1. About
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  4. History
  5. Government
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Belen City HallAbout

The City of Belen is set in the Rio Grande Valley nestled beside the Manzano Mountains. The picturesque town center has been a draw for movie production, including recent films of note - "Sun Belt Express" (2015) and "Transcendence" (2014).

Belen is a major transportation hub for crew changes and equipment maintenance for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, which refers to Belen as "our biggest gas station on our biggest superhighway." The town is a pass-through for more than 120-trains a day. Just southeast of Belen in the Rio Grande Industrial Park is Public Service Company of New Mexico's 140-megawatt, $100 million electric power plant.


Belen Population Graph

More Information


  • Four city councilors, elected for four-year staggered terms
  • Mayor, elected every three years


  • Electric: Public Service Company of New Mexico
  • Natural Gas: New Mexico Gas Company
  • Sewer: City of Belen
  • Solid Waste: City of Belen
  • Source: Ground water
  • Telephone: CenturyLink
  • Water: City of Belen and New Mexico Water Service Co. in Rio Communities


  • Air: Belen Alexander Municipal Airport, general aviation
  • Freight: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Interstate highways: I-25 (north-south)
  • Rail, Commuter: New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Belen to Santa Fe
  • Transit: Rio Metro fixed route and dial-a-ride service on week days


  • Higher education: University of New Mexico, Valencia campus
  • Kindergarten to 12th grade: Belen School District


  • Golf: Tierra del Sol Country Club has an 18-hole, semi-private golf course in Rio Communities.
  • Museums: The Harvey House, once a railroad dining room, is a history museum. In Jarales, south of Belen, the P and M Farm Museum preserves hundreds of old farm implements. Tomé Parish Museum, seven-miles north of Belen, is a religious history exhibit.
  • National monuments: (See Salinas National Monument, Estancia Valley section.)
  • Recreation: The Manzano Mountains, with elevations from 6,000 to 10,098 feet, and the Manzano Mountain Wilderness stretches across 36,970 acres near Belen. Both offer picnic grounds and trails.
  • Wildlife refuges: The Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area, the Ladd S Gordon Waterfowl Complex, and the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, south of Belen, are favorites for bird and wildlife watching.