Bringing Flowers and Art Into Focus on Oahu

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Join tropical garden and art experts on a nine-day visit to public and private gardens in Oahu, Hawaii, Jan. 26 to Feb. 3. Additional tours to archeological and historical sites, significant architecture and artworks, both traditional and modern, will bring into focus the importance of Hawaii’s flora to its historical, artistic and cultural development. Time is also reserved for beach activities.

Cost: $2,090 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotel, some meals and ground transportation.

Contact: Roxanna Galbreath, Martin’s Travel and Tours; telephone (310) 390-7685 or (800) 999-7124.


Nepal: Trekking

Eco Adventure Safaris is offering two trips to explore the landscape and culture of Nepal during its dry season. The tours, Feb. 23 to March 12 and March 9 to 26, will be conducted by a geography professor. Highlights include three days exploring markets and stupas in Katmandu; three days at the lakeside town of Pokhara; six days trekking in the Annapurna region; two days rafting the Trisuli River; and a two-day canoe, Jeep and elephant-back safari at Royal Chitwan National Park.

Cost: $2,399 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, accommodations, transfers, river rafting, trekking, safari and guides.

Contact: Eco Adventure Safaris, 17552 Tuscan Drive, Granada Hills, CA 91344; tel. (818) 832-1282, Internet

S. America: Highlights

Spanish professor Martha Evans of Palomar College will host a 19-day journey to South America Dec. 27 to Jan. 15. The tour features New Year’s Eve in Cuzco, Peru; a visit to the Machu Picchu ruins; Lake Titicaca in Bolivia; Santiago and Vina del Mar in Chile; Iguazu Falls; and the ruins of the Jesuit missions of Guaranis in Argentina (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The tour ends in Rio de Janeiro.

Cost: from $4,650 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, guides, baggage handling and some meals.

Contact: Judith Manson, Uniglobe Vineyard Travel, 1310 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92027; tel. (800) 867-9934.


Mexico: Butterfly Season

Look to the skies for the annual monarch butterfly migration. Every year, 250 million monarchs return from the north to their wintering grounds in Michoacan, Mexico.

Natural Habitat Adventures, a Colorado-based nature tour company, is offering six-day programs from late January through March that explore two monarch sanctuaries. Travelers will meet in Mexico City, then drive into the Central Highlands to Angangueo, a mountain village that will be a base for exploring the Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary. At 9,000 to 10,000 feet in the mountains, travelers can stand amid millions of butterflies. The group also will take a two-mile horseback ride through woods to a second sanctuary, Chincua.

Cost: $1,995 per person, double occupancy, including all transportation within Mexico, accommodations, most meals, three trips to see the monarchs, guides, taxes and service charges. Air fare to Mexico City is extra.

Contact: Natural Habitat Adventures, 2945 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80301; tel. (800) 543-8917, Internet

Southeast Asia: 6 Nations

Visit six countries on a tour that goes to Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Taiwan from Feb. 13 to March 4.

Leading the tour will be Asian art dealer Harry Lawrence. The tour begins in Yangon, Myanmar, to see its golden 326-foot pagoda encrusted with thousands of jewels. Then it’s up the Irrawaddy River to ancient Pagan, with its 5,000 golden pagodas and temples, overrun by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Highlights are Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom in Cambodia, its capital city of Phnom Penh and its museum of Khmer art. Next is Vientiane, Laos, followed by stops in Vietnam to visit Hanoi, Halong Bay for a cruise past sandstone peaks (similar to those in Guilin, China), the ancient citadel of Hue and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The tour ends in Taipei with a visit to the National Museums of Chinese Art.


Cost: $4,975 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, ground and boat transportation, all meals, sightseeing and guides. The tour is limited to 18 travelers.

Contact: Far East Art Adventure Travel, 1910 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; tel. (949) 494-9778.

Arizona: Apache Wars

From March 18 to 25 historian Neil Mangum will tell the saga and lead a tour to the sites of the Apache Wars, when the Chiricahua Apaches clashed with the U.S. Army in the late 1800s. The group will visit Ojo Caliente, a stronghold of Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise, and Skeleton Canyon, where Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo surrendered. Travelers will meet in Mesa, Ariz.

Cost: $1,495 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals and guided tours. Transportation to Arizona is not included.

Contact: HistoryAmerica Tours; tel. (800) 628-8542, Internet

Central America: Cruise

A nature-oriented cruise--with a focus on tropical birds and fish--plies the waters along the Caribbean coast of Central America, through the Panama Canal and up to Costa Rica (or the same route in reverse). The cruise is being offered by Zegrahm Expeditions of Seattle aboard the Wind Star, which sports computer-controlled sails and 74 cabins with windows. Between Cancun, Mexico, and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, there are 11 ports of call, mainly on islands, with excursions aboard shallow-draft boats and chances for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. Dates are Feb. 10 to 25 (Feb. 24 to March 11 for the trip in reverse).


Cost: from $7,990 per person, double occupancy. Air fare and scuba gear are not included.

Contact: Zegrahm Expeditions; tel. (800) 628-8747.

Britain: Christmas

Travelers who join Saddleback College Community Education’s “Holiday Experience in Great Britain” tour will celebrate a Christmas with all the trimmings at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds and a gala New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland, with bagpipes, dancing and “Auld Lang Syne.”

On Boxing Day, Dec. 26, the group will attend a sending off of the hounds of the Beaufort Hunt at Badminton House, visit Longleat House near Bath in the afternoon and attend a gala dinner. This 14-day tour departs Dec. 20 and returns Jan. 2. The tour also includes three nights in London; two nights in Stratford-upon-Avon, with a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; medieval York; a side trip to Oxford; and visits to Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington, and Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott. New Year’s will be celebrated at the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh.

Cost: $4,175 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, holiday programs, entrance fees, most dinners and ground transportation.

Contact: European Experience, P.O. Box 6691, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607; tel. (949) 495-2905.

Chile: Hiking

Active Journeys is offering a hiking trip in Torres del Paine National Park, part of a six-day tour of Patagonia, where guests will observe granite towers and Grey Glacier. The tour departs on various dates from November to April.

Cost: $1,185 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, meals and guides. Air fare to Chile is extra.

Also offered is the “Chile Multi-Sport” tour, which incorporates three activities in eight days. Based in the Chilean Lake District, participants can walk, cycle or raft while exploring Chile’s scenic beauty. The tour runs November through March.


Cost: $1,300 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, ground transportation, meals and guides. Air fare is extra.

Contact: L. Didus, Active Journeys; tel. (800) 597-5594, Internet

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators.