Spain – Portugal Travel, Vacation, Tourism HD

Spain – Portugal Travel, Vacation, Tourism HD
World Travel
Spain – Portugal Tours HD
When you travel to Spain with Grand Circle Travel, you'll see the land of Don Quixote, bullrings, the fiery flamenco, and the strum of the guitar, and tour Portugal, a nation of bold explorers, colorful ceramics, and close ties to the sea.

Spain & Portugal in Depth
Madrid • Cordoba • Torremolinos • Seville • Lisbon

Discover the allure of Spain and Portugal in Depth with our special video, and follow along with our travelers as they:

Share a Home-Hosted Lunch with a local family
Witness the whitewashed architecture of Andalucia
Stroll the Plaza de la Merced in Malaga

From whitewashed villages to ornate Moorish palaces to medieval cities, discover the exquisite beauty of Spain and Portugal. In this video, see the highlights that make this trip an unbeatable value:

10 tours including Lisbon & Toledo
A Home-Hosted Lunch, plus 21 more meals
A live flamenco performance in Seville

Day by Day Itinerary

Travel to Spain, a country that conjures images of rocky plains and whitewashed villages, rugged castles looming from distant hills, the windmills that taunted Don Quixote, bullrings, the fiery flamenco, and the strum of the guitar. Portugal brings to mind bold explorers, colorful ceramics, and close ties to the sea. You'll find all this and more on this escorted tour of Spain as you sweep from the vibrant modern capital of Madrid through the olive tree-filled hills of Andalucia and on to Portugal's Atlantic coast, following a route traced first by the Romans and Visigoths and, later, by the Moors.
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Bali Vacation Travel Video Guide

Travel video about destination Bali in Indonesia.
Bali, island of the gods and gateway to Paradise is a relatively small island, east of Java across the Bali Strait. In recent years, luxurious hotel complexes have appeared, tastefully recreating the island’s ethnic traditions. The capital of Bali, Denpasar, is the commercial centre of the island with good shopping facilities and a fascinating variety of entertainment.Colorful dance and drama play an important part in the lives of the Bali people and almost every village has its own dance group, the favorite dance being the Barong.In the northern region of the island, the 1,800 metre high Gunung Batur volcano is still active, its slopes covered in lava fields that extend deep into its crater.Hindu temples abound, the Kehen being one of the most beautiful terraced temples in Bali and the Pura Besakih, the most revered.As in ancient times, rice is still cultivated in the traditional way, with ox and plough traversing the fields. Sun drenched beaches, cloud-kissed volcanoes, exquisite ethnic architecture and dreamy temples;it’s no wonder that Bali is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in East Asia.

HORSEBACK RIDING – GoPro Hero View – NJ New Jersey Shore Travel Tourism (at Echo Lake Stables)


Went horseback riding for the first time in years with Andy, Sharon, Marc, Maxine, Rachel and Cliff at Echo Lake Stables in Newfoundland, NJ. We did an hour trail ride ($35) on a beautiful Saturday in August. Really nice staff there and fun time. May go back for some private lessons. (In the video they explain some basics on how to make the horse turn, start and stop, and later on go over the differences between one handed and two handed reining, and also some information about their private lessons.) Thanks for watching.

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Cairo Nightlife – Egypt Tourism and Vacation

World Travel
Cairo – Egypt Travel Guide
Cairo travel guide, Cairo Attractions, Cairo Hotels,Cairo Restaurants,Tourism in Egypt, Vacation Egypt, Giza, Pyramids, Cairo Museum

From the Pyramids of Giza and traders' banter at Khan al-Khalili bazaar to sailing on the Nile, it's no surprise that Cairo is dubbed the Mother of All Cities by Egyptians.

Egypt's capital, and Africa's largest city, boasts attractions of biblical proportions — literally. Giza's Sphinx and pyramids are iconic as to be beyond description. Add to this the astonishing gold of Tutankhamun buried in the dusty corridors of the Cairo Museum, the Islamic treasures of bejewelled mosques, labyrinthine medieval alleyways lined with tempting spices and colourful textiles and the daily shrill calls to prayer rising above the cacophony of car horns and crowded streets.

Escape from the city's bustle by ordering a mint tea in a traditional ahwa (coffeehouse) or taking a felucca ride on the river Nile, Cairo's lifeblood and Africa's most significant waterway.

Cairo History

Cairo has been ruled by Persians, Pharaohs, Romans, Arabian caliphs, British colonials and more, and nurtured the establishment of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions. Not surprisingly, for today's visitor, the beauty is seeing those centuries unfold in layers, often juxtaposed into modern-day living.

