Archive Page 2

12
Apr
09

Useful Travel Tips to Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro or “River of January” in English is Brazil’s 2nd largest and South America’s 3rd largest city. It is situated behind Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. From the year 1763 up to the year 1822, it stood as Brazil’s capital city while under the Portuguese colony. It became an independent nation from the year 1822 up to the year 1960. Hence, from 1808 up to 1821 it was considered as the Portuguese Empire’s capital. It is also known as “A Cidade Maravilhosa” or “The Marvelous City” as its nickname.

Rio de Janeiro, or just Rio, is popular because of the vast natural settings, Samba and various other music as well as Carnival celebrations. There is also a wide array of tourist beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana paved with cream and black swirl-like pattern mosaic decorations or Pedra Portuguesa as it is most known for.

One of the most popular local attractions in Rio de Janeiro, apart from its unspoiled beaches, is the Christ the Redeemer or Cristo Redentor. It is Jesus Christ’s giant statue that lies on top of the Corcovado Mountain. Just recently, it was considered as part of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Other attractions include Sugarloaf Mountain’s cable cars or the Pao de Acucar, the Sambodromo, a permanent giant parade stand used during Carnivals and the Maracana Stadium deemed as the largest football stadium in the world.

Aside from all of these the Tijuca Forest or Floresta da Tijuca and the White Stone State Park or the Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca both the world’s largest as well as the 2nd largest urban forest also lies here in Rio de Janeiro. Going to other Brazilian cities is also no problem with the Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport because it connects various international flights to Rio de Janeiro.

Here are some useful travel tips to Rio de Janeiro:

Money Exchange
When bringing and exchanging money in Rio, you can bring cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards. When bringing some cash, it is wise to put it inside a money belt and keep it there until you reach the hotel. Of course, it is also safer to book in a hotel that provides a safety deposit box inside your room.

Traveler’s checks are good but the exchange rate is always a problem. However, it is good to bring some for emergency purposes. Carrying debit or credit cards is also very convenient in Rio. The most widely accepted are Visa, AmEx, Diner’s and MasterCard. This is best when going on shopping sprees, dining outside and paying your hotel bills. If your credit card falls under the Cirrus system, you can also use it to withdraw some cash.

For visa card holders, you can withdraw from Banco Itau, Banco do Brasil and Brandesco. Thus, if ever you plan to withdraw at any of the ATM machines in Rio, it is in Portuguese so make sure you ask for help from bank personnel only. This means that if you will be exchanging your money, you will lose money because of the exchange rate. This makes the ATM’s Cirrus system as your best option since they use the same rate as the one you use back home.

In Rio, currencies apart from Euros or US dollars are not that good. It is best to just bring either of the two, particularly the US$ which consecutively gets the best rate.

The Portuguese Language
When going to Brazil, it is best to brush up on some Portuguese language. A quick course would do about basic conversation. It is also advisable to buy translations book. It might be handy in your trip.

Brazilian Currency
The currency in Brazil is called Real. They have the R$50, R$100, R$20, R$5, R$10, R$1 and R$2 bills. The exchange rate at current is R$3=US$1. There are also 2 varieties for every coin except for the coin R$1. The real can be divided in 100 centavos. These coins are handy for coffee, bus rides and gums.

Having a Visa
For Europeans, only a valid passport and return ticket is needed in order to enter Brazil. Upon entry, you also need to fill up an entry card, allowing you to stay for about 90 days. This will be attached to your passport. The other half is kept by immigration officials. Losing this will entail a delay in your departure.

For Canadians, Australians, US and New Zealand citizens, a visa is required. You can get this from your home country’s Brazilian embassy. Thus, make sure you also contact them prior to going to Brazil so that you are aware of the full entry requirements.

When you already have a tourist visa, you have the option of extending it for another 90 days. You only need to apply this at least 15 days prior to the expiration of the 1st one. However, you can only do this once. Afterwards, you need to leave the country and just reenter at another time.

Thus, for those who are from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay as well as other neighboring countries, you only need a photo ID to enter Rio. For countries that require a visa, the requirements for a visa include a copy of your round trip ticket, your passport that should be valid for another 6 months, 1 colored or black and white passport size photo, show money, vaccination certificates and the visa application form from the Brazilian embassy or consulate.

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04
Apr
09

The Graceful Glamour of Monaco

Monaco is deemed as one of the most impressive and sophisticated countries. With Monte Carlo as its capital, Monaco is the second smallest nation in the world, next to Vatican. This 1.9 square kilometer country has been an emblem of prestige and glamour. The official language is French. The populace is made up of a hundred plus different nationalities. The children are obliged to learn French in school.

The elegance of Monaco was enhanced all the more by the wedding of Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly in 1956. The lovely actress met the bachelor prince when she was in Cannes to promote her movie. To Catch a Thief. Their marriage blessed them with children Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. A car accident on a fateful day in 1982 on a Monaco cliff took the life of Princess Grace and injured Stephanie. Her people still grieve over her death to this day.

Monaco is a sanctuary to casino lovers and fashion aficionados. It is celebrated for quite a few things. First, it celebrates the dazzling life of the Grimaldis, the fascinating royal family. Second is the Formula One cars bellowing through the manicured streets during the Grand Prix. This is a customary race that produces more visitors and money. And third, the Monte Carlo casino. In recent times, the country has gained handsome revenue by developing into an economic delight, and a gambling seat with the establishment of the internationally eminent Monte Carlo Casino in 19th century.

