About Heritage Inspirations
“I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me for ever…. But the moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend.”
~ D.H. Lawrence
Heritage Inspirations LLC was created out of my passion and love for this colorful and exotic state that often feels like a foreign country. With over a decade of experience in traveling, guiding and excavating the texture here, our trip design is a woven tapestry of storytelling, adventure, spice and unveiling the natural wonders of New Mexico. Come get lost and found with us amongst the multicultural history, the enriching traditions, pueblos and ruins and the awe-striking landscape illuminated by the infamous ethereal light that has attracted so many artists to this area.
Our mission is to provide you with an inspirational experience that elevates your senses, palate and spiritual encounter with the diversity of the Land of Enchantment! From the moment we meet and start our tour together your guide will take care of your every need or request. We offer you all the details and information necessary to prepare you for each day and activity. With small groups we are able to focus in on each participant and engage every interest you have along the way. Our tours are designed to provide an unforgettably extraordinary opportunity exploring and discovering the regions highlighted so that you walk away feeling a personal relationship with the people and places visited. Our trips are between 2 and 12 guests, although private tours for larger groups are also available.
Heritage Inspirations is dedicated to you, our guest, and to providing truly dynamic, authentic and diverse travel excursions! Contact Angelisa directly to customize the trip you dream about.
We look forward to providing you a truly memorable travel sojourn. Come join us and learn more about which tour is perfect for you!
Angelisa Espinoza, Owner & Guide
I can remember the first adult road trip I took to Taos in my early 20’s. Even back then I felt something spiritual about the land. The dramatic skies seemed to evoke a sensation out of me that longed to become intimate with the mystery that seemed evident in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I spent over a fifteen years of my life as an active travel guide exploring and wandering all over the world, and yet no matter where I went, New Mexico called to me. I spent a few years living in the quirky and quaint towns saturated by unforgettable characters in Pecos, Madrid, Santa Fe and now Taos. This is my home, and after spending years excavating and learning from this wild place of heritage, culture and natural wonder there is no greater inspiration to me than to share it. This region of New Mexico is the root of my heritage. Just north of Taos my Espinoza lineage starts in southern Colorado in the San Luis Valley and extends throughout northern New Mexico. In Taos there are two street signs that cross with my grandparents surnames, Espinoza and Maestas reminding me how blessed I am to share in this culturally rich land as apart of my family lineage that is now apart of me.
Working as an active travel guide for a variety of premiere adventure companies for over a decade, I guided others to experience the local beauty, culture and adventure activities of many special places. My experience as a trip expert, itinerary developer, regional manager, travel guide trainer, Safari Wilderness Guide, rafting guide, bike guide and mechanic, hiking guide and yoga teacher has poised my professionalism and keen eye for cultivating enriching and unique travel experiences as a guide and business owner.
For most of my guiding years I had the fortune of spending majority of developing my expertise here in the Land of Enchantment biking, hiking, rafting, fly-fishing, climbing, skiing, and learning about the geology, cultural and historical insights while extensively traveling the state. The people you meet here have lines on their faces that tell many stories. They make you laugh and cry, they teach you, they sing to you, they share their colorful stories about eclectic living here, but probably one of the most inspiring truths is that everyone here is an artist or has a creative outlet pursued on the side.
New Mexico is one of those places that is often overlooked, or even mistaken as a foreign country! Many people think of this state as flat, brown and dry. It’s true, there are definitely those places that force solitude and silence amongst the sage flats, the gypsum sand dunes and the arroyos, but there is nothing dull about this vast landscape. These tours I’ve developed are about unveiling the other truths that are often not known about; the wild diversity of over 10,000-foot mountains saturated in aspens, hemlocks and wildflowers in rich green meadows while only 30 miles to the west the land is painted in oranges, pinks, reds and whites stacked, eroded and split open to invite the artists canvas and the river rats vessel. There is so much to share here it’s inspiring! Your trip to New Mexico will change you and welcome another pace of life, even if just for a few days.
