DescriptionOne of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the country—evidence dates it from A.D. 1150—Acoma was well established when Francisco Vázquez de Coronado explored New Mexico in 1540. Inhabitants of Sky City, as the pueblo was known, worked fields on the plains 357 feet below their village and climbed back atop the mesa each night. Acoma afforded protection through decades of warfare, but the numerical superiority of the Spaniards proved too much. A final battle in 1599 vanquished the community.
Today only a few dozen Acomans live year-round on the mesa top; others live in nearby villages but return to Sky City for cultural observances. Visitors must register at the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak'u Museum at the base of the mesa, where permits and guided tours are available.
About 3 miles northeast is Enchanted Mesa, which looms 430 feet above the surrounding plain. According to Acoma tribal folklore, this was an ancestral settlement, but access to it was wiped out by a violent storm, leaving several Acoma women and children to starve on the mesa top.
Things to SeeAcoma Pueblo (Sky City)