Arroyo Seco: One of the Most Charming Communities in the Taos Valley.
Located at an elevation of 7,634 feet, Arroyo Seco is one of the most charming communities in all of Taos County. With a population of 1,144 as of the 2000 census, Seco is big enough to have its own post office yet small enough that you know most of your neighbors when you pick up your mail.
The origins of Arroyo Seco began in 1716 when it was deeded to General Lucero de Godoy by the Viceroy of Mexico. General de Godoy never settled here so the grant eventually went to Joaquin Codallos y Rabal in 1745. Later, in 1804, settlement began in earnest when two brothers, Cristobal and Jose Gregorio Martinez from Rio Arriba County built homes and started farming here, not quite in Seco’s present location but nearer the mountain, in the shadow of El Salto (the leap) with its seven waterfalls that cascade down the mountain.
To add to the charm of Arroyo Seco is the centerpiece of the community. The Church of the Most Holy Trinity was completed in 1834 and is true to the style of the early mission churches of New Mexico. Constructed of adobe bricks the walls are five feet thick at the base tapering up to three feet at the top. Jose de Gracia Gonzales, the famed Santero from Arroyo Hondo was said to have used his wife as the model for the beautiful altar screen which was completed in 1861.
The charming community of Arroyo Seco is best known in the summer months for its Fourth of July parade that usually has as many parade participants as it has parade watchers. Because Seco is almost equally distant from both the Town of Taos and Taos Ski Valley this is a frequent stopping off place where tourists and locals alike savor the charm and hospitality of this most picturesque place.
Home to friendly bars and fine dining restaurants, an old time general store, potters and painters galleries, jewelers, sculptures, and women’s boutiques, and a Youth Hostel as well as several world class bed and breakfasts, the charm of the Village of Arroyo Seco is appreciated by all, whether for an afternoon or a lifetime.
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