Meet isolated tribes in Ethiopia, take a working vacation on a ranch and more

Mursi women, Ethiopia.

Mursi tribe women wear lip plates.

By Phil Marty | Chicago Tribune

Intrepid travelers tired of the same old, same old can cross an off-the-radar destination off their list with the Isolated Tribes of Ethiopia trip from Adventure Life. The trip focuses on the Omo Valley, which is in the southwestern part of the landlocked country in the Horn of Africa.

The itinerary starts in Addis Ababa, visiting museums like the National Museum, which features the fossilized remains of the early hominid Lucy. Then it's off to Arba Minch, the largest town in southern Ethiopia and the gateway to tribes barely touched by the outside world. Women of the Mursi tribe wear large plates in their lower lip to demonstrate their worth. Body scarification and ornate body art and impressive headdresses identify the Karo tribes. Other tribes that may be encountered are the Ari, Benna, Tsemai, Mali and Konso, who erect totem poles over their graves and breed and revere snakes. Cost of the trip is from $4,415 per person for a group of two. International and internal airfare are extra. 800-344-6118, http://tinyurl.com/gu8gpxo

Working vacation

If you're willing to mix work with pleasure, you can spend nearly a week at a pricey Colorado dude ranch for just $1,000. The Home Ranch in Clark, in the north central part of the state, has a Working Dude Ranch Vacation on May 16-21. The Relais & Chateaux property will involve guests in all kinds of activities to ready the ranch for its June 4 summer season opening. Among the tasks will be mending fences, repairing trails, planting seedlings, riding horses and helping with orientation for new wranglers. The price includes lodging and meals, entertainment and educational sessions. A tax of 3.9 percent and 15 percent resort fee are extra. 970-879-1780, http://tinyurl.com/h6vv9l4

South America splendor

Natural beauty and Latin culture combine in a 21-day tour package from Enrichment Journeys. The Jan. 29, 2018, departure starts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a full-day tour that includes a tango show, followed by a day in the countryside to see Argentine gauchos in action. From there, it's on to the massive and stunning Iguazu Falls. During the two-night visit, there will be a full-day viewing of the Argentine side of the falls and a boat ride to the base of the cataract. From there, it's back to Buenos Aires to begin a 14-night cruise aboard the Celebrity Infinity. A highlight of the cruise will be three days in Rio de Janeiro during the city's annual Carnival celebration. There will also be port calls in Sao Paulo, Ilhabela and Buzios, Brazil, and Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay. The package is priced from $6,199 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air from Miami. For the cruise, there's a choice of two of the following: classic beverage package, prepaid gratuities, unlimited Internet or $300 onboard credit. Air add-on from other cities includes Chicago and Newark, $500. 888-546-8617, http://tinyurl.com/gtxuusz

Phil Marty is a freelance reporter.

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