"A place of pilgrimage" Chimayo by toonsarah

Chimayo Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 91 photos

El Santuario de Chimayó

Chimayó is the one “must stop” place on the High Road to Taos. Here the Santuario de Chimayó has been a place of pilgrimage for almost two centuries.

This little adobe church was built at the place where a local farmer, Bernardo Abeyta, is said to have dug up a miraculously glowing crucifix. The soil in the hole where it was found is believed to have powers of healing and is known as Holy Dirt.

But there is more to Chimayó than the sanctuary, wonderful a sight though that is. Nearby is another chapel, dedicated to the Santo Niño. This holds a statue of the Christ Child (El Santo Niño de Atocha) that some believe leaves the chapel to travel about the countryside at night working miracles.

And Chimayó is also a village of artists and craftsmen, as are so many in New Mexico. It is known for the families of nationally known weavers who live and work here, the Ortega and Trujillo families. There are several galleries devoted to traditional Hispanic and Tewa Indian arts including wood carving, paintings of saints on retablos (flat wood panels) and bultos (sculptures of saints), tin working, embroidery, and pottery. More idiosyncratic and modern arts are also represented. It’s a good place for shopping, as many crafts are cheaper here than in the city, and you can also buy chilli related products of all sorts and good quality religious objects in the shop attached to the shrine – as well the Holy Dirt itself, if that holds meaning for you.

Please start, as we did, with a visit to the sanctuary itself

And afterwards, to continue with us on the High Road to Taos, please visit my Truchas page.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Has a special atmosphere, regardless of your beliefs - or disbeliefs
  • Last visit to Chimayo: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated Dec 24, 2011
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Reviews (4)

Comments (5)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Another lovely little page about your adventures in New Mexico. The Santuario de Chimayó really seems to be well worth a visit.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I loved this page Sarah! Great photos, and I never tire of seeing those smooth surfaces, just looks great!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    A picturesque little place. I didn’t know that even chile could be holy.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    I like the entrance gate to the church.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    I already admired this church on your New Mexico page so it is lovely to see a page of its own for it! Wonderful legends, about the church and the little chapel. And loverly colourful decoration. Haha, laughed about "Chimayó Holy chile" and the artwork, also the Liberty statue :-)


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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