Explore Chile's Torres del Paine National Park on foot from base camps and spend the second week in sea kayaks visiting quaint villages on small islands off Chiloe Island. Peruvian Adventures is offering the 14-day trip to southern Chile from Jan. 16 to 31.
The first week will be spent in Patagonia, beginning at the Strait of Magellan. Nature fans may see guanacos, foxes, Magellanic penguins, the flightless rhea and Andean condors. Some tours will be made in vehicles, but most will be day hikes from two lakeside base camps.
The second half of the trip begins in Puerto Montt. The group will cross over to Chiloe and from there tour the nearby islands. Participants will stay overnight in guest houses. No previous experience is necessary, and there is a support boat for non-kayakers.
Cost: $2,480 per person, double occupancy, including most meals, accommodations, equipment, tours and the services of a tour conductor and naturalist guide. Round-trip air fare to Punta Arenas from Los Angeles is extra.
Contact: Peruvian Adventures; telephone (909) 626-2905.
France: Paris Shopping
A dinner-party-size group of eight is invited on a trip to Paris with the themes of music, food, fashion and shopping. Two weeklong pre-holiday tours are offered, Nov. 8 to 15 and Nov. 15 to 22.
Guests can explore the antique markets of St. Ouen; the grand department stores of Boulevard Haussmann; the tiny boutiques on the Ile St.-Louis for handcrafted toys, estate jewelry and imported fabrics from Kashmir; the discount haute-couture clothing stores near Place de la Madeleine; and the Porte de Vanves flea market for paintings, linens and decorative arts.
Musical highlights include candlelighted chamber concerts in an ancient church on the Left Bank; live dance music in a subterranean nightclub where the jitterbug still reigns; cool jazz atop a tall building with a view of the Eiffel Tower; and an evening of cabaret music.
Culinary adventures will include dining in a bistro; feasting in a flamenco restaurant on paella and couscous; and eating classic French comfort food in a brasserie established in 1886 on one of the oldest streets in Paris. Elegant hotel accommodations are centrally located near the River Seine, within walking distance of the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Left Bank and flower markets.
Cost: $2,750 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, airport transfers, six nights' hotel, welcome dinner at a classic French bistro, daily buffet breakfast and hotel taxes.
Contact: Anne Block, Take My Mother Please Tours; tel. (323) 937-9073.
Mideast: Biblical Sites
A 12-day pilgrimage to Israel, scheduled to begin Nov. 13, will take members to Bat Yam, Jaffa, Caesarea, Haifa, Nazareth, Tiberias at the Sea of Galilee, the upper Jordan Valley to Caesarea Philippi and Jerusalem.
Visitors will see where biblical stories are said to have taken place, including the sites of Jonah and the whale, Mt. Carmel, the Holy Family's house, the Angel Gabriel's annunciation to Mary, St. Joseph's carpenter shop, the multiplication of loaves and fishes, the Transfiguration and Jacob's well (where Jesus met the Samaritan woman).
Excursions in and around Jerusalem include the Old City, Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, El-Aksa mosque, Via Dolorosa, Garden of Gethsemane (eight olive trees more than 2,000 years old), the Holy Sepulchre, the Tomb of David on Mt. Zion, Bethlehem, the caves of Qumran, Masada and Jericho.
Cost: $1,975 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from LAX, hotels, two meals daily, guides, ground transportation, transfers and entrance fees.
Contact: Larry Bishop, Knights of Columbus Pilgrimage director; tel. (949) 581-9936.
Caribbean: Elvis Cruise
The Elvis legend continues on Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norway during a seven-day Caribbean voyage to celebrate the birthday of the "King." The Jan. 2 cruise will host original band members, Elvis tribute performers, comedians and the Flying Elvises.
Featured guests include Joe Guercia, Elvis' musical director and conductor during the '70s, who will host Q&A sessions and give a firsthand account of life with Elvis. The ship stops at St. Maarten, St. John, St. Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay, with three days at sea.
Cost: from $1,047 per person, double occupancy, including port charges. Air fare to Florida is extra.
Contact: Callaway Cruises; tel. (800) 667-4523.
Asia: Golden Triangle
Asia Transpacific Journeys has introduced a new tour to the once-forbidden mountain area wedged between Thailand, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Laos. The "Golden Triangle" is home to colorful hill tribes, and the trip includes numerous hikes and overnight stays in local villages. Departures are Nov. 6 and Jan. 1.
Participants will travel by boat through the karst canyons near China to Luang Prabang, a city in Laos with French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples. Guests will stay in a luxury resort in Thailand and travel overland to Kengtung, Myanmar, to explore an old British hill station.