The original ancient city was actually Memphis, now 24km (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, founded in 2,000 BC and ruled by King Menes who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Fustat, as 'modern-day' Cairo was known, was founded some 3,000 years later and was one of the world's greatest, and largest cities and home to Egypt's first mosque.

There embarked a period of huge construction of some of the city's most prominent landmarks. The Fatimids established the Al-Azhar mosque (one of the world's oldest Islamic universities) located in Islamic Cairo, the medieval quarter also home to the sprawling market streets of Khan el-Khalili.

Once the Mamaluk Sultanate was captured by the Ottoman Empire, they shifted most of the trading back to Constantinople and Cairo became little more than a provincial town. The mkedieval curse, the Black Death, struck the city countless times reducing the population by hundreds of thousands. Cairo's place on the spice route was all but diminished.

The Ottomans were soon unseated by Napoleonic troops who occupied Cairo in the late 18th century, later falling to British troops.

Muhammad Ali Pasha was considered to be the founder of modern Egypt, with social and economic reforms and huge construction in the early 19th century. His grandson Ismail Pasha continued that modernization process, inspired by the broad boulevards of Paris, and his legacy can still be seen around today's Downtown Cairo.

Debt let to British occupation lasting well into the 20th century, but huge demonstrations led to Egypt's independence declared in 1922 and Sultan Ahmad Fuad became King Fuad I. His son King Farouk I later married Queen Farida Zulficar.

Since World War II, Cairo's development has been intense, its huge and fast-growing population leading to its current status as the largest city in Africa and the Muslim world.

Weather in Cairo
Best time to visit:

Spring (Mar-Apr) and autumn (mid Sep-Oct) are most comfortable, when daytime temperatures reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Sultry summer (Jun-Aug) reach the high 30s. For those who hate the heat, winter (Dec-Jan) December and January are pleasantly cool (20 deg C / 68 deg F). Ramadan shifts ten days back annually — in 2011 will begin in early August. During the month, many eateries will close during daylight hours, and some bars close for the entire month, but the city is festooned in decorative lights with traditional music at nights in Islamic Cairo. During the major festivals of Eid ul fitr and Eid ul Adha, many locals travel so flights, trains and buses could well be booked up in advance.
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Future of Travel, Tourism, Hotels – European consumer trends – Futurist keynote conference speaker Future of the travel industry, package holidays, tourism, travel agents, corporate travel, vacation planning, online booking systems, social networks, facebook, twitter. Video comment made after keynote speech at Antalya Turkey conference on tourism. Future of Eco-tourism and growth of medical tourism, culture festivals, sports tourism, adventure holidays. Competition between Spain, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey – related to exchange rates. Antalya future tourist trends compared to Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Barcelona, Istanbul. Ministry of Tourism and Tourism agencies. Branding and marketing of resorts, regions and nations. Culture and ancient history, archeological sites, Greek and Roman remains. Meditterranean and Aegean sea – cruises, yaughts and water-based holidays. Consumer lifestyle trends and ageing of European travellers. Economy and exchange rates. How tourism and travel will grow over the next decade. Comment by conference keynote speaker and Futurist Patrick Dixon, author Futurewise and Sustainagility. Air travel, rail travel, cruise industry, coach tours, guided tours. Family, senior citizens and retired people all have different travel needs when staying in hotels, hostels, self-catering accommodation. How all inclusive holidays can damage local communities by reducing eating out in restaurants, cafes and bars. Impact of budget holidays on premium market.

Stockholm – Sweden Attractions, Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation

World Travel
Stockholm – Sweden Travel Guide
Stockholm – Sweden Attractions, Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation

The Stockholm Card (Stockholmskortet) offers free public transport within Stockholm, free sightseeing by boat, free admission to 80 museums and attractions, free city guided tours, free bike tours, and other special offers and benefits. You can buy the pass at tourist centres, at the City Hall and at hotels, youth hostels and kiosks throughout the city. The Stockholm Card is available for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days.

Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) offers one, three and seven-day travelcards for Greater Stockholm. These cards are available from SL Centres at several metro stations, in the lower hall at the Central Station and in the ticket halls of T-centralen station at Sergels Torg.

Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace)

Situated in the heart of Stockholm, (also home to the endlessly wanderable Gamla Stad, or Old Town), the Royal Palace is the official residence of the monarchs of Sweden and the chief venue for official state events. With 608 rooms, it is among the largest surviving palaces in Europe. The present glorious baroque edifice is the work of Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, from a 1692 design, however, parts of the older medieval Castle of Three Crowns still survive. Attractions include the Banqueting Apartments, the Apartments of the Orders of Chivalry, the Hall of State, the Royal Treasury, Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities and the Royal Chapel. The changing of the guard at the palace is as much of a spectacle in Stockholm as it is in London.
Opening Times: Tues-Sun 1200-1500 (2-6 Jan, 1 Feb-14 May and 15 Sept-30 Dec); Daily 1000-1600 (15-31 May and 1-14 Sept); Daily 1000-1700 (1 Jun-31 Aug).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Slottsbacken, Stockholm, Sweden


The largest art gallery in the country, the Nationalmuseum is somewhere to come and lose yourself in the country's superb collection of works from the medieval period to the 20th century. There are tens of thousands of different decorative pieces on show, but as is often the case with these kinds of galleries, the biggest draw tends to be the household-name artists, who in this case — thanks to the likes of Rembrandt, Goya and Rubens — are here in abundance.
Opening Times: 1100-2000 Tues &Thurs, 1100-1700 Weds & Fri-Sun (Sep-May); 1100-2000 Tues, 1100-1700 Weds-Sun (Jun-Aug).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Södra Blasieholmshamnen, Stockholm, Sweden

Stadshuset (City Hall)

Voted by the Swedes as the country's finest building, Stockholm's City Hall was begun in 1911, according to an art nouveau design by Ragnar Östberg. It may outwardly look more like a church, but its interior has grand civic apartments, including the Golden Hall with its glass and gold mosaics, while its tower — topped with Sweden's three-crown emblem — gives a sweeping panorama of Stockholm. The building's Blue Hall (which is actually red) is the venue for the annual Nobel Prize banquet. Visitors need to join one of the scheduled tours to see the interior, although access to the tower is unrestricted during opening hours.
Opening Times: Daily 1000-1200 for guided tours of the interior, with extra tours in July and Aug; daily 0900-1700 (Jun-Aug), 1000-1600 (Sept) for access to the tower.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Hantverkargatan 1, Stockholm, Sweden

Globen (Stockholm Globe)

A vast sporting and events arena, the Stockholm Globe has the dubious but nonetheless impressive honour of being the world's largest spherical building, at 85m (279ft) high and 110m (361ft) wide. As well as hosting major sporting contests, it also houses restaurants, bars and a shopping complex. Event schedule aside, the attraction of most interest to visitors is SkyView, a glass gondola which carries passengers up the outside of the building's shell.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 1000-1600 (summer).
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Globentorget 2, Stockholm, Sweden
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Shekhawati Vacation Travel Video Guide

Travel video about destination Shekhawati in India.
Shekawati, the North Indian region of Rajasthan, was once an important trading route to China. The amazing wealth of the majarajas can still be experienced as their former palaces have now been transformed into luxury hotels.The journey through this exotic land begins in Sikar, a place that still brings to mind the splendour of bygone times. The streets and lanes of this small town are always busy and it is as though half the population is making its way through the town. Lorries and camel wagons dominate the streets and the unpredictable nature of Indian traffic is a constant challenge. Havelis, the exquisite homes of the city’s former traders, are architectural gems. The dwelling houses of Sikar’s wealthy traders have retained their former glory and are built of yellow sandstone. The word ‘havelis’ is derived from the Persian language and means ‘encircled square’. The walls protect the building from the searing heat and also uninvited guests. In the 18th century Churu was one of the most important stops along the caravan route. The mighty Poddar Family dominated the supply of provisions to the travelling traders. Due to punitive taxes they moved their business to Ramgarh thus Churu gradually fell into decay but with the arrival of the British the town prospered once again. Each city in the Shekawati region is like something from a movie set and it would not be at all surprising if a film crew suddenly appeared from behind one of the magnificent facades! The splendour of the region’s havelis and royal palaces has turned this journey into an unforgettable adventure. Shekawati is truly a golden step into a lost age.

Philadelphia – Pennsylvania Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation

Philadelphia – Pennsylvania Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation
World Travel
Philadelphia – Pennsylvania Travel Guide
Philadelphia was once dubbed the, "Athens of the Americas," as it was the undisputed cultural centre of the New World. Today, it remains one of America's most historical cities; quite significant in a country officially only 230 years old. Philadelphia is where the American War of Independence began and ended, with the creation and signing of the Constitution. But Philly is so much more than just a beacon of American liberty.

