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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Sport & Adventure’

Travel Guide for Brazil

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Welcome to South America! Brazil is full of fun and festive things to do. If you’re ready to see top tourist destinations, places such as Rio de Janeiro are a must do. While you’re at it, definitely do a sightseeing tour with a sugar loaf and cable car. The views are absolutely incredible with their top of the line beaches, mountains and more. For the visitor of Brazil who’s not all about the top touristy locations, you’re in luck. Brazil is FULL of wild life. Here, you’ll be able to become one with nature and hike through the Amazon Forest. Finding a traveled route is probably a good idea here, unless you’re going for research or etc. The Amazon is huge, so finding a well traveled path will help you out while still giving you the best views. Since the right hand portion of Brazil opens right up to the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, you’re able to enjoy Brazil’s top beaches or even take a Sea Turtle Discovery Tour. Brazil is a huge country with endless things to do, so take advantage of every experience while you’re there!

The Rio de Janeiro stands tall and proud in the city center of Rio as one of the seven wonders of the world. Tourists from around the world come here to view, study and get their picture taken with the statue itself, mirroring its body structure with its arms fully extended on both sides. To really get all out of it, purchase a Rio De Janeiro sightseeing tour, covering Corcovado, Christ Statue & Favela. If you’re up for seeing the city from a different point of view, another tour that’s worth taking is the Full Day Rio Sightseeing including Christ Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain Cable. Getting a birds eye view of the city is something to never forget.

Brazil Rain Forest

If you’re tiring of the crowds and want to see more of the wild side, dare if you will, take a trip on over to and through the Rain Forest. If you’re up for the hike, like mentioned above, make sure you take it on a path that’s monitored or approved. With so much unknown wildlife in this forest, you don’t want to put yourself in danger. If hiking is not you thing, consider taking a jeep. The Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour From Rio De Janeiro is a fun and easy way to see the wild side of things. With this tour, you’ll see more forest in less time, with an expert tour guide and the best photo opportunities around. If your wildlife side is headed more in the opposite direction towards the beach, the Sea Turtle Discovery Tour is the greatest way to see these endangered species close up and personal. Whatever you think you’d like to do or see, Brazil offers plenty of things for you to uncover.

As far as when to go and how long to travel, luckily, Brazil is typically warm all year! The southern part does go through a cool period for a few months between June and September, but otherwise you should be good to go. There is never a bad time to visit. Whenever you want to book your vacation, Brazil will be there waiting for you!

Experience all Brazil has to offer, from the city center of Rio to the depths of the Rain Forest. Get online and book your trip now, at www.isango.com.

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Whats New On isango! – November 2014

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The way the world turns means that the northern hemisphere is slowing down as holiday and vacation destinations.  These are the months when warmer climates beckon.  So we bring you some really interesting things to do in exotic places around the world.  To keep the variety we have also picked a snow-packed location for your visiting pleasure.  We hope our choices tempt you to take them up.

Universal Studios Singapore Christmas Celebration Ticket

With its many pleasures Singapore never ceases to delight.  One of its biggest draws over the years is Universal Studios Singapore, especially its Christmas Celebration events.  You can get on thrilling futuristic rides based on blockbuster movies like the Transformers, Shrek 4 and Revenge Of The Mummy.  You will also be treated to fabulous LED light shows and even snowfall every hour.

Universal brings out all its famous and favourite characters for its Christmas bash.  The Sesame Street characters and Toy Soldiers will be out and about. They will be joined by Santa Claus and his elves – of course.

To make your Christmas celebrations at Universal even more enjoyable the Universal Studios Singapore™ Christmas Pass and the Studios Singapore™ Christmas Event Ticket entitles you to several special features. You get to use all the rides and attractions plus enjoy a Free Special Meal. That is not all.  In the evening you will be part of an exclusive and special Christmas event.

Charles Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise

Darwin enjoys balmy weather and time spent on the water or waterfront can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.  Get on board our luxury air-conditioned catamaran and cruise Darwin harbor at sunset.  You will cruise past some of Darwin’s historic landmarks such as Government House, State Square, Esplanade and the USS Peary Remembrance Look Out.  Every moment is a photographic opportunity.

