NM Prospecting Hidden Gems: Cuba

Picture of New Mexico blue sky, clouds, and retro sign that reads "Cuban Cafe"

ABQExpert uncovers hidden gems all over the great state of New Mexico. Today’s stop? Cuba, New Mexico. Let’s take a look all this town has to offer including food, trails, to local real estate. 

Cuba, NM. Elevation 6,906 feet. Population 678 (2019). This quaint town about a little over an hour away from Albuquerque offers all sorts of surprise goodies. Views galore, one of the best burritos in New Mexico, great trails, and some surprising real estate opportunities. 

Cuba Food 

A couple of weeks ago I stopped through Cuba to do some filming (we’ll take a look at that awesome house soon). While we were there we ate at an unassuming restaurant and devoured one of the best burritos I’ve had. The Chaco Grill is located inside the Philips 66 gas station of Main Street. The smells of chile and cooking meat were enough to make any hungry person buckle a little at the knees. I ordered the number 6 (okay two of them) which was a beef and bean burrito with plenty of green chile and was not disappointed. The food was hot, both the chile and the burrito, the cheese melty, and the meat just the right amount of greasy. It was just a simple burrito that left me full, but definitely wanting another. We weren’t the only ones wanting a tasty bite at this spot. Plenty of trucks, semis, and locals gathered to have a taste. 

Cuba Nature Trails 

One of the best things that Cuba has to offer is great hiking opportunities through the San Juan mountains that surround the town. Some of the most popular trails include Tapia Canyon, San Juan Basin Badlands Recreation Area, and the San Gregorio Reservoir. Tapia Canyon is a moderate trail that is located south of Cuba, NM. I haven’t hiked it yet, but according to All Trails it offers lots of different activity options including mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, and in addition, great wildflower views. 

The San Juan Basin Badlands Recreation area offers a number of mesas to explore including Mesa de Cuba, Mesa Chijuila, Mesa Penistaya, Mesa Pelon, and Cejita Blanca. Michael Richie explores these badlands in his article for New Mexico Magazine, Badlands Walkabout. These mesas offer breathtaking natural rock sculptures, diverse fauna, and lots of New Mexico blue skies above. 

Lastly, there is the San Gregorio Reservoir located in the San Juan mountains near the village of Cuba. The lake trail can be accessed from state highway 126 and highway 70. The trail is marked as easy and there is a trailhead from the parking lot to the reservoir. The reservoir offers mountain views, plenty of forest, and fishing opportunities. 

San Gregorio Reservoir, Image Courtesy of All Trails

Cuba Real Estate 

Virtual Tour of a Cuba, NM gem located at 61 Highway 126

61 Highway 126

I filmed at this location for my co-workers the Hester Team. Their listing boasts 4,000 square feet (yes, 4,000 square feet) of house, 40 acres (so much land), and a pool with views of the San Juan Mountains. It is a home that is in need of love and some rehab, but with some elbow grease I am sure it will be a stunner. Some of my favorite features include the courtyard, the floor plan with lots of light, and the basement. 

Image Courtesy of MLS

The Courtyard

The courtyard surrounding this gem follows the entire home and then some. It gives the property and estate/family compound feel. Lots of great privacy and plenty of opportunity for taking in the views. I love the mixture of natural stone, adobe walls, and mature trees throughout. You could easily clean it up more, fix the adobe wall, and set up seating and gardens throughout. Also, included in this courtyard is the pool. Right now the pool is not ready to swim in, but imagine some work being done to the pool and deck. It would be a fabulous place to hang during hot New Mexico summers. 

Image Courtesy of MLS

The Floor Plan

The top floor of the house has a great, natural flow with lots of light coming in from the large (and multiple) windows throughout. It does still need some TLC and updates inside, but with some new floors, a fresh kitchen, and renovated bathrooms, I can imagine this home really living out its full potential. 

The Basement

When you read that this home is 4,000 square feet it is hard to imagine looking on the outside. Yes, there is a lot of space, but where is it all? Well, close to half of it appears to be downstairs in the basement. Basements aren’t super common in New Mexico so when I do see them I do get excited. What do basements offer other than a cool (literally and figuratively) place to hang? More bedroom opportunities, living/entertaining space, or maybe even an apartment. 

Image Courtesy of MLS

A Couple More Cuba Listings

Cuba’s real estate market isn’t as fast-paced as Albuquerque and surrounding areas, however it is full of great finds. Here are a few other residential and land listings that might catch your eye:

7 County Road 13

This wonderful find is just off of Main Street is a newly remodeled home with so many updates. Not only is it full of modern appeal it comes with the chance to own additional acreage with a nearby lot. One of my favorites is the open concept and warm wood flooring. 

TBD Camino Del Rio Puerco

This piece of land has 36.25 acres of nature to call your own. Plenty of surrounding forest, proximity to the San Juan National Forest, and an old Adobe home that maybe could be brought back to life. 

Want to learn more about what Cuba and other New Mexico communities have to offer? Want to tour any of these home in person? Thinking of selling? Reach out today and let’s write the next chapter of your homeownership story!