Philadelphia also has a vibrant arts scene, diverse population, renowned orchestra, plus world-class museums and some fantastic restaurants. It is said Philadelphia is the only place in America where you could feed your brain and your belly at the same time and you only have to taste a Philly Cheesesteak once to understand that statement. Cheesesteaks and pretzels aside, you'll be amazed at the comprehensive choice of food available in the city, from fine dining to ethnic cuisine. This eclectic mix is visible in over 100 multi-ethnic neighbourhoods, encompassing everything from the bustling Italian market to African-American festivals and the traditional Amish community, who sell produce and foodstuffs in Reading Terminal Market, a purveyor of fresh farm food since 1892.

This diversity has also helped produce some legendary musicians. In fact, few would argue that Philly's musical heritage could rival that of New York. Since colonial times, it has been a melting pot of many forms of music from classical to contemporary. Philadelphia was also the home of Dick Clark's famous American Bandstand TV show, which showcased some of America's leading singers and musicians in the 1960's, such as Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, themselves natives of Philly's south side. 'Me and Mrs Jones', 'Love Train' and the Three Degrees' 'When Will I See You Again' were all products of TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia), which followed Motown into the 1970s as the shining light of soul music.

Sightseers have plenty to feast their eyes on, not least Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Meanwhile, the 2012 opening of the Barnes Foundation means that, together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the refurbished Rodin Museum, Philadelphia is home to one of the world's finest art collections, including the largest collection of Renoirs outside Paris and more Cézanne's than all the Parisian museums put together.

However, no trip to the city would be complete without a visit to the Rocky statue, at the base of the Museum of Art steps, which featured iconically in the Rocky movies. This landmark attracts more visitors than all of Philly's museums and art galleries. Meanwhile, take time to wander around the Old City District where former foundries, factories and warehouses have been turned into boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, with historic tours also available.

For those looking to explore futher afield, Philadelphia is the gateway into Pennsylvania Dutch Country to the west, the ski resorts of the Pocono Mountains to the north, and the Delaware Peninsula and Atlantic Seaboard beaches to the south east.

It's easy to see why Philly rates so highly when compared with New York just an hour or two to the north. Even the American comedian, writer and actor WC Fields wanted to have on his gravestone "Here lies WC Fields but I'd rather be living in Philadelphia."
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Japan – Tokyo Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation

Japan – Tokyo Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation
World Travel
Tokyo – Japan Travel Guide, Tourism
Shining skyscrapers towering above stunning Shinto shrines, and flashing neon lights bathing kimono-clad women: this is Tokyo and it's a city that thrills.
Brash electronics jostle next to upscale boutiques, giggling schoolgirls doll up for cosplay and salarymen cram onto commuter trains. In Tokyo, you will find everything, from peace memorials, smoking incense and folded prayers, to skull-thumping arcade games and toilets with more settings than your mobile phone.

Dine in world-class restaurants, shop in the world's largest fish market and taste the world's best sushi. Duck into roadside cafés to slurp steaming noodles and hide out in bars sipping sake and shochu. Sleep on tatami mats, steam in volcanic onsens, belt out karaoke and gaze up at Mount Fuji.
Effortlessly blending the old and the new, Tokyo is a city with a history and a heart that captivates every visitor.
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Brussels – Belgium Travel guide, Vacation, Tourism

Brussels – Belgium Travel guide, Vacation, Tourism
World Travel
Brussels – Belgium Travel guide
From its breathtaking medieval centre to its 21st-century temple to Surrealism, the new Magritte Museum, Brussels offers the visitor a great deal more than just beer and chocolate and is resoundingly unlike its unfortunate staid image as the home of EU beaurocrats.

Indeed, Brussels is a creative, dynamic city. Its compact city centre is clustered with bars, restaurants and museums set along cobbled streets. Inevitably, most tourists head to the Grand-Place. With its ornate Flemish guild houses, impressive Town Hall and buzzing atmosphere, it would be difficult to find a more beautiful square in the whole of Europe. It deservedly is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the city's crowning jewel. Wander next to the nearby Royal and Sablon districts teeming with art galleries and antique shops. Throw away your map and meander down a myriad side streets,
discovering flea markets, art-deco houses and boutique stores.

Léopold II's Parisian-style boulevards (Belliard and La Loi) are lined with embassies, banks and grand apartment buildings, while Sainte Cathérine, the Art Nouveau district of St-Gilles and Ixelles draw an arty crowd with their eclectic shops and restaurants.

The Bruxellois take pride in their self-effacing, intellectual sense of humour, underpinned by a strong appreciation of the bizarre. The city has a long-running love affair with the Surrealist art movement, pioneered by René Magritte, and with classic comic strips, epitomised by Hergé's boy hero, Tintin. There's a telling irony in the fact that the city's best-known landmark is the Manneken-Pis, a tiny statuette of a urinating boy.

