The Pueblo Ruins of Paquimé, a UNESCO Heritage Site in Chihuahua, Mexico

The long road trip across the state of Chihuahua reached its final stage as we traveled north back towards the border and a final stop in Casas Grandes. Here we would enjoy the chance to see and learn about Mata Ortiz pottery, visit, dine (privately) and take in a sunset at Hacienda San Diego , and tour the Pueblo ruins of Paquimé

the ruins of Paquime, a Pueblo site located in Chihuahua, Mexico, and is a UNESCO Heritage Site

The first evening I settled in to discussing, or really mostly listening to the stories of Spencer at sunset, a influential gentleman who many credit with the rediscovery of Mata Ortiz pottery. This real life Indiana Jones type character, shared stories and stories of the region and also his appreciation for the spiritual energy the valley held. He said make sure you climb (walk) to the top of the museum on site to take in the views of the valley and feel its energy. that traveled from New Mexico down to the present day Pueblo ruins site of Paquimé. I did.

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

The top of the museum

Visit to the Paquimé, on site Museum

Mata Ortiz pottery, the fmaous clay pottery found at the Paquime siteAfter my ascent to the top, our tour began inside the museum to learn how the Pueblo Indians lived here. One fact I recall vividly, the fact the tribes actually migrated back north (across the present day border) and were related to the cliff dwellings I visited 20 years earlier on my cross country adventure. I recall loving my time in New Mexico (must be something in the name )a related site from New Mexico and the Hopi Indians

We also viewed some of the impressive Mata Portiz pottery, an art form now famous not just across Mexico, but the world.

Walking the Pueblo Ruins of Paquimé

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

Walking towards the Ruin Site

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexicothe Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

what a great lace to take a field trip

I am not sure if the ascent to the top of the museum or discovery inside affected my time at the site, but as I waked the ruins, I drifted in thoughts. Sure the sun was strong, fatigue maybe manifested from the 8 day long road trip that began in Ciudad Juarez , included the bucket list Mexican must –El Chepe, the Copper Canyon train journey, and much more across the State of Chihuahua. But, it was more than that. Spencer was right, there was something special to this Pueblo place; an energy inside the ruins that date back to 700-1475 AD. More Mexican magic.

And UNESCO agrees, the Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites inside Mexico.

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

Stay adventurous, Craig

Travel Tips to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua (the Paquime Site)

  1. Walk to the top of the museum to take in the views before you enter the museum. Inside visitors learn more about what you will see at the site and also about the civilization and Pueblo people, but the views from the top set the stage for the exploration.
  2. Respect the Ruins and the sun. As you walk through the site stay in the marked areas (no climbing on the ruins). Also, be cognizant that there is no shade (besides the museum itself).  Dress and prepare properly (hats, sunglasses, sun screen, and aqua).

the Pueblo Ruins at Paquime, a UNESCO Heritage site located outside of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico

For more details  (those with patience) watch a video about the Paquime and Casas Grandes site and its 1958-61 excavation that includes present day tips too.  Visitors can discover and perhaps even judge the importance of the site, views its mysteries  including the “T style” keyhole door, learn about its probable connections with Mesoamerica and also trades with  tribes in the United States plus much, much more.

Interested ? > Watch the AmerindFoundation Paquime – Casas Grandes Video (the 18 min video is played twice, it’s only a 9 min commitment).

Stay adventurous, Craig

this is part of the #MexMarchMadness  for 2016; enjoy all the Madness at Mexican March Madness.  Special thanks to Dave from Authentic Copper Canyon and the New York Office of the Mexican Tourism Board for their hospitality and guidance in making this adventure a reality. As always the opinions and experiences are my own –  Ah! Chihuahua!. 

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  • Bill Kaliher

    Loved this–I know little about this site and this was most informative–I hope to get there sometime—thanks-bill

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Bill, it is right over the border…. perhaps during one of your crossings… stay adventurous, Craig

  • Lorna_Greenway

    Craig, Thanks for sharing your fabulous photos and narrative with us. You have just reminded me why Paquime is on my list :).

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Well, thank you and thanks for commenting too Lorena, Happy to remind and inspire… Paquime can certainly impress … Stay Checking off the list, Craig