Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Twenty-three official tour guides from Puerto Vallarta visited the "Sierra Tarahumara" during a recent trip to the States of Chihuahua and Sinaloa. Superior Tours Vallarta owner Astrid van Dam, in cooperation with Mexico's Tourism Administration, designed a trip to show all the highlights of this vast area in a period of only 6 days.
By law, a tour guide in Mexico needs to take 40 hours of different courses each year to maintain their guide license. Most of the time these courses are given at the local University, but once a year there is also an opportunity for guides to go further than Puerto Vallarta and surroundings areas.
"We have been talking for years about making this trip," Astrid explained. "Finally we were able to go. Our mission as guides is not to take people to local jewelry stores, as many people claim, but to show the beauty of the country, interact with the people, try the local food and exchange experiences. I was really excited when the Administration of Tourism gave me the green light to take this group to the North of Mexico and show them an area that is 4 times bigger than the Grand Canyon in the US."
"One of the highlights for all of us was certainly a visit to a boarding school where 90 Tarahumara girls between the age of 4 and 14 currently live. These girls left their homes and families to go to school, and thus have better chances for their future. All of the guides made a large donation, which directly led to an interactive morning with these girls, who are usually really shy," she continued.
"We learned a lot from the local guides in Chihuahua, and many other people that work in Tourism in Northern Mexico, where tourism, mainly from the US, has been down for several years. The Sierra Tarahumara is a safe place to visit, and obviously attracts a different kind of tourist than a beach town like Puerto Vallarta. It also gave us some ideas on how to promote the destination to a different market. Lately, the 'Ah Chihuahua' Campaign has been attracting more visitors from Mexico and South America, which is also a market to explore for Puerto Vallarta. Chihuahua is more advanced in sustainable tourism than we are, and we learned a lot from their activities. This has been a great experience for all of us. We are already excited about our 2013 trip, which might lead to Chiapas, Puebla or Oaxaca," she added.To learn more about Superior Tours Vallarta, click HERE. For more information or to book your tour, visit SuperiorToursVallarta.com.