Maria Ortega


  • Spain & Portugal
  • Eastern Europe
  • Central & South America
  • France
  • Mexico
  • India

I was born in a small border town along the Mexican border.  During my childhood I heard about distant places and exotic places. My father had moved from a Baja California town with his family during the Mexican Revolution, and before settling in his new post, he had worked for some time on a cargo ship. He always inspired us to read and learn about different countries; books and encyclopedias were always present during our school years.

My adventurous mother inspired us to travel as well. She travelled with her six children to visit our grandparents on the coast of Mexico, via my favorite means of transportation, rail. Later on we explored other cities, such as Mexico City, Puebla, Cuernavaca, Guanajuato and Guadalajara. While in college, I found a job in a hotel. Later on when I moved to California, I had the opportunity of working in a hotel again, then with three different airlines promoting Mexico and Argentina.

My first transatlantic trip was a wonderful escorted tour which included all of the cities I had in my wish list: London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam and Brussels. This was the beginning to my becoming an expert on Europe. Next,  I fell in love with Spain and its heritage, culture, music and food. Since then I have visited Spain more than 25 times. I have followed the routes of the "Camino de Santiago", (The way of St James), and I have walked the Portuguese route from Tui to Santiago Compostela. I have visited beautiful cities such as Madrid, Sevilla, and Barcelona, small towns, wine areas, mountain resorts, and beautiful islands such as Mallorca, La Gran Canaria, and Ibiza. The enrichment obtained from many of these trips has been unique and precious. An experience of a lifetime.

I continued exploring neighboring Portugal, and then France, beautiful Biarritz, the amazing Bordeaux area, and of course Paris. My travel experiences, aside from my native Mexico, Spain and Portugal, include Eastern Europe, Flanders, Russia, Italy, Croatia, South Africa, India and other Latin countries such as Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.  During over 15 years as a travel agent, I have customized many different itineraries focused on heritage interests, cultural events, food and wine, local festivities and art exhibitions, My experience includes ocean cruises and around the world journeys.

I aim to prepare detailed itineraries including the best insider tips I have gathered. I continuously update my insider information, looking for new trends in travel; best hotels, restaurants, cooking classes, bike trips, museums, art galleries and more. Call me so we can discuss your plans for a trip that you will never forget. I will craft your itinerary based on your interests, heritage, type of activities you desire and pace, whether escorted or independent.

Affiliated Agent for TravelStore

My Travel Experiences

Please take a moment to click on the images below to see some of the enriching travel experiences and stories I would love to share with you.