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TOURS & CRUISES

Bringing Flowers and Art Into Focus on Oahu

October 08, 2000|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Join tropical garden and art experts on a nine-day visit to public and private gardens in Oahu, Hawaii, Jan. 26 to Feb. 3. Additional tours to archeological and historical sites, significant architecture and artworks, both traditional and modern, will bring into focus the importance of Hawaii's flora to its historical, artistic and cultural development. Time is also reserved for beach activities.

Cost: $2,090 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotel, some meals and ground transportation.

Contact: Roxanna Galbreath, Martin's Travel and Tours; telephone (310) 390-7685 or (800) 999-7124.

Nepal: Trekking

Eco Adventure Safaris is offering two trips to explore the landscape and culture of Nepal during its dry season. The tours, Feb. 23 to March 12 and March 9 to 26, will be conducted by a geography professor. Highlights include three days exploring markets and stupas in Katmandu; three days at the lakeside town of Pokhara; six days trekking in the Annapurna region; two days rafting the Trisuli River; and a two-day canoe, Jeep and elephant-back safari at Royal Chitwan National Park.

Cost: $2,399 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, accommodations, transfers, river rafting, trekking, safari and guides.

Contact: Eco Adventure Safaris, 17552 Tuscan Drive, Granada Hills, CA 91344; tel. (818) 832-1282, Internet http://www.ecoadventuresafaris.com.

S. America: Highlights

Spanish professor Martha Evans of Palomar College will host a 19-day journey to South America Dec. 27 to Jan. 15. The tour features New Year's Eve in Cuzco, Peru; a visit to the Machu Picchu ruins; Lake Titicaca in Bolivia; Santiago and Vina del Mar in Chile; Iguazu Falls; and the ruins of the Jesuit missions of Guaranis in Argentina (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The tour ends in Rio de Janeiro.

Cost: from $4,650 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, guides, baggage handling and some meals.

Contact: Judith Manson, Uniglobe Vineyard Travel, 1310 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92027; tel. (800) 867-9934.

Mexico: Butterfly Season

Look to the skies for the annual monarch butterfly migration. Every year, 250 million monarchs return from the north to their wintering grounds in Michoacan, Mexico.

Natural Habitat Adventures, a Colorado-based nature tour company, is offering six-day programs from late January through March that explore two monarch sanctuaries. Travelers will meet in Mexico City, then drive into the Central Highlands to Angangueo, a mountain village that will be a base for exploring the Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary. At 9,000 to 10,000 feet in the mountains, travelers can stand amid millions of butterflies. The group also will take a two-mile horseback ride through woods to a second sanctuary, Chincua.

Cost: $1,995 per person, double occupancy, including all transportation within Mexico, accommodations, most meals, three trips to see the monarchs, guides, taxes and service charges. Air fare to Mexico City is extra.

Contact: Natural Habitat Adventures, 2945 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80301; tel. (800) 543-8917, Internet http://www.nathab.com.

Southeast Asia: 6 Nations

Visit six countries on a tour that goes to Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Taiwan from Feb. 13 to March 4.

Leading the tour will be Asian art dealer Harry Lawrence. The tour begins in Yangon, Myanmar, to see its golden 326-foot pagoda encrusted with thousands of jewels. Then it's up the Irrawaddy River to ancient Pagan, with its 5,000 golden pagodas and temples, overrun by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Highlights are Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom in Cambodia, its capital city of Phnom Penh and its museum of Khmer art. Next is Vientiane, Laos, followed by stops in Vietnam to visit Hanoi, Halong Bay for a cruise past sandstone peaks (similar to those in Guilin, China), the ancient citadel of Hue and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The tour ends in Taipei with a visit to the National Museums of Chinese Art.

Cost: $4,975 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, ground and boat transportation, all meals, sightseeing and guides. The tour is limited to 18 travelers.

Contact: Far East Art Adventure Travel, 1910 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; tel. (949) 494-9778.

Arizona: Apache Wars

From March 18 to 25 historian Neil Mangum will tell the saga and lead a tour to the sites of the Apache Wars, when the Chiricahua Apaches clashed with the U.S. Army in the late 1800s. The group will visit Ojo Caliente, a stronghold of Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise, and Skeleton Canyon, where Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo surrendered. Travelers will meet in Mesa, Ariz.

Cost: $1,495 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals and guided tours. Transportation to Arizona is not included.

Contact: HistoryAmerica Tours; tel. (800) 628-8542, Internet http://www.historyamerica.com.

Central America: Cruise

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