You Can Explore a New Frontier

Bhutan, the Himalayan nation that's fiercely protective of its traditional Buddhist culture, is gradually opening its doors. Last September two previously closed districts, Merak and Sakteng, in the remote eastern part of the country, officially opened to visitors for the first time. Outfitters, naturally, followed quickly. One World Trekking now offers an 11-day trek through the area's high-alpine valleys and temperate forests. $3,665; May 8–18 and September 25–October 5; Meanwhile, Geographic Expeditions is going yeti hunting. Seriously. The mythical migoi (yeti) has enough sway in Bhutan that the government has established a park, the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary—commonly known as the Migoi National Park—to protect it. When not hiking on the beast's trail, you'll crash in rustic lodges and tent camps. From $5,450; April 11–28 and October 24–November 10; Montenegro is the latest Eastern European nation to catch the adventure bug. The country started hosting a series of adventure races for international teams last year ( To go play yourself, try Mountain Travel Sobek's new trekking trip through the Dinaric Alps. You'll cover 40 rugged miles and raft the mellow, blue-green Tara River. $3,595; August 14–23; Or explore on two wheels with UK outfitter Saddle Skedaddle's eight-day mountain-biking trip through high alpine meadows and the swirling karst formations of Durmitor, in the northwestern part of the country. $1,580; June 26–July 3 and August 28–September 4; And while we wouldn't rush to hike along the Iranian border, the more stable Middle East countries are seeing big travel bumps. In 2010, Jordan's tourism shot up 18.5 percent, and growth has been impressive in Lebanon and recently opened Libya, too. In Lebanon, Geographic Expeditions leads a new eight-day ramble through 12th-century Phoenician ruins and ancient cedar trees in the Western Mountain Range. From $4,125; April–November; Cox & Kings's new eight-day Timeless Treasures of Libya trip takes you through the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna, on the Mediterranean coast, and the labyrinthine oasis town of Ghadames. From $4,185; September–April; cox­and­ Finally, KE Adventure Travel leads a vehicle-supported nine-day mountain-bike romp through Jordan, starting at the shores of the Dead Sea and ending at Bedouin camps in the deserts of Wadi Rum. $1,640; March–December;

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