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CortezUnited States of America

In this small town, enjoy ample outdoor adventures and discover prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan sites, including ancient settlements and rock art. 

Located near a popular national park, a national monument and several important archaeological sites, the small town of Cortez is a popular stop-off for visitors to the region. Find out about the lives and practices of the Ancestral Puebloans, who thrived in this part of the U.S. before migrating elsewhere between the mid-12th and mid-15th centuries.

Begin your explorations at the Colorado Welcome Center. Pick up leaflets covering the many regional attractions, look at local maps and browse the on-site collection of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts. If you have any questions or queries about the region, ask staff who will be happy to help you find out what you need to know.

Venture into the UNESCO-listed Mesa Verde National Park southeast of town. The park has about 4,000 identified Ancient Puebloan sites. Climb ladders to see the centuries-old cliff-carved dwellings, study exhibits in the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center and follow hiking trails. Hiking routes range in difficulty and length; try the 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) Soda Canyon Overlook Trail or the more challenging 7.8-mile (12.5-kilometer) Prater Ridge Trail.

Also within easy reach of town is the Ute Mountain Tribal Park. Take a tour with a Native American guide and view pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (rock carvings) as well as dwellings, tools and geological formations. If you’re feeling lucky, visit the Ute Mountain Casino for a range of gambling opportunities.

For even more prehistoric sites set amid an astounding rugged landscape of canyons and mesas, head to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Here, follow mountain bike and hiking trails to ancient settlements where rooms were carved out of cliff sides.

Within the town, find abundant green parkland, walking trails and the 18-hole Conquistador Golf Course. Common daytrip destinations include McElmo Canyon, which features wine-tasting at lovely vineyards.

Find Cortez in southwest Colorado. To get here, fly from Denver into Cortez Municipal Airport. Because most of the major attractions are outside the town itself, it’s best to rent a car to get around.

Top hotels in Cortez

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Baymont by Wyndham Cortez
Baymont by Wyndham Cortez
2.5 out of 5
2279 Hawkins, Cortez, CO
The price is £58 per night from 16 Oct to 17 Oct

Situated in Cortez, this golf hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center and Mesa Verde ...

4.1/5Very Good! (930 reviews)

"The hot tub in the room was most delightful. The pool and hot tub was full of rug rats so nice to sit and relax in the quiet of my personal spacw"…"

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2020

Baymont by Wyndham Cortez
Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez
Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez
2.5 out of 5
2244 E Hawkins St, Cortez, CO
The price is £80 per night from 1 Oct to 2 Oct

Located in the heart of Cortez, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and within 3 miles (5 km) of Cortez Cultural Center and ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (779 reviews)

"The property is in excellent condition and well maintained. However the beds weren’t comfy and every time my son moved his whole bed squeaked. We also had a bottom floor and the blackout blinds only went halfway, which meant we had light in our room all night."…"

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2020

Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez
Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez
Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez
2.5 out of 5
2121 E Main St, Cortez, CO
The price is £63 per night from 13 Oct to 14 Oct

Situated in Cortez, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez, Cortez Cultural Center and Southwest Health System. Crow Canyon ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (654 reviews)

"Loved this place! We rode in on our Harleys and not only did they invite us to park by the front doors, but this place also had a cleaning bucket and clean towels right there to clean the bikes off."…"

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2020

Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez

Popular places to visit in Cortez

Mesa Verde National Park Entrance
Image for Mesa Verde National Park Entrance

Mesa Verde National Park Entrance

5/5(7 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Mesa Verde National Park Entrance, a popular green space in Mesa Verde National Park. While you're in the area, wander around the natural setting.

Cliff Palace
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Cliff Palace

5/5(5 reviews)

Explore this immense 700-year-old cliff dwelling, the largest and most famous ancestral residence in the impressive Mesa Verde National Park.

Balcony House
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Balcony House

4.5/5(5 reviews)

Careful excavations have ensured the preservation of this historical cliff dwelling, which was built by the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians.

Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum
Image for Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

This fascinating museum depicts the life of the Ancestral Puebloan people through the use of intricate dioramas and prehistoric artifacts.

Step House Trail
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Step House Trail

4/5(1 review)

This short and steep path leads to a special cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park that can be viewed as part of a free self-guided tour.

Spruce Tree House
Image for Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House

4.5/5(3 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Mesa Verde National Park with a visit to Spruce Tree House. Amble around this family-friendly area's scenic parks and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Top things to do in Cortez

Full-Day Guided Tour to Mesa Verde National Park with Lunch
Image for Full-Day Guided Tour to Mesa Verde National Park with Lunch

Full-Day Guided Tour to Mesa Verde National Park with Lunch

£119
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Guided Off-Road Sightseeing Tour in Silverton
Image for Guided Off-Road Sightseeing Tour in Silverton

Guided Off-Road Sightseeing Tour in Silverton

£76
Per adult
12-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango
Image for 12-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango

12-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango

£108
Per adult
Half-Day Guided Durango Jeep Tour
Image for Half-Day Guided Durango Jeep Tour

Half-Day Guided Durango Jeep Tour

£76
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Telluride Preferred Card
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Telluride Preferred Card

£20
Per adult
Private Ouray Via Ferrata
Image for Private Ouray Via Ferrata

Private Ouray Via Ferrata

£282
Per adult

Reviews of Cortez

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
0
5 - Excellent 0%
4 - Good
5
4 - Good 83.33333333333333%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 16.666666666666668%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

18 Oct 2019

Main Street Brewery still offers good food and interesting beers

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