Transition to New Government puts Gina in Jeopardy
Gina gives advice to two tourists outside of the tourist information booth at the west end of the Adoquín. The booth burned in 2013 but Gina continues dispensing tourist information at the same location as the booth is rebuilt with donations.
The Market Tour is for those who want to learn about Puerto Escondido's customs, history, markets, and religions, with less walking than the City Walking Tour. The group meets at the main market and enjoys a typical breakfast with delicious Oaxacan hot chocolate or coffee. Vegetarians and Gluten free people are accommodated. Then we stroll through the market learning about the unique fruits, vegetables, chiles, typical clothing and folk art. The tour lasts two hours and requires a pre-paid reservation, $400 pesos. The Market Tour may be conducted any day of the week.
Gina gives an Agricultural Tour on Sundays at 3:30 pm. A visit to the rural Oaxacan coastal area where organic crops are king. See how jamaica and basil are cultivated. Visit tropical orchards and meet local farm families. The tour lasts 3 hours and includes a snack.
The Archeological walk is only in the weekends morning special history from the Mixtecos artifacts. $$$ includes drink and food.
Art on street in Puerto Escondido. Come walk with Gina and see our town with artistic eye. Drink included. $$$$ Afternoon any day 2 hours walking down the hill.
Historical Buildings Tour a short and fun secret keys doors that show the secrets of haw Puertos people is been transforming to today includes a Drink at the end. Afternoon, 2 hours short walk any day. Kids welcome (special visit to The Light house) $$$$
Day of the Dead Tour
Cultural and Educational Tours
Sea Turtle Tour. There is one tour per month from September to March when the Sea Turtles are laying eggs. Check with Gina for the status of this spectacular event. My experience since 1983 camp of sea Turtles in Mexico helping the nature and the community a cooperative. $$$$. 3 hours of driving, 45 minutes away. Safe and with private transportation.
New Mezcal sampling More than 10 Mezcales home made a Family factory 5 generation experts. Includes Transportation and unique local breakfast and the best information. Only Sundays at 8:00 a.m maximo group 3 people, cost by person $$$$
Chocolate Tour Crazy about Chocolate? We visit a country orchard family home and the must traditional kitchen. Includes Transportation and the experience of tasting the best cacao with history in the region. Organic and healthy Oaxacan foods. $$$$ Saturdays or Sundays.
Sea Turtle release with meaning helping a community and cooperative to safe and educate, protect the life of Sea turtles in Mexico and Oaxaca. $$$ Small group or families, Children welcome. Always check with Gina the best hour and location. Close to Puerto Escondido.
Contact Gina to see if other tours are available.
Some Comments from Visitors
Puerto Escondido's Gina Machorro makes the list of the 2013 Real Heroes of Mexico, an annual report by Susie Albin-Najera, editor of The Mexico Report, which showcases "unsung heroes in the community and those celebrating Mexican culture through their goodwill efforts, bravery, inspirational stories, sacrifices and hard work".
Gina wears a t-shirt with the embroidered message, “The Info Goddess.” If you’ve ever been to Puerto Escondido, once or even one hundred times, Gina will make you current the moment you stop by her kiosk. So naturally, the first thing to do upon arrival in Puerto is to check-in with Gina. And that’s exactly what we did when we arrived (for the seventh time).
She greeted us by name. Her clients, old or new, become her family. After a few moments of catch-up, she said, “even though you’ve been on all my walking tours and excursions, I have something for you that you’ll love; A MEXICAN COOKING CLASS.” My wife was delighted at the prospect. I freaked out because cooking is not on my list as a pleasurable exercise…I only enjoy the eating part. As it happened, because the class was almost full, only one of us could partake. Gina looked directly at me as if to say, “Larry, you’re the one.” My wife’s steely glance confirmed with Gina. I was volunteered.
Here’s how the cooking class worked: I would go to the nearby home of Rosa Maria, a celebrated Oaxacan chef, work with her, her three assistants and three other candidates for three hours to prepare a four course Mexican feast for nine people to be served that evening. Why nine? For our spouses, and of course, Gina.
Truth be told, I loved the experience. Not only did I gain the ability to produce a gourmet Mexican meal but I gained the confidence to start a new hobby (which delighted my wife). The feast was “not to forget.” Back at Rosa Maria’s that evening, we dined on a sumptuous Mexican salad, tropical soup, Oaxacan rice and Maria’s recipe of herbed chicken wrapped and baked in banana leaves… and drank copious amounts of sangria.
Was it fun? It was awesome! Plus my wife and I met the other interesting and friendly couples. Next year in Puerto, we’re expecting another great GINA adventure.
PS – I even got a monogramed cooking apron!
My wife and I came to Puerto Escondido without much information on what to do, see, etc., and then we ran into Gina at her information booth on the Adoquin (Andador Perez Gazga). We immediately hit it off with her as she is a very warm and friendly person. Gina knows everything there is about Puerto Escondido and all the places to visit outside of town as well. For example, we came at the time of the year when the turtles (tortugas) come to lay their eggs at particular beaches. She invited us to join a group of people she was putting together to witness this spectacular event. At the appointed date and time off we went to see this incredible scene; tens of thousands of turtles coming out of the ocean to dig up small trenches in the sand to lay their eggs. Without her we never would have known about the turtles and surely would have missed this once in a lifetime experience.
