1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul MN 55105
Bhutan: The Hidden Kingdom
September 9-21, 2013
Travel to a distant and devout land to witness breathtaking Himalayan scenery, encounter an enduring spiritual tradition, and engage in local life. This small group journey to Bhutan rewards modern-day visitors with a taste of tradition undisturbed. Space is limited. For more information, email Gabrielle Lawrence email@example.com
Begin in the capital of Thimphu, where we tour Memorial Chorten, Bhutan’s best-known religious landmark; and the National Library, housing an immense collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and the world’s largest book. Continue on to the former capital of Punakha via the Duchula Pass, with stunning views of the Himalayas. Here follow the sacred tradition of raising prayer flags in the name of peace and wisdom. Our journey continues in the bowl-shaped glacial valley of Gangtey, home of the sacred Black-necked cranes and where only solar power is used; then on to historic Paro, where we tour Ta-Dzong, the national museum showcasing Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage. Conclude with a highlight of any trip to Bhutan: a visit to Paro Taktsang, the sacred Tiger’s Nest monastery and temple complex hanging from a cliff some 3,000 feet above the upper Paro Valley.
This trip involves considerable
walking and on uneven terrain, as well as some
lengthy coach rides on unpaved roads. You
should be in good physical condition to enjoy
the tour to the fullest. While the elevations in
Bhutan on this tour are not severe, the relatively
high altitude of Thimphu and Paro (both 7,500
feet) and Gangtey (9,000 feet) could pose problems
for travelers with certain health conditions.
You should consult your physician if you have
Download Brochure (.PDF)
Birding Sri Lanka
With Anthropology Professor Arjun Guneratne
Spend 12 days in one of the world’s most remarkable biodiversity hotspots, birding a compact West Virgina-size island where 492 species of birds have been recorded, including 26 endemics. We’ll visit Sinharaja, sole remnant of a vast tropical rainforest that once covered the southwest of the island, and home to many of these endemic species; we’ll travel to the coastal wetlands of the southern province, where shorebirds that breed in northern Eurasia spend the winter; and we’ll look for seabirds on Adam’s Bridge, a string of sandy islets linking Sri Lanka to southern India. The tour will include the Wilpattu National Park, one of the oldest in the island, and home to elephants, leopards and sloth bears, in addition to a rich avifauna. Altitudes range from sea level to 8000 feet within a few hours of travel. Be prepared for leeches in the rain forests and Spartan accommodation in places. You will have the opportunity to extend your stay in Sri Lanka and explore the island after the tour is over. For more information contact Gabrielle Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Costa Rica’s Natural Heritage
March 17-28, 2014
Your 12-day educational journey begins in cosmopolitan San Jose. Embark on an excursion through the Central Valley to Poas Volcano National Park before continuing on to the Doka Coffee Estate where you’ll learn about Costa Rica’s most important export and have lunch. After visiting La Garita at the Botanical Orchid Garden, enjoy magnificent vistas of Arenal Volcano from this evening’s lodge. Take guided walks through Monteverde’s biological reserve learning about the amazing bio-diversity in this relatively small area. Float along the Tempisque River where you will have to opportunity to see abundant bird- and wildlife. End your tropical journey at a secluded Pacific beach resort. Towering volcanoes, exotic flora and fauna, and stunning sunsets will make this natural voyage a trip to remember! A 4-day/3-night optional post-tour extension allows you to further discover Costa Rica’s bio-diversity with a guided stay within Tortuguero National Park.
August 6-21, 2014
With Geography Professor Holly Barcus
Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan from the sands of the Gobi Desert to the grasslands of the steppe. Staying in traditional ger camps, experience the unrivaled hospitality of the Mongolian people as you explore the unspoiled geography of its wide open spaces. Begin in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Natural History, and the 19th-century Gandan Monastery. From there, fly to the Gobi Desert, the largest desert in Asia. Travel through the desert like nomads and explore scenic Eagle Valley, Khongoryn Els, home of the “singing” sand dunes, and the Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag. Embark on a camel ride out to the 2,600-foot high sand dunes and walk on the soft sand. From the desert, travel into the wide-open steppe. Stop at the sacred mountain and nature preserve of Khongno Khan, set in a beautiful landscape of forest, steppe, desert and river. Discover Khustai Nuruu National Park and freshwater Lake Khuvsgal, the second largest lake in the world and one of Mongolia’s premier attractions. Enjoy ample opportunity throughout the tour to take part in outdoor activities as well as meet the local people and experience their generous hospitality.