Driving in New Mexico from Santa Fe to Taos (or going in the other direction, of course) you can choose to pass through Chimayó. Do! And take the time to make the very little detour to visit El Santuario de Chimayó. This little gem, a National Historic Landmark, is an important pilgrimage site and I read that it gets some 300,000 visitors every year.
The morning I was there it was virtually empty (the figure on the left in the photo is a statue, not a visitor).
It was so peaceful.
There were many indications that this peaceful morning was an exception: the area was lined with little shops and stands that sold rosaries, candles, crucifixes, religious art work of various kinds etc.
But somehow I’m sure that the charm of the little church and its surroundings is still there even when the place is full of tourists and pilgrims.
My stop was meant to be a short one, an extended coffee stop with some culture on the side, but it turned into an uplifting cultural stop with some coffee on the side. The coffee, by the way, was enhanced (?) with chili powder. Not quite to my taste but maybe to yours?