The Sunset Dinner Cruise is a spectacular experience.  You can sit back and relax while you cruise the harbor and enjoy a glass of wine and a superb dinner.  Your dinner is just as magnificent as the views.  It is a territory style buffet and will consist of fresh baked bread, prawns, oysters, baked fresh fish (and other seafood), beef fillet, chicken, salads, fresh vegetables and a variety of deserts.

Hong Kong Art Gallery Tour

Hong Kong is recognized for being a commercial hub and a global financial centre.  Its gleaming high-rise towers speak of profit-making and a business first culture.  Happily this is not the whole picture.  Hong Kong has a large and ever growing art scene.  There are more than 200 art galleries to attest to its healthy art scene.

This tour will take you into several art galleries and their exhibitions where you can admire some really fine examples modern art from Chinese and international artists.  You will get insights into artistic trends as well as the Asian art market.  The guide will give you tips on how to value art works, auction tips and how to bargain in the art market.

The tour is a revelation for the art lover, connoisseur and investor and well worth the time.

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Buggy Adventure In Dubai

Dubai now has a well-established reputation as an adventure, sport and outdoor activity destination.  Some of the activities that burnish this standing involve the desert and its challenges.  There are several options to taking on the desert and her magic.

The buggy option is a great one because it is just that bit of an individual and personal adventure.  You can go solo or with a single partner on a roaring 800cc dune buggy across the undulating desert sands.

With a brief introduction and safety instructions you can roar off on your buggy through the trackless desert.  The buggies are fully equipped with a roll cage, bucket seats and a safety harness.

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Snowmobile Adventure – Winter Kingdom, Iceland

This is one for the adventure minded.  Every trip is unique as the guide will take you where the best snow is and that condition and location changes from day to day.  To use the often-repeated phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ a Snowmobile trip across an Icelandic glacier is well and truly that and some more!

Skimming across the snow and the stunning Icelandic scenery on a powerful snowmobile is one you will not forget. This high-speed adventure takes you to glaciers and other places you will not be able to access on foot.

Your adventure will take you up to and on Langjökull Glacier, Iceland’s second largest.  From here you can see the highest mountain in west Iceland, the domed Hofsjökull glacier, and the Kerlingafjöll Mountains.Reykjavik_8068_1

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Top 5 Adventure Activities in Australia

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If there is one country that can turn your vacation into an everyday adventure then Australia is the place that does it.  From the outback to the great cities; from tropical forests to the Great Barrier Reef; from picturesque green rolling hills to snow capped mountains – Australia has it all.   You will have unforgettable experiences in one of the world’s greatest holiday destinations.

So come let us share with you some of Oz’s greatest experiences.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Dawn Climb

Most of the time you drive across it, sail under it, view it from the window of an airliner.  There is however, one experience related to the Sydney Harbour Bridge you simply cannot miss out on.  And that is doing a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.  It is a 3 hour thrill like no other.  You climb the world-famed icon to the summit of its arch at 134 metres with the city, the harbour spread out below and gorgeous sky above.

Our tour is led by experts and you will be provided with a bridge suit, communication equipment, safety harness, lanyards and headlamp.  All you need to bring are your sunglasses, and sense of adventure – we’ll provide the rest!  We will also present you with a certificate and photo after the climb.

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You could also try out the following climbs.

·       The Day Climb

·       The Night Climb

·       The Twilight Climb

·       The Express Climb

Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Diving – From Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef is one of nature’s most incredible and colourful creations. Words cannot describe it and has to be seen to be truly appreciated.  The Reef covers over 2,600 kilometres of coral cays, wall drop-offs, deep caverns and shoals of tropical fish that will make this adventure to the depths of the ocean an exciting one.

Our cruise takes you in comfort and style on a luxury reef craft. The dive part of the cruise is led by expert instructors.  We provide all the equipment and after a brief introduction you dive down to a dazzling underwater world filled with colour and infused by the sea’s magic.

You will also be treated to a buffet lunch and afternoon tea.

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Tully River Rafting Excursion – From Cairns

The Tully River is a mighty raging beast.  Just looking at its racing waters is enough to get your pulse pounding and the adrenaline gushing.  It is a rush you have to experience to truly come alive.  Running between wild towering rock walls and a rainforest the Tully offers Grade 4 rapids that will have your heart racing as fast as the waters.

Expert rafting guides will lead you along 12 kilometres of the Tully River for a memorable experience.  Remember to bring a swimming costume (you will get wet!) and a towel.  Wear lace up shoes.