My name is Angelisa Espinoza and I’m owner and guide of Heritage Inspirations LLC. I have partnered with Heritage Hotels & Resorts, New Mexicos most distinct cultural hotels in our state. Our team would love to host you on an authentic experience and creative sojourn here in New Mexico. I look forward to sharing many of the secrets of this colorfully dynamic, diverse, spiritual and multicultural state across your journey!
Enjoy this article written about Angelisa on TaosStyle.net: “Angelisa’s Inspirations”
Our Inspired Guides
Tonia Umphrey, Santa Fe Guide
Tonia offers her passion and expertise in two of our best selling tours; Historic Architectural and Interiors Walking Tour of Santa Fe and the newly acclaimed Fashionista Holiday Shopping Tour in Santa Fe.
After receiving a BA in Art History, Tonia started her career in fashion design in Los Angeles and became one of California’s top ten fashion designers. Later, moving her business and atelier to Santa Fe, she continued to be a market to specialty shops nationally as well as to her largest client, Neiman Marcus, who carried her Caftan Collections, embellished with jeweled amulets and silk tassels influenced by Ottoman Empire Turkish caftans, to an elite crowd of fashionistas and movie stars. Tonia’s fashion design has always been inspired by exotic traditional costumes from around the globe.
Later, she branched out into interior design where she worked on an extensive number of distinctive projects throughout the country, including the most elegant urban residences, casual weekend retreats, noted residential developments, and historic Santa Fe homes, each perfectly in tune with the architectural character and history of the place.Her work in fashion as well as interiors has been featured in W Magazine, The Rolling Stones, Su Casa Magazine, The Santa Fean, Trend Magazine, and Dream Homes International. She also has a deep love for the Pueblo culture in New Mexico and has been highly recognized for her work in the historic preservation of the National Historic Landmark, San Estevan del Ray Mission Church, at the Pueblo of Acoma.
We think you will be inspired by her passionate sense of style, her love of Santa Fe, and her joy de vivre and belief that beauty elevates the human spirit!
Noah Blessey, Santa Fe Guide
Noah’s love for New Mexico was born the minute he laid eyes on the landscape in 1996 after his family relocated to Santa Fe from the East Coast. His own relocation to The City Different in the early 2000s further developed his love and respect for the diverse cultures of Santa Fe and allowed for full exploration of The Land of Enchantment. Careers in the business world sent him off to Northern California, Colorado and back to the East Coast, all the while New Mexico was calling him back. His dream of returning became a reality in early 2018 and he couldn’t be more honored and excited to share his enthusiasm, knowledge and appreciation of the magical landscape and the people that inhabit this unique state.
A world traveler who’s preference in exploring the cultures and landscapes of the more exotic and off the beaten path locales on the planet has landed him on the dusty roads of Namibia, on a road bike winding through the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia, hiking in the national parks of Madagascar, engaging with local villagers in the Sundarban Islands of India and enjoying the beaches of Sri Lanka. His passion for exploring the world at large and the majority of the United States has only solidified his belief that New Mexico is one of the most unique places in the world. Join Noah as he guides you on two of his most favorite and beautiful hikes in the area: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and Bandelier National Monuments.
Lesley Evelyn Morgan, Taos Guide
Lesley is a graduate of The School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BFA in photography. She has spent many years travelling extensively around the world, living in many exotic places, and experiencing an unusual mix of art and humanity.
After several years on the East Coast working as the assistant Director in a prestigious Boston Gallery as well as a photographer, Lesley moved to Taos in 1998 to pursue her love of art and the outdoors.
She has had her finger on the pulse of the art community since the moment of her arrival. Working for a local artist in her studio, as well as in a gallery located on Bent Street in the historical center of Taos, she has had the opportunity to connect intimately with the local art scene from the inside out. Years working at Taos Ski Valley and intermingling with the eclectic locals, has enabled Lesley to interact with the Taos Art Scene in a very intimate way.
