ALCALDE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Tuesday, state legislators talked about the future of ‘Los Luceros,’ New Mexico’s newest historic site. They want to know how to draw more visitors to the ranch north of Espanola. 

The ranch at Los Luceros dates back to the 1700s; there are also pueblo ruins at the site. Three years ago, state lawmakers designated Los Luceros as a historic site open to the public. Now there’s an effort to bring more visitors to the area. 

Patrick Moore is the executive director of New Mexico Historic Sites. He said, “How do we bring that population to come and for those visitors from afar who are making that periodic trip from Taos and Santa Fe?”

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Los Luceros is located along the Rio Grande near Alcalde. The historic site hosts school field trips, guided tours and the property also includes an 18th century chapel, hacienda, a Victorian cottage, carriage house, guesthouse, and farmyard. The cost to keep up the 148-acre ranch can be expensive.

In order to develop the property Moore says an application was sent to the Save America’s Treasures Grant program. He continues, “We received this award which is truly remarkable and with it we’re doing a massive undertaking on the history, the preservation of the buildings, the hacienda, the outbuildings that surround it.”

In 2019 legislators also unanimously passed a memorial requesting a Department of Cultural Affairs study to see if the state should submit an application to UNESCO to make Los Luceros a world heritage site, like the Taos Pueblo, Chaco Canyon and the Carlsbad Caverns. 

KRQE News 13 reached out to the Department of Cultural Affairs for an update on that and are waiting to hear back. Los Luceros is open Wednesday to Sunday. It costs $7.00 for adults, it’s free for kids.