We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Peaceful place”

Sanctuario de Chimayo
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Chimayo
Certificate of Excellence
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Peaceful place”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

Four years ago, when I first visited Chimayo, it was magical, peaceful. This time there was construction going on (I know that adobe is high maintenance) - in addition, the area has been built up, with the addition of a new building, and an old restaurant closed. It just seems like it's getting more commercial, and I would hate to see Chimayo and the Chapel of the Children lose their sacredness (if there is such a word) The backstory of El Sanctuario is fascinating, worth a read, as well as the history of El Chapel de Ninos. I had the honor to meet Fernando Bimonte the last time I visited in 2010, and he had restored the children's chapel, to what you see today. He told me he wanted it to be a place of happiness and joy for the children, and it truly is. Even if you don't have kids, visit it. The fruits of the spirit are on golden banners suspended from the ceiling, in English walking into the chapel, and in spanish on the way out. The paintings and alterpiece he did, and the whimsical trees flanking the altar with birds would bring a smile to any child's face. Unfortunately, he passed away in November of 2013, I was so looking forward to speaking with this man again. Even if you don't have kids, visit the chapel and see some of Fernando's work, and experience the positive energy in that place. Couple tips - bring your own container for the sacred dirt; If you have a photo of a loved one, there is a large wall you can place it on, and people will pray for them. There are crosses that dot the chain link fence - put their by people with prayer petitions, or answered prayer. Feel free to place one there yourself, usually they are fairly simple - a couple sticks bound together with grass. Make sure to visit the prayer room in the children's chapel as well. The El Potrero trading post next door has the best chili.

Visited April 2014
Thank mdmom54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

160 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Upstate New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Amazing history”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Very well preserved church. Picturesque and peaceful. They have continued to improve the site, and, last year when we visited, they had a new museum adjacent to the church. This has always been one of my favorite places in New Mexico. It is out of the way, so it doesn't get as much tourist traffic as Santa Fe or Taos. After visiting, the Sanctuario, it is fun to walk down the main street of the little town of Chimayo. Some of the shops are standard tourist fare, but if you are discriminating and bypass those, its possible to find some genuine New Mexico handicrafts. Don't forget the Holy chile, either!!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank SophiesMom4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Very healing. Truly a sanctuary.”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

This place is very special. I am neither a Catholic nor Christian but you don't have to be to feel all the love from the people who pray there. It is healing to be in its presence.
We went there for the healing dirt that we heard about, but it was healing just being there.

The first thing we saw when we got there was a wall full of pictures of those who passed away mostly at a young age. The sign says please pray for those people. We had just lost someone close so we left a photo we happened to have with the office. It is comforting to know that other visitors will be praying for our loved one. Even though this was not our intended purpose of the visit, we felt we were drawn there by something we can't explain.
We were fortunate enough to witness a pilgrimage as well.

There is also a small chapel for young children next door.
The setting is pretty with a creek behind it.

If you've lost someone close, this is a powerful, healing place for you.

Visited March 2014
Thank TiggerMeow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kensington, Maryland
Level Contributor
133 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Awesome place!”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

A pilgrimage site, casual visitors need to at least be open-minded. People who are healed will leave behind crutches, braces, and in one case a handicapped parking placard. Others will leave a photo of a loved one who need help. One feature is the holy dirt, which you may take for free. I still have some that I share with friends who are ill. Much of New Mexico is dry, but Chimayo is on a river and there are trees and green spaces. Look around for the many offerings and mementos that people leave there.

Visited April 2013
Thank Aquazoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Things no one tells you”
Reviewed 20 March 2014 via mobile

This place is amazing. Whether it works or not, is up to you to believe my goal is to fill you in on the things I had to search (hard) to find & share things I wish I had known:

There is parking for the disabled around the front of the church.

The gift shop is open until 5P, 6P during the summer months.

Take your own containers for (miraculous) dirt & (holy) water. If you forget, they gift shop sells them for $2 a piece.

The fence along the path to the back parking lot has crosses ppl have left behind. Take your own or take some string to bind the sticks together.

If you believe, or want to, and your making a petition, carry a picture of your loved one to leave behind.

There is a sign advertising $2 pizza, I never saw a pizzeria.

As far as the way to use the dirt, the directions for use are on the website. Short version: Mediate on it, pray, make your petition & then rub the dirt on the afflicted parts. Say a glory be.

Hope this helps. :)

1 Thank Christina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Sanctuario de Chimayo also viewed


Been to Sanctuario de Chimayo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing