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“Open again at last!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Puye Cliff Dwellings

Puye Cliff Dwellings
Hwy 30 & Santa Clara Canyon Rd., Espanola, NM 87532
888-320-5008
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Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Espanola
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The ancestral home of the Santa Clara people may be visited by guided tour to the ruin sites.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
254 reviews 254 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
206 helpful votes 206 helpful votes
“Open again at last!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

The pueblo of Santa Clara again permits visits to the site, guided by knowledgeable interpreters. Excavated in the early 1900's by E.L. Hewitt, the ruins are equivalent to those of Bandelier, except, the guided tours make them much more informative. Our tour was led by Porter Swentzell, a pueblo member, and Tewa speaker who has made hit life's work, the study and preservation of his native pueblo history. He is best described as an ethnologist and lives on the Pueblo. If you are lucky enough to get a tour with him, it will be the highlight of your day.

Visited June 2012
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125 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    99
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    4
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    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Wasted Opportunity”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We arrived at the visitors centre/gas station and enquired when the next tour was happening. Five pm we were told. As it was 3pm we decided to stay. A quarter to five we went to book the tour and were told that the distance between the gas station and the tour start was 20 minutes and we had missed it. Despite sitting there for two hours. The guy insisted he told us the clock was wrong and that we needed to be at the tour in advance of 20 min. There is NO information about the tours at all which is bizarre. In the end we left and never saw the tour.

There is so much poverty in the pueblo and you would think more could be done to bring income into the tribe such as providing information some customer service and oh not lying would help.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Very interesting and well-managed site”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

I took the tour of the cliffs (not the Mesa top). It was a bit of a climb, but the guide stopped often and showed us pottery shards or told us interesting things about the history of the site and its people. The ancestors of the Santa Clara Pueblo peoples lived in these cliffs. The caves are all man made, chipped out of the volcanic rock. The caves are less well preserved than one would like, due to an excess of 19th century archaeological zeal. However, this is well worth a trip, if only for the fabulous views!

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado, United States
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Native America Tewa Style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

The tour was guided by a guy who grew up on site and is a member of the Santa Clara tribe. Very professional and personable folks. We've been to Bandolier and Mesa Verde, but these ruins gave a sense of the continuity of history and a living culture. Not inexpensive but worth every darn penny! Views from the mesa are fabulous too.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Summerfield, NC
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We did the Mesa top tour with Sam and Kevin as a driver. Both were knowledgable and very kind. There are pottery shards and even turquoise laying right on the ground. You are allowed to touch them, but of course not to take them. This area is considered Scared by the Puye Indians. Our group got to climb down from the top by the ladders, so hubby did this and I took the bus. It was late on Sunday so didn't see the gift shop, but enjoyed all the artifacts and knowledge

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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