Meanwhile, all of this sits alongside world-class collections of art, fabulous cooking including mussels, frites, waffles and whelks, some of Europe's best and unique beers (literally, there are thousands of varieties), and master-chocolatiers. When it comes to this confectionary, it pays to ignore the well-known brands such as Godiva or Neuhaus, and seek out the stylish boutique of the trendiest 'chocolatier', Pierre Marcolini who cnce a year, creates a limited-edition design.

The city's cultural calendar is packed with events for everyone from the massive, raucous Foire du Midi street fair every July teeming with stalls and fairground attractions to the legendary Christmas Market that takes centre stage in the Place Sainte Catherine with 240 stalls, a skating rink, a big wheel, and numerous rides. One of the biggest events is Art Brussels, showcasing the city's edgier, creative side and a hub for art connoisseurs from around the globe.

If you're a Euro-loving national, check out the European Quarter, centered around Schuman and the Berlaymont. Its liveliest part is the Place du Luxembourg: all its bars fill up around 6pm on week days with some of the 20,000 diplomats, politicians and civil servants who reside in the city after Brussels became the centre of international political following WWII.

Easily accessible by train from other major European cities, Brussels is also the gateway for day trips to Amsterdam, Ghent, Luxembourg, Antwerp and Bruges, among others, making it a fabulous two-centre destination.
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Patagonia Tourism & Vacations 2015 (HD)

Patagonia Tours, Patagonia Vacation, Visit Patagonia, Patagonia Tourism, Patagonia Holidays
Travel Videos HD, World Travel Guide
10 things to do in Patagonia
1. Whale-watch in Puerto Madryn
Patagonia offers some of the world's best whale-watching and Puerto Madryn is the place to glimpse them. Its warm, more enclosed waters along the Golfo Nuevo, Golfo San José and the coastline near Caleta Valdés are prime breeding zones for southern right whales between June and mid-December. A standard whale-watching trip lasts an hour and a half, but longer excursions are available too.

2. Outdoor adventures in El Chaltén
El Chaltén's surrounding mountains are prime hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding territory so if you're into outdoor adventure, this is the spot for you. Think mountain traverses, mountain ascents and rock-climbing classes. You can go horse-riding to the pretty valley of R?o de las Vueltas or take a more challenging ride up the Vizcacha hill followed by a barbecue on a traditional ranch. There are also ice-climbing courses and ice treks available.

3. Dinosaur discovery at the Palaeontology Museum
Showcasing the most important fossil finds in Patagonia, this natural-history museum offers outstanding life-sized dinosaur exhibits and more than 1700 fossil remains of plant and marine life. The three-hour guided visits are a walk through time, along a well-designed nature trail past a wealth of exposed fossils dating as far back as the Tertiary, some 40 million years ago. Speaking of dinosaurs…

4. Walk with the pre-historic
The Dinosaur route in northwest Patagonia is a wonderful adventure. The skeletons of the biggest dinosaurs ever to have walked the planet are, palaeontologists insist, buried in this region's red-rock badlands; and discoveries to date in the area have forced scientists to rethink established theories. Find out more about walking the Dinosaur route.

5. Penguin-watch at Punta Tombo
Punta Tombo has a colony of more than half a million Magellanic penguins and attracts many other birds, most notably king and rock cormorants, giant petrels and black oystercatchers. Most nesting areas in the 200-hectare reserve are fenced off: respect the limits and remember that penguins can inflict serious bites. Trelew-based travel agencies run day-long tours but may cancel if bad weather makes the unpaved roads impassable.

6. Explore Cueva de las Manos
The incredible rock art of Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) was proclaimed a Unesco World Heritage site in 1999. Dating from about 7370 BC, these polychrome rock paintings cover recesses in the near-vertical walls with imprints of human hands, drawings of guanacos and, from a later period, abstract designs. Free guided walks are given every hour by knowledgeable staff. There’s an information centre and a basic confiter?a, but it’s best to bring your own food.

7. Stay at a ranch
Estancia Telken offers a welcoming stay in the pretty countryside of Los Antiguos. This 1915 working sheep and horse ranch 25km south of Perito Moreno has about 210 sq km of horseback riding and hiking possibilities, including a worthwhile meander along a creek bed up to the basalt plateau Meseta de Lago Buenos Aires.

