Once only explorers ventured into the remote regions of the world, going by foot or canoe or horseback. Today, almost nowhere is off-limits to adventure travelers, who can join organized expeditions to trek or paddle or ride across the face of the map.
Among the adventure trips abroad this year:
*Hiking the North Alps of Japan: The scenery is breathtaking, and hikers get to experience Old Japan by staying in country inns, enjoying traditional hot baths and dining on Japanese cuisine. Departures May through September for 16 days. Cost: $1,395 per person plus air fare to Japan. Guides for All Seasons, Carnelian Bay, Calif. 95711, (800) 457-4574.
*Kayaking the coast of Baja California: You paddle among the offshore desert-like islands of Mexico's Baja California, camping each night on a different beach. Weekly departures through May for one week. Cost: $650 per person plus air fare to La Paz, Mexico. Baja Expeditions Inc., P.O. Box 3725, San Diego, Calif. 92103, (619) 297-0506.
*Trekking into the highlands of Kashmir: Follow the Sind River to an altitude of 15,622 feet through magnificent alpine country dotted with ancient sheepherding villages. Departures June 7, July 5 and Aug. 7 for 10 days. Cost: $1,150 per person plus air fare to Srinagar in India. Himalaya Trekking & Wilderness Expeditions, 1802 Cedar St., Berkeley, Calif. 94703, (415) 540-8031.
*Canoeing Africa's Zambesi River: It's a four-day canoe safari, taking you for a not-too-difficult glide past hippo pools, sunning crocodiles and grazing herds of elephants. Departures May 22, Aug. 7 and Oct. 2 for a total of two weeks in Africa. Cost: $2,150 per person plus air fare to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Mountain Travel, 1398 Solano Ave., Albany, Calif. 94706, (800) 227-2384.
*Cycling the Outer Hebrides of Scotland: The route is a challenging one through the remote, treeless moors off the western coast of Scotland. Cyclers stay in country inns. Departing May 2 for nine days. Cost: $1,545 per person plus air fare to Glasgow. Butterfield & Robinson, 70 Bond St., Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 1X3, (416) 864-1354.