An open wooden gate leads to a small courtyard with a cross in front of an old adobe building with belltowers.

Taking the High Road from Santa Fe to Taos

Tiny villages sit along the winding highway through the mountains to Taos. From Santa Fe, the drive straight through takes only about an hour and a half, but leave time to dawdle at churches and galleries, take a hike, or have lunch on the way. Author Zora O’Neill directs you to the best spots for stopping.

A glowing sign with the Metro logo and station stops shines white on black.

Brazilian Portuguese

Living abroad expert Michael Sommers covers some of the differences between Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese spoken in Portugal, as well as the influence of other languages.

The crown of a float with an elderly female figure dressed in robes standing beneath a red parasol.

Popular Festivals in Japan

Almost every town and city in Japan has its own matsuri (festival) celebrating the new year, changing seasons, or a historic event. Author Ruthy Kanagy gives an overview of some of Japan’s more well-known festivals.

A stone carved into the stepped pattern of the upper half of an incan cross combines with its shadow to create a full cross.

The Sacred Steps of the Inca

Step designs are found everywhere in important Inca ruins and are versions of the chacana, a sacred Andean symbol similar to the Christian crucifix. Learn more about the chacana—the key to understanding the spiritual beliefs of the Inca—and where to spot it.

View of the grassy stone terraces of Machu Picchu with a single tree growing on one terrace.

Cusco and Machu Picchu: Living History

Despite the conquest, Inca culture has proven remarkably resilient over the centuries, which creates the sensation of time standing still. Quechua, the Inca language that is spoken by six million Andean highlanders, is heard as often as Spanish along the narrow alleyways of Cusco. Inca Trail hikers who arrive at dawn at the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, will see the fog rise gently from the terraces and perfect stone buildings of Machu Picchu, which was lost for centuries and therefore perfectly preserved.

View from inside a limestone cavern with vegetation outside.

Puerto Rico, the “Island of Enchantment”

Puerto Rico’s nickname, Island of Enchantment, is a fitting sobriquet. Sandy beaches, palm trees, and tropical breezes make it a favorite getaway for the sun and surf crowd. Rugged mountains and a verdant rain forest attract adventure travelers, and lavish hotels with ocean-side golf courses embrace vacationers who crave luxury.