Thursday, August 28, 2014

6 Alluring Travel Destinations in Australia

For all the adventurous travellers who are inspired by the insatiable thirst for seeing and experiencing new places, Australia is the perfect destination. The Land Down Under has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists over the recent years, and its warm weather and perpetually entertaining terrain have been attracting travellers from all over the world. Of all the wonders that Australia has to offer, the six most prominent destinations are mentioned below. These destinations have been at the top of Australia's action and earned themselves a spot as some of the most widely loved and revered destinations in Australia.

The Sydney Harbour Location - Sydney

 The Sydney Harbour is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Australia. Located in Australia's biggest city, it’s the biggest and most prolific harbour in the world. Its magnitude and magnificence are breath-taking. Top Attractions - Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Opera.

The Great Barrier Reef Location - Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland 

 Comprising of over 2900 reefs and 900 odd islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, and one of the most widely recognized and admired natural wonders of the world. Bright blue seas and sun-kissed gold beaches studded with the intermittent magnificence of the brilliant colours of the reef life make up the charm of the Great Barrier Reef. Top Attractions - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Lady Elliott Island.

Melbourne Location - Victoria 

 Also known as the 'cultural capital' of Australia, Melbourne is the birthplace of Australian performing arts and cricket. Home to the world famous Melbourne cricket stadium and Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne is also host to several festivals all year round such as Moomba and the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Top Attractions -The Royal Exhibition Building, South Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne Stadium.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Tasmania Location - South of the Bass Strait 

 Composed almost entirely by World Heritage sites, Natural Parks and reserves, Tasmania is known worldwide for its unspoiled and unadulterated natural beauty. Tasmania is also the perfect location to witness and experience Australia's wildlife. Top Attractions: Carrick, Marion Bay, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Top Attractions - Carrick, Marion Bay, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

The Barossa Valley Location - Adelaide

 The Barossa valley is Australia's most prominent wine producing region. Decorated with vineyards and orchards of Australia's finest fruit, Barossa valley is also famous for its bakeries and cheese. Top Attractions - Be Consumed Gourmet festival.

Gold Coast Location - Southern Queensland 

 Home to the most popular surf breaks in Australia, the white sand and brilliant blue seas of the Gold Coast beaches are a popular favourite among Australian tourists today. Perfect year round weather facilitates the hosting of various festivals in the Gold Coast such as the Winter Sun festival and the Gold Coast Marathon. Top Attractions - Dream world, Sea World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Wet'NWild Water World.

Kakadu Naional Park Location - Southeast of Darwin 

Famous for its alligator rivers, kakadu National park is the humble abode of over a thousand different species of birds and animals, as well as Australia's famous Grevillia flowers. For those hoping to catch a glimpse of Australia's Kangaroos, Kakadu is the perfect place for a visit. From beaches to reserves, Australia has all the wonders to offer those tourists looking to embark on a magical journey. Australian Visas are handed out with great ease to travellers who are keen on discovering Australia's wonders, so don't waste time, and hop on to a plane to the famous Land down under!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 World cup host cities – Cuiaba, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1727, Cuiaba is the capital city of the Brazilian state Mato Grosso. The city has a population of about 600 000 people and has been nicknamed ‘Green City', as it is surrounded by breathtaking natural sites. Cuiaba serves as an access way to Brazil's three main and characteristic ecosystems: the savannas of the Cerrado, the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Amazon.
Cuiaba - Brazil
Cuiaba - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.

Location

Cuiaba is located in the most central part of the continent - the geographic centre of South America. The distance to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is 2 000 km / 1242 mi , so it’s in the middle between two oceans.

Climate

Cuiaba has a tropical wet and dry climate. The coldest month is July with average low temperatures of 16.6 °C (61.9 °F), but the maximum can reach 37 °C (99 °F) and the minimum 6 °C (43 °F). From August to December, the temperatures can reach even 40 – 43 °C (104 – 109 °F).

How to get there


  • by air

Marechal Rondon International Airport (Aeroporto Internacional de Cuiabá - Marechal Rondon), is located 8 km / 5 mi away from Cuiaba City center.
Bus lines from and to airport:
Line 7 – Route Marechal Rondon Airport - Pantanal Arena, fare is R$ 2,85 / USD 1,3
Taxi will cost you about R$ 45 / USD 20 to downtown.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Cuiaba is served by buses and there is light rail, which connects the city with Várzea Grande and the airport, also.
Taxi fares in Cuiaba:
Rate 1: R$ 2,82 / USD 1,25 -  Working days from 6 am to 8 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 12 pm;
Rate 2: R$ 3,95 / USD 1,75 -  Working days from 8 pm to 6 am, Saturdays from 12 pm, Sundays and holidays.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The venue for 2014 world cup is Pantanal Arena.  With its capacity is of 41 000 people, the stadium Pantanal Arena will be the stage of 4 matches:
Group Matches
Match 4
13.06.14 – Chile - Australia
Match 16
17.06.14 – Russia – South Korea
Match 28
21.06.14 – Nigeria – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Match 37
24.06.14 – Japan - Colombia

