We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Why Is New Mexico Called the Land of Enchantment?

Esther Ejim
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The "Land of Enchantment" is the official nickname for the state of New Mexico. This name is a direct reference to the history and beauty of New Mexico. Land of Enchantment was officially adopted as the nickname of New Mexico in the year 1990. It had previously been used as the title for a book, which was written in 1906 by Lillian Whiting. The book title caught on and was soon used to promote the state as a great tourist destination. Land of Enchantment may be the official nickname, but it is not the only nickname as New Mexico has other recognized unofficial nicknames.

For instance, the state is called “The Spanish State,” because it has a high percentage of people with Spanish heritage. It also shares a border with Mexico. Another nickname is “The Sunshine State,” which is a reference to the bright sunshine that the state experiences. This particular nickname is also the nickname for the state of Florida. A significant portion of New Mexico has a huge distribution of the cacti plant, which are a variety of cactus. This is why the state is also called either “The Land of the Cactus” or “The Cactus State.”

New Mexico is also called the “Land of Opportunity.” This nickname refers to the numerous opportunities that may be found in the state, including the chance to own some land, and consequently, a part of the beautiful state. One nickname originates from the title of the work of an archeologist named Adolf Francis Alphonse Bandelier. He had published the result of his study on the ethnological and archeological heritage of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. He named his book “The Land of Delight Makers,” leading to the unofficial adoption of the title as a state nickname.

Apart from the official state nickname, "Land of Enchantment," other official symbols include things like the black bear, which is the official state mammal of New Mexico, and the Coelophysis, which is the official state dinosaur. New Mexico has official state vegetables, which are the Chile and frijoles. Turquoise is the official state gem, while the state tree is the blue gamma grass. The state colors of New Mexico are red and yellow. New Mexico even has a state cookie, called Bizcochito. The official state bird is the roadrunner, the state fish is the Mexico cutthroat trout, and the official state flower is the yucca.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Esther Ejim
By Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and executive director of a charitable organization, she actively encourages the well-being of vulnerable populations through her compelling storytelling. Esther's writing draws from her diverse leadership roles, business experiences, and educational background, helping her to create impactful content.
Discussion Comments
By anon996818 — On Oct 16, 2016

The article left out the state's official question, "Red or Green?"

By SteamLouis — On Jan 22, 2015

Many states and cities change their nicknames frequently. I'm from Seattle and we get a new nickname almost every year. No one is ever content with the current nickname. But New Mexico has held its nickname for quite some time. I think that's good. A state or city is bound to have multiple nicknames, some of them unofficial. Some of these names develop on their own, people come up with them or use the names associated with sports games, etc. But it's also important to have one nickname that sticks and represents the state and what it stands for, for many years.

By bluedolphin — On Jan 22, 2015

@stoneMason-- Actually "Sunshine State" was on New Mexico's license plates before 1941, whereas Florida did not begin to use this nickname until the 70s. So technically, "Sunshine State" was New Mexico's nickname first.

Having said that, I think that the "Land of Enchantment" is definitely the most popular nickname for the state. It is the official nickname and is present in all the tourism content. And I think it's the best nickname, it's very suitable and true.

My college friends came to visit me recently and they were definitely "enchanted."

By stoneMason — On Jan 21, 2015

Surprisingly, I hadn't heard of many of he nicknames of New Mexico. I think the only one I've heard is "the cactus state." "Sunshine state" is always used to refer to Florida. That's what comes to mind first, I think they even have that on the license plates in Florida.

Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and...
Learn more
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.