Destination Information - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
New Mexico's largest city is rich in history and blessed with nature's bounty, from majestic mountains to vast desert plains. At more than 1,525m (5,000ft), Albuquerque's elevation makes it one of the highest metropolitan areas in the United States.
Take a tram ride to the top of the Sandia Mountains and look out over 15,000 sq miles of spectacular landscape. With 310 days of sunshine a year, Albuquerque's light does wonders with nature's palette and creates a land of enchantment.
Founded in 1706 by 18 families searching for better lives, Albuquerque is located on the banks of the Rio Grande (which means ‘great river'), and the city was named in honour of a Spanish duke. It is still known as the Duke City. The early Spanish settlers were religious people and the first building erected was a small adobe chapel. The church is still the hub of Old Town, the historic and sentimental heart of Albuquerque.
Albuquerque became an important stop on the Camino Real (the trail from Chihuahua to Santa Fe) and was close to the Santa Fe Trail, the Southwest's first superhighway during the westward expansion. Historic Route 66 weaves through Albuquerque, adding its own bright colour to a glorious city.
Native American culture also is honoured in Albuquerque. Nowhere are so many Indian Pueblos accessible to the public than in the Albuquerque area. Most of the state's 19 pueblos are within an hour's drive of Albuquerque.
Called the most culturally diverse city in America, Albuquerque has people from almost every ethnicity and background. As a result, the city (which is home to the University of New Mexico) is an eclectic array of restaurants, art galleries, museums, festivals and attractions.