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“Beautiful place, with Sacred Dirt.”

Sanctuario de Chimayo
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Chimayo
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful place, with Sacred Dirt.”
Reviewed May 16, 2014

We were there the day after Easter Sunday, Scores of pilgrims trek to Chimayo every Easter. The crowds of pilgrims were gone, but their relics and photos remain by the hundreds. This is an old and beautiful New World church that has been well preserved, including all the locally produced religious art, icons and statuary. It sits in a small green valley, well away from the main roads. The grounds are very attractive, and pilgrim friendly. Still operational, it lays claim to a vat of blessed dirt taken from a near by hill that is said to have healing powers.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank bhamgeyser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
214 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“An Easter Visit”
Reviewed May 3, 2014

I found this an interesting sight because during the week leading up to Easter it's a pilgrimage destination for folks trekking from all over New Mexico. Unfortunately, we arrived on Easter afternoon by which time the pilgrims were no longer there and it had returned to being a somewhat depressing tourist attraction.

Visited April 2014
Thank Thoughful-Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Peaceful place”
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Four years ago, when I first visited Chimayo, it was magical, peaceful. This time there was construction going on (I know that adobe is high maintenance) - in addition, the area has been built up, with the addition of a new building, and an old restaurant closed. It just seems like it's getting more commercial, and I would hate to see Chimayo and the Chapel of the Children lose their sacredness (if there is such a word) The backstory of El Sanctuario is fascinating, worth a read, as well as the history of El Chapel de Ninos. I had the honor to meet Fernando Bimonte the last time I visited in 2010, and he had restored the children's chapel, to what you see today. He told me he wanted it to be a place of happiness and joy for the children, and it truly is. Even if you don't have kids, visit it. The fruits of the spirit are on golden banners suspended from the ceiling, in English walking into the chapel, and in spanish on the way out. The paintings and alterpiece he did, and the whimsical trees flanking the altar with birds would bring a smile to any child's face. Unfortunately, he passed away in November of 2013, I was so looking forward to speaking with this man again. Even if you don't have kids, visit the chapel and see some of Fernando's work, and experience the positive energy in that place. Couple tips - bring your own container for the sacred dirt; If you have a photo of a loved one, there is a large wall you can place it on, and people will pray for them. There are crosses that dot the chain link fence - put their by people with prayer petitions, or answered prayer. Feel free to place one there yourself, usually they are fairly simple - a couple sticks bound together with grass. Make sure to visit the prayer room in the children's chapel as well. The El Potrero trading post next door has the best chili.

Visited April 2014
Thank mdmom54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Amazing history”
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Very well preserved church. Picturesque and peaceful. They have continued to improve the site, and, last year when we visited, they had a new museum adjacent to the church. This has always been one of my favorite places in New Mexico. It is out of the way, so it doesn't get as much tourist traffic as Santa Fe or Taos. After visiting, the Sanctuario, it is fun to walk down the main street of the little town of Chimayo. Some of the shops are standard tourist fare, but if you are discriminating and bypass those, its possible to find some genuine New Mexico handicrafts. Don't forget the Holy chile, either!!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank SophiesMom4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Very healing. Truly a sanctuary.”
Reviewed April 1, 2014

This place is very special. I am neither a Catholic nor Christian but you don't have to be to feel all the love from the people who pray there. It is healing to be in its presence.
We went there for the healing dirt that we heard about, but it was healing just being there.

The first thing we saw when we got there was a wall full of pictures of those who passed away mostly at a young age. The sign says please pray for those people. We had just lost someone close so we left a photo we happened to have with the office. It is comforting to know that other visitors will be praying for our loved one. Even though this was not our intended purpose of the visit, we felt we were drawn there by something we can't explain.
We were fortunate enough to witness a pilgrimage as well.

There is also a small chapel for young children next door.
The setting is pretty with a creek behind it.

If you've lost someone close, this is a powerful, healing place for you.

Visited March 2014
Thank TiggerMeow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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