What's the Deal?

What's the Deal: Travel Bargains Around the Globe, By Land, Sea and Air

Sunday, August 30, 2009


-- With Tropical Adventures, save more than $500 on the Cultural Encounter Package to Costa Rica, a mix of volunteering and nature. The six-night package costs $899 per person double and includes two nights at the Hotel Don Carlos in San Jose; four (rustic) nights at the Bamboo Cultural Center in the Talamanca indigenous reservation; volunteering opportunities at an elementary school, retirement home and indigenous cultural center; a five-hour indigenous farm tour to see exotic frogs, birds, butterflies, etc.; a boat tour to Panama, plus a forest walk and waterfall swim; almost all meals and some snacks; and transfers to all locations. Airport departure tax of $26 and gratuities are extra. Travel by Feb. 28; some blackout dates apply. Typically, the package costs $1,444. Info: 800-832-9419, http://www.tropicaladventures.com.


-- United is offering introductory sale fares on its new service to Madrid, which starts March 28. Nonstop fares from Washington Dulles start at $485 round trip, including taxes. Book by Sept. 7 at http://www.united.com; travel March 28-May 13. Seven-day advance purchase and Saturday night minimum stay required. Travel Monday-Thursday for lowest fares. Other airlines offer flights for more than $500 with at least one stop.


-- Cruise West is introducing four new journeys to the Middle East and Southeast China and has sweetened the deal with reduced rates of 20 percent, plus free air and excursions on select cruises. For example, the 16-night sojourn from Chennai, India, to Mumbai, departing March 20, costs $7,995 per person double, reduced from $9,995, and the 16-night Singapore-to-Chennai trip, leaving March 5, is priced at $10,145, down from $12,695. The 14-night cruise from Mumbai to Muscat, Oman, costs $5,895 (vs. $7,395) and includes round-trip air from four U.S. cities, including New York's JFK. Depart April 4. The 18-night sail from Muscat to Alexandria, Egypt, costs $8,545 and includes a three-night post-cruise land tour of Cairo, valued at $1,390. Depart April 17. All taxes included. Book by Oct. 28. Info: 800-296-8307, http://www.cruisewest.com.


-- CheapCaribbean.com is offering discounted all-inclusive packages throughout the Caribbean for fall and early-winter travel, starting at $499 double. Packages include airfare and lodging, meals, drinks, activities, tips, some taxes and fees, hurricane and weather insurance, and a $100 travel credit if it rains. For instance, a six-night stay for two at Sun Village Resort & Bungalows in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, with flights from Reagan National, is $728 per person. Priced separately, airfare costs about $457 per person, and the resort is $574. Book by Sept. 1 for travel between Sept. 20 and Dec. 18. Information: http://www.cheapcaribbean.com or 800-915-2322.

Prices were verified and available on Thursday afternoon when the Travel section went to press. However, deals sell out quickly and are not guaranteed to be available. Restricts such as day of travel, blackout dates and advance-purchase requirements sometimes apply.

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