YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Tours & Cruises

Cool Irish Nights, Nice, Warm Pub and a Castle


See Ireland when the crowds are gone and the pubs are still full. Five weeklong tours are scheduled Sept. 15, Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. The itinerary includes daily walking excursions to museums and historic places, and nightly pub visits. Golf or horseback riding outings can also be planned. Guests will visit Dublin, Galway, Bunratty and the Aran Islands or Kilkenny by both train and ferry.

Cost: $995 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, ground transportation, daily full Irish breakfast, a Ceile dinner banquet, as well as afternoon tea, daily walking tours and nightly pub outings.

Contact: Heritage Tours, P.O. Box 3364, Boulder, CO 80307-3364; telephone (303) 494-8329.

Mexican Folk Art

A 10-night tour Oct. 24 to Nov. 3 to Michoacan, Mexico, highlights the ages-old Day of the Dead celebration by the indigenous families in the small villages in and near Lake Patzcuaro. Graves are cleaned and often elaborately decorated with candles, flowers, fruits and sugar skulls for the Nov. 1 event. Favorite foods and drinks are brought for the all-night candlelight vigil. Participants will also visit craftspeople's workshops and several fine artists' homes around Michoacan and Jalisco. Mexican folk art authority Rocky Behr will lead the tour.

Cost: $2,150 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, ground transportation, lodging, tours and some meals.

Contact: Folk Tree Tours, 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105; tel. (818) 795-8733.

Baja Blast

Baja California Tours is offering a five-night tour departing Oct. 8 for Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Travelers can depart with the group from San Diego or join the tour in Mexico City. Oaxaca is noted for folk art produced by the predominately Indian population, Spanish colonial architecture, including the gilded, baroque church of Santo Domingo. Participants will also see the important pre-Columbian ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla. The group will travel with a U.S. tour hostess who lives in Oaxaca one month a year. A local guide and a tour coordinator will join the group when they arrive in Oaxaca.

Cost: $659 per person, double occupancy, including airport transfers, hotel, tours and some meals.

Contact: Baja California Tours, 6986 La Jolla Blvd., No. 204, La Jolla, CA 92037; tel. (619) 454-7166.

Outward Bound

A hike through the Gila Wilderness Area of New Mexico that leaves Aug. 16 for nine nights, offers backpackers an ecologically diverse desert environment with elevations varying from 5,000 and 10,000 feet. Participants will learn basic wilderness skills, map reading, rock climbing and rappelling, and are lead by two trained instructors.

Cost: from $1,295 for an 10-day course, including airport transfers by van to the site, all backpacking and camping equipment, all meals and instruction.

Contact: Voyageur Outward Bound School at 111 3rd Ave. S., Suite 120, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2551; tel. (800) 328-2943.

Desert Kingdoms

A tour of the Crusader castles of Syria and Jordan runs Oct. 19 to Nov. 3. Participants will tour the Crusaders' Krak des Chevaliers, hear a lecture by the curator of the National Museum in Damascus, attend a reception at historic Baron's Hotel in Aleppo and eat a lunch in an Armenian underground hideaway.

The group will also have tea with a Bedouin family in the Syrian desert; dine in front of the Temple of Baal in Queen Zenobia's Palmyra; tour Maaloula, an Aramaic-speaking mountain village; stroll the streets of the Decapolis League city of Jerash; take a full day exploring the lost rose-colored city of Petra; eat a private local-style dinner with Palestinian family in Amman; and ride in a four-wheel-drive to Wadi Rum, Lawrence of Arabia's hide-out.

Cost: $3,990 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from New York, hotels, most meals, touring. Spring departure also available.

Contact: Destinations and Adventures International, 8489 Crescent Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90046; tel. (800) 659-4599 or (213) 650-7267.

Peru Trek

Hike through the Andean highlands on an adventure trip guided by a Peruvian-American. Two dates are available: Sept. 7 to 20 and Sept. 28 to Oct. 11.

Participants will be traveling along Inca trails, exploring Inca ruins, and visiting native villages and traditional markets that feature handmade ceramics, textiles, art and crafts.

Guests will meet with Quechua herders of llamas and alpacas in remote mountain communities. Trip includes visits to Cuzco, capital of the Inca civilization, surrounding ruins, Urubamba--the sacred valley of the Incas and the legendary lost city of Machu Picchu.

Cost: $2,295 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, all transportation and flights in Peru, all sightseeing tours, quality hotels, all meals and first-class trekking and camping service for the 14-day trip.

Contact: Andes Adventures, Devy Reinstein, 1323 12th St., Suite F., Santa Monica, CA 90401; tel. (310) 395-5265

China's Best

Los Angeles Times Articles