Visiting Acoma Pueblo
Inhabited since 1150 A.D., Acoma Pueblo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. Today Acoma Pueblo strives to generate a broader and deeper understanding of the Acoma People. Offering a window in time where native people carry on the customary traditions of their ancestors, explore centuries-old history of New Mexico’s Southwest Indians during a guided tour of the ancient pueblo and San Esteban del Rey Mission Church. Discover Acoma pottery and other native crafts. Or experience a taste of Acoma culture in Y’aak’a Café.
Sky City Cultural Center
An expression of the Acoma culture, the newly opened Sky City Cultural Center is your gateway to Acoma Pueblo. In the cultural center you will meet your Acoma guide who will take you on a tour through the Acoma Pueblo and San Esteban del Rey Mission Church.
Among a valley of studded monoliths is the sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff, Acoma Pueblo. Known worldwide for its unique art and rich culture, Acoma Pueblo’s land base covers 431,664 acres. Home to more than 250 authentic dwellings none of which have electricity, sewer, or water; today around 30 people live permanently on the mesa with the population increasing on the weekends as family, friends and tourists come to visit the pueblo.
San Esteban del Rey Mission Church
Built between 1629 and 1641, the construction of San Esteban del Rey Mission Church was overseen by Father Juan Ramirez. During this period the Acoma were forced to build the church moving over 20,000 tons of adobe, straw, sandstone and mud to the mesa to build up the walls of the church. Despite the forced labor, the San Esteban del Rey Mission Church is a cultural treasure by the Acoma to this day. The San Esteban del Rey Mission Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, named the 28th National Trust for Historic Preservation site in 2007 and is the only Native American site in the nation to be designated a historical site.
Dining at Y’aak’a Café
After you’ve explored Acoma Pueblo and San Esteban del Rey Mission Church, stop by the Y’aak’a Café located in the Sky City Cultural Center. Offering a diverse menu of Acoma traditional foods, guests can experience a taste of Acoma culture. While Y’aak’a Café’s large-paned windows provide spectacular views of the pueblo and relief from the heat, a covered patio is also available for those who wish to sit outside.
Native American handmade crafts are also part of the cultural experience at Acoma Pueblo. Found in Gaits’i Gift Shop; delight in authentic Native American turquoise jewelry, Acoma Pueblo pottery and other fine arts made by artisan throughout New Mexico and Arizona.