Visiting the Pueblo


We are located approximately 20 miles north of Santa Fe on US 84/285 and six miles west on State Road 502.
Physical Address:74 Povi Kaa Road Santa Fe, NM 87506

1. Please pay the appropriate entrance fee and camera/drawing fee at the visitor center.
2. Please respect the “keep off” signs as they protect our sacred sites.
3. Please do not photograph members without first asking permission.
4. Do not climb walls or other structures. Some are several hundred years old and damage easily. Please do not pick up or remove any artifacts or objects.
5.  Pueblo Kivas and graveyards are not to be entered by non-Pueblo people.
6.  Alcohol, weapons, and drugs will not be tolerated on the Pueblo.
7.  Obey traffic, parking, and speed limit signs.
8.  The Pueblo of San Ildefonso is not responsible for injuries, theft or damages incurred to visitors.
The Pueblo is generally open to visitors daily from 9am to 4:00pm, except when tribal activities require closing the Pueblo.


Tourist Fees

$5 per person or max of $20 per personal vehicle
Large groups (15+ passengers): $50 plus $1.00 per person

Small groups (10-14 passengers): $25 plus $1.00 per person
Camera Fees:
Still camera fee: $10
Movie or video camera fee: $20
Painting and Sketching: $25 per day
All professional and commercial photographers as well as artists interested in sketching or painting must apply for pre-approval from the Governor’s office; fees vary.
No tripods or unipods allowed.



The Pueblo de San Ildefonso does have a small museum which features work of many San Ildefonso artists including a small exhibit that shows the steps to make our traditional black on black pottery.

The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am through 4:00 pm, it may be closed when the pueblo has traditional activities. There is no fee for museum entrance, there is a fee for entrance to the Pueblo -see above.  Permits for non-commercial photography are available for purchase at the Visitor’s Center; this does include cell phones and tablet devices.


Weather information

Our temperatures in the summer months are usually in the 90’s with some days in the 100’s (about 1-2 days per year. In the fall, expect temperatures from the low 50’s to the high 70’s. In the winter expect temperatures from bitter cold (5) to high 40’s. Spring time temperatures will range from the low 50’s to the high 70’s. The chances for rain or snow are always low but please check our weather forcast for a 5 day forecast.



San Ildefonso Pueblo is located at approximately 5500 feet and most people have no problems with the altitude. Our pueblo is located 24 miles north of Santa Fe via U.S. 84/285 then west off N.M. 502. The distance from San Ildefonso Pueblo to Santa Fe New Mexico is about 24 miles and from Albuquerque New Mexico about 90 miles.


We are told that our people came from the Mesa Verde complex in Southern Colorado. They first moved to Bandelier just south of Los Alamos New Mexico (birthplace of the atomic bomb). There our people thrived due to the rainfall (elevation about 7000 feet) and the ease of constructing living structures.


But after a prolonged drought our people moved down into the valleys (elevation 5500 feet) of the Rio Grande around 1300 AD. The Rio Grande and other arroyos provided the water for irrigation and our people thrived again.


The Spanish conquistadors tried to subdue our people and force their religion on our people during the early 1600’s, which lead to the Great Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Our people bravely withstood the Spaniards by climbing to the top of the Black Mesa, a volcanic basalt outcropping located just north of the current pueblo. The siege ended when we reached a compromise with the Spaniards who gave us freedom of religion and other self-governing rights.


San Ildefonso Pueblo is the spanish name for our Tribe. The word Pueblo in spanish means town. We refer to our location by Tribe. Our tewa location name is “Po-woh-ge-oweenge”, which means “Where the Water Cuts Through.” The Spaniards named our Tribes/Pueblos after patron saints. San Ildefonso was named after Saint Ildefonsus who was an archbishop of Toledo Spain.


Our ancestors were skilled in the art of making pottery. They had only clay and volcanic ash from which to make pots for cooking and serving. They decorated their pots with symbols representing many aspects of their daily life and religion such as Mountains, Clouds, Corn, Feathers, etc. Before and during the influx of traders from the California gold rush, our Pueblo people’s art declined. They found ready made pots and pans from traders and our population was reduced from diseases to which we had built no immunity (small pox, etc.). We lost the ability or knowledge of how to make certain pottery pieces.


This lost art was revived during the early 1900 by Maria and Julian Martinez who at the urging of outsiders redeveloped the techniques for what is now know as black-on-black pottery with black matte. Since that time the art has flourished and many residents have shops (map to the shops is posted and available at our visitor center), which you can visit and purchase such pottery (see ARTISTS page). Web sites for some of our artists will appear in the future.