El Rancho de las Golondrinas

El Rancho de las Golondrinas

Historic Sites • Ranches • History Museums
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About
This living history museum, located just south of Santa Fe, recreates 18th-century ranch life. Guides, dressed in period clothing, show how people lived in early New Mexico.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
361 reviews
Excellent
268
Very good
72
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
6

Jim B
Grapeview, WA1,272 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
It was interesting to walk throughput the extensive grounds of this museum and see how people lived in this region in the early to mid 1800's. Some of it is made up of original buildings from the ranch that was here. Other parts have old buildings that were brought in to portray life from that time period.

The best sections were where there were docents in period costumes to tell you about life back then. On the day we visited, there were only a few. I would recommend calling ahead to see what days there are more docents available.

It involves about two miles of walking, so be sure to wear appropriate shoes. It can be a bit dusty, but that is to be expected since it portrays what it was like on the ranch.

If you get hungry, they also have a decent cafe on site.
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly O
Gunnison, Colorado, United States17 contributions
Jul 2022
This is our second time to visit this well preserved historic site. The volunteers are so knowledgeable and tell of a rich history of times gone by. There is a fair amount of walking to the different buildings that tell of several different time periods. We took family of all ages there, and everyone had a wonderful time.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

derrickwg36
Seattle, WA3,576 contributions
Jul 2022 • Friends
El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a great indoor/outdoor 300+ year old museum and ranch. It provides a great overview of Spanish, Mexican, and American history, as well as provide a great explanation how 711 AD history ties into current culture. It’s a must see.
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandra
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Sep 2021 • Friends
My family and I were road tripping from Chicago Illinois to New Mexico. As a Latin American with indigenous roots, I was excited to visit El Rancho. I saw on the website that pets were not allowed in the museum. My father volunteered to stay back and watch our small and well behaved Dog so my mother and I could enjoy the Museum together. After driving several hours we reached El Rancho and walked to the front of the gift shop to purchase tickets for entry. My father picked a bench outside of the gift shop with some shade and sat with our dog to wait for my mother and I. The moment my mother and I walked in we were met with a rude gift shop attendant who said dogs were not allowed in the museum. We kindly explained our dog wasn’t going inside and my dad was going to wait outside with him while my mom and I went in alone. The gift shop attendee repeated herself and said “no dogs in the museum”. I wasn’t sure if she didn’t understand that we were not bringing him inside, my dad was waiting outside with my dog. So I asked “my dad and dog can’t wait for us outside?”. She proceeded to repeat “no dogs allowed in the museum”.

The area outside of the gift shop is made of gravel and some stone, it was not inside El Rancho. For families who are road tripping with their dog, there are no nearby restaurants, hotels, or rest areas. Although there is some shaded area outside of the gift shop, you won’t be allowed to sit there and wait for your party if you have a dog.

When we were there it was empty with only a couple cars. My recommendation to the owner would be to instruct the staff not to be condescending. A simple “no, I’m sorry but you’re dog isn’t allowed outside of the gift shop, there is a nearby XYZ (shop, hotel etc) that your dad and dog can wait for you by”, would have been much nicer than the attitude my family and I received. Or even a simple “no” to my question instead of repeating that the dog wasn’t allowed in the museum (he was outside of the gift shop not in the museum).

Needless to say, we left. The parking lot did not have shade and was not a safe place for my 68 year old father and my dog to wait (picture included). Wanted to love this place but it left a bad taste in my memory.

As a museum with potential road trippers driving far to visit your establishment, please train your staff to be more hospitable and accommodating.
Written September 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vera P
1 contribution
Sep 2022 • Friends
This Renaissance Festival is appropriate for young adults and children, not seniors. The walking trails to get to the events are up and down slopes. The events themselves were amateurish. Trees should have been trimmed for unobstructed viewing. Some of the restrooms had malfunctioning locks and no electricity.
If you like to dress up in costumes, this event is for you. If you're expecting more, you're out of luck.
Written September 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Angela B
Albuquerque, NM2 contributions
Jun 2022
We’re frequent local visitors, and sadly over the years have watched Las Golondrinas decline. The museum can’t raise money to maintain what it has, let alone pay for promised visitor improvements. Visit other than at a festival, and the place is nearly deserted. Many long-time volunteers have left, and a staff shortage recently led to canceled tours. The superb historic herb garden and its tours are no more, a large beautiful pond near the entrance is now an overgrown swamp, plaster chunks fall off a house, another deteriorates, and so much non-native vegetation sucks precious water from a stream that once irrigated a garden. Latest news release on the website is over two years old. Even half of the Board of 20 directors didn’t show up for a formal group photo for the website.
Written June 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

alohatripper
Honolulu, HI1,338 contributions
Aug 2021
I've enjoyed this type of museum, docents who can convey to the guests what it was like when the structure was in use. I like Williamsburg and the Shaker Museums.
The cashier's desk indicated all the areas were open except the Barn, but most of them were without docents which is all-important to appreciate and understand the surroundings.
The school teacher and general storekeeper were especially instructive and portrayed their respective roles convincingly.
The exhibits are far apart and the day was hot and the pathways were dusty. We could of stayed longer, but there were other attractions that were tempting us away.
Probably this museum would be better on a weekend when more actors are present.
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The_Wanderer1992
Columbia, MD1,699 contributions
Aug 2021
My husband and I went here on a hot, sunny day. We brought our own water, but we also saw free water bottles being offered. Good walking shoes are also recommended. This is a living history museum that shows how people lived in the 1800s. In a lot of the buildings, there are workers who are dressed like people of the time period they are portraying. A lot of the buildings were formerly used. Better signage would have been appreciated. The map was confusing and we got lost trying to figure out where to go. At one point, we were headed down a wrong path and luckily, a worker stopped us before we got too far. He told us that people wander off on wrong paths often.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gus G
Miami, FL254 contributions
Sep 2021
Our family of 4 recently thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the open air museum. Plan on spending a couple of hours and if possible take the free, daily 10:30am docent guided tour. Very reasonable priced admission that both kids and adults will enjoy. Site does require fair amount of walking to see the majority of the property, but nothing excessive. The engaging docents provide good insight on the sites scattered throughout the museum.
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Louise M
Castle Rock, CO3,413 contributions
Jul 2022
This was our first time visiting El Rancho de las Golondrinas and we had a fabulous time! We were greeted at the entryway by a mariachi band that included a young boy and an adorable tiny little girl. We proceeded to visit the various buildings and working shops with many weavers demonstrating their craft and encouraging guests to give it a try (I did!) There were so many interesting structures and a huge vegetable garden.

We sat down for The New Mexican Marimba Band performance and were very impressed at the quality of the musicians. I was invited (cajoled!) into coming up for a quick lesson and performance of a piece. I'd never played before, but the instruction was so good that I didn't embarrass myself and found it really fun. We stayed for the next band, then finished touring the shops and museum. It was a fun time for all of us and we are glad we came. The price is quite good too!
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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El Rancho de las Golondrinas (Santa Fe) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about El Rancho de las Golondrinas