Belén is located in the Rio Grande Valley 35 miles south of Albuquerque in Valencia County. The moderate temperatures and the Rio Grande River create lush vegetative areas, similar to Albuquerque’s Bosque. The community takes great pride in their city and hosts various festivals and family activities throughout the year.
Belén has small-town charm. The pace of life is slower, the people are friendly, and there is a strong sense of community. Many people in the community are lifelong residents with roots that span generations or people who relocate to Belen for small-town life and agricultural opportunities.
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A big appeal to Belén is the affordability of property and agricultural opportunities. Housing and living costs are some of the lowest in the nation. As of June 2023, the average sale price of a home was $260K. Belen is affordable which allows families to buy several acres of land if they choose. Belén housing options include everything from custom-built homes to manufactured housing as well as several subdivided communities in the area.
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Belén’s proximity to Albuquerque and Los Lunas allows commuting access to amenities. The trip to Los Lunas and Albuquerque takes about 15 and 55 minutes depending on where you are traveling to. This allows reasonable access to shopping, the Sunport Airport, and hospitals. A Rail Runner stop in Belén provides an affordable option for commuters.
Parks, Recreation, and Family Fun
Belén has recreational facilities and activities along with various festivals throughout the year. The Belén Community Center has an exercise facility that includes weight and cardio machines and hosts various community organizations.
Belén also has several parks within the city limits. The Anna Becker Park provides a venue for birthday parties and community gatherings. On Friday afternoons, the park has a weekly farmers’ market. El Corazon de Belén Community Garden Park is a community garden. The community garden is used to educate members about gardening and food grown is given to the Belén Food Pantry.
If anyone in your family is a golf enthusiast, Belén has a public golf course. The Tierra Del Sol Golf Course is located in Rio Communities just outside Belén city limits.
Tome Hill is located 1/2 mile east of the junction of NM 47 and Tome Hill Rd and is open to the public year-round. During Good Friday, it is a pilgrimage site for many visitors. It’s a great place to hike or take visiting family for breathtaking views of both Los Lunas and Belen.
Belén hosts various community festivals throughout the year.
There are religious festivals, such as the Our Lady of Belén Church Fiestas. The fiestas include a carnival, vendors, and entertainment. The local chamber of commerce also sponsors various festivals throughout the year. The Rio Abajo Becker Street Festival has live music, art, a car show, food trucks, and a wine and beer tent. The World’s Largest Matanza happens each year in Belen as well as the Becker Avenue Christmas Light Show.
Belén consolidated school district is the only public district and consists of two high schools, one middle school, and seven elementary schools. In addition, the community is also home to two private religious schools in the community.
You can commute to Los Lunas or Albuquerque to access medical care, but there are also several great dentists and doctors as well as a Presbyterian family clinic. The family clinic also includes an urgent care.
Belén has a large Wal-Mart, several small grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels. Belén’s public library has an amazing children’s section and various programs throughout the year to engage the community.
Belén has limited opportunities for high-paying employment. Many people commute to Albuquerque or Los Lunas to work. There is limited access to emergency and urgent care as the nearest major hospital is in Albuquerque.
In comparison to Albuquerque, there are limited school options and daycare options. Since I was working in Albuquerque when I lived here, I wanted my daughter close to me so she commuted to Albuquerque as well.
Why I Loved Living Here
Overall, Belén is a great place to raise a family. It is affordable with lots of charm. I lived in Belén for ten years. Despite not being from the community, my neighbors became my friends, and we were warmly welcomed into the community. The area is beautiful. When my daughter was born, the 55-minute commute to work became a drawback and I wanted to live in an area where I was close to work and had additional daycare and eventually school options. With more options for remote working, the commute could be a non-issue for many families.
For information about other areas in and around Albuquerque, check out our Ultimate Guide to Moving to Albuquerque.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.