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DETAILS: New Mexico

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New Mexico Springs
Sunday, October 19, 2008

GETTING THERE: Major carriers offer connecting service to Albuquerque with roundtrip prices starting at about $326 including taxes and fees.

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GETTING AROUND: The best way to experience some of New Mexico's 77 hot springs is by car. Driving time from Albuquerque to Santa Fe is approximately 1 1/2 hours.

WHERE TO STAY: If you're up for the communal atmosphere, try the Santa Fe International Hostel (1415 Cerrillos Rd., 505-988-1153, http://www.users.qwest.net/{tilde} epreston1), a couple of miles from downtown. Dormitory beds are $15; private rooms with private bath start at $35. The unique Circle A Guest Ranch and Hostel (510 Los Pinos Rd., Cuba, 505-289-3350, http://www.circlearanchhostel.com), 50 miles northwest of Jemez Springs and 60 miles north of Albuquerque, is worth a visit. Singles start at $35 a night and doubles at $50. Or try the comfy yurt for $20 per person. In El Vado, stay with Arvo Thompson (505-588-7023, http://solarark.org). He is listed as a Santa Fe contact for the CouchSurfing Project and has room for up to nine visitors at a time. Be aware that his house is in an extremely remote location, approximately 100 miles from Santa Fe ( http://www.couchsurfing.com).

Between springs, stay at the Tower at Stan and Rose Mary Crawford's El Bosque organic farm in Dixon for $85 a night (505-579-4288 or http://vrbo.com/118083).

WHERE TO EAT: For hearty fare in a festive atmosphere, try the Cowgirl Hall of Fame (319 S. Guadalupe St., Santa Fe, 505-982-2565), dinner entrees $8-$22. For an emphasis on fresh fruits and inventive vegetarian dishes, try the Artesian Restaurant at the Ojo Caliente Spa (50 Los Baños Dr., Ojo Caliente, 505-583-2233). Entrees start at $9. At Arvo's house, you're welcome to eat anything he grows on his farm. Bring anything else with you; the closest grocery store is 50 miles away.

WHAT TO DO: At Jemez Springs Bathhouse (062 Jemez Springs Plaza, Jemez Springs, 505-829-3303, http://www.jemezspringsbathhouse.com), a one-hour soak is $15. At Ten Thousand Waves (3451 Hyde Park Rd., Santa Fe, 505-992-5025, http://www.tenthousandwaves.com), an unlimited pass to the communal or women's bath is $19. Private soaks start at $25 for 55 minutes. At Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa ( http://www.ojocalientesprings.com, address and phone above), day passes to the mineral pools, sauna and mud pools start at $16. Private tub rates start at $40 for 50 minutes. Even beginners can attend the challenging annual Summer Solstice Sadhana and White Tantric Yoga festival at Ram Das Puri, near Española (June 18-27, 2009, $587; 888-346-2420, http://www.3ho.org/events/yoga-retreat2-details.html).

INFORMATION: Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-777-2489, http://www.santafe.org. The New Mexico Department of Tourism's Web site is useful ( http://www.newmexico.org).

-- W.P.


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