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active 5 hours ago

Sonia Teruel

I am Totonal's General Manager and I am here to help travelers discover the hidden gems of our wonderful Mexico. I am passionate about creating memorable travel experiences that put together the traveler's dream vacation with genuine local projects that thrive with every visitor.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I am an off-the-beaten-track Mexican experience creator! I can tailor-make your perfect vacation in central and southern Mexico with activities ranging from ecotourism, community tourism, cultural or foodie adventures. You name it and I will make it happen!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I grew up in a very touristy town (rather massified) located on the Mediterranean Sea in Spain. Ever since I was little, I was excited whenever my parents took us to visit any spot in Spain and meeting tourists from other countries got me very curious about other cultures.

At 19 I moved to England and I started undertaking my Bachelors Degree in Tourism Management, where I specialized in Responsible Tourism. That was when I became familiar with the terms sustainable tourism, community tourism, tourism planning, cultural regeneration or world cultures; concepts that kept me trapped until today. I've always felt there was a more ethical way of doing tourism, so this was very exciting for me!! This took me to travel to different countries in the world and getting to know wonderful people with cultures very different from mine. Seeing that sustainable tourism was possible, encouraged me to search for projects and companies that shared that philosophy and values. I worked from different angles of the tourism sector (large tour operators, associations, hotels) and volunteered for different responsible tourism programs until I found Totonal or Totonal found me. We fell in love and here I am!!! :-)

As well as designing and operating trips and working closely with local communities (plus other exciting tasks and projects) nowadays I am studying my Masters in Sustainable Tourism Management. So as you can see, I am very committed to ethical travel, amazing & authentic experiences, and fair trade! :-)"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"There are many to name, but last Christmas I traveled solo to the state of Chiapas and the experience was amazing. Chiapas has a perfect combination of exuberant nature, indigenous cultures, and incredible archaeological sites. Also, Chiapas has many undiscovered spots which can be explored when one has some more time!"

Sonia is part of the following groups: Mexico Travel Agents
Different types of mole and spices in a marketplace in Oaxaca, Mexico
Flavors and Aromas of Mexico - 14 Days

Work up an appetite for this food-focused tour of Mexico. You'll discover authentic cuisine at marketplaces, family-run restaurants, street food stands, and indigenous farms. Take a cooking class in Oaxaca, visit a traditional farm in the highlands outside the city, go on a walking food tour in Puebla, pedal around taco stands in Mexico City—and same some room for cultural sightseeing, too, as the itinerary takes you to Xochimilco and the National Anthropology Museum, among other highlights.

"Trajineras" on the canals of Xochimilco
Colors of Mexico City - 5 days

On this itinerary, you'll dive into Mexico City and explore everything from the city's historic center to the canals of Xochimilco. Travel back in time to learn about the history of pre-Hispanic people at the Museum of Anthropology, discover the mysterious temples of Teotihuacán, and get inspired in the bohemian neighborhood of Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera used to live.

Street vendor selling delicious antojitos
Southern Mexico Foodie Tour: Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca - 10 Days

Discover authentic Mexican cuisine from exotic markets and fine restaurants to street food vendors and indigenous farms. This culinary itinerary is designed for the traveler passionate about learning the history and culture of Mexcian gastronomy. You will try traditional dishes from different regions of Mexico and participate in cooking workshops all the while exploring the cultural highlights of Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca.

Lake Atitlan with volcanoes in the background
Best of Guatemala - 8 Days

This one-week trip packs in all the highlights of beautiful Guatemala, from touring Mayan ruins and climbing an active volcano to exploring the stunning landscape. Hike, bike, and kayak around the country as you discover the picturesque colonial city of Antigua, the magic of Lake Atitlan, and the history of Mayan civilization at Tikal.

Recent trip reviews for Sonia

Mexico/Cuba/Central America · Mexico - Aug 26 - Sep 2, 2018

Traveler: Sheila P. - Local specialist: Sonia Teruel

My nephew and I especially enjoyed the guide Miguel who took us to Teotihuacan pyramids and other places near Mexico City and Alex in Oaxaca who took us on a tour of the Santo Domingo Church and museum as well as Monte Alban for their knowledge of the archaeological digs as well as ancient Indian history. Chef Carla was also great at providing us information about the local produce market and teaching us how to cook traditional Oaxacan food while allowing us to be quite interactive in the preparation of the food.

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Sonia Teruel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much for your kind review, Sheila!! I am glad that you enjoyed discovering the history, gastronomy and art in Mexico. We hope to see you soon in this wonderful country!


break · Mexico - Jul 19 - Jul 23, 2018

Traveler: Iqbal R. - Local specialist: Sonia Teruel

Everything went perfect.
Very impressed with their professional work.

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Sonia Teruel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much Iqbal!! A pleasure to have you as a customer. We hope you come back soon!!

All the best,