Albuquerque Visitors Information Guide * Chamber of Commerce lodging Hotels Rio Rancho new mexico 10 Miles Drive

Scenic Day Train

Experience the New Mexico landscape and railroad history on this day ride from Santa Fe through Northern New Mexico's beautiful high desert. Historic coaches, open observation flat car and mid-century luxury lounge cars (on selected runs) take you to the sleepy village of Lamy and back. Lunch is available to purchase every day except Sunday and Monday from Marianna's at the Depot, or bring a picnic.
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Albuquerque Aquarium

2601 Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque NM 87104; Tel. 505.764.6200
Jellyfish, seahorses, sharks and other saltwater species native to the Gulf of Mexico are on display at the aquarium. The 285,000-gallon shark tank is a big hit with kids.

Albuquerque Botanic Garden

2601 Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque NM 87104; Tel. 505.764.6200
Albuquerque's Botanic Gardens is a sprawling expanse of desert plants and medicinal herbs along with colorful species native to the Iberian peninsula, Africa and China. Paths crisscross the gardens, which also feature greenhouses and playful exhibits for children.

Jemez High Road

North of Albuquerque at Bernalillo exit off I-25 onto U.S. 550 West; Tel. 877.733.5687
The scenic route to Santa Fe through the Jemez Mountains is one of 33 congressionally-authorized scenic byways established in 1998. A half-day or day's motor journey through Native America is filled with culture, history and scenery.

Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque balloon fiesta is the world's largest hot air balloon event. It's held each year during the first week of October.

National Atomic Museum

1905 Mountain Road NW, Albuqerque NM; Tel. 505.284.3243
Moved from Los Alamos for security reasons after September 11, this museum pays tribute to the "Atomic Age," from Madame Marie Curie to the Manhattan Project to develop the Atomic Bomb.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

1801 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104; Tel. 505.841.2802
The Natural History Museum has lots of touchable exhibits and life-size dinosaurs along with a journey to the interior of a volcano. The Dynamax theater showcases movie shorts. The museum is a block from Old Town.

Old Town

Rio Grande Blvd. and Central Ave.; Albuquerque, NM 87104
Old Albuquerque's well preserved Spanish plaza is surrounded by restaurants and tourist shops selling rugs, Native American jewelry and crafts.

Rattlesnake Museum

202 San Felipe NW, Old Town Albuquerque NM; Tel. 505.242.6569
A fascinating collection of rattlesnakes and assorted other reptiles, thoughtfully assembled with commentary for kids and former kids. There's other cool stuff, like beers cans branded with snake themes, original bottles of snake oil and other serpent-themed memorabilia through the ages. Mention for a 10% percent discount on any item in the gift shop

Roswell UFO Museum

114 N. Main Street; Roswell, NM 88202; Tel. 505.625.9495
The International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell's UFO Museum, light-heartedly examines evidence of UFO visits as well as the pop culture phenomenon surrounding public interest in Extraterrestrials. The 1947 crash that made Roswell infamous is featured, as are other incidents around the world.

Sandia Peak Tramway

Tramway Road NE; Albuquerque, NM 87122; Tel. 505.856.7325
The Sandia Peak Tram crosses Domingo Baca Canyon on the world's longest unsupported span, ascending the 2.7 mile journey to 10,378-foot Sandia Peak, where hiking trails through the Sandia Mountains lead to majestic views of Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley. Deer, coyotes, black bear, raccoons, bobcats, eagles and hawks inhabit Sandia Mountains and can be spotted from the cable cars above.

Albuquerque Aquarium

Species of the Month: Gulf Flounder

The Albuquerque Aquarium takes visitors on a journey down the Rio Grande from Albuquerque to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. Fresh water riverine, estuarine, surf zone, shallow waters, coral reefs, open ocean and deep ocean species are represented along the way. Other highlights include an eel tunnel, seahorses, luminous jellies and a 285,000 gallon ocean tank where brown, sandtiger, blacktip and nurse sharks swim alongside brilliantly colored reef fish, eels, sea turtles and open ocean species. The Albuquerque Aquarium is a facility of the Albuquerque Biological Park .

Rio Grande Botanic Garden

An oasis in the desert.

Located across the plaza from the Albuquerque Aquarium and bordered on the west by the famed Rio Grande and the largest cottonwood gallery forest in the world, the lush and peaceful Rio Grande Botanic Garden is an oasis in the desert.

Featured Plant : Indian Paintbrush

The Garden currently encompasses 36 developed acres, including a 10,000 square foot glass conservatory housing native and exotic plants from desert and Mediterranean climate zones, the whimsical Children's Fantasy Garden , the award-winning Rio Grande Heritage Farm , the all new Sasebo Japanese Garden and the seasonal PNM Butterfly Pavilion featuring hundreds of free-flying North American butterflies and moths. (The butterfly pavilion is closed October through most of May.) Walking distance through the aquarium and garden is about 1.6 miles.

The Rio Grande Botanic Garden is a facility of the Albuquerque Biological Park .

Rio Grande Zoo

Founded in 1927, the 64-acre Rio Grande Zoo offers visitors close encounters with more than 250 species of exotic and native animals. Popular species include seals and sea lions, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, hippos, camels, tamarins, koalas, Mexican wolves, mountain lions, monkeys, jaguars, zebras and rhinoceros. State-of-the-art exhibit design and eye-pleasing landscaping enhance zoo animal husbandry by creating naturalistic habitats with trees, grasses, water features and rockwork. Walking distance through the zoo is about 2.25 miles.

