Map of New Mexico and Flag | New Mexico Counties, Outline, City and Road Map
Nicknamed ‘The Land of Enchantment’ and home to one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, New Mexico is one of the USA’s hidden gems. Apart from producing around 900,000 gallons of wine per year, this US state is also a fusion of Native American, Spanish American, and Anglo-American culture, making it a cultural melting pot.
Geography of New Mexico
Located in the American South, New Mexico is bordered by Texas to its east, Colorado to its north, and Arizona to its west. It also shares a small border with Oklahoma to its northeast, as well as an international border with Mexico to its south. The northwest of the state borders Utah, Colorado, and Arizona— this is the only spot in the US where four states meet.
New Mexico is the US’s 5th largest state, comprising an area of 121,590 square miles. Residents of New Mexico enjoy a diverse landscape ranging from vast deserts to snowy mountains. The state is also home to a number of rivers, most notably the Rio Grande, the US’s fourth-largest river.
Owing to its diverse landscape, New Mexico is also home to a diverse ecosystem consisting of various plants and animals. Apart from being home to bears, coyotes, elk, and jackrabbits, it is also home to the endangered Mexican gray wolf.
Standard of Living in New Mexico
New Mexico’s cultural diversity, diverse landscape, and low cost of living make it a comfortable state to live in. It is also one of the least populated states in the country, which is ideal for people looking to live in a calm and serene place.
That being said, New Mexico is home to a great many activities and forms of entertainment. Outdoor activities are big in the state thanks to its lush landscapes. At the same time, there is also a big scope for creative arts and public events and festivals.
New Mexico’s cost of living index stands at 96.3, which falls below the nationwide index (100)— this means that you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy life here. Residents of New Mexico also enjoy one of the lowest prices for buying and renting homes.
What Is New Mexico Famous For?
New Mexico is known for its rich cultural history, diverse landmarks and sites of attraction, as well as for being the home of many well-known celebrities including actors Demi Moore and Neil Patrick Harris, as well as singer Demi Lovato.
The Southern state is probably best known for its wide range of scenic landscapes, such as the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the White Sands National Monument/Park, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
New Mexico’s rich history is credited to the fact that it has been occupied by inhabitants since around 9200 BCE, according to archaeological evidence. It’s believed that the first occupants of the state came from modern-day Siberia.
The state also homed (and continues to home) a range of Native American tribes— there are 23 Native American tribes in New Mexico today; they make up upwards of 10% of the state’s population.
Apart from the myriad of cultural sites and natural landscapes New Mexico has to offer, the state also holds the famous annual International Balloon Fiesta— the largest balloon festival in the world— in the city of Albuquerque. The festival is a 9-day event that takes place in October and involves over 500 hot-air balloons.
New Mexico Flag Facts
New Mexico’s state flag depicts the red sun symbol of the Native Zia people, an indigenous tribe of New Mexico, against a yellow background which is meant to symbolize a golden field. The flag was designed in 1920 as an homage to the state’s Native American roots and has been the official flag since 1925. Here are some facts about the flag:
- New Mexico’s state flag is unique from other US state flags as it is the only state flag to not contain the colors blue or white.
- In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) has deemed New Mexico’s flag as the best-designed flag north of Mexico.
- The sun symbol on the flag is a sacred symbol to the Zia people: it represents the Circle of Life, represented by the 4 elements pointing away from the circle: these represent the 4 directions, the 4 principal times of the day, the 4 seasons, and the 4 stages of life. To the Zia, 4 is a sacred number as it symbolizes these elements.
- The flag also pays homage to Spanish conquistadors who invaded the region in the 16th century: the colors of the flag, red and yellow, are derived from the flag of Habsburg Spain (16th – 17th century Spain), the modern-day Spanish flag, and the flag of the Crown of Aragon, which was the monarchy controlling part of modern-day Spain in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Cities in New Mexico – Which Is The Best City To Live In?
Whether you’re a fan of the busy metropolitan life or the quaint suburban life, New Mexico’s geographic diversity makes it a state for everyone’s liking.
Consider yourself a lover of outdoor sports and activities? Then you’ll probably agree that Los Almos is the best city to live in for you. Located at the foothills of the Jemez Mountain Range, Los Almos is perfect for hikers, bikers, skiers, and the like.
If you’re more inclined towards the urban lifestyle, cities like Sante Fe, New Mexico’s capital, and Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, boast large populations yet a cushy and relaxed pace of life. For arts & culture fiends, Sante Fe, in particular, boasts a vibrant arts scene.
Must-See Places in New Mexico
Here are the top 5 things to do and see in New Mexico:
- Visit the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, a landscape of ancient sacred symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by New Mexican inhabitants hundreds of years ago.
- Visit the International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, the town famed for its supposed UFO and alien encounters.
- Explore the 100 caves that make up the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
- Walk on the pristine landscape of White Sands.
- Visit the famous Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo of the Taos-speaking Native Puebloan people. The pueblo is believed to be around 1000 years old and is one of the oldest inhabited communities in the US. It is both a UNESCO Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark.