Over 14 days, you’ll have plenty of time to feel a little like Indiana Jones. Exploring the ancient cities of Machu Picchu and Cuzco and tracing the history of the people of the Andes, you’ll be led by Cal State Fresno professor emeritus James Kus, who has written extensively about Peruvian archeology. The Archeological Institute of America offers the carefully designed trip so travelers can spend time at the greatest archeological sites in Peru, as well as have time to enjoy the region’s best hotels. Besides Cuzco, Lima, Chan Chan, and the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, travelers get to spend two full days at the hidden mountain city of Machu Picchu. The 2013 trip is scheduled for September 5-19. Prices begin at $6,845 per person, including accommodations. A pre-tour stay at Lima’s Casa Andina PC Miraflores is an additional $199, including breakfast and taxes.
Feeling one-sixth your weight is just an extra perk of the weekend you’ll spend at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Adult Space Academy, an entirely hands-on taste of what it’s like to train in the U.S. space program. Besides spending time in the astronaut space flight simulators, visitors build a model rocket and send it off into flight, as well as take a tour of space flight history in one of the world’s largest space craft collections. Visitors stay at the Habitat facilities and eat at the Space Camp Crew Galley. Openings are limited so make reservations early. Camps season is August to October for ages 18 and older. Weekends are $549 per person.
Walk among the stars with your feet planted firmly on the ground at the Chautauqua Institution along Lake Chautauqua in southwestern New York state. An “old school” learning community where Smithsonian Journeys sponsors various themed summer weeks, this is where visitors can attend lectures and join discussions with scientists and professional astronomers. Accommodations and meals are at the Hotel Athenaeum, which is walking distance from all events. The camp is June 22-29 and costs $3,095, including meals and accommodations.
Vincent Van Gogh found inspiration and despair in the south of France. Exploring the countryside in the footsteps of the great Dutch painter as well as fellow artist Paul Cezanne is a chance to see what they and other artists of the impressionist movement saw. Abercrombie & Kent leads trips to the region of Provence that explore the countryside, the city of Arles – that inspired Café at Night – and even the asylum where Van Gogh spent a year. Visit Cezanne’s studio as well as a local family-run traditional textile company. You’ll meet the people of Provence at work, over a meal or perhaps a glass of local wine. The nine-day trip takes you from Paris to Monte Carlo through the eyes of artists, architects and the common Frenchman in search of your own inspiration. Trips are $4,760 per person including accommodations.