Coronado Historic Site | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

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Coronado Historic Site

In the Shadow of the Mountain

Christmas at Coronado Historic Site. Photo courtesy Department of Cultural Affairs.

Like a stoic sentinel standing guard over the Rio Grande Valley, through the centuries generations of people—from the ancients to modern man—have enjoyed the Sandia Mountains.

It is here where the Tiwa people settled, and it is among the ruins of that settlement where the Coronado Historic Site is situated, along the banks of the Rio Grande.

By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Jamestown, Virginia (1607) or Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620), more than six decades had passed since the first contact had occurred between Europeans and Native Americans, specifically between the Spanish and the Tiwa. Visitors to Coronado learn how the conflict and compromise between these two groups influenced New Mexico’s unique cultural heritage.

Five-hundred-year-old Kuaua murals and a Painted Kiva at the Coronado site offer a glimpse into the religious life of the Tiwa people, which remains shrouded in secrecy even today. The Coronado Historic Site Visitor Center features a checklist cataloguing the 150 species of birds one is likely to see over the course of a year.

Coronado Historic Site is open Wednesdays through Mondays, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is $5 adults, free for children 16 and under. Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for New Mexico residents on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday for New Mexico seniors (60+) with ID. A combination ticket, good for admission to both Jemez and Coronado Historic Sites is available for $7. Coronado Historic Site is located off US Highway 550 on Kuaua Road just west of the river in Bernalillo.

Situated on the banks of the Rio Grande, with a breathtaking view of the Sandia Mountains, Coronado Historic site is only 40 miles from the Jemez Historic Site. Many people choose to visit both sites in one trip.

Coronado Historic Site
485 Kuaua, Bernalillo
505-867-5351 |

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