Duration: 1 Day | Activity Level: Intermediate/Advanced | Daily Mileage: 58 mi | Daily Biking: ~5 hr | Small Groups: 16 | Pricing: $199-249 pp | Dates: 4/13, 7/13, and 10/26/19
Experience Routes’ Sacred Sights Pilgrimage to the World-Famous Santuario de Chimayó
Every year thousands of pilgrims make the journey to El Santuario de Chimayó, a beautiful and sacred shrine in the Sangre de Christo mountains of Northern New Mexico that contains a special well of healing earth known as El Pocito (“The Little”). Faithful pilgrims often journey hundreds of miles across high desert landscapes and mountains carrying crosses, sacred offerings, and flowers to reach the Santuario and to receive personal restoration and healing.
Routes Bicycle Tours of New Mexico is proud to offer a new travel experience that will feed your spirit and inspire your sense of adventure!
Join our expert local guides as we make the sacred, powerful, and visually stunning pilgrimage from Santa Fe to Chimayó! This experience is a true cultural kaleidoscope and encompasses everything from Downtown Santa Fe (circa 1610) to traditional Native American Pueblo orchards/fields (never officially part of the United States), and the unique high desert canyons, vistas, and “Badlands” north of Nambé Pueblo. There is no comparison to the experience of powering yourself (and becoming one with yourself) outdoors AND ON A BICYCLE through the ancient landscapes and cultures of New Mexico.
After arriving in Chimayó, you’ll step into a universe steeped in local tradition, culinary arts, craftsmanship, and in which anything is possible. Routes is proud and humbled to be the first and only tour operator to offer this sacred and transformative personal experience by bicycle.
– Our intimate journey begins in the grand Santa Fe Ballroom at the historic La Fonda On the Plaza Hotel over an included healthy continental-style breakfast and a custom warm-up yoga/stretch session.
– We’ll depart Downtown Santa Fe and pedal 28 miles north along the famous High Road to Taos to the Santuario de Chimayó.
– In Chimayó we’ll tour the amazing Santuario & have some time for personal reflection/offerings, meet local artisans who have lived in the area for generations, and taste the heirloom red & green chiles for which Northern New Mexico is famous.
– We’ll enjoy a delicious New Mexican lunch at the famous Rancho de Chimayó Restaurant (and a bit of free time) before returning to Santa Fe by-bike through the beautiful and sacred landscapes of the Nambe and Tesuque Pueblos.
– This tour is a sacred, all-faith, and a very personal physical experience. All guests are invited to bring candles to light, personal items representing hardship or affliction, or other relevant items/tokens to offer at El Santuario. Bringing a small container with which to capture & take sand from El Pocito is also encouraged (containers are available for purchase on-site). Our group will spend 25-30 minutes of self-guided personal time on the sacred chapel grounds.
– Before saying goodbye and continuing our own personal journeys, we’ll cap our experience with an optional smoked craft beer tasting and appetizer social at the Chili Line Brewery and Restaurant in Downtown Santa Fe.
Time: 6:15am – 5:30pm
Distance: Approx. 58mi round-trip from Routes Bicycle Tours of New Mexico located inside the historic La Fonda Hotel, Downtown Santa Fe.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Riders should be comfortable with a longer-distance bicycle ride alongside vehicles, and at higher elevations with grade-changes (a support-and-gear vehicle is available).
– The journey to Chimayó is a highly-sacred experience. In keeping with this, your Routes guides will maintain a slower, contemplative pace on the way to the Santuario which will allow us more time to take in the experience and the surrounding landscapes. We ask the group to respect the sacred intent and beautiful essence of this shared journey.
– Guests must be at least 21 to partake in the optional craft beer tasting to follow the main tour experience (minors are welcome to attend the reception). Please bring a valid I.D.
– A detailed trip itinerary will be included with your ticket confirmation. Tour Guide gratuity is not included in the ticket price and is always appreciated.
— Receive a 10% discount on your room at La Fonda On the Plaza Hotel for your pre and post-tour nights. You will receive a discount promotional code as part of your confirmation package which can be used when booking your room online or by phone at your convenience (subject to hotel availability).
Cost: $229 pp (All-inclusive with bicycle rental) // $199 (All-inclusive, using your own bicycle*)
2019 Dates: Saturday, April 13 // Saturday, July 13 // Saturday, October 26.
*If you choose to use your own bicycle, please note that we do require Southwest tire protection – Thorn-Resistant Tubes with either tire liners or sealant; and for the bike to be in top riding condition. Routes is happy to assist you in preparing your bicycle for the ride.
Chimayo Pilgrimage Bicycle Tour Photo Gallery
El Santuario de Chimayó is a National Historic Landmark and has been a place of worship since long before its construction in 1813.
Generations of Native Americans, Hispanics, New Mexicans, and people of all faiths from around the world have traveled to the site of El Santuario to ask for healing and to offer prayers of thanksgiving and petition in hope of a miracle.
El Santuario (often referred to as the ‘Lourdes of North America’) currently receives over 300,000 visitors per year and is one of the most significant Catholic pilgrimage sites in the United States.
A History of Miracles
According to legend, the Penitente Brotherhood was engaged in religious rites on Good Friday in 1810 when one of them saw a mysterious light emanating from a nearby valley.
They investigated and found a half-buried crucifix in the sand. The men sent for a priest, Fray Sebastián Alvarez, in nearby Santa Cruz. Fray Sebastián had the wooden crucifix moved to his church, but it vanished by the next morning and reappeared at the original site. The brothers tried to move the crucifix twice more with the same result before concluding it should remain where it was found.
In 1813, Don Bernardo Abeyta successfully petitioned the residents of El Portero (the communal pasture of Chimayó) for permission to construct a chapel dedicated to Our Lord of Esquipulas at the site.
Architecture & Art
Built of adobe bricks in the Spanish Colonial style, El Santuario de Chimayó is one of the most beautiful and unique churches in the State of New Mexico.
Situated near the Santa Cruz River in the shadow of ‘Tsi-Mayoh’ (one of four hills sacred to the native Tewa people, for which the town is named), the church features hand-carved wooden doors, vigas (beams), and accents; a beautiful churchyard lined with flowers and juniper trees; and is embellished inside with historic, hand-painted retablos (depictions of saints), statues, and colorful religious artwork.
The Santuario is also home to a shrine that twinkles year-round with candles of intention and is filled with various ‘cast-off’ objects (crutches, casts, etc.) from people who have been healed by the earth of El Pocito. A pilgrimage to Chimayó is truly an experience of a lifetime and one you’ll never forget.
Duration: 1 Day | Activity Level: Intermediate/Advanced | Total Mileage: 58 mi. | Biking: Approx. 5 hr. | Small Groups: 16 | Pricing: $199-249 per-person | Dates: 4/13, 7/13, and 10/26/19