"VT Artists Retreat and Associated Road Trips" Questa by AlbuqRay

Questa Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 237 photos


The First Annual VT Artists Retreat was held at the Takoja Retreat Center near Questa, NM, on 1-4 Sep 06. There were seven charter attendees (see above). Not only were the workshops excellent, the location was wonderful. It had been an unusually wet August, so even the wildflowers were special.

The Facility - Takoja Retreat Center

"Tah-Ho-sha" is a structure of two half domes with a connecting building. It was affectionately called the whispering gallery. You could hear any appreciable sound anywhere. This does not "sound" good at first but it actually brings people closer together. One immediately becomes conscious of how one affects others. There were a kitchen and bathroom on the ground floor, as well as areas for sitting, dining and sleeping. In addition, each dome had a sleeping loft with a bathroom. See the accommodation tip below for more pictures.

The Location

Takoja is located on the east side of NM-522 about 5 miles north of Questa, NM (which is ~20 miles north of Taos), at the Latir Road turnoff. The Sangre de Christo mountains are immediately to the east. For now, I shall include tips and pictures here from the road trips to and from Albuquerque to Takoja, even though some are really not that close to Questa. The road trip to Questa included a stop at Gabriel's Restaurant and a stop in Dixon to visit La Chiripada Winery and a local artist's studio.

On the way back to Taos, I stopped at the Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa and Red River State Trout Hatchery before taking a side trip to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. From Taos, I went the "back way," i.e., using the historical High Road (NM-518 to NM-75 to NM-76) to get to Espanola. Along the way I traveled through the forests of the Sangre de Christo Mountains, stopped at a small cemetery in the village of Rio Lucio near Penasco, enjoyed a sculpture garden in Chamisal, visited the historical church in Las Trampas, and toured the famous Santuario de Chimayo.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Stunning scenery and perfect Fall weather
  • Cons:Better bring what you need with you (like black pepper)
  • In a nutshell:Some of the best of rural New Mexico
  • Last visit to Questa: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (11)

  • kymbanm's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Since we are considering NM sites for our fall event, I had to wander over this way to find the name of the Stupa by Takoja! LOL ... you never disappoint. Thorough you are! Hugs

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2007 at 6:14 AM

    What a great town! I envy that vacation/retreat. don't know how I missed it when I was out there. Fascinated w/ the wood figure in chapel at Chimayo.

  • NYMansour's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    that looks so fun! :)

  • ray_d's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2006 at 12:48 PM

    Well presented Ray. A weekend now gone but in present memory.

  • Sep 18, 2006 at 5:20 PM

    Ms. Kymba is the best! What a fantastic retreat! Next year, Ray....

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2006 at 2:01 PM

    It was all such a beautiful event, and you've captured it perfectly Ray! Still sad that I could not be there, but at least I can see it through your eyes....W

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2006 at 3:20 PM

    A wonderful overview of the whole area and fantastic account of the magic weekend retreat....It was marvelous to feel the energy of the area through your photography and words. Thank you. Carole.

  • Misha_abq's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2006 at 7:15 AM

    Argh! I've now learned that you must put on makeup when you are around the VT groups. Too many pictures go online. Ouch.

  • imstress's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2006 at 6:43 PM

    a lovely place for a retreat and to see the sights.

  • funnybeee's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2006 at 12:42 PM

    Wow, Ray, you are a talented photographer! Very well done!!! Beee


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