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For anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of flowers and plant life, this is the perfect destination. The Desert Pavilion features an ultra modern glass conservatory which produces heat filtered, ultra violet rays to allow Xeric species to bloom year round. The Mediterranean Pavilion is home to fragrant plant life and lush walled gardens. The PNM Butterfly Pavilion and butterfly-hummingbird garden are majestic. Exhibits explore the phenomenal process of photosynthesis, providing a fascinating kaleidoscope of color.
As part of the ABQ BioPark, this is an awesome orchestration of natural wonder. Sleek and graceful sharks glide about a 285,000-gallon climate controlled simulated natural habitat. Saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico is contained and capsulated in this state-of-the-art facility which brings life from the exotic seas to the high desert. Among the oceanic life exhibited, you will see stingrays, sand tigers, sea horses and sea dragons. Albuquerque Aquarium is definitely a must-visit to marvel at the aquatic life!
Amid undulating hills and volcanic rocks that rise and dip along New Mexico's West Mesa, nearly 15,000 ancient rock drawings serve as testament to a rich Native American and Spanish history. This 7,100-acre (2873-hectare) monument, deemed to be one of North America's most significant petroglyph sites, contains some of the nation's largest natural displays of prehistoric artwork. The drawings date back to a time when Anasazi nomadic hunters etched various drawings and messages onto the black basalt boulders of the escarpment just west of the Rio Grande. It also includes historic etchings of Spanish settlers who roamed these lands nearly 700 years ago. Together, these priceless drawings serve as indelible vestiges of cultures that once influenced and breathed life into these landscapes. Both an adventurous and education experience, visitors to the monument can take a ranger-guided tour that can last up to two hours or explore various trails on their own.
A beautiful protected area in the Bernalillo County, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2012. Spanning across an area of 488 acres (197 hectares), the refuge is home to a variety of wildlife. Ground-nesting birds, geese, migratory birds, and other species are often spotted here. Overlooking the beautiful Sandia Mountains, the refuge also has many native animals taking shelter here. Guided tours and educational programs are frequently held here.