo-style, to Spanish Colonial, to modern revivals, including recent unique designs. It is fun to wander around Taos looking at the myriad adobe structures.

Dome

Dome buildings have been built from the beginnings of human history starting with simple dome-shaped huts to the magnificent domed cathedrals, mosques, and public buildings from Roman to modern times.

The most well known modern concept is the Geodesic Dome promoted by Buckminster Fuller. If you look around Taos, especially out on the mesa, you will see quite a few geodesic dome homes as well as sustainable greenhouses. Geodesic domes are the only man-made structure that is proportionally stronger the more it increases in size. It is made with wood or steel struts, into triangles that form into a series of great circles. Construction costs, especially if building from scratch can be higher due to the many hours needed to construct the individual triangles, however kits are also easily obtainable.

Earthbag Domes (sandbags) are quite strong, hence the use of them in flood control. Plus, they resist all kinds of weather. Traditionally they were made of burlap bags, but for rot-resistance, polypropylene bags are now more commonly used. They have the advantage of not being rigid and so can be built up into domes, vaults, and arches. Many “natural looking” and creatively shaped homes have been built using this method, which was first adapted and used by the architect Nader Khalili who is familiar with Middle Eastern architecture.

Earthship

Taos is the “true home” of Earthships and visitors often make it one of their destination stops to go to Michael Reynolds’ compound and study center just past the Gorge Bridge where his Earthship Biotecture business and study center is located. Earthships can be anywhere from simple to elaborate and quite elegant. They are basically earth-sheltered buildings made of tires filled and rammed with earth, usually arranged in a horseshoe shape. Windows are placed on the “open” side of the building and create wonderful passive solar heating. Like traditional adobe homes, the roofs are heavily insulated. Many earthships use other ecological or green concepts, such as water catchments, composting toilets, and indoor gardening with recycling of grey water. They are labor intensive to build, however that is perfect for those who want to build themselves.

Pumice-crete

Pumice-crete is a masonry material used for building the walls of residential and commercial buildings. It is a locally produced green building material. The raw materials are found within 200 miles of Taos.

Using a volcanic stone called pumice combined with Portland, cement walls are cast on the building site. Pumice-crete walls provide excellent thermal performance and structural strength in one material. This wall system perfectly matches the adobe styles of building, which feature thick walls and plaster finishes and custom woodwork.

Being a low-density concrete material, pumice-crete walls are fireproof and require little maintenance once completed. Pumice-crete buildings are naturally warm and easy to heat in the winter and stay cool in the hot summer months. No additional insulation of the walls is required as the pumic-crete itself is and excellent insulating material. It is a masonry material so, like adobe, the thermal mass stays cool in the hot months. Pumice-crete buildings require no active air conditioning systems to keep a building cool in the summer and are perfectly suited to passive solar design for warmth in the winter. Efficiency of construction and excellent performance are why over 300 buildings in the Taos valley have been constructed using this building system.

For builders who are looking for great building performance, structural integrity that is adaptable to many architectural styles, and a sustainable building material, Pumice-crete is an excellent choice. For more information, visit www.pumice-crete.com

Rastra Block

85% of a Rastra building block is made of recycled, post-consumer polystyrene waste combined with Portland cement. Think polystyrene cups mixed with cement. The blocks are a standard 10” thick by 15” high by 7.5 feet long, that go together like pieces of Lego or Lincoln Logs. The advantage over some of the natural building materials, such as adobe, is that it can be built as high as five stories. Finished buildings are typically stuccoed on the outside and plastered on the inside.

Another benefit of Rastra Blocks are that they are highly flexible and can be shaped into gentle curves, rounded corners, and free form designs, often creating fantastic and whimsical buildings. Like with Earthship designs, glass blocks and bottles can by placed in walls for extra light and artistic effects. In addition, the thermal mass of the concrete provide extra insulation and fireproofing.

Strawbale

A Taos resident was overheard singing about how her home was strawbale! Strawbale has become popular all over the southwest, especially in Taos. It has wonderful insulation and is easy to use in construction. Care does have to be taken to ensure it stays dry to prevent rotting, hence both inner and outer plastering. A post and beam construction with strawbales used as fill is the most common non-load bearing type of construction. Strawbales as the main load-bearing material can also be built and here is where you can see those lovely extra thick walls. It is a superior insulation material.

Resources

www.greenhomebuilding.com
www.rastra.com
www.pumicecrete.com
www.earthship.net
wikipedia