The last five years in Copper Canyon
We have been developing this Copper Canyon train tour and all of the specialty trips as well over the past five years. The focus has been authenticity and providing ways for our guests to have dynamic, personal, spontaneous, discovery experiences in the Sierra Madres along the copper Canyon train.
Now people from other localities are noticing what we have done- not just with the trips but also with the ways we are giving back to the local Mexican communities. Tour providers and tourism officials from other parts of Mexico like our “Friends of Copper Canyon” and the sustainable projects like the Copper Canyon Running Tour and the Copper Canyon Chicken Project. They notice our work in Juarez, sticking our nose out to make the point that YES, it is safe to travel throughout Chihuahua.
So now there is some opportunity and demand for us to start developing in others areas of Mexico.
My experience at Tianguis Touristico 2013 in Puebla
Several months ago I traveled to Puebla courtesy of the Mexico Tourism Board (the great team in Chicago) to the huge travel show in Mexico know as “Tianguis”- this year in Puebla. It was indeed a huge show and though it is not really aimed at the US market as it might be. This does not put me off–as a matter of fact it confirms that there is a desperate need for people like me who will “interpret” the interior destinations of this grand country and offer tour experiences there that actually fit with the US traveler’s interests.
You know what I did alot during the show? Wandered around and listened for someone who was listening. Looking for the person who would ask a question and listen. Notice when someone spoke English and was curious as to how to reach the huge US market.
You see there was a whole convention center full of vendors ready to tell me about their tours or hotels or wonderful destination. But there were precious few who “looking for the gringo” with the dumb little smile and a desire to actually impact the US traveling market.
They offered city tours and nice receptions and these were very nice and informative. But what I wanted to know is where the markets were–I found the local one close to my hotel and went 5 times to get local foods, catch the vibe and meet the people. I scoped out hotel areas–places my groups would like to wake up to and walked the streets at all hours. I hopped local buses and got the lay of the land. Fun.
You see I was preparing for people like you who will want to know some of the basics of these fascinating areas so that on your trip to Puebla or Chiapas or Oaxaca, you can have your own discovery experience.
So here we come…
About 24 hours before my departure time I opted out of the charter flight back to Chicago and jumped in a van with some strangers from a little place called Tlatlauquitepec north of Puebla city. For 5 days I rambled around the jungle areas and Tlatla and Cuetzalan (the first and one of the best “Pueblas Magicas” in Mexico) and realized what a treasure this place is. I constantly had to tell my hosts–no, I would like to see this. And I kept asking when market day was and when the best day of the week was to be here or there.
Plan is to open tours to Puebla with a pilot tour December 2-9, 2013 and then to explore a bit in both Chiapis and Oaxaca in August, 2013 (I am on my way now) and then have all three locales functioning with operating tours by January 2014.