Pantanal Arena is located about 3 km/1.86 mi east of Cuiaba downtown. The following bus lines will be available during the World cup:

    • Regular buses: line 7 and 8
    • Special buses (only for match days): 
    • airport—Pantanal Arena route
    • hotel areas – Pantanal Arena
    • oute parking lots (UNIC/UNIRODON and UNIVAG-VAG) - Pantanal Arena
    • Central region – Pantanal Arena
    • bus terminal - Pantanal Arena
    • airport – city centre

Where to Stay

If you want to stay closer to Pantanal Arena stadium, there are no hotels available at the stadium arena, but you could book one in the center.
Anyway, the only options available approximately close to the stadium are:

Where to Eat

Local cuisine is known for its typical dishes, like pintado , matrinchã and Pacu. You will find alligator meat in some restaurants and a typical for the region fruit - pequi. Most of the restaurants and bars are concentrated around  Praça Popular .Don’t miss Peixaria Popular – offers seafood and Mistura Cuiabana – buffet .

What to see

Historic Centre of Cuiaba attracts with its old buildings and fish market. You will find enough museums to visit, like: Museum of Rio Cuiabá and Municipal Aquarius; Museum of the History of Mato Grosso, Museum Hill of the Box Of water and Museum of Rio Cuiabá.
If you want to see free wild animals, such as alligators, pumas and monkeys – Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland is the right place for you.  Another breathtaking place is The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, which is inscribed in the World Heritage List

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 World cup host cities – Belo Horizonte, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1897, Belo Horizonte (beautiful horizon) is the capital city of the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. More than 2,4 million people living in Belo Horizonte making it sixth most populous city in Brazil.  Greater Belo Horizonte is the name of the metropolitan area and its home of more than 5 100 000 people. Belo Horizonte is Brazilian first planned city and is the main business tourist destination in the country.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil  .

Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Belo Horizonte - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Built on several hills and surrounded by mountains, Belo Horizonte is located 430 km / 267 mi, north of Rio de Janeiro.

Climate

Belo Horizonte has a tropical savannah climate and average temperatures between 9 °C and 35 °C (48 °F and 95 °F). The coldest month is July and the hottest one is January. The summer is rainy and winter is dry.

How to get there


  • by air

There are two airports in Belo Horizonte :
Tancredo Neves International Airport – Confins  (Aeroporto Internacional Tancredo Neves) is located 40 km / 25 mi away from the city center.
Bus lines from and to airport:

    • Line 5250/5270 – Confins International Airport - Bus Station of Belo Horizonte, fare is R$ 8,70 / USD 3,8;
    • Line 5251 – Pampulha Airport - Confins International Airport, fare is R$ 8,70 / USD 3,8;
    • Line 5252/5271 –  Confins International Airport - Bus Station of Belo Horizonte, fare is R$ 7 / USD 3, but it takes 15 minutes more to travel;
    • Executive line -  Confins International Airport – Alvares Cabral Terminal (Belo Horizonte), fare is R$ 19,25 / USD 8,5.

Taxi companies that serve the airport: Coopertramo,  Cootramo, Cooperfins and Minas Táxi. It will cost you about R$ 85 / USD 37 to downtown.
Pampulha airport (Aeroporto Carlos Drummond de Andrade) – it is used for domestic flights and is just 9 km / 5 mi away from the city center. A taxi from the airport to downtown will cost you about R$ 35 / USD 15.

  • by bus 

You could get to Bello Horizonte by bus from most of the Brazilian cities.  “Rodoviária” or the bus station is at the center at the northern end of Afonso Pena avenue.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Belo Horizonte is served by buses and metro (subway). Buses are color coded as follows: blue, red, orange, green and yellow.
There is only one metro line and the single ticket costs R$ 1,8 / USD 0,8.
Taxi fares in Belo Horizonte:

    • Rate 1: R$ 2,40 / USD 1 -  Working days from 6 am to 10 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 2 pm;
    • Rate 2: R$ 2,88 / USD 1,3 -  Working days from 10 pm to 6 am, Saturdays from 2 pm, Sundays and holidays.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Belo Horizonte was one of the host cities of the 1950 World Cup, so it will be the second time host in 2014. Mineirão stadium will be the stage of 6 matches:
Group Matches
Match 5
14.06.14 – Colombia - Greece
Match 15
17.06.14 – Belgium - Algeria
Match 27
21.06.14 – Argentina - Iran
Match 40
24.06.14 – Costa Rica - England
Round of Sixteen
Match 49
28.06.14 – 1A v 2B
Semi-finals
Match 61
08.07.14 – W57 v W58

Mineirão stadium is located about 9 km/5.5 mi from Belo Horizonte center. You could use bus lines 64 (from the Avenida Augusto de Lima in downtown) and 2004 (from the Avenida João Pinheiro)  to get to the stadium.

