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 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.
Visit to the Paquimé, on site Museum
After 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 )
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
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.
Stay adventurous, Craig
Travel Tips to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua (the Paquime Site)
- 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.
- 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).
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!.