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TOURS & CRUISES | TURKEY

Heel, toe, heel, toe to Turquoise waters

November 13, 2005|Maggie Barnett | Times Staff Writer

TREK through Cappadocia and cruise the Turquoise Coast on a 10-night tour of Turkey that is scheduled to begin March 26.

"The trip is special because it combines two really spectacular areas of Turkey," said Tricia Dowhan of Country Walkers.

"It's almost like an outdoor museum for our guests to walk through."

The group will walk from village to village in Cappadocia and visit the Outdoor Museum in Goreme.

Participants travel by bus to Antalya, where, weather permitting, they will view a total solar eclipse on March 29 from the village of Ardicpinari.

Group members will hike in Olympus National Park before driving the coast to Cirali and Finike.

There, they embark by gullet for a six-night cruise of the Turquoise Coast in the southern Mediterranean.

Ports of call include Kalekoy, Aperlea, Kalkan near the ruins of Xanthus, Oludeniz and Gemiler Island.

Daily walks are mostly moderate, from one to four miles.

Cost: $4,148 per person, double occupancy, including six nights' ship accommodations, four nights' hotels, meals, airfare from Dalaman to Istanbul. International airfare from Los Angeles is not included.

Contact: Country Walkers, Waterbury VT; (800) 464-9255, www.countrywalkers.com.

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CALIFORNIA

A wild place to start 2006

PARTY with real animals on New Year's Eve and sleep it off at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp in Santa Rosa.

The Dec. 31 package includes a three-hour tour in open-top, four-wheel-drive vehicles around the 400-acre habitat for Saharan Desert antelope, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes and birds.

Participants will celebrate that night with dinner and dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Cost: $215.75 per person, double occupancy ($56.50 single supplement), including safari tour, dinner, tent cabin accommodations and continental breakfast. Transportation from Los Angeles and most beverages are not included.

Contact: Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp, Santa Rosa; (800) 616-2695, www.safariwest.com.

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MYANMAR

New Year the Naga way

CELEBRATE the traditional Naga New Year and learn about the tribes of Myanmar on a 19-night tour of the region.

The Jan. 4 tour travels to the mountains of Mindat, the Inle Lake region and Lahe.

"It's great for adventurers and photographers," said Hima Singh of Asian Pacific Adventures, who took her first trip to Myanmar in 2001. "It was so remote."

"The [Naga] tribesmen would pose with their spears for the camera, then they were frightened when the flash went off," she said. "Now there are books about this area; still, few people know about it."

The trip begins in Mandalay and visits the cities of Yangon and Bagan before traveling to Mindat to meet the Chin tribes, known for their weavings. Participants go by boat to the Inle Lake area to see the Pao tribes, and by air and truck to the Naga village of Lahe for the traditional New Year festival.

Cost: $5,990 per person, double occupancy ($750 single surcharge), including hotel and dormitory accommodations, most meals, internal airfare, boat and ground transportation, entrance fees and permits. International airfare is not included.

Contact: Asian Pacific Travel, Tarzana; (818) 881-2745, (800) 825-1680, www.asianpacificadventures.com.

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VENEZUELA

Angling for adventure

LAND a peacock bass on a fishing trip to Guri Lake near El Manteco, Venezuela.

The five-, seven- and nine-night trips depart daily through March from Caracas.

The peacock bass are native to the Orinoco and Caroni rivers that feed the 110-mile-long Guri Lake. They average 15 pounds.

The boats are 23-foot aluminum-hull craft with twin-jet-engine drives; they are equipped with a global positioning system, fish-locating equipment and CD stereos.

The fishing resort has a swimming pool, a whirlpool and tropical gardens.

Cost: $2,485 per angler for five nights, $3,297 for seven nights and $4,109 for nine nights (a non-fishing companion is an additional $220 per night), including airfare from Caracas, hotel and resort accommodations, all meals, fishing guide, ground transportation and transfers. Airfare from Los Angeles to Caracas is not included.

Contact: The Great Canadian Travel Co., Chicago; (800) 661-3830, www.greatcanadiantravel.com.

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The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. Send information to Tours & Cruises, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012 or e-mail travel@latimes.com.

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