Where to Stay

You can book a room in one of the many hotels online, preferably in downtown. If you want to stay closer to Mineirão stadium, there are only few hotels available:

Where to Eat

Belo Horizonte offers good restaurants that serve international cuisine, traditional bars on street corners, pubs and cafés. Local cuisine is famous for its traditional dishes, like tutu de feijão , pão de queijo, feijão tropeiro, chicken-and-okra and drink of cachaça.
Don’t miss Bar do Careca, Stonehenge Rock Bar, No Fundo do Baú or Soho.

What to see

There is a lot to see in Belo Horizonte - from its green areas to the careful city-planning; nature wonders of the Serra do Curral;  Liberdade Square Circuit – a rich complex with cultural venues; Central  city market;  Pampulha Complex – you will see some of the Brazil modern architecture; Alta Vila Tower; Museu de Ciencias Naturais and Praça da Liberdade – fantastic  palm tree-lined square.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Brasilia, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1960, Brasilia is the federal capital of Brazil. More than 2,5 million people living in Brasilia  making it fourth most populous city in Brazil. The modernist architecture  of the city is listed as UNESCO world heritage site.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Brazilia - Brasil
Brazilia - Brasil, Foto: Embratur

Location

Brasilia is located in the Central Highlands of Brazil, which is in the Central-West part of the country.
The city is divided by wide avenues into north and south part. These two parts are divided in numbered superblocks and sectors. There are sectors for specified activities as:

    • Hotel sectors (Setor Hoteleiro) 
    • Embassies sector (Setor de Embaixadas)
    • Commercial sectors (Setor Comercial) 
    • Residential sectors (Superquadras) 
    • Local commerce sectors (Comércio Local).  

Climate

Brasilia has a tropical savannah climate and temperatures, which varies depending on the season. During the dry season From April to September, the temperatures are between 17 °C / 63 °F and 28 °C / 82 °F. During the rest of the time, about 22 °C / 72 °F.

Travel tips that you’ll find useful when you visit this place:

How to get there


  • by air

Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport,  is located 11 km / 7 mi away from the city center.
Airport is served by bus transportation and of course it is more convenient to take a taxi.
It will cost you about R$ 30-40 (USD 15-20) to get to the Centre by taxi and R$ 8 (USD USD 3.5) to travel by bus.

Bus lines from and to airport:

    • Line 11 – Q. 716 North / Esplanade – Airport
    • Line  31 – Q. 716 North / W3 North South – Airport
    • Line 102 – Plano Piloto Bus Station / Airport – you can use line 102 to Rodoviária bus terminal and  to use line 131 to get to the Metro or the Rodoferroviaria Train Station.
    • Line 113 - executive line: Airport, Esplanade, Plano Piloto Bus Station, Hoteliers sectors North and South, Airport.
  • by bus 

If you decide to get to Brasilia by bus, it’s good to know that the main bus terminal, called Rodoviaria is located at the western end of the Eixo Monumental and you could get to downtown by bus line 131.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Brasilia is served by buses and metro (subway). To travel by bus, you have to pay R$ 2 (USD 0.9) when you get on the bus by the front door.  There are two subway lines – Orange and Green and 24 metro stations in the city. Single ticket costs R$ 3 / USD 1.30 and R$ 2 / USD 0.9 on holidays. Metro is not very useful for tourists, as it does not visit most of the attractions, so buses are better option to access to the city centre.
It is good to know that taxis in Brasilia are relatively expensive and to take a taxi you should take it by Taxi stands or to call to some of the companies that provide such services.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The venue for 2014 world cup is National Mané Garrincha Stadium (Estadio Nacional de Brasilia). The capacity of the National Stadium is 71 000 people.
The stadium will be the stage of 7 matches – highest possible number for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Group Matches
Match 9
15.06.14 – Switzerland - Ecuador
Match 21
19.06.14 – Colombia - Côte d'Ivoire
Match 33
23.06.14 – Cameroon - Brazil
Match 46
26.06.14 – Portugal - Ghana
Round of Sixteen
Match 53
30.06.14 – 1E v 2F
Quarter-final
Match 60
05.07.14 – W55 v W56
Play-off for third place
Match 63
12.07.14 – L61 v L62

National Mané Garrincha Stadium is located about 2 km/1.24 mi from Central metro station and 4.5 km / 2.79 mi from Rodoviária bus terminal, between the TV Tower and the JK Memorial. There is bus connection with the stadium, the bus terminal and city centre.