After your tussle with the river you can enjoy a sizzling and delicious BBQ lunch on the banks of the Tully.

Helicopter Ride Over Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Spectacularly red, Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock, is located in Australia’s Northern Territories.  The world’s largest massive single rock stands majestically in the National Park along with the Kata Tjuta rock domes.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage area.  Both these rocky formations are sacred to the Anangu Aborigines.

Even if you walked around and up to its summit you will not get a true perspective of this amazing rock structure.  To get that perspective you need to see it from the air.  From the bubble window of a helicopter you can marvel at the wonderful arid land and wonder at the fiery red desert.  Bring your camera to capture this magnificent land.

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Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight – From Cairns

Don a pair of dark glasses and a peaked hat and pack your camera.  Carried by the wind with silence for your companion a hot air balloon ride is like none other you have embarked upon.

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Take off at dawn from Cairns, the hot air ballooning capital of the world, and watch the sunrise.  Your balloon will carry you on a romantic ride over the Cairns Highlands and the picturesque Atherton Tablelands.  Your photographs and the commemorative certificate at the end of the ride will ensure that you never forget this breathtaking aerial experience.

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Xel-Ha – No Ordinary Water Theme Park

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Xel-Ha is one of those brilliant accidents – where nature’s handiwork meets man’s creativity.  It is located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and 75 miles (122km) south of gorgeous Cancun.  The drive to Xel-Ha is just an hour and a half down the coast from Cancun.  It is a wonderful, breath-taking scenic trip.

Named after the nearby Mayan archaeological site, the Xel-Ha theme park opened in 1984.  Since then, the popularity of its facilities and attractions has never flagged drawing people from all over the world.

The Xel-Ha park area is created by the ox-bow curve of the coast and peppered with numerous tiny islands.  The area is pockmarked with numerous caves and grottoes.  The incredibly blue waters are populated by innumerable varieties of fantastically coloured tropical fish and underwater plants.  The waters are a mix of fresh underwater springs and the ocean’s salty variety adding to its amazing allure.  It is without doubt the world’s largest and most beautiful natural aquarium.

The sea-side of the park is protected by a shark fence making it safe for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming.  The top attraction in Xelh-Ha is the opportunity to swim and interact with the super-friendly dolphins. You can hug these endearing creatures, which are not averse to giving you kisses or a speed thrill by pushing you over the water on their snouts.

There are other thrills to be enjoyed at Xel-Ha.  For the daring there is the Trepachanga, a river crossing activity where you hang on tightly to one rope while trying to keep your balance on another.  Then there is the zip-bike ride that has you soaring over the jungle giving you a bird’s eye view while making your heart race.  Test your grit at the Stone of Courage as you jump off a rock into the crystal clear waters below.

The fun and adventure is topped off with a trip to the buffet tables for a mouth-watering breakfast and lunch.  The choices are huge – international cuisine, sea foods and Mexican foods.

Spending the day at Xel-Ha is an experience that will beat most others hands down.

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Iceland: Travel Guide

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Iceland: where landscapes teem with hot springs and geysers, where wildlife is as interesting as in many equatorial regions, and where modern cities and captivating natural scenery meet. It is also arguably the country with most misleading name on the planet (although it may be a toss-up with Greenland). It appears the folk tale that Iceland was named as such to keep people from invading its beautiful landscapes reigns somewhat true, as far as those landscapes are concerned.

Anyone who has visited Iceland is likely to say that their trip is highly ranked in a list of all their travels, and there is no better time to go than in the summer when temperatures vary between 8°C at night and 15°C during the daytime! We’ve outlined five of the most spectacular places to visit and things to do in Iceland this summer:

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Blog

Hit the ground running as soon as you arrive in Iceland with a relaxing spa getaway at the Blue Lagoon! Sink into the reviving waters while wisps of steam dance on the surface, unwind under a soothing waterfall, or choose from a range of luxurious spa treatments. You can travel to the Blue Lagoon from the airport or from your hotel. There is no better way to combat the discomforts that come with international travel (jet lag, uncomfortable plane rides) than to soak your stresses away in Iceland’s famed geothermal hot springs at the Blue Lagoon Spa.

