Mark Aspelin is The New Mexico Travel Guy (, a freelance travel writer and author who shares travel advice, events, photos, and stories about the amazing people he meets during his quest to visit EVERY town in his home state of New Mexico – the Land of Enchantment.

He’s the author of over 50 blog posts and articles and two highly rated books: “Profitable Conservation: Business Strategies That Boost Your Bottom Line, Protect Wildlife, and Conserve Biodiversity” and “How to Fail at Life: Lessons for the Next Generation”. He has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, M.S. in Biology from Creighton University, and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mark has worked with a wide variety of organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, The Coca-Cola Company, Intel Corporation, Molina Healthcare, United HealthGroup, and The International Crane Foundation, and he is a volunteer Docent at the ABQ BioPark. His articles and interviews have been featured by GreenBiz, Inside EPA, Perceptive Travel, and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth Project. Mark is also an avid traveler who has visited over 100 countries and all 50 U.S. States and he lives in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Carrizozo, New Mexico: it's just two hours away

Carrizozo, New Mexico: Painted burros, cherry cider, Photozozo, and a restorative pit stop at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area (2023)

The experience most people have when visiting Carrizozo, New Mexico is slowing down to stop at a four-way stop sign at the intersections of Highway 54 and Highway 380, possibly filling up their gas tank at the gas station, and continuing on to their final destination. Carrizozo is generally considered to be a pit stop, not a destination. A local resident described...

Sunset photo from City of Rocks

Faywood, New Mexico: Outstanding camping at the City of Rocks and letting it all hang out at Faywood Hot Springs (2023)

Faywood is one of the many towns in New Mexico that most people have never heard of. After all, this town of 20 – 40 people isn’t exactly a booming metropolis. But if you mention “City of Rocks State Park”, you may get a few affirmative head nods, particularly from people who like camping. Many people consider City of Rocks to be one of the...

An amazing setting where we were surrounded by a nighttime wildlife chorus

Searching for Snakes in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle: A Trip to the Otorongo Amazon River Lodge (2023)

After a full-day of adventures in Iquitos (Peru), my son and I woke up the next morning with the realization that the most adventurous part of our trip was just beginning. We were about to face four days and three nights in the Peruvian Amazon jungle, with the goal of seeing lots of birds (my goal) and snakes (my son’s goal … unfortunately). We’d...

Medicinal bark, roots, and concoctions

Iquitos, Peru: Tuk-Tuks, The Jungle Market of Belén, and Amazing Animal Encounters (2023)

Iquitos, Peru was definitely a major change of scene compared to the relatively clean, laid-back streets of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. What follows are some of the memorable experiences that my son and I had in Iquitos, in case you’re planning to visit this gateway to the Amazon. Table of ContentsThe long journey from Galapagos to Iquitos...

More photos of Los Tuneles

Isabela Island, Galapagos: Giant Sea Turtles, Blue-Footed Boobies, and the Laid-Back Town of Puerto Villamil (2023)

To follow up on my earlier post about Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos, this article will feature another one of the 13 major islands of the Galapagos: Isabela Island. I picked Isabela Island as my second Galapagos destination as I’d heard there was a good chance of seeing blue-footed boobies there. What can I say, I’m a nerd. Table of ContentsThe ferry...