Travel Roundup: Our Favorite Memories From Oaxaca, Mexico

Travel Roundup: Our Favorite Memories From Oaxaca, Mexico

This post was last updated on June 13th, 2016It’s no secret that I have a terrible memory. Casey even lovingly calls me “goldfish” sometimes. In fact, one of the reasons we’ve kept blogging all these years is to have a diary of sorts to remember our travels. And it has become one heck of a journal. From our honeymoon road trip to cycling 1,000 miles across Vietnam to celebrating the World Cup in soccer-crazy Brazil, there are certain moments on our travels that we’ll remember forever. But there are smaller details, destinations and encounters that likely would have faded into the background if it hadn’t been for the photos that we took and the stories we wrote here. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” gets tossed around a lot. I find this is especially true when referring to travel. That’s not to say that words aren’t important, of course. They certainly help put you on the right path and give you the information you need to see a destination. But for me personally, photographs are where true travel inspiration starts. When I look at a photo from a trip I took years ago, it’s almost like traveling back in time. I can close my eyes and feel myself back in that crowded smelly market with the dangling pig heads. I can feel the enormous cathedral in all of its stained glass glory. Photos allow me to relive that wonderous feeling of our travels every day. That said, on our most recent trip to Mexico, I hardly took any photos at all. Not because I wasn’t inspired—we visited...
22 Photos that Prove Playa Zipolite Is Paradise

22 Photos that Prove Playa Zipolite Is Paradise

This post was last updated on October 5th, 2016The small seaside town is simply a strip of barely paved road with a few restaurants and hotels on either side. The long whitesand beach sits secluded between two towering rock cliffs, the crashing waves beckoning surfers to ride them. The simplicity of it all is what makes Playa Zipolite so charming. You won’t find any over-the-top resorts or ritzy all-inclusives. What you will find are laid back locals who never seem to know what time it is, street vendors selling stylish handmade crafts, delicious Mexican cuisine cooked in ways that can only be found in Oaxaca, and some of the most beautiful sunsets in Central America.   Note: Do keep in mind that Playa Zipolite is a popular destination for nudists. When we were there, most people seemed to keep their swimsuits on, but don’t be surprised if you see fellow travelers donning nothing more than their birthday suit.     Here are 22 photos to show why Playa Zipolite is paradise on Earth.   Surfing Since living in Costa Rica, one of our (more specifically my) favorite beach pastimes is hitting the waves. Surf lessons are popular here and nearly everyone on our trip with Cantimplora Travel caught some waves during our surf session! We were so grateful to have a professional photographer with us to capture the moment while we enjoyed the ride.     Cruise to Bahia De La Luna The following morning, we took a fishing boat around the corner to Bahia De La Luna. On the way we were lucky enough to spot sea turtles and dolphins. We were...
Exploring the Amazing Petrified Waterfalls of Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca

Exploring the Amazing Petrified Waterfalls of Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca

This post was last updated on July 21st, 2016   One of our favorite things about traveling with locals is the opportunity it provides to go deep under the surface of a new destination. To not only experience off-the-beaten-track attractions but also to learn about the unique culture, history and importance of the area from the viewpoint of someone who knows it intimately. Without fail, these moments with locals—however brief—always create our most meaningful, lasting memories. While recently exploring Oaxaca with Mexican photographers and tour guides Sam and Bernie, we were once again swept away. Sam and Bernie founded their new travel company Cantimplora Travel based on their passion for taking travelers on meaningful, off the beaten track adventures—all while photographing the once-in-a-lifetime memories so that you can step away from your screens and devices.   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Traveling with Cantimplora Travel is precisely like being hosted by local friends; Sam and Bernie are eager to share the best-hidden gems and attractions of their country, without using forced scripts or rigid schedules. From meeting a local mezcal farmer to indulging in the best cuisine in Oaxaca City, Sam and Bernie were a wealth of insider tips from start to finish. But perhaps one of our favorite attractions on our road trip through Oaxaca was exploring the mesmerizing petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua.   Hierve el Agua: A Natural Wonder in Oaxaca, Mexico   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Hierve el Agua is one of only a handful of petrified waterfalls in the world. Though it looks more like a...
An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico

