Heritage Inspirations offers a different kind of guided tour
BY ANGELISA WARD | PHOTOS BY AMANDA POWELL
Visitors looking for an all-inclusive, authentically curated guided tour in and around Northern New Mexico can choose one of more than twenty itineraries offered by Heritage Inspirations, which designs trips “as a woven tapestry of storytelling and adventure” through the back rounds and topography of El Norté.
The tour operator understands the culture, adventure and wild places of New Mexico, and how important it is to go beyond the beaten tourist path to connect visitors with something real, and offers a high level of service for its small-sized tours. Heritage Inspirations offers guests tours based in Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, with outings that include outdoor expeditions, e-bike tours, glamping, wellness retreats, culinary tours and more. This year, Heritage Inspirations was featured by Sunset Magazine as 100 Reasons to Love the West and honored with a Top Tour Operator Travel Award. Recognized for their extensive knowledge of the region and culture, their guides are passionate about sharing the treasures of New Mexico with you. The group also has a firm commitment to support small businesses, engages local and Tribal Member guides, offers locally-sourced and sustainable menus and provides a researched and insightful history of the region.
Karina Armijo, director of marketing and tourism for the Town of Taos, said, “People come here to learn about Taos, its stories and history. Knowing and sharing these stories is something that local businesses should strive
for. And to share those stories with accuracy. This continuity is essential to our cultural sustainability. Heritage Inspirations strives to get the story right, while sharing that Taos is an inspiring and special place.” In August, Taos Pueblo reopened to the public after a nearly two-year shutdown brought about by the pandemic. Inhabited for over a 1,000 years, the story of Taos Pueblo is a story of origin. Red Willow Tribal Members have been living in harmony with the land and its resources for time immemorial. Located on the lush lands of Taos Valley, the Pueblo’s history of determination, resiliency and vibrancy has been an inspiration for many Indigenous communities.
Taos Pueblo has been a longtime partner with Heritage Inspirations. In a recent conversation with Ilona Spruce, the director of tourism and marketing, she discussed the importance of bridging the gap between the desires of Pueblo visitors and the needs of Taos Pueblo Tribal members. Ilona is a committed contemporary Tribal professional who wants the world to know the indigenous people “are not a dying race,” but very much alive. Ilona reflects, “That is why it is important to ask what is good change? What is our accessibility? With increased visitation, there is increased need for amenities. We do have the luxury of our sovereignty, we don’t have to follow a placard of guidelines. We can determine what efforts will best serve our community. Working with companies like Heritage Inspirations, we can share our story from a Native perspective.” This winter, come experience for yourself the Heritage Inspirations difference on their Hands-on Horno Baking Tour at Taos Pueblo, Artisan Walking Tour & Chocolate, or a Backcountry Snowshoeing Tour here in dynamic Taos. As a New Mexican company, they have unique access to the traditions, people and history of New Mexico and no one can take you there quite like Heritage Inspirations.