The Rio Grande Zoo is a facility of the Albuquerque Biological Park .

Tingley Beach: Fishing and More

Tingley Beach features three fishing lakes , a model boating pond and a train station with gift shop and food service. During the summer only, Tingley visitors can rent pedal boats , bicycles and model boats. Tingley Beach is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year and is free to the general public on a first come, first served basis. Tingley Beach cannot be reserved. There is no fee to access Tingley Beach.

Want to get outside and exercise more but can't find the time or place? Prefer to walk near a lovely lake? With clean restroom facilities nearby? Want to bring your dog too? Tingley Beach has it all! Tingley Beach is a clean, safe and beautiful facility for your walking exercise. Come to Tingley Beach and join others getting fit in Albuquerque - we are open every day!

We've taken the guess work out how many miles walkers travel at Tingley. Try any of these easy and level trails around the ponds described.

Walking Distances:

Central Pond only = 0.64 miles.Central and Children's Ponds = 0.75 miles
Central and South Ponds = 0.81 miles
Children's, Central and South Ponds = 0.92 miles

Trains at the Albuquerque BioPark

At the Botanic Garden, a Garden Model Railroad features 'G' scale trains that volunteers maintain and run. This is a child-sized toy model railroad--not to be confused with our passenger trains described below. Operating times are different for each type of train.

The Albuquerque BioPark offers two train rides on narrow gauge, 3/4 scale trains. The Thunderbird Express Zoo Train loops through the zoo, and the Rio Line travels between the Zoo and Aquarium/Botanic Garden with a stop at Tingley Beach.

Train rides operate Tuesdays-Sundays.

Train rides are closed on Mondays for maintenance.

Thunderbird Express Zoo Train

The Thunderbird Express ¾ scale train sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories and Lockheed-Martin Corporation operates in a nonstop loop around the zoo Tuesday through Sunday. (The train does not run on Mondays. ) Conductors give a behind- the-scenes tour during the 20 minute train ride.


The train runs at 25 minute intervals from 10 am to 3:30 pm.


Purchase train tickets and board at the station in the Africa exhibit. Zoo map

C ost

With a one-day Zoo ticket or a New Mexico BioPark Society Membership

: $2 adults, $1 children age 3 - 12. Buy tickets at the station in the Africa exhibit.

With a combo ticket to visit the Zoo, Aquarium and Garden, unlimited train rides on all trains are included. Combo tickets are available from cashiers at the entrance to the Zoo and Aquarium/Garden.

School Groups must pay the regular fee of $1 per child and $2 per adult to ride the zoo train.

Rio Line between the Zoo, Tingley and Aquarium/Garden

The Rio Line train route runs between the Botanic Garden and the Zoo, Tuesdays - Sundays, stopping at each facility and the Tingley train station. ( Train does not operate on Mondays .) Conductors give an intepretive tour and answer your questions as you ride.


Trains arrive at each station approximately every half-hour.

Tingley Depot : Beginning June 6, no train tickets will be sold at the Tingley Depot on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets may be purchased on weekdays only at this location. The Depot is located at Tingley Beach on on Tingley Drive. You may park to the north or the south of the depot and than walk in.

  • First train leaves at 10 am to Aquarium/Garden.
  • Last train leaves to Aquarium/Garden at 3 pm.

Aquarium/Garden Depot - located in the aquarium-garden parking lot at the intersection of Central and Tingley Drive.

  • First train leaves at 10:15 am heading to Zoo
  • Last train leaves at 3:45 pm, heading to Zoo.

Zoo - Asia Depot - located at the north end of the Zoo beyond the giraffes and elephants (follow the signs)

  • First train leaves at 10:15 am to Tingley and Aquarium/Garden.
  • Last train to Tingley and Aquarium/Garden leaves at 3:45 pm.

Cost and Where to Buy Tickets

With a combo ticket to visit the Zoo, Aquarium and Garden unlimited train rides on all trains are included, and passengers may get off or on at any station. Combo tickets are available from cashiers at the entrance to the Zoo and Aquarium/Garden.

With a one-day Aquarium/Garden day ticket : Purchase at the Aquarium Gift Shop. You may not get on or off at the Zoo Station with this kind of ticket.

Tickets for the train ride only: Tickets may be purchased Tuesday - Friday only at the Tingley Gift Shop; $2 adults, $1 children age 3- 12 . You may not get on or off at the Zoo Station with this kind of ticket. However, you may get off at the Aquarium/Garden station.

People with a one-day Zoo ticket may not ride the Rio Line from the Zoo, but can purchase tickets for the Zoo Train from Africa.

New Mexico BioPark Society members pay $2 for all train tickets, regardless of age, and are then entitled to unlimited rides for the day on the Zoo Train and the Rio Line. Members should buy train tickets from cashiers at the entrance of the Zoo or Aquarium/Garden.

School Groups may not use the Rio Line to transport students between the Zoo and the Aquarium/Garden. Use your school buses.

Garden Model Railroad at the Botanic Garden

The Garden Railroad is on a shaded pathway between the entrance and the Butterfly Pavilion. Two 400 foot loops of 'G' scale brass rails on free-floating tracks run by villages, over trestle bridges and through tunnels. trains in all kinds of weather. BioPark Staff and volunteers from New Mexico Garden Railroaders operate the railroad and answer your questions.


May through November 25:

Wednesday - Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Nov. 26 through Jan. 1:

Wednesday - Sunday, 1pm to 4pm during the day and

6 to 9pm during River of Lights (last day is Dec. 30)


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