8. Escape from it all in Camarones
Camarones takes home the gold for Patagonia’s sleepiest coastal village. Empty beaches are perfect for strolling and the sociable townsfolk are masters of the art of shooting the breeze. It is also the closest hub to the lesser-known Cabo Dos Bah?as nature reserve, where you can visit 25,000 penguin couples and their fuzzy chicks. The very helpful oceanfront tourist office offers maps, good tips on scenic outings and lodging information.

9. Watch glaciers at Parque National los Glaciares
Glaciar Perito Moreno is the stunning centrepiece of the southern sector of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Locally referred to as Glaciar Moreno, it measures 30km long, 5km wide and 60m high, but what makes it exceptional in the world of ice is its constant advance – it creeps forward up to 2m per day, causing building-sized icebergs to calve from its face. In some ways, watching the glacier is a very sedentary park experience, but it manages to nonetheless be thrilling. The main gateway town to the park’s southern sector, El Calafate is 80km east of the glacier by road. This is where you’ll find all the operators for tours and activities too.

Amazon River tourism & vacations (HD1080p)

Amazon River cruises 2016 – Amazon River tourism & vacations 2016 – Trip to Amazon River, Peru
Travel Videos HD, World Travel Guide
The Amazon River of South America is the world's largest river and the lifeblood of the world's largest ecosystem, spanning two-fifths of an entire continent. It is home to a huge variety of animals and plants that dwell in its lush, evergreen environment. It is the mightiest river in the world by volume, with six times greater total river flow than the next six largest rivers combined, and the most extensive drainage basin in the world. Because of its vast dimensions it is sometimes called The River Sea. Running about 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers), most sources regard the Amazon as the second longest river in length, compared to Africa's Nile River, though this is a matter of some dispute.

Originally explored in the sixteenth century by Europeans who used the Amazon to traverse the formidable environment, the vast waterway fed by numerous tributaries eventually gave rise to commerce in later years. Utilizing boats and steamers, Europeans, slaves, and indigenous peoples increasingly carried out of the rain forest a rich array of highly sought-after products.

In recent years, a highway has made further inroads into the region, while Brazil has sought to keep the Amazon basin free from foreign exploitation. However today, the Amazon is ecologically endangered from reckless deforestation and a lack of public understanding of the importance of this remote region.

The vast Amazon
The area covered by the Amazon River and its tributaries more than triples between the dry season and wet season over the course of a year. In an average dry season, 110,000 square kilometers of land are water-covered, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon basin rises to 350,000 square kilometers. At its widest point the Amazon River can be 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) wide during the dry season, but during the rainy season when the Amazon River floods the surrounding plains it can be up to 24.8 miles (40 kilometers) wide.

The quantity of freshwater released by the Amazon into the Atlantic Ocean is enormous: up to 300,000 square meters per second in the rainy season. The Amazon is responsible for one-fifth of the total volume of freshwater entering the oceans worldwide. Offshore of the mouth of the Amazon, potable water can be drawn from the ocean while still out of sight of the coastline, and the salinity of the ocean is notably lower a hundred miles out to sea.

The Amazon estuary is over 202 miles (325 kilometers) wide. The main river (which is between approximately one and six miles wide) is navigable for large ocean steamers to Manaus, Brazil, more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) upriver from the mouth. Smaller ocean vessels of 3,000 tons can reach as far as Iquitos, Peru, 2,250 miles (3,600 kilometers) from the sea. Smaller riverboats can reach 486 miles (780 kilometers) higher as far as Achual Point. Beyond that, small boats frequently ascend to the Pongo de Manseriche, just above Achual Point.

The Amazon drains an area of some 2,722,000 square miles, or nearly 40 percent of South America. It gathers its waters from 5 degrees north latitude to 20 degrees south latitude. Its most remote sources are found on the inter-Andean plateau, just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean; and, after coursing through the interior of Peru and across Brazil, it enters the Atlantic Ocean at the equator. The Amazon has changed its drainage several times, from westward in the early Cenozoic period to its present eastward locomotion following the uplift of the Andes Mountains.

Source and upper Amazon
The Upper Amazon comprises a series of major river systems in Peru that flow north and south into the Marañón River. Among others, these include the following rivers: Morona, Pastaza, Nucuray, Urituyacu, Chambira, Tigre, Nanay, Napo, Huallaga, and Ucayali. Originating in the snow-crested Andes Mountains high above Lake Lauricocha in central Peru, the headstream of the Marañón River rises in the glaciers in what is known as the Nevado de Yarupa. Rushing through waterfalls and gorges in an area of the high jungle called the Pongos, the Marañón River flows about 1,000 miles from west-central to northeast Peru before it combines with the Ucayali River, just below the provincial town of Nauta, to form the mighty Amazon River. The primary tributaries of the Marañón River are, from south to north, the Crisnejas, Chamayo, Urtcubamba, Cenepa, Santiago, Moroña, Pastaza, Huallaga, and Tiger rivers.