An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico

This post was last updated on July 31st, 2017    Think of Mexico and chances are that a few of the first beverages to come to mind are tequila and Corona. But visit Oaxaca, Mexico, and you’ll quickly discover it’s actually mezcal that tops the list for beverage of choice.     We had never heard of mezcal (let alone tasted it), so we were immediately intrigued by the intimate mezcal bars we found tucked away in ever-so-charming Oaxaca City. Naturally it only took one spicy mezcal margarita to convert us into avid fans of the artisanal liquor. However, it wasn’t until we received an inside look at the process of making mezcal from a local farmer that we truly began to appreciate mezcal for the art form that it is.   An Inside Look At The Art Of Making Mezcal—Oaxaca, Mexico   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  What Is The Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?   Mezcal, like tequila, is made from the agave plant. But while true tequila can only be made using the Blue Agave plant, mezcal is produced from over 30 varieties of agave. Additionally, most tequilas are made in industrial size, stainless-steel pressure cookers. Artisan mezcals are hand-crafted using a variety of more traditional techniques.     Talk to many Mexicans and they’ll tell you that they much prefer organic mezcals to chemical-laden tequilas. This is especially true in Oaxaca, where up to 90% of mezcals are produced, and each batch of mezcal has its own unique, wonderful flavor.   Meeting A Mezcal Farmer   We had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet an inspiring mezcal...
Why We May Pack Up Everything And Move to Oaxaca, Mexico

Why We May Pack Up Everything And Move to Oaxaca, Mexico

This post was last updated on July 21st, 2016    Ok, so maybe we won’t be moving to Oaxaca, Mexico immediately, but from the first night we arrived in this charming town, we knew we were going to love it.     Oaxaca City was the first stop on our road trip through Oaxaca with Cantimplora Travel. Led by our awesome Mexican guides and professional photographer Sam and Bernie (founders of Cantimplora Travel) our small group met in Oaxaca City for a few days of off-the-beaten-track adventure before continuing on to discover one of the most diverse and artistically gifted states in all of Mexico. As we wandered down the cobblestone pedestrian street in Oaxaca our first night, we heard loud music and drumming coming from the church plaza. Surely it’s just a street band looking for some tips from passersby, we thought…until we noticed the giant dancing puppets.   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  These wedding puppets were about 15 feet tall and on long wooden poles, dressed in the form of a bride and groom. The music was pouring out of the church and a large group of friends and family were dancing in the courtyard. After a while, the party started to make its way down the main avenue through town as the bride and groom danced in the streets past cheering onlookers. This wedding parade, called a calenda, perfectly expressed the colorful, fun-loving and friendly community vibe of Oaxaca. And this ambience of celebration, arts and culture would set the tone for the rest of our journey with Cantimplora Travel.   Photo by Cantimplora Travel  Though...
5 Reasons To Experience Mexico With A Private Travel Photographer

5 Reasons To Experience Mexico With A Private Travel Photographer

This post was last updated on July 21st, 2016    As some of you may know, Dan’s photography skills have landed him a prime spot behind the scenes. While he may never complain about it, even the most passionate of photographers occasionally want to put down the lens and simply enjoy the present moment. That’s why we decided to try something new: Take a trip with a private travel photographer. We are super excited to have an opportunity to just enjoy our surroundings while someone else documents our once-in-a-lifetime memories.     We’ll be headed to the sunny sands of Mexico as guests of Cantimplora Travel. These guys are the real deal. It’s not easy to trust another photographer to make sure you return home with photos that do justice to your adventures. But scrolling through their photo gallery is enough to see that we’ve got nothing to worry about.   Not sure if traveling with a private travel photographer is right for you?   5 Reasons To Experience Mexico With A Private Travel Photographer     Put Down That Camera And Actually Connect With Your Surroundings     How often do we miss out on the moment at hand because we’re glued to our phones? I’m not even talking about texting or checking your Instagram feed.   Taking photos can be just as much a culprit as any, stealing our highly sought after moments of peace, adventure, laughter, and joy. The constantly nagging fear of missing the perfect shot can easily steal away the precious memories we’re traveling for in the first place.   That’s precisely why a private...