Joe R. Redwood City, CA
Being from Australia, we were very unsure how to go about organising a wedding in a place as far away as Mexico! Gina came highly recommended and right from the beginning she was so helpful and made planning the wedding smooth and easy. Gina organised the most fantastic Mariachi band that everyone raved about, beautiful tropical flowers, a photographer, pinatas and all the paperwork and considerable running around to arrange for the judge to marry us. She also translated the ceremony into English for us and our guests on the day as well!! We had the most amazing day and highly recommend Gina to anyone dreaming of a tropical wedding in Puerto Escondido.
Thank you Gina for a day we will never forget xx
Brad & Leanne Aitken Sydney, Australia
Eight years ago we went on one of Gina’s walking tours after visiting Puerto Escondido many times. She helped us to understand the town, its rich history, the region and its people. So when we returned this year the first thing we did was again join Gina on her walking tour. What we didn't anticipate was how much her walking tour had evolved.
On her tour, Gina visits the indigenous people of yesterday and today how they lived and survive. She took us to a local restaurant serving authentic, traditional cuisine of the area before the Spaniards arrived. Gina explained what we were eating and the rich nutritional value of these foods. We visited a woman who makes the tamales and mole (Yes!) who is the daughter of one of Puerto Escondido's founders. We also visited a woman dispensing herbs and medicinal plants at La Divina Providencia where local remedies are still dispensed. Our final stop was the Mercado where we were introduced to a variety of new tastes such as fresh tamarind and tortillas with cinnamon and coconut (who knew?). Gina's wide ranging knowledge covered history, religion, culture, gastronomy and we got a tasty breakfast! We thought we were going for a refresher tour but Gina has taken it to a whole new level.
Pat Heim & Serge Lashutka
Pacific Palisades, CA
I just returned from a month in Mexico and I cannot sing the praises of Gina, the Information Goddess, highly enough. As many of you know, Gina dispenses information at the tourist department's Information Booth just outside the west end of the barrier on the Adoquin. For those of you who don't already know, Gina is one of Puerto's greatest assets and anyone travelling to Puerto needs to make her acquaintance.
Gina not only speaks English but I heard her converse easily with Italian and German tourists as well. Regardless of what you need to know, Gina seems to have the answer. How do I get a bus to Puerto Angel? Where is there a laundromat? What's the best cypercafe? How much does property cost in Puerto? Where are the best beaches for swimming? Who do I talk to if I want to buy a gorilla? (OK, just kidding about the gorilla but you get the point.)
She provides a terrific walking tour that gives the tourist who may never ordinarily make it off the beaches a look at the Puerto of those who live there. She is a walking book of information about the way of life in Puerto, its small shops, history, and its people. Departing from the Information Booth, the tour through the upper part of town provides insights that one might not ordinarily discover on their own. I highly recommend it.
If you are looking for a place to stay or even a place to buy in Puerto, again Gina is a terrific resource. She seems to know everyone and everything that is going on in Puerto. She is available to go with you to look at property and her bilingual skills are invaluable. I can't imagine how I would have been able to purchase a house in Puerto had it not been for all of Gina's assistance.
In addition to being a wonderful resource, she is also a very nice person. You want to just hang out with her. Please do stop and see her at the Information Booth when you are in Puerto and be sure to tell her that Karen says "hi."
Dear Tom, My wife and our 15 year old son made our first trip together to Mexico. I'd like to rave in a most positive way about our end of June/beginning of July stay in Puerto Escondido. The only thing less than wonderful was the length ... too short. Rather than fill this page with compliments about numerous experiences that you have heard a great deal about from others, I'd like to
Gina Espinosa assisting a tourist at the Oaxaca Tourist Bureau
information booth   photo by Geri Anderson
describe just a few pleasant aspects of our trip. As you know, it is not so crowded in June (school's out in early July, so there's the increase in family travel ... but still not too crowded). We had little time anyway (8 days) and met only a few people. The most memorable of these was (is) Gina Machorro Espinosa.
We found that her intuition was almost infallible. She was able to know what we would enjoy, tell us the most efficient way to do it, and, most importantly, help us to feel like a family member during the process. She graciously lent us her copy of an excellent tour book (signed by the author). She related to our teenage son like she was his favorite aunt (surfing info was very helpful), and she made us feel as though we had a real friend in Puerto. Gina is a very talented person, and we are grateful for her unique contributions to our memories.
One of the activities she recommended was a tour of the Laguna de La Palmazola (en Barra de Navidad) with Galos Sanchez. The fuzzy baby egrets were everywhere along with hundreds of other birds, and we even saw a couple of crocodiles in the middle of the day. Galos was very proud and enthusiastic about the reserve, as he should be. Gina also knew that Fermin, one of our waiters at the Hotel Santa Fe had a boat and took tourists fishing. That, too, turned out great.
My wife, Jan, enjoyed the dolphin playground we trolled through, and James and I got a kick out of pulling in a dozen tuna. We would certainly recommend that a trip to Puerto includes time with Gina at the tourist information booth in the Adoquin. If fishing or wildlife or just friendly conversation is on your agenda, this is definitely the place to start.
Ward, Jan and James
Clickable City Map
Clickable Regional Map
Puerto Escondido Centro
Marinero and Zicatela north
Zicatela south and the Point