Suppliers whip up tours to satisfy many tastes

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NEW YORK -- Do you have clients looking for a little adventure or cultural enlightenment on their Mexico vacations this winter?

The following tour operators are marketing itineraries that offer something for everyone, from the active sea kayaker to the Mexican art aficionado.

• Navtec Expeditions in Moab, Utah, an adventure travel specialist, is offering several sea kayaking tours in the Sea of Cortes this winter.

The guided, seven-night Sierra de la Giganta Sea Kayak Expedition combines sea kayaking with plenty of time to sightsee, snorkel, fish, hike or relax at base camps along the way.

The trip begins in the fishing village of Loreto, where guests overnight in a beachfront hotel and take sea-kayaking lessons.

Several departure dates are scheduled through April.

The land-only cost is $1,095 per person, double, including a one-night hotel stay before and after the expedition.

The trip also includes meals, land transportation and use of kayaks and safety gear, river bags and a camera box a two-person tent.

Navtec Expeditions will lead an eight-day sea kayaking tour in the Sea of Cortes. Navtec also is offering combination kayaking/whale-watching tours and charter boat tours in Baja.

For information or reservations, call (800) 833-1278 or visit www.navtec.com.

• Los Angeles-based California Native has been taking clients to the Copper Canyon for almost two decades.

The company is offering a number of excursions to the area, ranging from two-week group explorations to three-night individual trips.

Located in Mexico's Sierra Madres, the Copper Canyon is four times larger than the Grand Canyon and almost 300 feet deeper.

A typical six-night package to the region includes a visit with the Tarahumara Indians to see demonstrations of their famous foot races; a picnic at Lake Arereco; and a visit to the home of Pancho Villa, the controversial bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution.

The trip also includes a ride on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad, which climbs almost 8,000 feet into the Sierra Madres.

The next departure is set for March 3; eight additional tours are scheduled throughout 2002.

The trip costs $1,790 per person, double, including the services of bilingual guides, ground transportation, excursions, tips and most meals. Air fare is extra.

For more information or reservations, call (800) 926-1140 or visit www.calnative.com.

• Mexican Art and Culture Tours in Tempe, Ariz., is offering clients an opportunity to explore the art scene and markets of colonial Mexico.

A nine-night outing to the colonial cities of Morelia, Patzcuaro, San Miguel de Allende, Uruapan and Guanajuato is planned for March.

The firm said it will schedule other visits based on client interest and can arrange individual and group tours.

The colonial cities visited on the tour are tucked away in the terrain of the Sierra Madres in the heart of the Anahuac and Tarascan civilizations.

Almost unchanged since colonial times, the areas are prized as showpieces for Spanish colonial art and architecture.

Clients will visit the workshops of artisans who practice their trade in centuries-old traditions. Day trips feature stops at local coppersmiths, a weaving factory and a tile and ceramics center.

Clients also will explore the native markets of Patzcuaro and visit Atotonilco, a 16th century monastery.

The land-only package costs $1,965 per person, double, including accommodations, ground transportation, breakfasts, several lunches and dinners and all entrance fees.

For more information or reservations, call (888) 783-1331 or visit www.mexicanarttours.com.

• Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based Mexico Specialists is offering a package for clients who are seeking sun and surf.

The operator is marketing a nightly rate of $90 per person, double, at the inclusive, 250-room Melia Azul Ixtapa.

The rate is available through March 23, and up to two children under age 7 can stay free in their parents' room.

The rate increases to $127 from March 24 to April 15, before dropping to $95 from April 16 to Dec. 23.

Guests have a choice of five restaurants, two bars and three swimming pools. The hotel also has a supervised program for children.

Ixtapa is a prime location for water sports and sport fishing, and the hotel takes advantage of this by offering wind surfing, sea kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.

Golfers can schedule a tee-time at the nearby Marina Ixtapa's 18-hole golf course.

For details or reservations, call (800) 733-8818 or visit www.mexico-specialists.com.

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