Taos Pueblo is the world’s only living Native American community that has been designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. Taos Pueblo is a sovereign nation with its own government, with the inhabitants speaking English, Spanish, and the native language (Tiwa). Tourism is an important part of the Pueblo’s economy and visitors are welcomed. This settlement in northern New Mexico, which was established in the late 13th and early 14th century, consists of ceremonial structures and multi-storied adobe homes built into terraced tiers. The entire pueblo is made from adobe, and the roofs are made of large timbers that have been hauled in from the forests. Some of the buildings are as tall as five stories. Although at places it looks like one large single building, the Pueblo is made up of individual homes that are built next to (and on top of) each other. Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited since its creation, and is the largest of the existing Native American pueblo communities. Around 150 people live full time in the pueblo, with other families that are part of the community living in more modern homes outside the ancient walls but still on Pueblo land.
Taos Pueblo is located just outside of Taos, New Mexico. The nearest international airport is 135 miles away in Albuquerque. Visitors are asked to maintain an attitude of respect toward the inhabitants that live in the pueblo, and not to enter any buildings that aren’t clearly designated as businesses. Visitors must ask tribal members before taking their picture and pay a fee for photography. Visitors are prohibited from entering the river or the cemetery, and from taking photographs in San Geronimo Chapel. The Pueblo is usually open to visitors every day, except when tribal rituals close the Pueblo. The Pueblo is also closed for about ten weeks between late winter and early spring.