Plym and Ricardo –The Netherlands – 2 weeks – Oaxaca Chiapas

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We were looking for a small travel organization, an organization that can organize our personalized holiday to Mexico. We met Brenda at a holiday fair and we right away felt a connection and knew she could fulfill our wishes! And we were right. We enjoyed the perfect temperature. Mexico is a country full of old cultures. We combined cultural visits with hikes and boattours in the amazing nature Mexico also has. Because of the great organization by AvensaTravel and their personal touch we felt very comfortable and happy. AvensaTravel is a real recommendation!
plym en ricardo

Family Dekker – 4 persons – The Netherlands – 24 days – Oaxaca and Chiapas

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We were searching for a nice holiday to Mexico with two children. We wanted it to be a personalised holiday with local transport. We took our eldest daughter (12) to the holiday fair, where we luckily met Brenda, who told us enthusiastically about the different travel possibilities. No touristic Yucatán, but another, less known part of Mexico: Oaxaca and Chiapas. Our daughter was convinced; this would be our travel agency.
After this first contact we sent her an e-mail with our travel wishes and received a proposal from Brenda. After some e-mails we got to a very well planned programme, with a nice balance between relaxation and action.
The holiday was very well organised. We traveled with vouchers, which gave us the opportunity to travel independently but everything was organised. Brenda knew all the beautiful places of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Culture, nature, action and relaxation were the most important ideas. We weren’t able to make a top 5 at the end of the holiday, it became a top 30. And the holiday had only 24 days!


Wanda Takx – 7 persons -The Netherlands – 5 days – Chiapas

We experienced a very special journey in Mexico. Our guide Fernando was very enthusiastic and spoke very good English and spoke with lots of passion about the Maya´s.
Next to the beautiful nature and the amazing old cultures, we also found the mexican people very kind and welcomingly. We felt very welcome everywhere and enjoyed our days in Mexico a lot. Brenda, thank you for your help organizing our holiday!

Rob & Ingrid – The Netherlands – 14 days – Oaxaca & Chiapas

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After a long preparation, the day finally arrived: on September 7th we flew from Amsterdam by KLM to Mexico city, where we were picked up by a cousin of ours, who has worked and lived there for 13 years now. He and his wife gave us a taste of Mexican life, like the food, culture, nature and life in a city of 19 million inhabitants.  After a few days in the city, we took a plane to Chiapas, the beginning of our trip.
Our first destination was Chiapas, with lots of nature, culture and religion, everything you see there is very impressive, churches, temples, mountains, waterfalls and lots of nature with a wide variety of animals, including iguanas, monkeys, birds and even crocodiles. In Chiapas, we visited well known and lesser known ancient Mayan cities, and got to know the extraordinary Mayan culture.
In Chiapas we had a guide arranged by Brenda. This guide had grown up there and could tell us everything about life in Chiapas, which was very interesting. Our guide made us experience Chiapas and thanks to him we have seen very much.  Chiapas is so beautiful, I will recommend anyone to go to this state of Mexico.
After all these special days we were ready for some relaxing time, so we took the night bus to Puerto Escondido, a quiet town on the coast of Oaxaca. There we had also a nice hotel with sea views. September is the rainy and hurricane season, and we had bad luck, hurricane Ingride came over! Instead of sunbathing in a hammock we made lovely but windy beach walks. It was also a special experience to look at the high waves under an umbrella. We had very nice dinners and despite the weather, we enjoyed it very much.
After Puerto Escondido we went on to our next stop, Oaxaca City. We took a small airplane (for 8 passengers) from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca, which was an incredible experience, flying over beautiful mountains.
In Oaxaca we were picked up by Brenda and her husband who were already dressed in the colours of the Mexican flag and had also brought some accessories for us, so that we could go to the city centre looking like real Mexicans! We had a nicely decorated hotel right in the middle of the city centre. That day, September 15th, it was Mexico’s independence day, a national holiday in Mexico. What a great party. Mexico declared itself independent from Spain in 1810. This is celebrated in the middle of the Zócalo square with music and fireworks. We were dressed in the colours of the Mexican flag, with earrings, hats, ties, make up, necklaces and even Mexican pigtails in our hair!  We had a delicious meal and Corona and mezcal (the local drink of Oaxaca).
On September 16th, we saw a large parade of schools, fire departments, police and soldiers with their vehicles, which was a very special experience for us. September 16th was also our wedding day, and this year we were married for 25 years. Thanks to Brenda, we will never forget this day! We received breakfast in bed and we had a Mexican cooking workshop at a great location with a private dance demonstration, followed by coffee and cake, well done Brenda! The dance demonstration was done by a traditional dancer of the important festival Guelaguetza, and he danced especially for us, very nicely dressed with a crown made of large feathers. It was an amazing experience.
But there was even more, we saw and did so many things. We visited, among other places, Arrazola, El Tule, Teotitlán del Valle, Mitla and Monte Albán. Monte Albán was the capital of the Zapotecs and the most important ancient city of Oaxaca. Here we also had an expert guide who told us everything we needed to know. And the day before our last day we had a day full of surprises again. It was Rob’s birthday that day and if Brenda organizes your holiday, you never know what will happen! This time, we drank champagne at an altitude of 2,800 meters, bathing in springs full of vitamins and minerals, and with a view of rocks which look like petrified waterfalls!!
When you book a holiday with Brenda, these dreams come true. Everything was perfectly organised by Brenda and Oaxaca and Chiapas were everything we expected it to be, beautiful nature, a lot of culture, nice people, loads of diversity, great guides and beautiful accommodations.
Brenda, it was the holiday of our dreams!
Thank you, Rob en Ingrid

