butterfield & robinson the upscale b&r has defined adventure with refined taste and ease. you might spend long hours touring the 12th century temples of angkor wat and ta prohm, but you’ll be able to unwind ad-equately poolside or sprawl across your teak bed at the grand hotel d’angkor. (800) 678-1147; www.butterfield.com
earthwatch institute this ecology-minded group offers a rare chance to adventure — and help — too. you might explore sarasota, florida, with scientists trying to plumb puzzling dolphin die-offs. or walk the beautiful southwest shore of st. croix helping resident biologists help endangered, and nesting, leatherback sea turtles. (800) 776-0188; www.earthwatch.org
geographic expeditions most outfitters educate, but, not surprisingly, few do it like geographic expeditions. wish to follow (up to a point) the ill-fated steps of the great mountaineers george mallory and andrew irvine from lhasa, tibet to rongbuk monastery, and on to their 17,900-foot base camp? (800) 777-8183; www.geoex.com — k.m.