Coronado Historic Site, Bernalillo

#24 of 58 in Historic Sites in New Mexico
Coronado, New Mexico's first state historic site to open to the public, was dedicated on May 29, 1940, as part of the Cuarto Centenario commemoration (400th Anniversary) of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's entry into New Mexico. It is located along New Mexico Highway 550, 1 mile west of Bernalillo and 16 miles north of Albuquerque.Although it is named for Vasquez de Coronado, who camped in the vicinity in 1540–1542, this archeological site is most noted for the ruins of Kuaua pueblo. The pueblo or village was settled about 1325 and abandoned toward the end of the 16th century. Kuaua was one of several Tiwa-speaking pueblos in the area when the conquistador Vasquez de Coronado arrived, and the village was almost certainly abandoned due to the after effects of the Tiguex War (February 1541).The ruins of Kuaua Pueblo were excavated in the 1930s by an archeological team led by Edgar Lee Hewett and Marjorie F. Tichy (Lambert). The excavation revealed a south-to-north development over the village's three centuries of existence, as well as six kivas built in round, square and rectangular shapes. The site is particularly noted for a series of pre-contact (pre-1492) murals that were recovered from a square kiva in the pueblo's south plaza. These murals represent one of the finest examples of pre-contact Native American art to be found anywhere in North America. Fourteen of the restored murals are displayed in Coronado Historic Site's visitor center.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
184 reviews
  • July 26, 2017
    Came onto the site via a river float adventure. There are limited artifacts to view. Two vendors were set up with wares. Some ancient ruins were located on site that portrayed a culture in the area.  more »
  • July 16, 2017
    In the crowded field of ancestral Puebloan sites, the Coronado Historic Site offers little in terms of spectacular structures, but it is a hidden gem. This isn't Chaco, or Aztec, or even Salmon. The v...  more »
  • July 10, 2017
    Easy to accèss off us 550 in Bernalillo, but entrance a bit obscured and splits to dirt road. Look for small sign. Parking lot not big - issue for trailers, motor homes. Ruins very well preserved and ...  more »
  • May 7, 2017
    Kuaua Pueblo has a nice small visitor's center at the entrance, and a trail around the archaeological site. The site dates from the early 1300s to the late 1500s. It may or may not have been visited by the Coronado expedition. Pluses - knowledgeable tour guides and you can climb down a ladder into a kiva that has copies of the original wall murals. Some of the original murals are in the visitor's center. Minuses - some 1930s era reconstructions at the south end of the pueblo.
  • June 20, 2017
    This site hosts a recreation of ruins found in the early 20th century. The museum has original artifacts and excellent informed staff members. The tour of the painted kiva recreation is excellent, and while there are some tall ladders that need to be scaled to get into the site the climb is very easy (my 80 year old grandfather did it no problem!).
  • April 12, 2017
    Great experience and a big thanks to our tour guide Mette who made the visit memorable with here knowledge of the history and details of the archeological artifacts here. Found everyone at this pueblo is very knowledgeable. Right next to/walking distance to a great state park also.
  • April 12, 2017
    knowledgeable staff. well preserved and rebuilt ruins. close to a great campground
  • June 14, 2017
    Beautiful, hidden gem. Friendly staff, very knowledgeable.

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