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Tours & Cruises

Back at the Ranch in Baja--and No Phones

September 01, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Baja California Tours is offering a three-day tour to the Meling Ranch in Baja, Mexico, departing Sept. 27. The historic 17,000-acre ranch in the Sierra San Pedro Martir is still operated by the Meling family and gives guests the feel of old Mexico--no telephones, no television. The tour is planned at the time of a full moon.

Cost: $326 per person, including van transportation from San Diego, two nights at the ranch and all meals. Contact: Baja California Tours, 6986 La Jolla Blvd., No. 204, La Jolla, CA 92037; telephone (619) 454-7166.

London Theater

San Diego's Starlight Musical Theatre is hosting a trip that departs Oct. 5 to see the best of London's theatrical offerings. The tour provides six nights' accommodation in London and theater tickets to three West End productions, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, "By Jeeves."

Cost: $2,380 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Southern California, accommodations, theater tickets and some meals. The Ireland extension is $1,385. Contact: Acacia Travel, 4250 Pacific Highway, Suite 125, San Diego, CA 92110-3217; tel. (800) 243-6996.

East Africa Journey

A tour to see Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti in Tanzania, Africa, begins Feb. 8 for 15 days. The trip starts in the gateway city of Arusha with a stay at Mountain Village Lodge at Lake Duluti. Next, the group takes a six-day journey to the 19,340-foot-high Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain in Africa. Safari days on the Serengeti will include travel in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Tent camps are traditional canvas with separate shower facilities. No trekking experience is required.

Cost: $2,950 per person, double occupancy, including tours, accommodations, most meals and guides. Contact: Alaska Wilderness Journeys, P.O. Box 220204, Anchorage, AK 99522; tel. (800) 349-0064.

Polar Bear Watch

Travel with Natural Habitat Adventures to Churchill, Manitoba, in Canada, where each fall the tundra surrounding Churchill becomes a stopover for more than 1,000 bears on their annual migration. Several October trips range from six to nine days and offer bear-viewing from the safety of "tundra buggies."

On the Mothers and Cubs adventure, guests fly inland, where the mother bears congregate with their cubs, offering excellent photo opportunities from the White Whale Lodge. On the Special Research Adventure, travelers are invited to assist Malcolm Ramsey, a polar bear scientist, and his team from the University of Saskatchewan. Participants live with the scientists at the Northern Studies Centre.

Cost: $1,995 to $3,495 per person, including accommodations, meals, parka and boot rental, air transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill, helicopter and tundra transportation and guide services.

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

Scottish Trails

A walking tour in Scotland that begins in Glasgow and ends in Edinburgh leaves Los Angeles on Oct. 28 and returns Nov. 9. Daily walks take participants to scenic vistas, waterfalls, rivers and lakes for a firsthand look at the local scenery, customs and culture. Castles visited include the Findlater ruins on the seacoast, the Huntley, the Fyvie, the Eilean Donan and the Edinburgh Castle. Guests also spend some time looking for the Loch Ness monster near Castle Urquhart.

Cost: $1,895 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, all breakfasts, most lunches and several dinners. Also included are airport transfers, private motor coach VAT charges and entrance to five major attractions. Not included: air fare and airport taxes. Contact: Jim Gurnham, High Country Trekkers, 11950 Ventura Blvd., Suite 4, Studio City, CA 91604; tel. (800) 475-0004.

Anasazi Land

Get the cameras out for two photo trips to Monument Valley in southeast Utah, Oct. 4 to 6 and Oct. 18 to 20. The trips will begin at Monument Valley, but most of the time will be spent on Cedar Mesa exploring the side canyons for Anasazi ruins and rock art. The photo workshop will be taught by Alain Briot, who makes his home in this area and specializes in photographing the canyons, ruins and rock art of the Southwest.

Cost: $125 per person, including photographic instruction, permits, the campsite and guides. Transportation to the campsite, camping gear and meals are not included.

Contact: Adventurquest, 17939 Chatsworth St., No. 283, Granada Hills, CA 91344; tel. (800) 956-0653.

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

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