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Travel Guide, Vacation, Tourism

World Travel
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Travel guide
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Travel Guide, Vacation, Tourism
Rio de Janeiro is an awe-inspiring city, its stunning tropical setting matched only by its irrepressibly fun-loving residents, called Cariocas. Impossibly steep, age-worn granite peaks rise from the ocean between glorious stretches of golden sand. Brash skyscrapers vie for space with impeccably restored colonial buildings, and lush forests tumble down hillsides into densely populated residential areas.

Brazil's former capital has retained much of its distinguished historic character, with magnificent churches, palaces and mansions clustered in downtown Centro. Rio has long since outgrown its mountainous backdrop, however. Tunnels were blasted through the rock in order to populate neighbouring beaches during the last century, and successive land reclamations pushed out into Guanabara Bay. Such has been the success of its urban planning, in fact, that much of Rio's coastal designed landscape, including the iconic statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) has been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Today, Rio is best known as one of the world's most popular holiday destinations, particularly for its spectacular Carnival. Rio's citizens claim their identity with pride, but depending on whom you ask, a Carioca may either be born or live in Rio. And they come from a diverse mix of cultures; European, African, Asian and indigenous peoples, forming a racial harmony unequalled in Latin America.

Their lives reflect an equally wide spectrum of wealth or poverty. Up to a fifth of Rio's population is estimated to live in its vast, ramshackle favelas — shantytowns — which rub up against millionaires' villas and luxury condominiums. Somehow, and despite the activities of notorious criminal gangs, both rich and poor get along, with a characteristic liberal tolerance.

No matter what their background or economic standing, Cariocas are united by a shared passion for living. Ranked top of Forbes' latest list of the world's happiest cities, the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City) revels in life, with the beach, futebol (football) and Carnival the principal diversions. The annual Mardi Gras pageant is Rio's greatest opportunity to show the world what it does best: party.

High above all this fun and frivolity are Rio's ever-present landmarks: Corcovado (Hunchback) mountain and Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) with its historic cable car. As well as these twin icons, Rio boasts a wealth of attractions, spectacles and activities, plus great food, music and entertainment – enough to keep a visitor busy for any length of stay.

Rio is constantly re-inventing itself. A vibrant agenda, including hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, is transforming the city into a safe and exciting place to visit. Copacabana, birthplace of its original hedonistic getaway image of the 1920s, is still impressive.

But now, other further-flung areas are drawing more visitors. Barra, near the new Olympic village, is booming. Downtown Lapa, a formerly seedy and insalubrious district, is the new heartland of Rio's live music scene. And nearby, the rundown port area is getting a huge makeover, with the Porto Maravilha project building futuristic new museums and a vastly improved infrastructure.
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New Zealand tourism & Vacations (HD)

New Zealand tourism & Vacations – New Zealand trip – Visit New Zealand – New Zealand Culture
Travel Videos HD, World Travel Guide
New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. These islands are one of Earth's most peculiar bioregions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as a nocturnal, burrowing parrot called the kakapo and kiwi. Kiwi are not only one of the national symbols – the others being the silver fern leaf and koru – but also the name New Zealanders usually call themselves.

These islands are sparsely populated, particularly away from the North Island, but easily accessible. There are sparklingly modern visitor facilities, and transport networks are well developed with Airports throughout the country and well maintained highways. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to nature: it's the original home of jet-boating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.

Māori culture continues to play an important part in everyday life and government and corporate symbolism with abundant opportunities for visitors to understand and experience both the history and present day forms of Māori life.

See in New Zealand
Mountains, lakes and glaciers

It can be said that in New Zealand it's the countryside that's magnificent, and perhaps no more so than the Southern Alps of the South Island. In the Mackenzie Country, the snow-capped jagged peaks rising above turquoise lakes have provided the inspiration for many a postcard. Tucked in behind is the country's highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. The lakes and mountains continue south, becoming a stunning backdrop for the towns of Wanaka, Queenstown and Glenorchy.

Another region where mountain meets water with striking effect is Fiordland National Park where steep, densely forested mountains rise from the sea. The most accessible, and possibly most beautiful spot, is Milford Sound. The road in is spectacular and the view even more so when you arrive.

