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USA Albuquerque (New Mexico)

Along the river Río Grande, just few hours drive from the border of Mexico, lies Albuquerque. This „metropolis“ of New Mexico state has nearly 1 milion inhabitants, low family houses, wide streets and large shopping centers. You definitely need a car to get around. The city is surrounded by desert and protected by high mountain range raising on the west side called Sandia Peak. Instead of palm trees you are more likely to find here leaf and pine trees and small bush with really sharp spines that locals call „goat heads“.

Albuquerque is not really a typical tourist destination, but it is ok to stay here for few days while you are exploring the surrounding attractions and accommodation is generaly cheaper than in Santa Fe.

What here: Ok, what can you find in Albuquerque? The biggest hot balloons festival in the world (www.balloonfiesta.com), the longest passenger tramway in the world (www.sandiapeak.com), desert, silver jewellery, Mexican druglords and beautiful sunsets.

The historical Old Town is very small but pretty. It has a park with an old adobe church and houses with souvenir shops. Native Americans come daily to sell their hand made jewellery on the porches around the main square.
The high mountain on the west, Sandia Peak has 3163 meters. You can get on the top either by the „world longest tramway“ which will cost you 20 USD or you can hike up there (for free). Let me tell you the hike is NOT easy and usually takes about 6 hours (one way).

Attractions nearby: Acoma Pueblo, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater and Santa Fe.

How to get here: The airport is situated almost in the middle of the city. Highway I-40 crosses Albuquerque from west (Arizona) to east (Texas) and I-25 from north (Colorado) to the south (border with Mexico).
You will need a car to move around Albuquerque but the orientation and traffic are quite easy.