After a long time with all this craziness happening with COVID-19 I was finally able to travel somewhere and the destination this time is New Mexico, USA. If you are a sucker for unique places and stunning views, like me, you’ll love this place I’m about to share with you all.
I was so happy to go on the road to a whole new State I’ve never been to. At the last stop in Albuquerque, I unfortunately did not find a remarkable place to stay and the ones I really wanted to stay were fully booked. However, after some deep looking through Airbnb we found this gem at the edge of a mountain range and let me say, wooow! This place was amazing…and for only $60 we were set for the night!
If you’ve never been to New Mexico before you’ll quickly learn how underrated this state is. Stunning views await around every corner and Shanti Community sits at the top among some of, if not the, best spots to stay in NM. Located right on the edge of the mountains, overlooking a valley into the west with the perfect scene for sunset gazers. It’s owners are Shelly and her partner Bri (what a coincidence, right?) , an off grid artist and yoga teacher made this amazing creative place a reality where you can go stargazing, hiking, listening to music played at the community or just relaxing in a peaceful environment. The views behind this community are from the Placer Mountain and the closest town is Madrid.
Shanti Community is an experience, more than just a place you find on Airbnb, well worth staying at. The most important thing to know about it is that this is a sustainable community, everything works with solar panels, compostable toilets, primitive kitchen and restored automobiles and yurts. This in mind, be prepared for a truly outdoors submersion if you choose to check this spot out.
In these 10 acres you’ll find different options to stay: from a yurt to the coolest school busses I’ve ever seen. However, I will only share pictures of Kerouac VW as this is the one I chose to stay in but don’t worry I will share links to the other ones you can stay at.
As the darkness arrived all we did was set out seats and dinner ready to enjoy the show we were about to watch. Kerouac has a deck facing straight into the horizon where the sun sets. The view is simply too beautiful not to contemplate. While the sun sat and we enjoyed our food, we could hear music coming from the other side of the camp. That was unexpected to us but very beautiful to hear, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced live music while sunsetting. When I say music I don’t mean someone playing a guitar with a band or a CD playing. It was drums and a flute I believe.. I didn’t get close enough to know who was playing or what exact instrument was used but I bet it was Shelly.
Now, let’s talk stars! STARGAZING was hands down my favorite thing to do out here. I fell asleep all cozy looking at the stars from my window at Kerouac VW. As you can see at the deck you can just set a pair of chairs and enjoy the stars. Isn’t that lovely?
Hiking trails.. You can walk around as much as you want as long as you don’t get in any private property. In the community there are trails you can follow marked with rocks. There is no lights at night, keep this in mind if you decide to wander around.
The bed in the VW is more comfortable than tent camping but not as comfortable as a regular bed. It is well sealed but still i suggest to bring some blankets with you. If you have none don’t worry they have some available at the community for $10. Another awesome thing is that they are pet friendly! Just be mindful and pick up after your dog.
Inside you will find tons of colorful stickers giving you all the peace and love vibe. The roof has some sort rainbow of strings all over. Two solar candles and a solar lamp are in the front of the VW. Outside there is a hammock you can unfold to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. One ice chest is available for you but you need to bring your own ice.
Note: In order to get all the way up to Shanti community from the main road you’ll need a car with clearance/4×4. I am not saying your car won’t make it but only you know what your car is capable of. You will need to drive 2 miles of rocky dirt, possibly mud if it rained. I highly recommend you not to stay here if your car is very very short. The drive is about 20-25 min and you’ll be riding very slowly.
Here’s the list of places they have available:
I truly hope you book at least a night here whenever you travel to this area. I promise you its well worth it. You can see all the love put in this community and don’t make me start on the sustainability. We need more getaways like this that respect out planet. If you stay please follow their recycle rules and don’t litter. You’ll enjoy stunning 360 degree views you can’t easily find on Airbnb. Let’s keep it beautiful forever. If you need some inspiration to swap to zero waste options for you travels check my other post Top Zero Waste essentials for travelers.