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Personalized Travel

Two women touching elephant's trunks in Thailand

Travel made easy. We provide custom itineraries to create a journey that fits your desires and budget. Or learn about and compare the differences of food, landscape and architecture as you explore the world with an experienced traveler as your guide.

Portugal, Spain & Morocco | Fall 2020

Visit the south of Portugal, the south of Spain, and the northern part of Morocco, with your tour director, Maria Galvao. This tour is fast paced and covers vast ground. We will focus on learning about and comparing the differences of culture, food, landscape, and architecture in this region that shares the Atlantic ocean, with its facing ports and mingled history.

15-Day Tour  |  $4,650*
Arrive Lisbon Sept. 14, 2020  |  Depart Morocco Oct. 1, 2020

*Download PDF flyer for details

Cathedral de Santa_Cruz in Cadiz, Spain

Custom Travel Itineraries

Have a custom itinerary built for your destination! Get a planned trip within your budget that meets your desires and interests.

Groups of 2–5 people
$250 5–7 day trip  |  $350 8–12 day trip

Fees for Assistance with Booking Flights:
$59 International
$36 Domestic

In a Moroccan desert, a camel-rider holds his hat as he rides a camel

Tour Director and Guide

Bring Maria along as your tour director. Visit exotic locations without the stress of traveling alone. Enjoy a relaxing yet adventurous trip with an experienced traveler and gastronomy expert.

Groups of 4–10 people
Expenses + $250/day

In Ecaduor – a tower and building roof tops against a background of mountains

Cruises

Maria can help you find the perfect cruise or land-based vacation. Visit Expedia Cruiseship Centers to explore the options.

A Cruise ship pulls in to a harbor

Notes From Our Travels

Wonderful Ecuador

Did You Know?

Ecuador may be a relatively small country by South American standards, but it’s chock full of wonders, including the spiky yet majestic Andes Mountains, lush rainforests, and the sparkling clear water on its Pacific coastline, flanked by some of the most desirable beaches in South America.

A collection of vibrant, indigenous cultures, colorful crafts, and colonial architecture fascinate even the most jaded travelers and make Ecuador a dream destination! The oldest Ecuadorian tools discovered date back to 9,000 B.C.

The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador and a two-hour flight from the mainland. This cluster of about 20 volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean is so remote that its residents include animals found nowhere else on earth. There are even species that are unique to individual islands!

Dip Into Ecuadorian Culture

Watch a video, of Pueblo Nuevo an Ecuadorian musical group whose impassioned singing and guitar playing, punctuated by native panpipes, will make you want to grab a cerveza and start swaying and swirling.

While Quito is the capital of Ecuador, the Andean highland city of Cuenca dazzles with its collection of colonial buildings. In fact, the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centro historico is home to block after block of grand buildings constructed by the Spanish after the conquistadors landed in the 1550s.

No vampires were harmed in the making of this hat: The unique sheen of the Panama hat so amazed superstitious 16th century Spanish explorers that they thought it was made of vampire skin! You may know it as a Panama hat, but it actually comes from Ecuador and is properly called a toquilla or a jipijapa hat. East Coast Americans traveling through Panama on their way to California during the gold rush in the 1840s saw these hats everywhere and concluded that they were a local product. Their first international appearance was at the 1855 World’s Fair in Paris.

What Do They Eat in Ecuador?

While cuisine in Ecuador varies from region to region, expect to find these standards:

Encebollado is a hearty soup that’s considered a restorative and cure-all. While you’ll find it throughout the country, it’s especially popular in the coastal regions, where it’s made with tuna—and sometimes other seafood—along with yuca and onions.

Humitas, a type of corn cake, is a beloved street food made of corn and cornmeal, onions, eggs, and cheese stuffed into fresh corn husks and steamed.

For the adventurous there is Cuy, a.k.a. guinea pig. It’s beginning to show up in South American restaurants in the U.S., but if you want to sample it on its home turf, Ecuador is the place to do it. Considered a delicacy reserved for special occasions, it is roasted whole and served with potatoes and various side dishes. Roll up your sleeves and eat it with your fingers. It’s messy but good!

One more culinary cultural nugget: While you may gobble up popcorn by the handful at the movies, in Ecuador you’ll find it used as a garnish on dishes including ceviche and soups.

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