Ride elephants with a professional mahout and enjoy a private cruise through Mumbai Harbor to the rock-cut cave temples on Elephanta Island on the 17-day Essence of India trip. Part of the proceeds from the tour go to the nonprofit Friends of Conservation Project ( and the Wild Lands Elephant Corridor Project, which restored 88 wildlife corridors across India and designated them as a "reserve forest."
Trip Tip: For inspiration before you depart, pick up a copy of Insight Guide India ($23) for phenomenal photographs and essays.
Luxury Level: Expect to stay in the best of what India has to offer, including two nights at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace (the principal residence of the royal family of Jodhpur).

Key Historical/Archaeological Conservation: Abercrombie & Kent; 800/554-7016;; prices from $11,095 per person, all-inclusive; November 24-December 10 and December 22-January 7.