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THE MATURE TRAVELER : Tours That Stress Education Abroad : University-based Interhostel provides lodging and lectures at cultural sites.

June 28, 1992|BILL HUGHES

Travelers who prefer group rather than individual foreign travel, and want more exposure to history and culture than is found on most tours, might want to check out the study tours offered by Interhostel.

Similar in concept to the popular educational travel programs offered by Elderhostel, Interhostel is a separate organization administered and operated by the University of New Hampshire. Now in its 13th year, Interhostel offers only international foreign study. It offers about a dozen group tours of two weeks or longer each year, with emphasis on excursions to historic and contemporary points of interest, augmented by lectures and seminars.

Interhostel tours are for adults 50 and over, though a companion no younger than 40 may accompany the tour member. Some accommodations are in modern hotel dormitories rather than commercial properties. Interhostel requires a non-refundable deposit, but trip cancellation/interruption insurance can be purchased to cover the deposit.

Study tours this year include learning about the Mayan civilization in Mexico's Yucatan; the Burgundy region of France; Moravia, Czechoslovakia, and Christmas in Bavaria. Coming up early next year is a new tour to Katmandu and Pokhara, Nepal.

The Yucatan tour is set for Dec. 5-18, and includes a four-day stay in Merida. Guided by an anthropologist from the Cemanahuac Educational Community, travelers visit Uxmal, Coba, Kabah, Tulum, Labna, Sayil and Chichen Itza.

Also included are visits to local markets, small villages and Mayan communities, plus a jungle train ride. The tour winds up with a stay in Cancun, a ferry ride to Cozumel and snorkeling on Palancar Reef.

Cost of the tour is $1,550 per person, double occupancy, not counting air transportation but including hotels with private baths, all meals, sightseeing and the usual educational/cultural offerings.

Next year's tour to Katmandu, Feb. 6-23, includes visits to a lush jungle and medieval townswhile learning about the country's history and culture and meeting with village craftsmen. It's priced at $1,995 per person, double, excluding air fare.

Other upcoming Interhostel trips include Budapest; Santiago, Chile; Lucerne and the Interlaken area of Switzerland; Nairobi and the Serengeti Plain of Kenya; Australia and New Zealand.

Air travel for Interhostel trips is arranged by the company's own travel agency at the least expensive fare (often a group rate) on a scheduled flight by a major carrier.

For more information and a free catalogue of trips, contact Interhostel, University of New Hampshire, 6 Garrison Ave., Durham, N.H. 03824, (800) 733-9753.

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