Want to experience the present-day Wild West? Head to New Mexico, where residents can carry a gun without a permit, 75 percent of the roads aren’t paved and there’s only 250 square miles of surface water. Despite its outlaw reputation, however, New Mexico holds many other attractions and unique landforms you won’t find anywhere else. Read on for a few reasons to make New Mexico your next travel nursing destination.
Experience living history. The Pueblo Indians have continuously lived in Taos Pueblo for a thousand years. Today you can visit the village and tour traditional adobe pueblos, view cultural celebrations and feasts, and even purchase handmade pottery, jewelry, moccasins and drums. If you plan to visit, be sure to check the website or call ahead, as the village is occasionally closed for religious ceremonies and tribal rituals.
Explore a cave. Carlsbad Caverns National Park includes more than 119 known caves, formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone. Famous for their huge stalactites and stalagmites, the caves are also home to thousands of bats, which fly out each evening to eat insects from April to October. The Bandera Ice Cave and Volcano, located in Grants, are also worth visiting for views of blue-green ice layers and an ancient caldera.
See hundreds of hot air balloons. Forget the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a nine-day festival held every October, hundreds of balloons ascend on the weekend mornings. During the evenings, visitors can attend “glowdeos” to watch lit balloons rise into the night sky. Pilots also compete in various competitions to maneuver their balloons to checkpoints first in the hopes of winning a prize (often a new car). The most unique part of the festival? You can walk around the grounds while the balloons are being inflated and may even get a chance to help.
Become a believer. Whether you believe alien life forms have visited earth or not, Roswell is worth a visit. Check out the Roswell UFO Museum to learn more about what’s been dubbed the “Roswell Incident” (the 1947 UFO sighting and crash), other sightings in New Mexico and the research in the area. You can even take a guided tour of the city and former air field with a local UFO researcher.
Looking for adventure in the Land of Enchantment? Check out our open travel nursing jobs in New Mexico.