Personally, my favorite day of the week is usually Sunday. Sundays are for church, football, or family gatherings. However, Sundays are typically the best of the week to go explore or travel for myself. Although the NFL season is in full gear and is approaching its midway point (I’m a huge football and Denver Broncos Fan), I still try and get out to explore as often as possible.
Prior to the NFL season starting, I had taken a suggestion from my dad who had told me about the Puye Cliff Dwellings. The Puye Cliff Dwellings are locate on the Santa Clara Pueblo and from my knowledge aren’t nearly as frequently visited as the Bandelier National Monument which is located relatively close in proximity. However, I was intrigued about the idea of visiting cliff dwelling ruins that aren’t a National Monument.
For this adventure, I took my mom, my girlfriend and her brother. Interestingly, my girlfriend who is from Chimayo and her younger brother had never there before. It was perfect because neither of us get to spend as much time with our families as we’d like to. A few days prior we had driven up to pick up my girlfriend’s little brother and he had spent the weekend with us. And we decided that it would be a good idea to take him with us before we took him home.
We decided when we got there, it would be a better idea to do the self-guided tour, however I definitely would like to go back to the cliff dwelling and do one of the guided tours with one of the on location experts of the area who is knowledgeable of the history of the site. In terms of history, the Puye Cliff Dwellings are the ancestors of the Santa Clarian Pueblo Indians who occupied the Cliff Dwelling for over 600 years and later moved to the Rio Grande Valley for a more sustainable life.
If you are visiting the Southwest, although I’d recommend both Bandelier National Monument and Puye Cliff Dwellings as great places to visit for ruins in New Mexico, I’d offer the insight that the Puye Cliff Dwellings are less visited and offer a more intimate experience for visitors.