Golden Circle

Another must-do in Iceland is venturing along the Golden Circle rated as Iceland’s top attraction! This ever-popular sightseeing route showcases some of the most dramatic natural features of the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ as well as important historic sites. Witness the majesty of Gullfoss waterfall and visit the geothermal areas of Geysir and Strokkur, where geysers and hot springs span across the landscape.

If you so desire (and we recommend it), you can even do Iceland in a Nutshell for a day on a visit to both the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle!

Whale Watching

Whale Watching Blog

Although originally the only wildlife on land native to Iceland was the arctic fox, that is not the case with the sea life that fills the waters surrounding Iceland. Iceland whale watching is an incredibly popular pick for things to do while in this island country. Take an unforgettable boat ride on Faxaflói Bay and see whales, dolphins, and porpoises in their natural environment with a Whale Watching Tour, followed by a trip to the Blue Lagoon, because it is that good.

Reykjavik

What trip to any country is complete without a tour of its capital city? Iceland is no exception. Reykjavík city, also known, as “smoky bay”, is the world’s northernmost capital and is full of life at any time of the year! In order to get the most out of the city, we recommend taking the Reykjavik Sightseeing Tour. This tour is a detailed and comprehensive introduction to Reykjavik’s past and present and includes visits to the main landmarks.

Landmannalauger

Landmannalaugar blog

Lastly, explore the thrilling Wonders of Landmannalaugar on your trip to Iceland. Even in a country known worldwide for its beautiful scenery, the landscapes of Landmannalaugar are in a class of their own with the waterfalls, warm natural pools, and active volcanoes dotting the landscapes. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a combination of the two, this is the tour for you!

Although Iceland is a fantastic country to visit year-round, there is no doubting that the weather in the summer provides a more pleasant atmosphere to enjoy all of the beauties offered to visitors by the natural landscapes that cover Iceland. Get going!

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5 Popular Backpacking Destinations For 2014

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With summer 2014 arriving to most of the globe it is time to pull out the knapsack, check the atlas and plan where in the world you will be spending your vacation.

We present to you, our picks for the top 5 destinations for backpacking around the world-

India
India is a really huge country.  With the world’s largest rail system and a vast road network (sometimes bumpy), getting around is not too difficult.  Accommodation, food and transportation are inexpensive.  Choosing where to go is a challenge.  You have the spectacular sandy beaches of Goa and Kerala; the sky scraping, snow-capped Himalayas; the thick forests of Central India and the Ghats; the deserts of Rajasthan and Ladakh.  The ancient cities of Delhi, Varanasi and Puri along with the forts and palaces of Rajasthan will vie for your attention.

Backpacking in India

India has a history and tradition of backpacking going back to the flower power era of the 1960s.

Thailand
Thailand is an exotic and exciting place to explore, especially for the novice backpacker.  On offer are hundreds of miles of pristine sand beaches, lush jungles populated with dazzling creatures, amazingly friendly and helpful locals and fantastic food.  The country’s culture has survived the onslaught of tourism and modernity.  There are still many quiet places where you can chill.  The place is crammed with amazing temples and exciting markets.  Transportation is cheap and the street food very safe.

The country is a well-trodden backpacker destination.  Backpacking Thailand is relatively easy, still inexpensive with amazing deals on offer – just bargain.  It also has a legendary nightlife.

Australia
Australia offers fantastic beauty and adventure.  It’s a very large (we’re talking continent-sized here) country and travel can be a challenge but worth the effort.  The geography ranges from the vast trackless outback, to the incredible Great Barrier Reef.  You can snowboard and ski within a few hours of a sun-kissed sandy beach.  There are strangely named picturesque small towns and very modern and fascinating cities.  You can trek through ancient rainforests or camel-trek the arid and startling Northern Territory.

Australia has a very competitive and inexpensive budget accommodation market where you can get good deals.  The rail network is not extensive and generally hugs the coast.  The best way to get around the country is by road but be prepared for long rides because most journeys take 10 to 20 hours.  You can save a lot of money by buying bus passes.

Indonesia
Indonesia is comprised of thousands of islands, most of which are uninhabited.  It is a really huge country and you will have to pick what all you wish to see. Most of the population is concentrated on Java and around the capital, Jakarta.   Once you get away from Jakarta you will find yourself in vast jungles, with ancient temples, mysterious lakes and hot springs.  There are lively and fiery volcanoes, stunning beaches and some of the best surfing.  The cities of Bogor, Bandung and Yogyakarta have to be visited to be believed.  Then of course, there is Bali and its gorgeous Hindu culture.

