Wildlife along the Amazon
CRUISE the Amazon River on a nature tour with the Santa Ana Zoo.
The eight-night adventure, which begins April 27, includes two nights in Lima and six nights aboard the 22-passenger La Turmalina riverboat, exploring the Amazon basin with local guides and zoo director Ron Glazier.
The region is one of the most biodiverse in the world.
Participants can expect to see monkeys, tropical birds and river dolphins.
The tour includes a visit to a riverbank village to learn about local culture and medicinal uses of plants. The group also stops in Iquitos to wander through markets and visit museums.
Cost: $5,195 per person, double occupancy ($2,695 single surcharge), including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, hotel and ship accommodations, meals, internal transportation and entrance fees. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are not included.
Contact: Ron Glazier, Santa Ana Zoo; (714) 647-6598. Tour arrangements by Classic Escapes, Astoria, N.Y.
From Hanoi to Angkor
VENTURE to Vietnam and detour to neighboring Cambodia on a 17-night tour.
The trip, which departs Feb. 11, travels through Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), then crosses into Cambodia to see the Angkor temples in Siem Reap.
In Hanoi, group members visit historical sites and markets; they cruise Halong Bay in a traditional junk, passing floating villages; in the ancient capital of Hue, participants tour palaces and temples.
The group travels the coastline of the South China Sea to quaint Hoi An, flies to Nha Trang and tours the rural highlands and pristine lakes around Da Lat.
The last stop in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City, where old Chinatown, pagodas and cosmopolitan sophistication coexist.
Participants then cross into Cambodia to view the temples of Angkor.
Cost: $3,675 per person, double occupancy ($980 single surcharge), including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, internal flights, hotels, most meals, transfers, entrance fees and local taxes. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are not included.
Contact: Ceylon Express, Huntington Beach; (800) 423-9566, www.ceylonexpress.com.
Get down to the dig
SEE the terra-cotta warriors of Xian on a four-city tour of China.
The 14-night tours, which depart Wednesdays and Sundays through Feb. 17, visit Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The itinerary includes three days touring Xian and visiting with archeologists and historians.
“They are literally unearthing [artifacts] every day,” said Keith Stracke of Alamo World Travel & Tours. “You are there with the archeologists while they are wiping the dust off [artifacts].” Participants on these government-sanctioned tours are allowed to hold the artifacts and take photographs.
In Beijing, the group visits Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. The itinerary includes touring a part of the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs.
Cost: $5,230 per person, double occupancy ($2,775 single surcharge), including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, internal airfare, hotels, some meals and transfers.
Contact: Alamo World Travel & Tours, Alamo, Calif.; (800) 848-8747, Ext. 24, www.alamoworld.com.
Following St. Paul
WALK in the footsteps of St. Paul on a study tour to Greece.
The eight-night tour, sponsored by Hope Lutheran Church, departs May 8. The group travels to sites associated with early Christianity, Greek and Roman ruins, Athens and Thessaloniki.
Excursions include Corinth, Delphi, Kalambaka and a one-day cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina.
In Macedonia, the group tours the purported tomb of Philip of Macedonia at Vergina-Aigai and visits Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great.
Lecturers in Greek philosophy and early Christian history will accompany the tour.
Cost: $2,948 per person, double occupancy ($695 single surcharge), including round-trip airfare from L.A., hotel and ship accommodations, most meals, sightseeing and entrance fees.
Contact: Harvey Wehrmeister, Hope Lutheran Church, Hollywood; (323) 938-9135. Nawas International, Los Angeles, has arranged the trip.
Send information to Tours & Cruises, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or write via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.