• Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands

    See More When You Travel in Ecuador

    <h2>A new adventure starts at sea level in the Galápagos then soars into the Andes.</h2>   <p>When you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuador/" target="_blank">travel in Ecuador, be sure to take in everything from the islands to the mainland</a> to see all this amazing place has to offer including the diverse wildlife. In the world of birds, there are no more unlikely cousins than the Andean condor and the blue-footed booby. One surfs towering thermals in South America’s highest mountains. The other <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos/" target="_blank">dances on Galápagos beaches</a>. A condor is bald, and a booby has electric blue feet. One is a little comical. The other is as stern as a bird can be. About the only thing they really agree on is calling Ecuador home.</p> <p>As the unofficial mascots of the newest Classic Journey, they capture the mind-boggling diversity in culture, environment and history that you encounter when you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuador/" target="_blank">split your visit between the Galápagos Islands and the Ecuadorian highlands</a>.</p> <p>ISLANDS OF A FEATHER</p> <p>Chances are, you’re acquainted already with the idea of the Galápagos. Marooned on their remote islands, spiny iguanas and giant land tortoises defy time. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuadorfamily/" target="_blank">Sea-lion pups glide up to us in our snorkel masks</a>, not quite sure just what or who are — but totally unafraid of finding out. There are bays to kayak, lava trails to walk and a coffee plantation where we can always score a sip of something freshly roasted. While cruise ships prowl the coast and stage their daily invasions, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">we settle into boutique hotels with pools and room to knock around</a>. Of an evening, you can walk barefoot into town on streets paved in sand.</p> <p><img alt="Iguana on the beach" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lX&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oM3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br> </p> <h3>FLYING HIGH</h3> <p>But get ready for a real re-boot when you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuador/" target="_blank">fly back to Quito and head two hours north into the highlands</a>. We base our time here at Hacienda Zuleta, a 4,000-acre working family farm. In a way, the hacienda is an island, too, afloat in a sea of Andean peaks. But the fittest survivors here are direct descendants of a past Ecuadorian president or two. The old family spread, parts of which date back to the 17th century, is as cordial an inn as you could imagine. Sprawling organic gardens feed the workers and guests. A 300-cow herd supplies a creamery with all the butterfat it needs to create great cheeses.</p> <p>Life here is rooted in human history, traced back through the Spanish conquistadores, the Incas and even earlier pre-Columbian people. Oblivious to the wars and crumbling civilizations below, Andean condors soared over them all. They are too rare these days, but the hacienda’s Condor Huasi Project fights for their preservation. On foot or horseback, we follow a trail up a valley lined with steep slopes and semi-tropical rainforest to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuador/" target="_blank">reach one of the only places in the Andes where you can see these great birds today</a>.</p> <p>Other symbols of Ecuadorian culture thrive. Take the Otavalo Market. It’s an organized riot of ancient crafts with beadwork and textiles, as well as produce, fish and great baskets of quinoa. The local currency is now the U.S. dollar, but everything else about the scene is utterly Andean: the women in embroidered blouses with their heads wrapped in <i>fachalinas</i>, the suckling pigs with roasted smiles, the mix of ancient languages.</p> <p>Even if the people and places of Ecuador aren’t exactly birds of a feather that is fine by us. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ecuador/" target="_blank">Nothing beats a week of travel in Ecuador</a> that lets us do a deep dive into natural history and get a taste of high-altitude Andean culture — all inside the borders of a single country.</p> <br> 

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  • Spanish Dinner, Culinary Travel

    10 meals you'll never forget

    <h2>The stories of our favorite travels often come down to the food.</h2>   <p>Remember that gooey sun-warmed cheese in Normandy? Who ever imagined a regal Moroccan feast in a palace? The taste of a place can be as simple as a juicy just-picked peach or truffle-topped risotto paired with a friend’s homegrown red. The truth is, our taste buds seemed to be connected directly to our deepest memories. Here are just a few of the meals – from the extravagant to the spontaneous – that you will rave about too when you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/culinary/" target="_blank" title="culinary and cooking tours">join us on a Classic Journey</a>.</p> <p>Just click any headline for more details. And if you’d like to dedicate your entire vacation to food,<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/culinary/" target="_blank" title="culinary and cooking tours"> look into our Culinary Tours</a>: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank" title="culinary tour of Tuscany">Taste of Tuscany</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank" title="Amalfi Coast culinary tour">Amalfi Al Buon Gusto</a>, and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provenceculinary/" target="_blank" title="gourmet tour in Provence">Bon Appetit Provence</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provenceculinary/" target="_blank" title="gourmet tour in Provence"><b>1. Provence: Dining with the stars</b></a><br><br>Our friend Chef Alain just happens to have earned two of those world-famous Michelin stars, so you know the meal will be memorable. What you don’t suspect is the warm way he welcomes you into his own kitchen in Monteux. You tie on an apron and help. Swimming in blossoming cloud of Provençal aromas – garlic, rosemary, tomatoes – you can’t believe it’s you elbow to elbow with him. And then you sit down to the meal. On any day it would taste like a miracle of cuisine, but having witnessed the alchemy that went into its creation, this dinner is like no other.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/provenceculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="Women in a Market in Provence, France" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9l4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank" title="ultimate Chile tour"><b>2. Chile: Gaucho barbecue</b></a><br><br>If mountain air ignites your appetite, just imagine what the Andes will do for you. On a remote estancia, you spend a Patagonian afternoon with the working gauchos. Always just at the edge of your senses, there’s the hint of lamb roasting over an open barbecue. And then comes the culinary climax – succulent meat charred just-so, perfect vegetables grown in the rancho’s garden, and a dazzling backdrop as the sunset tints the snow-capped peaks of Torres del Paine.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group Cooking in Chile" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9l9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank" title="Amalfi Coast culinary tour">3. Amalfi: Clifftop pizza</a></b><br><br>You could argue that it’s a pizza like any other. Though you just kneaded the dough yourself. The local fior de latte cheese makes normal mozzarella pale by comparison. And that wood-fired oven? It just happens to be in a private home…that just happens to sit at the edge of cliff overlooking the stupendous Amalfi coast. Fair warning: this pizza may just make every pizza for the rest of your life pale by comparison.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/amalficulinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group Cooking Pizza, Amalfi Coast, Italy" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9lE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank" title="Peru travel tours"><b>4. Peru: The height of haute cuisine</b></a><br><br>Tagliolini tinted with squid ink and sautéed with prawns, with a salsa of coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass. A tartare of fresh red trout on sesame biscuits, with a touch of wasabi mayo and caviar. Get the picture? Peru is about much more than the soaring ruins of Machu Picchu. The food scene is insanely creative, thanks to great local ingredients from ancient grains to seafood that’s fin-flipping fresh. This may be the birthplace of potatoes and corn, but the cuisine is contemporary beyond all expectations.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="View from a dining table, Peru" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9lJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sanjuans/" target="_blank" title="Pacific Northwest vacation">5. San Juan Islands: Just desserts, please</a></b><br><br>Three words that are as good as any entire meal on earth: Homemade Blackberry Pie. In season up here in the islands a ferry ride from Seattle, we’d gladly skip the rest of the meal. The berries have triple the flavor of any from the plastic containers in your supermarket. Sweetened just enough, stuffed inside a flaky crust, and warm from the oven with some fresh-churned vanilla dripping into the crevices, this is the kind of eating that can make a grown up laugh, cry and lick her fingers…all at the same time.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/sanjuans/" target="_blank"><img alt="Hotel in Puget Sound" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9lO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank" title="Morocco vacation"><b>6. Morocco: Maison Bleue in Fez</b></a><br><br>If you have a fantasy about Moroccan decadence this is it. You’re in the interior of a palace, where quiet fountains dance and silken pillows are strewn on tableside sofas. Then comes a parade of dishes based on centuries-old family recipes. Pastilla, an elaborate meat pie with almonds and cinnamon. A steaming tajine of veal or lamb. Delicate desserts flavored with orange flower and honey. It’s quite simply a repast that cannot be found anywhere else in Morocco…or the world.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank" title="Normandy &amp; Brittany walking tour"><img alt="Tea in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9lT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>7. Normandy: Farmyard iocnic</a></b><br><br>A trestle table sits in the shade beside a centuries-old farmhouse, it’s old red-and-white checked cloth waving in the breeze. Out from the kitchen, the farmer carries a parade of marvelous local cheeses: buttery camembert, a brick of Pont l’Eveque made here since the 12th century, a pungent wheel of Livarot. The bread is fresh from the oven, the salad comes from the farm’s garden, the local cider is just alcoholic enough for a lazy midday buzz. Dessert is teurgoule, the local rice pudding traditionally baked in bread ovens. Mon dieu, what a meal.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank"><img alt="Market in Normandy, France" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9lY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank" title="travel China"><b>8. Shanghai: A banquet to end all banquets</b></a><br><br>What will be on the menu when you sit down to a traditional Shanghai banquet? The season and chef will decide. Maybe lion head meatballs (named for their green manes of cabbage), drunken chicken, a dozen varieties of steamed and fried dumplings, hairy crab, squirrel-shaped Mandarin fish, green-onion pancakes, and on and on and on. As much as the food itself, the meal is spectacle with a near-endless parade of colorful, sculpted beautifully plated dishes. It’s an exotic, extended look inside local culture…all in a single sitting!<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank"><img alt="Assorted food in China" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9ld" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank" title="Alaska adventure"><b>9. Alaska: Fresh salmon and wild blueberries</b></a><br><br>At home, most of us eat “fresh” salmon that’s been frozen. In Alaska, not so much! Sit down to picnic on the shores of a lake at the foot of a glacier, and the salmon that’s grilling on the open fire is only a couple of miles from the water where it swam. Scoop up some local picnic salads and save room for something blueberry – a berry-studded cake or maybe just a handful of blue flavor bombshells, nature’s perfect follow-up to the finest fish you’ve ever eaten.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group having a meal near a lake, Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9li" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank" title="Croatia travel">10. Croatia: Peljesac vineyard lunch</a></b><br><br>The Peljesac Peninsula is Croatia’s answer to the Napa Valley. But it’s so much more beautiful, jutting as it does into the sapphire Adriatic. A vineyard lunch in this setting is way more than a tasting with food. The father-and-son team who run the family vineyard uncork a few bottles, and out from the kitchen come local cheeses, meats, olive and fruits. Everything was raised, harvested, or crafted in the same microclimate so the match is perfect. It’s not a fancy meal, but the blend of family hospitality and pure good flavors transform it into a sensory event you won’t forget.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank"><img alt="Plate of Food, Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9ln" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>From breakfast through dinner (and all snacks in between), every Classic Journey will introduce you to local food specialties in settings from picnics to candlelit gourmet dinners.<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/world/" target="_blank" title="search world travel tours"> Browse all of our destinations now.</a></p> <br> 

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