Irian Jaya: Visiting Papua New Guinea's Stone Age Peoples
Irian Jaya, an Indonesian province comprising the Western half of the island of Papua New Guinea, is inhabited by hundreds of tribes who practice a way of life that dates back to the Stone Age. On this 14-day trip, you'll visit with the Dani people of the Baliem Valley and the Asmat of the southern coast and witness traditional ceremonies (such as the Bisj pole ceremony which commemorates dead warriors). You'll hike through lush mangrove forests and down sandy beaches as your native Irian guides point out the best parts of their homeland.
Outfitter: Geographic Expeditions, 415-922-0448, www.geoex.com
When to go: June, September
Prince Edward Island: Cycling Historic Canada
You'll start your 7-day cycling tour in the P.E.I. capital Charlottetown before moving down the road to Canada's Brackley Beach National Park. Then you'll pedal through rolling farmland on to the fishing village of Victoria, known for its light houses and blue heron colony. Besides magnificent seascapes, choice seafood, and a dose of island life, you'll learn much mire than you ever thought possible about the influences behind Anne of Green Gables, P.E.I.'s literary claim to fame.
Outfitter: Classic Adventures, 800-777-8090, www.classicadventures.com
When to go: July
Madagascar: Wildlife Safari
For millennia, Madagascar has been separated from mainland Africa, allowing an amazing array of unusual and interesting creatures to develop. On this 19-day trip, Allen Bechky, a world-renowned authority on safari and bush travel, will lead you into the rain forests of Perinet, the Coral Gardens of Isalo, the Spiny Forest of Ifaty, and the badland canyons of Isalo. You'll see some of the island's wildlife--indri, aye-aye, and sifaka to name a few--and gain a deep understanding of their place in one of the world's most unique ecosystems.
Outfitter: Mountain Travel Sobek, 888-MTSOBEK, www.mtsobek.com
When to Go: April, May, June
Washington: Sea Kayaking the San Juan Islands
You'll start your six-day adventure on San Juan Island, one of more than 200 island in the San Juan archipelago. Paddling through forested islets, you'll be in the prime location to spot some of the more than 80 orca whales who call the San Juans home. The evenings are spent in beach camps, where classic Northwest cuisine (roast salmon!) is served as you watch the sun set over the Pacific
Outfitter: REI Adventures, 800-622-2236, www.rei.com
When to Go: June, July, August, September
Greece: Cycling Crete The double steeps: Crete is steeped in history--you'll pass by the ruins of Knossos, Gortyn, and Festos on your week-long journey--and Crete's roads are steep. On this cycling trip you'll power up the islands rugged mountains and coastline as you cycle from inn to inn and taverna to taverna experiencing the best hospitality the Cretans have to offer. Flower-festooned houses greet you as you come out of the mountains and into inland villages. And although it's ancient, Crete loves new visitors.
Outfitter: The Northwest Passage, 800-RECREATE, www.nwpassage.com
When to Go: May, October