TAOS, NEW MEXICO-AUGUST 13: Building materials sit outside an earthship being built in Taos on August 13, 2014. Earthships are environmentally friendly homes made of recycled materials.; Shutterstock ID 210755425; Your name (First / Last): Alexander Howard; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Southwest POIs

Shutterstock / Sue Stokes

Numbering 70 Earthships, with capacity for 60 more, Taos’ pioneering community was the brainchild of architect Michael Reynolds. Built with recycled materials such as used automobile tires and cans, and buried on three sides, Earthships heat and cool themselves, make their own electricity and catch their own water; dwellers grow their own food. Stay overnight if possible; the self-guided 'tour' is disappointing. The visitor center is 1.5 miles west of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge on Hwy 64.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions