Time: Mainland is GMT -4 (GMT -3 from October to March). Easter Island is GMT -6 (GMT -5 from October to March).
Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs and round three-pin plugs (in-line) are used.
Language: The official language is Spanish.
Travel Health: There have been confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Chile, and seven deaths. There are no vaccination requirements for entry to Chile, but a typhoid vaccine is recommended for travellers other than short term travellers who restrict their meals to major restaurants, hotels or cruise ships. Dengue fever is on the increase and visitors should take precautions against mosquito bites. Water is generally safe in the cities, but should be treated in the rural areas; bottled water is widely available for drinking. Santiago is severely polluted and this could cause respiratory problems or eye irritations, particularly from May to August. Travellers visiting the Andes Mountains should be aware of altitude sickness, and ascend slowly to allow the body to adjust. Healthcare in urban areas is adequate, but hospitals and clinics are extremely expensive and usually require payment in cash. Health insurance is strongly recommended.
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua. The city was declared the national capital in 1852. Previously, the capital had alternated between the cities of Le?n and Granada. The city has a population of about 1,680,100; composed predominantly of Spanish-speaking criollos (unmixed Europeans), whites and mestizos. (continue reading...)
Special Interest Escapes
For the ultimate in individualized service, I will design your New Zealand itinerary and be your personal tour guide and driver. You will not only enjoy a totally carefree trip, but also experience the land and culture through the perspective of a local Kiwi. You can also combine business with pleasure by incorporating activities before, during, or after your tour. Travel excels in offering complete flexibility in arranging your itinerary and travel dates.
I recommend that you allow at least 15 days for a tour as a minimum. Naturally, I will custom tailor the tour to match your specific interests and your desired travel dates.
As always, your personal itinerary is guaranteed to be a balance of culture, scenery, and people, with the added input of my unique insights and experiences of New Zealand according to our high quality standards and philosophy. (continue reading...)
The busiest airport in Austria, Vienna International is a hub for Austrian Airlines. It has been the country’s primary airport since 1954, when it replaced the airport at Aspern. Locally known as Schwechat, the airport has two runways and three terminals. A new terminal, called Skylink, is being built to help handle more passengers and the Airbus A380.
If you do one thing while in Florence, it had better be a day-long trip to the Chianti countryside with The Accidental Tourist! I don't want to gush too much, but I must say my day with them was the best day I had during my two-week solo journey to Italy (Venice, Florence/Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and Milan). Our guides, Steve and his son Allesandro (sp?), picked our group up in a square south of the Arno on a rainy and chilly morning. We all drove to a beautiful estate and toured the winery and olive oil making production. Despite the gloomy, cold weather, the tour was really interesting and Steve did a great job of explaining the whole winemaking and olive oil process. (As an interesting aside, Steve is an ex-pat from North Carolina but his 20-something son was born in Florence. They are both musicians and really lovely people!) The wine tasting was lovely and very fun. Of course I bought both wine and olive oil to bring back to Chicago. (continue reading...)
Australia is a land of contrasts and consists of six main states – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia and two territories – the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The capital of Australia is Canberra situated in the Australian Capital Territory.
Australia is the only nation in the world to occupy an entire continent and with a land mass of about 7,682,300 sq km (2,966,136 sq miles) it’s very big! The coastline stretches for over 26,700 km (16580 miles) with 7000 beaches. Over 80% of Australia’s 20 million people live in the cities around the coast which only covers about 1% of the Australian continent.
The large size of the continent is also matched by the large and varied wildlife within Australia. There are about 40 million kangaroos, 140 million sheep, 24 million cows, 75,000 crocodiles, 500,000 wild camels and 100,000 odd koalas. (continue reading...)
Honolulu International Airport, on the island of Oahu, is Hawaii’s major aviation gateway. The primary hub for domestic overseas and inter-island flights, it also accommodates international flights. Honolulu shares airport facilities with Hickam Air Force Base. Its main terminal houses 19 airlines and its InterIsland Terminal is home to two. There's currently a $2.3 billion plan to modernize the airport over a 12-year period. (continue reading...)
Paris, the fabled city of light – inextricably linked to Toulouse-Lautrec, Victor Hugo, and Edith Piaf – revels in its perception as the cradle of sophistication. Mere mention of it evokes romantic strolls along the Seine, crusty baguettes shared in quaint cafes, plaintive accordion strains, intimate brasseries, and soulful croonings by sultry chanteuses. But this dreamy image only hints at the city's riches. Landmarks run rampant in this haven of culture and of cool: among them, la Tour Eiffel, le Sacrй Coeur, Notre Dame, and la Sorbonne. Refinement also makes a home in Paris, infusing each cafй and square with Continental charm. The specter of high-brow edge, however, is ground down by Montmartre and la Rive Gauche, which temper luxury with bohemian ambience. Moreover, the French reputation for disdain and snobbery reads as greatly exaggerated; residents often prove disarmingly helpful to well-intentioned tourists. In short, Paris virtually sings with a welcome, easy grace, a world capital enticed into urbanity itself. (continue reading...)
Attention all Adventure Junkies! Contrary to popular belief, Morocco is not all just about the markets and the stunningly beautiful cosmopolitan city. There are many things to see for those into alternative, off-beat travel. Here are some tips I received from a Morocco travel agency about exciting things to do on my Morocco holiday:
Morocco is a country of both stunning landscapes and captivating cities, so if your sense of adventure involves the love of heights, you are in for a treat. Imagine setting off on a hot air balloon from Marrakech and peacefully glide over Morocco whilst enjoying the breathtaking scenery. The Morocco travel agency I went through for the hot air ballooning adventure also included a visit into a village to have mint tea and home baked bread whilst mingling with a local Berber family.
For those who are into more action than a slow drift across the air, personal helicopter flights are available. Many routes are available if you choose this option, and these tours can last between an exhilarating twelve minutes to an extensive 4.5 hours.
A more comprehensive and encompassing helicopter tour that I recommend is that Atlas Tour, which takes about one hour to complete. In this excursion, you can view the dramatic scenery of the Atlas Mountains, Lake Takerkoust, Ouirgane, Toubkal, Oukaimeden, the Ourika Valley, and Marrakech.
Fancy racing a quad-bike around town? Bike lovers will love the experience of coasting around Palm Grove where you can zip around, admiring the picturesque 'green region' of Marrakech which is home to some of the most beautiful luxury homes, golf courses, and hotels in the world. You will also get to visit the famous Marrakech Piste oasis, ride some awesome dunes, and visit some Berber hamlets before stopping off to enjoy a tea break with some of the locals.
If you are after a more structured desert experience in the form of a several day tour with a Guide, these are also available at any good Morocco travel agency. These travel agencies may also be able to tailor an itinerary suitable to you that incorporates hot air ballooning, helicopter rides, and quad-bike riding.
I hope you enjoy your exciting adventure Morocco holiday. Once you experience the wild side of this amazing country, you will never want to leave!
Manila is an especially lively and diverse city, with all kinds of different tourist attractions awaiting. Although a large number of the sights are historic, others simply offer a fun day out, suitable for all the family. Particularly popular is the Enchanted Kingdom and its Space Shuttle roller coaster, along with the awesome water slides and pools that make up Splash Island. To experience a little of the life and soul of Manila, spend time exploring the Divisoria Market and haggling over the prices, or alternatively, check out the various exhibits and performances found within both the Cultural Centre of the Philippines and the Nayong Filipino Cultural Park. More information about Manila Tourist Attractions. (continue reading...)