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“Wow!”

Puye Cliff Dwellings
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Espanola
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The ancestral home of the Santa Clara people may be visited by guided tour to the ruin sites.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wow!”
Reviewed July 2, 2013 via mobile

What an experience! The views are absolutely breathtaking. The tour guide was a sweet teenage local and her youthful perspective was charming yet knowledgeable . We took the adventure tour and it was worth every $. My husbands favorite part was coasting done the cliff side on neutral on our decent.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Vegalindo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
santa rosa, ca
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great staff, beautiful site, history comes alive”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

My friend and I decided to drive from Santa Fe to Puye Cliffs to see the ancient dwelling site of the native American tribe now living at Santa Clara Pueblo.
We were fortunate to be the only two on our tour, which was graciously and knowledgeably led by Michelle. She answered all our questions and we had a wide-ranging discussion of issues, ancient and current, that native tribes face. All while touring the incomparably beautiful mesa-top ruins which were the summer home of the tribe. The 360 degree view was amazing, the description of sacred sites was an added bonus.
I can only say, if you're in the area and have the chance, visit this site. All the staff were friendly and obviously personally involved in creating a great future by sharing their past.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank martako
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, MI
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Informative and inspiring”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Unless you have difficulty climbing ladders or aren't comfortable with some narrow footing, I strongly recommend the two-hour adventure tour. It's $35 plus tax as mentioned but well worth the money. I took the 9 am tour and was the only "adventurer." Having my own private tour allowed me to ask a ton of questions about ancestral heritage and contemporary Santa Clara pueblo culture, social life, and economics. My tour guide, Danielle, a young resident of the pueblo, was excellent. In fact, the title of this reviews applies equally to her as it does to the tour experience. That she had worked the past five summers with the Youth Conservation Corps on the Mesa restoration added greatly to her reservoir of information.

And why as a country do we not fund and mandate this valuable working experience for teens
that permits so much reclamation and restoration of infrastructure and historical sights? Instead
we tolerate 60% teen unemployment and decry the effects (gangs, teen pregnancy, drugs). But I
digress.

Developing some background before the tour by walking through the Harvey House/exhibit hall is useful. Walking only the cliffs tour does deprive you, however, of the visual and cultural link
between cliff and Mesa ( and it's contemporary manifestation of "summer side" and "winter side"
sociology-political divisions within the pueblo.) From the Mesa, you also wil be able to see the
sister mesas north and south of Puye and learn about their interaction.

I learned so much on this tour: the architecture and engineering involved; the cultural and
agricultural practices; the incursion of the Conquistadors and the Pueblo Revolt; the very different reaction the Santa Clara peoples had to Edgar Hewitt's "excavation." (They believed that looting was his motive and not archeological research and banished him. Compare that to the attitude expressed at Bandelier.)

Best advice: take this tour before heading over the Bandelier.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank bigcitydiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winchester, va
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Definately go!”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

Great for families - or anyone. We had a great tour given by a member of the pueblo. They have a great gas station at the base of the cliffs where you can buy drinks and ice cream and they sell tickets there. We took the 2 hour tour - we walked along the cliffs then climbed to the Mesa top with a guide. You can see petraglyphs and cave dwellings. I like to support the pueblo directly. Great option instead of or in addition to Bandalier.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank trarvelchica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Really interesting tour”
Reviewed May 18, 2013 via mobile

Four of us (2 adults, 15-year old girl & 11-year old boy) did the full 2-hour package here and all of us really enjoyed the tour.

None of it is too strenuous (my daughter did it in flip flops), though part if the trip down from the mesa top was a bit harrowing. There is a shuttle van option if you want. I'd really recommend walking up if you can though.

The guide we had was friendly, informative and entertaining. He kept us engaged throughout. The history and artifacts are well presented. I'd thoroughly recommend this as a side trip from Santa Fe.

The only negative is that the tour is a bit expensive at $35/head. If that's an issue you could skip the mesa-top part of the trip. We were all happy to have done the whole thing though.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Asterix135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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