Angelisa Espinoza, founder and co-owner (with Heritage CEO, Jim Long) of Heritage Inspirations (H.I.) has appeared in Tempo a few times for good reason. If you want an authentic experience of this region, stay at any of the Heritage properties, and definitely take one of the tours on offer year round.
Now it seems the rest of the country is getting hip to what we already know, and this summer Sunset Magazine voted Heritage Inspirations the Best Little Tour Company this side of the Continental Divide.
Tempo was happy to catch Espinoza — the woman is a veritable dynamo in constant motion — and shoot a few questions her way.
Congratulations are in order I hear, what a huge accomplishment. Please tell us how you felt when you heard the news?
Oh yes, the Sunset Magazine awards! I can't express how excited I was to receive this honor! I've been reading Sunset for over 15 years and love every issue. When I started H.I. I said to my close girlfriends (who are also lovers and we have a silly photo years ago in wine country all reading it) that when I make it in Sunset I will have really made it. And of all images they highlighted of us was one of my greatest friends, mentors and colleagues, Ilona Spruce at the Taos Pueblo, what an honor!
What do Heritage Inspirations have planned for the upcoming Fall/Winter Season in Northern New Mexico?
We currently have our annual Fall Equinox Chaco Canyon Glamping Tour; and this year due to that demand we added a New Moon Chaco Canyon Glamping Tour to the mix, Sept. 25th-26th that still has a few spots left! Glamping has really become a deep passion of mine and our H.I. Tribe. This November we are at it again and I've crafted one of my favorite collaborative Glamping-wellness retreat yet, High Desert Wellness Glamping Retreat, Nov. 5th - 8th — another intimate, mindfully crafted oasis in the high desert perfectly timed before the holiday season to peel back the layers of the year for radical self-care.
November is a magical time to visit New Mexico, the summer season has slowed, and the limitless skies, the rose-hued landscape, and the Red-tailed hawks speak without interruption. An hour north of Abiquiú, on the private 52 acres of Casita de Arrebol, the home-base for our “Luxuriously Wild” Glamping Wellness Retreat, where you will be able to connect with the timelessness of the earth, the quiet before the holidays. We invite you to find stillness and the inspiration from movement through yoga, labyrinth meditation, spa offerings, ceremonies and desert walks.
Our Taos Snowshoeing Tours begin Dec. 15 and go through March 31st.
Having sallied through the pandemic, and emerged from it stronger and more resilient, what changes do you see in our communities?
First and foremost, introducing electric bicycle tours in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque have truly been a passion project that deeply inspires our travelers! I love how this H.I. Experience Pillar of what we offer has become our signature Day Tours making it so much fun for an inclusive way to navigate our high elevation regions. We are currently considering the next phases of this for my own town of Taos.
I would also add that we have enjoyed so many new local collaborations and partnerships that invigorate imaginative travel experiences supporting local businesses and our local communities. Our Monthly Newsletters celebrate these partnerships. On our tours we share these stories in myriad ways. For example we just partnered with Josie, owner of Taos Lighting Goods, who created a signature candle scent for our H.I. Glamping Tours that we gift our guests, and share a bio about Josie — hoping to connect our guests with supporting New Mexicans directly. On our Taos Artisan Walking Tour we end at Chokolá and share Deb’s story of her Bean to Bar movement and this local gem where you can taste and purchase their award-winning chocolate bars.
As we navigate this new endemic era of the Coronavirus, what changes do you see in the tourism industry?
I see more appreciation and opportunities to illuminate what we value most, keeping New Mexico authentic and wild. As a tour operator we play a profound role with our travelers, guiding them across the topography of our dynamic culture, heritage and majestic landscapes. It is an honor, privilege and vibrant passion at H.I. that we take very seriously. We become a voice for the Land of Enchantment and "guides" to educate, inspire and protect our home. We aim to keep travel local, hiring locals, telling local stories and supporting other local businesses. I think more people are interested in travel that awakens the soul, connects oneself deeply to a place and offers a dynamic imprint by culture, cuisine and wild places such as our beloved New Mexico.
Anything you'd like to add?
I'd love to shout out my H.I. Tribe. I started this company creating all the tours, guiding all the tours and then it started to build. The past two years have been about zeroing-in on my "tribe" who shares my values and passions of being true ambassadors and stewards of our lands on every tour we guide. I am honored to have such a talented and dynamic team at my side that allows my vision to catapult us into magic-makers out there in the field crafting tours that make travelers dreams come true! Next year we are working towards developing cultural Taos Ebike tours in partnership with Taos Pueblo. Moreover, our Glamping tours will build and if you haven't been on our Taos Summer Glamping Adventures I highly encourage you to get out and come see how travel is deeper than the surface, even if you've lived here your whole life!
For much more information on Heritage Inspirations, and their tours, visit heritageinspirations.com