Marion & Cor – The Netherlands – 26 days – Oaxaca & Chiapas

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We had a very beautiful holiday full of great experiences. In 26 days, we visited Oaxaca and Chiapas. The temples, a lot of nature, beautiful small cities and a lot of water. We took a bicycle tour, a cooking workshop and we saw local handicrafts. We traveled in night buses and taxis, took boat tours and visited everything with a private guide. We didn’t want to drive ourselves because the roads are poorly maintained and have a lot of bumps and potholes. We ended our holiday with a couple of days at the beach en made a boat trip to see dolphins. It was an unforgettable holiday, and very well organised by Brenda!

Marion en Cor

Jeanne & Gerard – The Netherlands – 14 days – Oaxaca & Chiapas

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Getting to know the land of our daughter-in-law was our goal, and it became Oaxaca and Chiapas, parts of Mexico where she has have never even been! From Guadalajara, the city our children live, we took a 2-hour flight to Oaxaca, where Brenda awaited us. Then our 14-day holiday started. The first days we saw many of Oaxaca city and its surroundings, nature, culture and people. The enthusiasm of Brenda, who worked the first days as our guide, was contagious.
The holiday through Chiapas she composed for us was perfectly planned: (night) bus, taxi, guides, hotels and airplanes. Driving by ourselves was not an option for us, so we could really enjoy the mix of overwhelming nature (Cañon del Sumidero, el Chiflón, Laguna Catazaja), culture (Monte Albán, Toniná), and local crafts (Teotitlán). And don’t forget the people: it’s great to spend your evenings on a terrace watching and listening to the Mariachi. A successful trip!

jeanne en gerard

Janette Rutterford – UK – 9 days – Oaxaca

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9 days Oaxaca- November 2014

My experience in Mexico with Avensa Travel was excellent.  The guides could not do have been more friendly, informed and helpful.   The places I was taken to were interesting, revealed local traditions and cultures , and helped me see the ‘real’ Mexico.  The trip was a mix of culture, craft, archeology, nature around Oaxaca, and was rounded off by a few days relaxing in Puerto Escondido.  Perfect.

janette rutterford

Liu Ching – Singapore – tour 1 day – Oaxaca

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Glad to have found Brenda! We went on a 1-day tour with her and did the usual places of interest around Oaxaca. But she made an effort to show us beautiful Oaxaca in a not touristy way. We visited locals and small establishments and got to know how things are done traditionally. The day just got better as we went from Tule to Teotitlán del Valle to Hierve el Agua. Great ending of the tour with a Mezcal. Wonderful drink! Homemade and tasted so much better than those commercially made. Thank you!

