Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ; 505/244-7700) is a pleasant single-terminal airport with four runways. It’s on the south side of the city, just east of I-25, about four miles from downtown. The Sunport is served by all of the major U.S. airlines. There’s free wireless Internet access throughout the complex and a nice collection of art on the walls; look up while descending to the bag claim to see the original carved wood vigas from the 1965 structure. Also near baggage claim, you’ll find a desk maintained by the convention and visitors bureau.
A city bus ($1), Route 50, runs from the airport to the main bus hub downtown, the Alvarado Transportation Center at Central and 1st Street. Buses depart the airport weekdays every half hour 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m., but service is much more limited on the weekends: There’s none on Sunday, and service is only every hour and 10 minutes on Saturday, 9:45 a.m.–7:05 p.m.
A shuttle bus also runs from the airport to the Rail Runner (505/245-7245, www.nmrailrunner.com, $2), Albuquerque’s commuter-rail service that runs north–south through the city. Downtown is only a 10-minute ride north, but service does not run very frequently, so it is not a vast improvement over the bus.
All of the major car-rental companies have offices in a single convenient complex adjacent to the airport, connected by shuttle buses. Hertz and Enterprise offer service at the Amtrak depot, and Hertz also has several other locations around town—less expensive, because you bypass the airport service fee, but less convenient too.
With ABQ Ride (505/243-7433, www.cabq.gov/transit) public buses, it’s possible to reach all of the major sights along Central Avenue, but you can’t get to the Sandia Peak Tramway or anywhere in the East Mountains.
Greyhound (800/231-2222, www.greyhound.com) runs buses from all major points east, west, north, and south, though departures are not frequent. The bus station (505/243-4435) is at 320 1st Street NW, just south of the Alvarado Transportation Center. Cheaper and nicer are the bus services that cater to Mexicans traveling across the Southwest and into Mexico, though they offer service only to Santa Fe, not Taos; El Paso–Los Angeles Limousine Express (1611 Central Ave. SW; 505/247-8036) is the biggest operator.
Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com) runs the Southwest Chief through Albuquerque, arriving daily in the afternoon from Chicago and Los Angeles. The depot is just south of the Alvarado Transportation Center, on 1st Street, in the same complex with TNM&O/Greyhound.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition