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Mexico City Travel Tour

We are excited to announce our new scheduled destination, Mexico City, Puebla and Cholula,
January 26-February 2, 2017

Entrance to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico city

Entrance to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico city

The tour emphasis will be Archeology, Anthropology and Arts. Mexico City’s historical city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with important structures from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Walk through the past and present of the Zocalo square (Main Plaza), the second largest in the world, built above the ruins of the Aztec City of Tenochtitlan by the Spanish after the conquest. Off the plaza you will find the Templo Mayor of the ancient Aztec capital, the Cathedral and National Palace with the mural painted by Diego Rivera. View more of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings at Dolores Olmeda Patino Museum located in the colonial neighborhood of Coyoacan in Frida Kahlo’s home.

Stroll through 3, 500 years of Mexican history in the world-famous Museum of Anthropology located inside the Chapultepec Park where Lord Pakal’s tomb treasures from Palenque lay.

One of the most important Aztec ruins of the world is found in Teotihuacan, “the place where men become gods”. The pyramid of the sun and the moon are among the best-recognized structures in these ruins.

We can’t exclude a showing of the world-famous choreographed art of the Ballet Folkloric, founded by Amalia Hernandez. This mesmerizing dance features arts and dance from regions throughout Mexico.

This group tour also features Puebla and Cholula. Under the striking view of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl Volcanoes in the center of Mexico is Puebla. The “heroic” city where the French army in 1862 was defeated in the infamous Battle of Puebla or known to many as the Cinco de Mayo celebration. Colonial architecture in Puebla reveals exuberant European style palaces built by the Spanish conquistadores who also brought with them the sturdy and colorful Talavera ceramic. Cholula does not fall behind in its Talavera wares. The city of Cholula is mostly known for its 365 churches and the hidden pyramid of Cholula.

Join us on our first scheduled group tour. If you have been hesitant about visiting on your own, this is the perfect opportunity to see Mexico City and Puebla. Our knowledgeable and personable guides will provide an enjoyable and enlightening learning adventure tour

10 days in the Copper Canyon

Copper CanyonI just returned from 10 days in Copper Canyon with travel agents. I marvel again at the Adventure Park at the Divisadero Area in Copper Canyon. Rock climbing, repelling, cable cars and zip lines are among its offerings. The Park offers a 7-jump zip line which is the longest in Mexico and the Zip Rider which is the longest single zip line in the world.

I have ridden the 7-jump zip line about 6 times and I am always ready to go again. It is such a trill to be flying through the air over canyon views that one cannot see any other way. At one point you are 2275 feet above the canyon floor. Three miles of course with two hanging bridges added in gives you plenty of time to revel in the scenery. Looking around you see dramatic scenes with steep rocky cliffs, stream beds and Tarahumara Indian ranches. One of the lines is 1.2 km long and on one of the lines you double up so you will make it across the chasm to the other side

The Zip Rider seems too tame for me, but, for those who want soft adventure riding in comfortable chairs at 65 miles per hour, it can be an adrenaline rush. The vertical drop is 450 feet and is over 8000 ft. long with a 17% grade. It takes about 2.5 minutes whereas the 7 zip line can take up to 3 hours, depending on how many people are riding it that day. You can boast you have ridden the fastest, highest and longest single zip line in the world.

Even if you do not ride a zip line, you should at least ride the cable car across the canyon. It is 3.6 miles long and offers a good view of Tarahumara Indian ranches and the canyon floor and flora. On the 7-jump zip line, you return on the cable car so you get both adventures in the same adventure.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tours

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

S & S Tour Offerings to Some of These Sites

Seville palace garden2In 1978, when UNESCO published its first list of protected places, there were just 12 World Heritage Sites.  These included one of S & S Tours offerings this year in May:  The Galapagos Islands.

Today there are 1031 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The top ten nations for the World Heritage Sites listed according to ranking in the number of sites are Italy, China, Spain, France, and Germany, Mexico, India, UK, Russia and  USA. Italy, China, Spain and  France possess 51, 48, 44 and 41 respectively,  France is the most popular country in the world, with Spain not far behind.  Spain is one of my favorite countries and we tour there every few years with clients.

As you can see  Mexico rates #6 in the top ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  We offer various tours to these Sites all over Mexico—archeological sites, architectural sites, natural history sites, designated cities, etc.

One of the new wonders of the world is one of the best known and most visited tourist destinations in South America, Machu Picchu, does not fail to disappoint visitors and even though I have been there 10 times, I am ready to go again next year. S & S Tours has a popular 12-day tour here in April this year and plans to offer another one next April.

We are so fortunate the Spaniards did not discover the 550-year old citadel, built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century. It perches high in the Peruvian Andes at 7,973ft above sea level.

Machu Picchu (which means “old mountain” in the Quechua language) can be reached by a hike on mountain trails or by a scenic train trip through the “Sacred Valley.” We take the Vista Dome Train and  follow the Urubamba River up to the  foot of Machu Picchu.  We stay two nights at Aguas Calientes so we have plenty of time to wander around the ruins and even climb Wayna Picchu if we desire (“new mountain.”  )  This is the widely photographed peak at the back of Machu Picchu.

Sue Stilwell

Galapagos Islands Travel Tour

Cruise the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador in a double catamaran.

 Galapagos delivers nature with a capital N.  You will get closer to the wildlife than in a zoo!

Millennium Yacht -Galapagos 2012It was one of the thrills of my lifetime to snorkel with Blue Footed Boobies, miniature penguins sea lions and more. The Blue-Footed Boobies have gorgeous sky blue feet and are in abundance everywhere, looking like sentries posted on the rocks as we cruised by .  The animals on the Islands have no fear as they are protected so you can almost pet them, but, probably not advised.  We had to be careful where we stepped to avoid  many colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs and lizards on every rock by the water.  The Crabs are actually afraid of the water and stay near the edge.  Our catamaran was so comfortable with a picture window and a deck in each cabin.  I enjoyed sunning on the top deck of the boat when not being active.  I will never forget waking up one morning and a sea lion had hitchhiked a ride with us and was on the deck snoozing.  Visiting the Darwin Research Center was so informative and I spent  a lot of time observing the Giant Galapagos Turtles there, the superstars of the reptile world.  I was especially taken by Lonesome George, who was over a hundred years old.  My granddaughters had studied about him in school. He was the last of one of the species of Galapagos.  They have not located any mate for him.  They attempted to mate him with some similar species, but, it did not take. He died just after my last trip there. A sad loss.  It was a treat to travel with some tourists from other countries too—Israel, Asia, Australia.

You begin and end in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and then fly out to your catamaran in the Islands.  April 30-May 7, 2016      Tour price is $3795.  On sale now.