Liu Ching Singapore

Oliver van der Merwe – The Netherlands – 5 days – Oaxaca

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I think that many people nowadays have their doubts about going to Mexico on a holiday as a result of Mexico being regularly in the news in a negative way. I honestly also had these feelings, but because I had a wedding in Mexico City to go to, I did not want to let the chance to see more of the country pass by. I met Brenda at a holiday fair in the Netherlands and her stories about Oaxaca and Chiapas really appealed to me (also the fact that she lives there). When I booked my holiday, I was very happy with how fast everything got arranged. I really liked the flexibility giving me different possibilities to change the holiday exactly how I liked it.

Even though I was a bit nervous going on a holiday by myself, all my preconceived opinions and doubts disappeared when I arrived in Oaxaca. The city itself is not only beautiful, it has a lovely atmosphere, beautiful churches, nice terraces, and a charming Zócalo, which is the city´s main square. Also, the way Brenda received me was very pleasant. To make me comfortable and at home, Brenda and her husband Miguel took me to different typical restaurants where I got introduced to the Oaxacan kitchen and Mezcal, the local drink of Oaxaca. I wanted a busy programme per day, so I have been able to see a lot of Oaxaca in a short time. The highlights were many. One of them was Monte Albán, an archeological site, hidden at the top of the mountains, which used to be the center of the Zapotec civilization.

Also Hierve el Agua and the monastery of San Jose Cuilápam de Guerrero were amazingly beautiful. Moreover, I really enjoyed seeing up close how typical Oaxacan handcrafts were made, like the lovely painted ´alebrijes´ and the handmade rugs and, of course, how Mezcal is made. I even went to visit a Mexican family and we made one of the seven different ´moles´, a special dish of the Oaxacan kitchen which we ate together afterwards. My expectations were exceeded and I recommend it to everybody who would like to experience a unique part of Mexico. I surely will go back, as I did not even have the chance to visit Chiapas.

Thanks Brenda & Miguel for an incredible holiday!!!

Oliver van der Merwe

Paula Granqvist – Finland – 4 days – Oaxaca

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In February 2012, I spent 4 days in Oaxaca. I visited many places in and around the city, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to see all so can´t wait to go back!

The first day I went to see the city of Oaxaca, the churches, the markets. Santo Domingo is amazing, so rich and beautiful in its Barok style. But most of all I just enjoyed the atmosphere in the centrum at the Zocalo, this square is so quiet and peaceful while there are many local people just eating, drinking and walking. I could easily stay days just around this square!

On my second day I visited Monte Alban which was very interesting and a beautiful place to see. On top of the mountain there’s a vast area of ruins, and it takes quite long time to walk around it and to see everything. An amazing view opens from the mountain top of Monte Alban. I do recommend to have a guide at Monte Alban, as it´s nice to see the amazing buildings and the views but I also really enjoyed hearing the explanations and the history. It’s really worth of visiting.

The next day we were on the road the whole day to see the surroundings of Oaxaca. We visited a little town called El Tule, there’s a giant, old tree beside a lovely church and nice park with beautiful flowers around it. The next stop was at rug factory, a whole family making beautiful, very colorful rugs in every size. It was very interesting to see the whole process of making these rugs, and explore the source of all the beautiful colors. Hierve el agua was really my favorite place on the trip that day, on the way there, we had a beautiful view over the mountains. There’s a big, beautiful rock that looks like a waterfall, springs and a few pools with the water from the springs.

There’s a great opportunity to have a bath in refreshing spring water and at the same time enjoy a beautiful view to mountains. I took some amazing photos from there! The Mezcal factory was also very interesting to see. I saw the plants they use in a process and all the parts of the process of producing Mezcal was explained in the real environment. Would love to go back there at lunch or dinner time, that nice looking, real Mexican decorated restaurant!
I also enjoyed a lot the Oaxacan food, really loved it! I also tried the specialty of Oaxaca, grasshoppers! A bit interesting taste…recommended if you want a bit of extreme flavors on your trip! 🙂

paula granqvist