Backpacking

Travel is relatively inexpensive but can be a challenge.  The warm, friendly and hospitable people, the food and fantastic countryside will more than compensate for any difficulties you may have.

Brazil
This huge country is a wonder world filled with amazing sights.  It is blessed with naturally varied and rich landscape with thousands of miles of beaches and humungous tracts of rainforests fed by great rivers including the mighty Amazon.  This vast land has incredibly diverse climatic and cultural conditions.  The vibrant hedonistic cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador are legendary for their party atmosphere and nightlife.

The main mode of getting around Brazil is by bus.  The buses are generally excellent and services frequent and good.

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Where To Go This Summer – Part II

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Scotland

The highlands, Glasgow in particular, will be putting its best foot forward and donning its party dress this summer.  This is a mountainous, heather covered land of mists, the Loch Ness Monster and other myths, kilts and football mad natives!  It has hundreds of miles of wild, beautiful windswept coastline.   It is a magical land famous for its whisky blended with plenty of history.  So much of Scotland’s treasures are accessible – for free.  Except the whisky!

Scotland Castles

There is so much action on the calendar that it is really difficult to decide what to see and do.  For instance…

The 2014 Commonwealth Games – Glasgow
The XXth Commonwealth Games will see the world’s top athletes compete over 11 days of competition from 23 July to 3 August.  The ancient city of Glasgow dominated by the impressive People’s Palace will host the largest ever athletic gathering of its kind for the first time in Scotland’s history.   This multi-sport event will see the likes of Usain Bolt giving off their very best during the Games.

Homecoming Scotland 2014
The first edition of 2009 Homecoming was marvelously successful.  Following on that success, Homecoming Scotland 2014 is designed to bring people of Scottish ancestry from all over the world back to the country.  It is also an open invitation to people from all over the world.  Homecoming will gain an added significance and poignancy this year because in September the Scottish people will vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum to decide if “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be set against the backdrop of the Royal Mile, the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and ancient Parliament Hall.  For nigh on three weeks, this annual cultural festival will showcase artists of all hues as they perform and delight us with their creative and manic best.

The Ryder Cup

Scotland

After many a long year the Ryder Cup, that pinnacle of golf competition, pitting the best of Europe and the US will come back to Scotland.  The legendary home of golf will see the world’s best golfers swinging their clubs on the magnificent greens and fairways of the PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire where the Highlands and the Lowlands meet.

For all these reasons and more Scotland will be the centre of the world’s attention in the coming months!

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Where To Go This Summer – Part 1

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This summer, travel destinations will not be about temperatures – Celsius and Fahrenheit that is.  The locations for mega sporting events and entertainment will be the hot spots this year.  The biggest inspiration for travellers in 2014 will be sports!

From Golf to Football and the entire athletic spectrum, it is sports that will have folks packing their bags, booking their tickets and accommodation for such diverse lands as Brazil and Scotland.

Brazil
The ‘beautiful game’ has kicked off in one of the most beautiful countries of the world.  The 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup has generated huge excitement across the globe.  It is not entirely because of the game either.  This is one terrific opportunity to combine passion for the sport and the chance to see Brazil.

Brazil article
The country has amazing beauty that includes huge tracts of forests, stunning white beaches populated by beautiful people, iconic mountains, thundering rivers and ultra-modern cities.  While the football matches will be played in 12 different stadia across the country it is two cities that stand out for their uniquely attractive features.

Rio de Janeiro
The very mention of the city’s name sets the blood racing and raises the pulse rate.  This huge metropolis is dominated by the iconic, gigantic mountain top statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain.  They look down upon the marvellous Guanabara Bay and Botafogo region.

Every year the city goes mad to the throbbing beats of samba that drive the Carnival parade as it winds its way through the streets to the Sambadrome.  It’s possible to catch some of that ‘Carnival’ spirit, when not watching the football, at the Plataforma Samba Show. The show is famed for its brilliant costumes, infectious rhythm and dazzling footwork – its samba time all year round!

The World Cup Final will be played in Rio on 13th July.  The world will be watching and the city will surely put up a super show – footballing and otherwise.

