To lovers of the state, New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. This nickname is well-deserved and used for several reasons; the state’s strange history, climate, and topography all come to mind. However, New Mexico is enchanting for another, more quantifiable reason: it has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in all of the United State.
UNESCO World Heritage designations, provided by the United Nations, are not very easy to come by. The application process can take years to complete, and dignitaries from around the world often attend induction ceremonies. The program is created to bring special attention to and encourage the preservation efforts for the best of both manmade and natural places around the world.
There are currently 1,031 World Heritage sites around the world. This includes famous bucket-list destinations like the pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu, and Ephesus. The United States is home to 23 of these sites, and you’ve likely visited a few of them—the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, and the Statue of Liberty are some of the most popular.
New Mexico is home to three of these spectacular sites—more than any other U.S. state. They are: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Taos Pueblo, and Chaco Culture National Historic Park. UNESCO is also considering another New Mexico inclusion: What Sands National Monument. Several countries have either one or no UNESCO sites—our state is on the verge of having four.
New Mexico is an enchanting place. The people who have lived here already knew that—that’s why we stick around. The world is beginning to take notice and provide credit where it is due. Our stunning state is truly one of a kind.