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Totonal Viajes que Iluminan

Multi-Day Tours and Custom Trips in Puebla, Mexico

Discover the beautiful lesser-known regions of Mexico as well as some wonderful local initiatives that maintain ancestral customs.

Totonal offers unique tours that give you the chance to interact with the local community, who are proud to open the doors to their world and show you their history and culture: artisans, rituals, gastronomy, amazing nature, and a good dose of warmth are the main characteristics of these experiences.

This will enable you to understand the authentic and varied culture of Mexico from the different regions visited, and the great spirituality of its inhabitants, who have great love for Mother Earth. Keeping an open mind will allow you to better learn from the wisdom of your hosts and amplify the experience enormously!

Right for You?

Experience

Chocolate Making, Coffee Farm, Community Visit, Cooking Class, Eco-tourism, Educational Program, Getting to Know Locals, Hiking, Historical Sites, Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Local Festival, Making Crafts, Music, Rafting, Backpacking, Art, Scuba Diving, Show/Performance, Snorkeling and Storytelling

Style

Cultural Immersion, Connect with Nature, Off the Beaten Path, Active Adventure and Cultural Immersion

Price

Mid-range and Budget

Location

City/Urban, Small Towns/Villages, Rural Communities, Quiet Area, Beach, Rainforest and Mountains

Connect with Totonal Viajes que Iluminan

Locally Owned Tour Operator
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Speaks: English, French and Spanish

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Why Lokal Recommends Totonal Viajes que Iluminan

Background

Tour Operator started in 2010| Locally Owned with 85% local staff

A Unique Story

Marisol Herrera, the CEO and Founder, was 28 when she quit her job at the Ministry of Economic Development in the State of Veracruz, Mexico, and decided to follow her dreams. She had long been fascinated by indigenous arts and crafts, and started by taking Nahuatl lessons (indigenous language) in order to gain a better understanding of her prehispanic roots. She then received a scholarship to take a postgraduate course in Cultural Tourism Management at La Sorbonne in Paris.

She was convinced of the great potential of the tourism industry in Mexico, and knew there were gaps in the market to offer the right product based on Mexico’s cultural and natural heritage, with a sustainable vision. And more importantly, she was aware of the potential impact that the right travel proposals would have on the local communities, empowering them to improve their livelihoods.

In 2011 she founded Totonal, a tour operator committed to sustainable tourism. The initial idea was to highlight the authentic culture of Mexico and shed light on their ancestral roots and the beauty of them. But as her work progressed, she came to realize that the cultural heritage was very much linked with the natural heritage of the land.

She visited over 30 rural cooperatives in different regions of Mexico and worked with the Popolucas, Nahua, Maya, Otomi, Totonac, Huastec, Zapotec, Lacandon communities. On each of those trips, she felt an increasingly strong conviction that her work could become a bridge to prosperity and welfare for those valuable local initiatives that create jobs in rural areas, preserve our forests, jungles and mountains.

Now, in 2016, they are a small team of 7 people distributed in different states. All are very committed to responsible tourism and have the same goal of improving the lives of the communities that welcome us to their houses.

Community Connection

Totonal promotes the consumption of local produce, where consumable goods are bought from local producers. Their hosts are leaders and guides from the communities. Additionally, Totonal works very closely with cooperatives, mostly composed of women.

In order for the communities to survive independently, counseling and support with regards to their promotional strategy is an important part of Totonal's offer.

Environmental Engagement

They work mainly in areas of awareness and training, both for travelers and for those involved in tourism management and local hosts. They train them in order to foster tourism activities that are more responsible, equitable and as fair as possible, which includes environmental management.

Culture

Totonal has worked with the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples, offering them counselling about the coordination of several cooperatives of the Southern part of the Veracruz State, in order to create tourist products that give visibility to the cultural and natural resources of the region. In each circuit of the tours they create, they make sure that the local culture is not folklorized.

Location