Manaus
Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas and the furthest north of the host cities.  It sits on the confluence of the rivers Negro (Black) and Solimões (how the Amazon River is known in this part of Brazil).  The Encontro das Aguas is where the black waters of the Rio Negro meet the muddy yellow flow of the Rio Solimoes.  The two rivers flow side by side for more than 6 km, their waters divided as though by an invisible barrier.  This is one of the most remarkable sights in the world.

Victoria Regia Artcile
If that is not astounding enough there is the Victoria Regia.  This is an extraordinary giant floating lily for which Manaus is famous.   Another famous highlight of the city, man-made this time, is the fabulous Teatro Amazonas.  The dome of this architectural and cultural landmark is covered with 36,000 green, blue and yellow glazed ceramic and glass tiles, all of which were made in Alsace, France.

Four World Cup matches will be played at Manaus’ Estadio Amazonia.  Other than football, you could explore the nearby jungles of the Amazon with its amazing flora and fauna.  There are scenic river banks and serenely beautiful lakes where you could spend a lazy afternoon away from ‘it all.’

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Brazil is Wild, Wonderful and World Cup Mad

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This huge and vibrant country is a wonder world and just cannot help itself.  It is blessed with thousands of miles of beaches, humungous tracts of rainforests, historic and futuristic cities fed by great rivers. Then there are the people whose blood seems to be pumped by a machine called “party.”  Add to that the elixir of football and you have all the ingredients for a super carnival.

Great!  So you are going to Brazil to watch the FIFA World Cup football matches.  Remember that this exhilarating and beautiful game takes under two hours to unfold, which is simply wonderful from a sight-seeing perspective.  When not in a stadium cheering your team, you will have so much time at each city to taste the spicy and fabulous banquet that is Brazil.

For instance…

Full Day Tour of Rio
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most exciting cities to visit.  However, it is huge and doing it on your own will eat up your limited time.  So taking an organized full day tour of Rio, also called the Marvellous City, is a great time-saving sightseeing idea.  It will take you to all the main highlights of historic downtown Rio; including Cinelândia Square with its historical buildings, the Municipal Theater, the National Library, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the famous Sambadrome.

Christ the Redeemer Brazil

You then go through the solid rainforest of Tijuca to get to Corcovado Mountain.  Taking the cable car up is a great introduction to the astounding Christ the Redeemer statue on top and the fabulous views of Copacabana Beach, Ipnema and Leblon.

All in all it is a great programme.

Walking Around Historic Rio
Take a walking tour through the historic Rio and you will get a totally different flavour of this often turbulent city.  Rio’s legacy is impressive and very much in evidence as you wander through its cobbled streets to see the lovely colonial Portuguese influence in the form of the Imperial Palace, the France-Brazil House and the Benedictine Monastery.  Other architectural gems include the Candelária Church, the Banco de Brasil and the Casa França-Brasil and the hugely impressive Arcos da Lapa, which were part of the aqueduct that brought water into Rio.

Imperial Palace Rio

This walking tour is a fascinating one that will forever change your perspective of Rio.

Guanabara Bay Cruise
Another terrific way to see Rio is to take a boat cruise out onto the beautiful and vast Guanabara Bay.  Slowing cruising on its blue waters, you will get a panoramic view of all Rio’s landmarks without the hustle and bustle. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado dominate an impressive skyline. Flocks of seabirds wheel over your head as you sit down to a delicious meal consisting of delicious Crab Cake and Fettuccine with Pomodoro or Fish with Shrimp Sauce and Risotto.

Guanabara Bay Cruise

Historical Salvador – Capital of Happiness
One of the oldest cities in the Americas, Salvador seems to be in continuous party mode.  It has earned its nickname, “Brazil’s capital of happiness” for the numerous street parties.  But just as attention-grabbing is the long, tumultuous and interesting historical side to this lovely coastal city.  The best part is most of its past is preserved in the music, cuisine and architecture.

Taking the historical tour will reveal many gems of Salvador’s chequered past such as the lively, narrow streets of Pelourinho and its pastel hued houses that are about 300 years old.  Salvador’s colonial heritage shows up in the Forte de São Pedro, the Barra Lighthouse, the church of São Francisco and a thousand homes, churches and monuments built since the 16th century help make up the greatest collection of Baroque architectural heritage in Latin America.

