Sitting about 5,000 feet (1,632 meters) above sea level, Albuquerque benefits from a remarkable natural setting and a mild, dry climate. The peaks of the Sandia Mountains stand on the east and the arid New Mexico mesas (elevated hills with flat tops) stretch out to the west.
The largest city in the state of New Mexico, Albuquerque is best navigated by car. It’s divided into four official quadrants: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Southwest, with Central Avenue dividing north from south and Broadway dividing east from west.
To get a sense of Albuquerque’s diverse ethnic heritage, stroll around historic Old Town in the Northwest. This area incorporates the original city of Albuquerque, which was founded in 1706. The narrow streets are dotted with museums, adobe buildings and Hispanic architecture, including the city’s oldest building, the San Felipe de Neri Church.
Discover the region's natural diversity at Old Town’s Albuquerque Biological Park. This complex is home to the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden and the Rio Grande Zoo. The BioTrain, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday, carries visitors between the park's facilities.
Native American heritage has a strong influence on Albuquerque, from the presence of more than 15,000 rock carvings at the Petroglyph National Monument, to the pueblo settlements near the city. Learn about the way of life for the descendants of New Mexico’s indigenous peoples at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, located in the Northwest.
Outdoor enthusiasts can escape to the rocky cliffs of the Sandia Mountains. In summer, the peaks attract rock climbers, hikers and mountain bikers, while the winter months see skiers and snowboarders flock to the slopes. Step aboard the Sandia Peak Tramway to experience the range in all its scenic glory. This aerial tramway journeys up to the 10,378-foot (3,163-meter) summit, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the city below.
Albuquerque also boasts a busy events calendar. Highlights include the world-famous International Balloon Fiesta in October and the annual New Mexico State Fair, usually held in September.