Review: Andean Highlands and Galápagos Islands with Adventures by Disney

Seals at the Galapagos with Adventures by Disney

By Lucy Fernandez, Owner

Visiting the natural wonderland of the Galápagos Islands with your family is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Add in a unique hotel stay in Ecuador’s mountain region, remarkable sites in Quito and a dash of that famous Disney magic, and you have an out-of-this-world vacation to share with your kids. Indeed, Adventures by Disney provides a hassle-free trip that will knock the socks off children and amaze even the most seasoned adult travelers.Continue reading

Mystical Machu Picchu

machupicchu
Often called the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian, Incan site that sits nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru. It is perched on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley northwest of Cusco. Hidden in the mountains, this mysterious site was seemingly not found nor destroyed by the Spaniards during the height of the Spanish Conquest; it appears as if its inhabitants lived in the remote location until the late 1500s. Today, Machu Picchu is a well-preserved reflection of Inca architecture.Continue reading

Quinceañeras at Sea

15CrownflowersIn many Latin American cultures, the quinceañera, though it does not always go by that name, is an important rite of passage into adulthood for young women. The word quinceañera literally means “one who is fifteen,” and, traditionally, the quinceañera celebration is held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday, to mark her transition from child to adult.

As the ritual is an important part of many Latin American cultures, it takes on different meanings and overtones in each culture. In Mexico, the tradition of the quinceañera is thought to date back to the times of the Aztecs, although no one knows for sure. In Aztec tradition, young women were expected to marry and care for the household, so they were only taught the skills that would help them do so better. The quinceañera was a signal that the young woman was being prepared for marriage and would soon be available to do just that. The women of the village would teach the young woman the skills needed to maintain a household and be a good wife. Occasionally, if a young girl was a member of the elect, she would be chosen as a priestess, and would be trained to that end.Continue reading