Hi! I am headed to the Tara Mandala Center outside of Pagosa Springs, CO for a one day event in late July and I would love to get a taste of the surrounding areas.
I"ll be arriving on a Tuesday or Wednesday, at Tara Mandala all day Saturday and flying home Sunday or Monday. I would need to stay in Pagosa Springs that Saturday night due to the late end of the program but otherwise I am flexible. Denver is a cheaper option to fly into and offers a direct flight but I could fly into Albuquerque as well.
I would love to see the land and parks. I am interested in some guided tours, horseback riding, hot springs, and rich cultural experiences. I really dig a great meal and would love food recommendations as well. I don't mind adventure and getting dirty but would want a guide with me since I'm traveling solo. ;)
I've spent a great deal of time in Pagosa Springs. It's a lovely town.
As far as dining, splurge at Alley House Grille and grab breakfast at Pagosa Baking Company . If you like fish tacos, I think Kip's Grill has the best in Colorado, but everything on the menu is good and affordable.
The Springs Resort & Spa really must be experienced. It's not cheap, but totally worth it, especially if you buy the day pass that lets you come and go as you please and allows access to the Relaxation Pools.
If you enjoy Native American history, Chimney Rock National Monument is the place to go. Do a little research ahead of time so that you know what you're seeing when you go.
There are lots of options to horseback ride in this area. I'd recommend checking out Visit Pagosa Springs for more information on that activity.
If you have any further questions, I'd be happy to help. I am the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about Colorado festivals and travel, and have written quite a bit about Pagosa Springs over the years.
You'll have a great time!
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My suggestion would be to fly into nearby Durango or maybe Farmington (New Mexico). Believe it or not, airlines fly to both towns regularly. Durango is served by two of the majors. It's a historic town with lots of great activities. Restaurant and night life options are much more plentiful in Durango and it's only a short drive from Pagosa Springs. Pagosa is a nice town in and of itself. It has an amazing hot springs with accompanying resort. However, it is small, so spending the whole week there might be tiresome. Southern Colorado in general is a great place with many available activities. Outside of Durango and Pagosa Springs, I would suggest Mesa Verde National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
The drive from Denver takes the better part of 5 hours and is, while beautiful in areas, a huge pain. Albuquerque is... Well, not my favorite. Some may love it, but I think we can all agree that it's not the region's most desirable destination. It's also not that close to Pagosa, compared to Durango. If you absolutely must fly into Denver or Albuquerque, my suggestion would be to fly into Albuquerque, then drive to Druango. If you want to make an adventure of it, stay in the Strater Hotel and visit the bar at the hotel. Great place.
Hope this helps
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