Desert lovers shouldn’t miss this one for no reason. Among all the deserts you may visit on Earth, White Sands in New Mexico is definitely one of the most exciting, with landscapes you will never ever forget in your life.
The American southern sate of New Mexico isn’t an usual tourist destination, which is a pity since its attractions more attention – for example Albuquerque, Santa Fe and the scenic road between them, Turquoise Road – but on the other side it’s very advantageous for whoever decides to get here.
White Sands is part of the American National Park Service since the Sixties, and it is simply the biggest gypsum desert on Earth: 450 kilometres of white dunes, up to 20 metres high. To get here you will need to rent a car, because there is no bus or train service. Once arrived, park the car, take off your shoes and walk on your bare feet in this unreal and enchanting panorama. The sand – truly a gypsum deposit from Lake Lucero – is soft, thin and very, very white.
White Sands is open to visitors from 8 am to 7 pm, and the hours close to dawn and sunset are those offering the most amazing view, but during the central hours there are less people around. Local families come here for picnics and the kids play on the sand as it were a huge beach with the sea out of sight.
Since it’s a very large area, you even could walk for kilometres without meeting anybody, until you end up walking alone on the dunes, following the sand blown by the wind and rolling down the hills. An incredible experience. Just be aware that the vegetation may include thorns and pointy leaves, as it is usual in deserts.
This corner of paradise lays in an area with an uncommon and somehow disquieting history: here have been made the first nuke tests, and in the nearby military base, White Sands Missile Range, rocket tests are still ongoing. Sometimes the roads may even be closed because of some military manoeuvre, so you better take the needed information before you go. All you need to know is on the park’s website.