Peru in Six Days

Machu Picchu just after the rain

Machu Picchu just after the rain

“You’re going all the way to Peru for only six days?” asked my less travel-mad friends. Well, yeah, Peru’s a fascinating country, and I’d have loved to go for a couple of weeks, but I wasn’t passing up the trip at a price I couldn’t refuse, even if it was a whirlwind itinerary.

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Buenos Aires: A City of Indulgences Certain to Leave You Wanting More

Obelisco and Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, in Buenos Aires

Obelisco and Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, in Buenos Aires

South America has been on my travel to-do list for years, but there was something in particular that drew me to select Buenos Aires for my first jaunt to the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe it was the nickname the city is often given, “The Paris of South America,” that enticed me. Or maybe it was the promise of the indulgences that Buenos Aires is best known for: late nights filled with tango dancing, delicious steak, and Malbec wine. Regardless, intuition told me Buenos Aires and I would be the perfect match. I decided to test that hunch and planned a trip as Seattle was transitioning from fall to winter in order to take advantage of South America’s warm temperatures and sunshine.

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A Divine Hotel Stay at Oro Verde in Guayaquil, Ecuador

A guest room at the hotel Oro Verde

A guest room at the hotel Oro Verde

Setting out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip with my family to the Galapagos Islands from our home in Los Angeles meant we had a super long trip ahead of us, so a relaxing stop-over was key. We flew from LA to Miami and then on to Ecuador, which is the nearest country to this stunning archipelago in the Pacific. Many choose to break up their journey in the country's capital Quito before heading to San Cristobel in the Galapagos, but I opted for Guayaquil because it was at lower altitude—and because it boasted a magnificent five-star hotel, the Oro Verde. I made a great choice for my family as it proved to the perfect luxury kick-start to a fabulous vacation.

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Sailing the Galapagos: The Best of the Best

Spotting a whale during our boat tour with Ecoventura

Spotting a whale during our boat tour with Ecoventura

There's no better way to see the Galapagos Islands and its magnificent wildlife than sailing around this spectacular archipelago on an intimate and luxurious yacht. Beyoncé and Jay-Z couldn't do any better.

Looking for a truly memorable adventure that would engage not just my husband and me but also our 7-year-old son, we set off on a week-long tour with Ecoventura, which offers stunning, environmentally-friendly tours around the islands.

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