Salvador is proof that there is a whole lot to Brazil you never even imagined.

Bahia By Night
There is an overwhelming perception that Portuguese culture and influence is what makes up Brazilian culture.  That is not the whole picture.  It is the African-Brazilian cultural-mix that puts the pop, crackle and sexiness in to what we perceive of Brazil.  It is the influence of African associated cultural practices that are celebrated and define Salvador.

Imacon Color Scanner

The best time to experience this hedonistic and outrageously colour culture is at night.  The many different expressions of the culture can be experienced if you take this wonderful tour.  Watch capoeira (traditional slave battles), or beautiful performances of Candomblé, Maculelê, Puxada de Rede, Dança do Caboclo and Samba de Roda and you will get a much deeper sense of what drives Brazil and its people.

Manaus And The Amazon Rainforest
Take a break from all the cultural aspects of Brazil because there is a more natural and wilder side to the country.  The incredible Amazon Rainforest, with all its spectacular animals, birds, plants and rivers is enough to take you by the heart and never leave you.

Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon forest region, is the best jumping-off place to explore this fascinating side to Brazil.  Not far from the city is one of nature’s most remarkable sights – the confluence of the Negros and the Solimões rivers.  Their differently coloured waters, which don’t mix as if kept apart by an invisible barrier, are worth every effort to see.  You could get really adventurous and go deep into the jungle and experience the Brazilian Amazon and all its flora and fauna face-to-face.

Victoria Regia Manaus

Another terrific draw is the Victoria Regia.  This is an extraordinary giant floating lily for which Manaus is famous.  Its leaves are over fifteen feet in diameter with a submerged stalk that can grow to over 25 feet in length.  The flowers are white on the first night they open subsequently changing to pink.

With all this and exciting football to immerse yourself in, you are going to find it difficult to return home.

Desfrutar Brasil!  (Enjoy Brazil)

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Beat The Dubai Heat

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When summer comes around to the desert city of Dubai, it’s time to head for the shady and air-conditioned environs.  The day temperatures can soar to a skin-burning 47 to 50 degrees Celsius.  However, this city has come up with innumerable and clever ways to avoid or beat the heat so you can stay cool.

Here are some ideas and cool attractions that will help you relax and enjoy Dubai through its long summer months -

Wear light cotton clothes and go for the loose fit.  It may sound obvious but what you wear helps cope with the heat.  Also, when you have to go outside, wear sunglasses, apply sunscreen and carry a hat or cap.  Drink lots of water and increase the number of times you shower.  These are basic guidelines but a good start in staying cool.

However, it’s not all about getting into survival mode.  There are plenty of activities that can be fun while keeping cool.  You could hang out at one of Dubai’s many theme parks.

Water Park Dubai

One of the better known parks is the Wild Wadi Water Park right opposite the Burj Al Arab.  It has a variety of water slides and features catering for all ages, skills and levels of enthusiasm.  Other well-appointed ones are The Dolphin Bay, the Aquaventure Waterpark, Marine Animal Adventures and The Lost Chambers Aquarium.  Besides getting up close and friendly with the sharks and stingrays, these parks offer plenty of shade, cool spots and a choice of great food.  You could make a day out of a visit to any of these places.

If you really want to chill out, then Dubai has incredible recreations of polar landscapes- the Dubai Ice Rink and the Ski Dubai Snow Park.  The rink is located within the Dubai Mall.  Here you can learn, practice or hone your skating skills on an Olympic sized rink.  You can get classes or participate in disco sessions and show your stuff.  You can also take a break at other entertainment features, the many eateries or do some shopping, after all this is one of the world’s largest malls.

Another winter-imported wonderland in Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East.  The Ski Dubai Snow Park is located within the fabulous Mall Of The Emirates and the temperatures are maintained below freezing point.  You can ski, toboggan, bobsled, frolic or indulge in snowball fights with friends and family.  There is a Giant Ball run, slides and a colony of Emperor Penguins.  There are even snowfalls to keep you in the mood and give you the full Monty winter experience.

Malls Dubai

Of course the biggest reason people come to Dubai is to shop.   Shopping (even if you don’t drop) is one of the best past-times in this emirate.  Dubai’s many dazzling malls offer more than just discounts.  You can stay cool in the shops, restaurants and entertainment centers within their premises.

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