Taos has many artists that enjoy doing a multitude of things; that is what makes our artist community dynamic and unique, it is what unites us. Lesley’s passion for creativity and expressing the excitement of Taos artisans is clear; she enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of why she came to Taos in the first place… like other inspired transplants. We are sure that you will connect with Lesley hosting you in Taos on tour as she is inspired purely for the Art!
Bobby Gonzales, Chaco Canyon & ABQ Guide
Bobby grew up in a family of artists in the Village of Pojoaque in Northern New Mexico. Growing up in a small river town between the Jemez and Sangre De Christo Mountains Bobby found himself frequently outside making playgrounds of alfalfa fields and hiking the nearby bluffs and hillsides.
One of his fondest childhood pastimes was replicating the churches and adobe structures around Pojoaque by hand making miniature sun-dried mud bricks no bigger than half the size of a single piece of Bazooka Gum. It was a fascination for architecture and the curiosity for how things are built, paired with an interest in the abundance and variety of cultures and tradition that make up the very fabric of New Mexico. “New Mexico is magical because of its traditions in architecture, artwork, food and the passing down of stories from generation to generation that are all reflective of our natural surroundings. I believe all New Mexican’s are storytellers.”
Bobby studied film production and anthropology at New Mexico State University and worked in the film industry for many years after college. He waited tables and worked in hospitality to help support himself while in school and eventually returned to hospitality where he worked in leadership at several different restaurants that were located on local farms such as Farm & Table and La Merienda at Los Poblanos. “I love getting my hands dirty and growing food. Learning about the field and pasture calendar was fascinating to me. Every month tells its own story and that story is seeded, nurtured, cultivated and presented in the most beautiful ways. It’s apparent that I have always liked playing with dirt.”
In Albuquerque, now home, you can visit with Bobby at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History where he is a volunteer docent. “This opportunity has been a gift. I spend time with like-minded people who love the beauty in the world. We’re a team, a big team and we’re fortunate to meet people from all over the world and be able to share of slice of New Mexico with them.”
Bobby came to be part of the Heritage Inspirations family through Jim Long, founder and CEO of Heritage Hotels.Jim was opening Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque, a modern interpretation of Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the Great House Pueblos in Chaco Canyon. His eagerness to learn more and more about the concept and ethos of the hotel and of Chaco Canyon lead to him being an Ambassador to the guests when it came to the art collection within Hotel Chaco and the overall design of the beautiful hotel. Through this experience Bobby and Angelisa connected and Bobby began to visit Chaco Canyon with Angelisa regularly to gain a firsthand understanding of the history of the canyon.
“I have a great love for food, beauty, culture, history and adventure. I have had the opportunity to explore countries like Mexico, Croatia, Herzegovina, Bosnia and the Czech Republic, but New Mexico has always been home and there is so much yet to discover here. I am so excited to explore New Mexico with Heritage Inspirations and I am looking forward to making new friends through this experience.”
We are sure that you will learn a local insight into Chaco Canyon when touring with Bobby on your next Chaco Day Tour.
Growing up in Albuquerque, Kayla has always had a fascination with exploring the wilderness of New Mexico. Since a young age, Kayla has been fascinated with the geology and geography of the land of enchantment. As a child at her grandparents house, she learned about the rich history of the indigenous peoples, the volcanic activity, and the forces of nature that shape the world around us. These concepts took root in her soul, and years later Kayla graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. While the mathematical and scientific aspects of the human connection to earth are continually fascinating, Kayla has found herself at a crossroads with life that only a deeper spiritual connection can foster. Kayla takes solace in the twisted and winding back roads of New Mexico, where she can explore the rich history and breathtaking topography. Join Kayla in Chaco Canyon or any of our ABQ tours, her personal favorite is our El Malpais Caving Adventure Tour don’t miss it!