Glaciers may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an island in the South Pacific, but New Zealand has several. The most notable are the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in Westland National Park. These glaciers are unique in how close they get to sea level and are sustained by the enormous amount of precipitation that falls on New Zealand's west coast.
Volcanoes and geysers

New Zealand is a geological hotspot and has many dormant and active volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. The best place to start is Rotorua, where the smell of sulphur lets you know you're close to the action. The surrounding countryside has many parks with geysers and hot springs, and Mount Tarawera, the site of one of New Zealand's more famous eruptions, lies a short drive away.

South of Rotorua is Taupo and Lake Taupo, which was formed in a massive volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. Beyond Lake Taupo is Tongariro National Park, dominated by its three volcanoes, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapheu. All three mountains are still active (Ruapehu last erupted in 2007) and Ruapehu has a crater lake that can be viewed with a bit of hiking. Ngauruhoe is famous for filling in as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

North of Rotorua is Whakatane, with tours to White Island, a volcanic island just off the coast. The island is truly a different world with its smoke plume, green crater lake and the pohutukawa trees clinging to a fragile existence on the volcanic rock.
Flora and fauna

Being so remote, New Zealand has very unique plants and animals. One of the most impressive is the kauri tree, one of the biggest species of tree in the world. Few of these giants are left (a result of overlogging), but a visit to the Waipoua Forest in Northland will afford a glimpse.

The beaches of the South Island, particularly The Catlins and the Otago Peninsula, are good places to see marine animals such as penguins, seals and sea lions in their natural habitat. The Otago Peninsula is also noted for its albatross colony.

Unfortunately, many of New Zealand's most unique animals are endangered and can only really be seen in captivity. This includes the kiwi, a common national symbol, the flightless takahe and the tuatara (a small lizard-like reptile believed to have existed at the time of the dinosaurs).

New Zealand's National Parks are maintained by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and various local governments. Access is usually free but may be restricted in some parks during some parts of the year due to weather (avalanche risk) or farming (lambing season). It is best to check with local tourist information centres for up to date information on park access.
Urban fare

Milan – Italy Travel Guide, Vacation, Tourism

Milan – Italy Travel Guide, Vacation, Tourism
World Travel
Milan – Italy Travel Guide, Vacation
With something almost Northern European in the air, yet exuding Italian style, Milan is Italy's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the flat plains of the Po Valley, the capital of Lombardy is both hardworking and glamorous – powerful in businesses from finance to fashion and, of course, football.

But what gives Milan its certain something is its status as the epicentre of Italian fashion and interior design. International fashionistas, designers, supermodels and paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs. Valentino, Versace and Armani may design and manufacture their clothes elsewhere, but Milan, which has carefully guarded its reputation for flair, drama and creativity, is Italy's natural stage. This is certainly one of the best places in Italy to shop, or windowshop.

Apart from fashion, many large national banks and companies are headquartered here whilst the automobile, media,
telecommunications and internet sectors have a significant presence too. Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy and as such, is unsurprisingly business-like in appearance.

In fact, despite its fashion credentials, the city is not as visually pleasing as Rome, Venice or Florence. At first glance, it lacks the wow factor; many buildings are grey, some are quite stark and there appears to be very little green space despite the fact there are many parks in the city. Visitors have to take time and be determined to explore Milan's streets in order to access its aesthetically appealing gems — and they do exist. Cut through the modern metropolitan bustle, and you will stumble across impressive churches and palaces, the pretty Navigli area, the chic Brera district and lively university quarter.

Among the most notable landmarks are the Duomo, a Gothic masterpiece (one of the biggest of its kind in the world) that looks vaguely threatening when illuminated at night; La Scala, the opera house with an illustrious history and reputation; Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle; Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery and in a nod to art, the city is impressively home to Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century masterpiece The Last Supper.

However, things are about to change — and quite drastically. In a bid to beautify the city, former industrial areas have been ear marked for major urban renewal schemes. The Citylife project in the old Fiera area will create a new neighbourhood of homes, a park, a contemporary art museum and a trio of futuristic skyscrapers (one of them will boast an ambitious twisting design) that are set to be finished in 2015, the year Milan hosts the Expo.

Apart from these new attributes, Milan cannot be faulted when it comes to having a good time. The Milanese know how to party — and they don't waste time getting started. Nightlife tends to kick off at 6pm; enjoying an aperitivo in which locals unwind with post-work drinks and nibbles before heading home is the rule rather than exception.

So whether you're looking for cut-price fashion, an alternative city break or a chance to paint the town red, Milan has undoubtedly got it covered.
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