Where to Stay

You can book a room in one of the many hotels online. If you want to stay closer to National Mané Garrincha Stadium, there are a few affordable hotels, east of the stadium.

Where to Eat

There is no typical, local cuisine in Brasilia, but you will find a variety of restaurants offering International one. If you like Brazilian, Mexican, French food or Sushi - CLS 405 Street is your place. On CLS 210 Street you will find some of the most famous restaurants, bars and diners in Brasilia. If you prefer buffet lunch, like in the rest parts of the country, Brasilia offers Self-service (por quilo) restaurants, which are usually cheaper option than other type of restaurants.

What to see

As I already mentioned, Brasilia is known with its modern architecture. Most of the architectural sites are on the eastern part of the Monumental Axis.
Esplanada dos Ministérios – an avenue with the ministry buildings on each side;
Praça dos Três Poderes (The Three Powers Square) – here are the seats of the Congress, the Presidential Palace (Palácio do Planalto) and the Supreme Court.
Don’t miss also: Palace of Justice, Itamaraty Palace, Palácio da Alvorada and the TV tower.
The Paranoá Lake and Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park are places for people who love the nature.
Cultural attractions:  Brasilia National Museum, Monetary Museum and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
If you’d like to make a bus tour, you can do it every day from the TV Tower at 10h and 17h.


Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Curitiba, Brazil

About:

Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state Paraná, which is located in the southern part of Brazil. The city was founded in 1693 and 1,8 million people live there nowadays.  The population is formed mainly by European emigrants from Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Italy.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Curitiba - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Curitiba is situated in south part of Brazil at about  105 km (65 mi) west of the Atlantic Ocean and sits on a plateau at 932 m (3000 ft.) above sea level. The city occupies an area of 432 sq. km. (166 sq. mi.).

Climate

Curitiba has a subtropical climate, but because of the altitude of almost 1000 meters above the sea level, an average minimum temperature during the winter (June-September) is 7 °C (45 °F) and sometimes falling even below 0 °C (32 °F). In the summer (December-March) temperatures could reach of maximum through 30°C / 90°F.

How to get there


  • by air

Afonso Pena International Airport is located about 17 km (10.6 miles) from Curitiba city center and close to Sao José dos Pinhais.
There is minibus line (Aeroporto Executivo) connecting the airport to the city center, which costs R$ 10,00 / USD 4,5. The Direct Line 208 (Ligeirinho Aeroporto) is another option of transportation to downtown.
Taxi services:
Associação Rádio Táxi Alternativa - +55 41 3257-5757
Associação Rádio Táxi LTDA -  +55 41 3262-6262
Associação Teletaxi - +55 41 3224-2424
Taxi service from airport to Curitiba downtown will cost you about R$ 60 / USD  27.

  • by bus

The main bus terminal is part of the larger Train and Bus station -  Estaçao Rodoferroviária. There are buses from Curitiba to most of the Brazilian cities, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.

 How to Get Around

Public transportation system in Curitiba consists mainly of buses (metro system is under construction) and it is the recommended transportation option for tourists. Single ticket costs between R$ 1,50 and R$ 2,70  (USD 0,67 / USD 1,2).

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Baixada Arena will be the venue of four group stage World Cup 2014 matches. Located just 3,5 km /2 mi from Curitiba city center, the stadium has capacity of 42 000 seats.
To get to the stadium, you can take bus number 203 or to walk (which will take you half an hour from Praça Tiradentes).
Group stage
16.06.14 – Iran - Nigeria
20.06.14 – Honduras - Ecuador
23.06.14 – Australia - Spain
26.06.14 – Algeria  – Russia

Where to Stay

If you are looking for cheap hotels, the best option to find something is around Curitiba’s city Centre. If you prefer to stay near the stadium, there are a lot of good hotels at walking distance of the Arena da Baixada:

Where to Eat

Like in most Brazilian cities, you will find fixed price restaurants or Por Quilo in Curitiba, too. The very typical dish you must try is – barreado (beef stew that simmers slowly for more than 24 hours in a clay pot). Restaurants offering local cuisine can be found at the Batel area, while Santa Felicidade area abounds with Italian restaurants .
The favorite drink in Curitiba, like in the rest of Brazil is ‘caipirinha’ (cachaca, liquor that is distilled from sugar cane mixed with lime and sugar).

What to do and what to see

While in Curitiba you may visit Botanical Garden with its Flower Museum, Oscar Niemeyer Museum (One of the biggest and most modern museums in Brazil), Barigüi Park (1.4 million sq.m. park), Ópera de Arame (one of the symbols of Curitiba), Metropolitan Cathedral at Tiradentes plaza , Japan square and historic part, (Largo da Ordem / Praça Coronel Enéas, Praça Garibaldi – São Francisco).