Monaco roads are tidy, well designed and constructed. These, together with luxuriant parks and classy palaces are highly safe mainly because to the attendance of efficient police and patrollers as well as CCTV cameras. Also, the French Riviera, the Mediterraneans coastline of Frances southeastern part is one great reason to come and experience the elegance and splendor of Monaco.

The locality of Monte Carlo is regarded as the country’s most well-off district and is mainly distinguished for its exciting ambiance. Its glamour and popularity appeals to the rich and famous who in turn magnetize everyday travelers to Monte Carlo. This rocky peninsula lies to the north of the Port of Monaco. The roads of the district’s most lofty portion are crammed with companies and stores. These include the Radio/Television Monte-Carlo headquarters, Boulevard Princesse Charlotte, and the Boulevard des Moulins. These are joined by the Avenue de la Costa that showcases a lot of luxury shops.

Monaco faithfully keeps its independence too. Even Charles de Gaulle himself, French general and leader wasn’t able to compel the departed Prince Rainier to eradicate his tax-free law. Almost all of Monacos income emanates from tourism and casino as the Monegasques do not pay taxes.

Monaco brings you many interesting attractions. Take a trip to Les Spelugues, a significant complex of the Congress Center that consists of 100 apartments and Loews Hotel with 636 rooms. Or be amazed at the Oceanographic Museum, the country’s most visited museum hovering spectacularly on Monaco Villes cliff-top. It features a marvelous panorama over the sea as well as showcases myriads of fine-looking fish species in its aquariums. Plus, taking an expedition in a helicopter will have you witness the marina that accommodates private yachts and vessels.

While indeed a wealthy region, visiting it does not entail spending a fortune. Travelers can lodge at budget hostels. In Monaco you can spend some pleasant days and being the country so tiny, even a one-day tour may be highly fascinating.

28
Mar
09

Family Holiday Destinations That You Might Not Have Considered

When you’re planning a holiday with your family, where you want to go can be affected by the entire group. They need to generally agree on a destination or someone will feel left out, hurt, and angry. That person – or those people – may not have a very good time. The good news is that there are plenty of places that have something for everyone. These include London, Torquay in Devon, and the Isle of Wight.

All three are very family friendly and they have a wide range of things that they can offer to people who want to be pampered, people who want to play, and people who just want to see the sites and relax.

The chances are, especially if you have a big or extended family, that you’re taking a lot of people with you and they all have different ideas about what a holiday should really involve. When they realize that they all can get what they want, making sure that they have a good time and picking a destination for your holiday can be a lot easier than it otherwise would have been. London has so much to offer, and Torquay in Devon does, as well, but the Isle of Wight often stands out as the most family-friendly place on the list because it has so many different things for people to do.

On the Isle of Wight there are a lot of popular towns like Shanklin. Hotel rates there are very reasonable and the accommodations are some of the best in the area. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other great places to stay on the Isle of Wight, but only that Shanklin is one of the highest rated. There are archaeological areas to explore, and you can find fossils and artifacts from long ago. You can also go to all kinds of places to play games and enjoy time with your children. You can visit the coastline and walk along the rugged shore, or you can hike inland a bit and enjoy the natural beauty. You can also go to the spa and be pampered with saunas, steam rooms, and various treatments.

No matter what you decide that you want to do while you’re on the Isle of Wight, there is truly something for everyone there, and that means that you and your family can all have a great time without being too terribly worried about pleasing the other members of your group. It makes for a great holiday for everyone.

For an ideal location on the Isle of Wight why not try a Shanklin Hotel for a great break away.

20
Mar
09

Luxury Breaks and Luxury Treats to Be Had on the Isle of Wight

If you’re planning on going to the Isle of Wight, there are great choices for things to do on your holiday there. The natural beauty of the area cannot be ignored. The miles and miles of unspoiled views and the coastline are some of the best out there, and people love to just come and have a look at everything that nature has done on the Isle of Wight.

There are other things, though, that you can do while you’re there if you don’t feel that being with nature is enough pampering. Spa treatments are a good choice for many people to help them relax on their holiday and feel rejuvenated by the time they have to go home again. You can get these spa treatments at many fine hotels, although they generally cost extra. Most people think that they are well worth the cost because they are so enjoyable and relaxing. They are a great way to feel pampered while you’re enjoying your time away from work and the stresses of everyday life. Many people also play tennis, card games, squash, or use the gym. Indoor pools are popular for pampering, too. The possibilities are almost endless, and they come down to what you enjoy most on your Isle of Wight holiday.

You can also visit a steam room or sauna, enjoy gourmet meals, and stay in a luxury hotel. Shanklin has much to offer in that respect, and you’ll always feel like you’re being pampered there.

Luxury is important to a lot of people, and that’s true whether they are interested in a five-star hotel or a self-catering cottage. They still want their accommodations to be nice and to reflect high quality at a good price. These are the kinds of things that you can get on the Isle of Wight year-round.

However, if you’re really looking to pamper yourself as much as possible for the lowest price, you might want to book well in advance and go during the off season. There will be fewer people, and those who provide the services you’ll be looking for will often be offering discounts because they are low on clients during that time. You can get better rates on lodging and stay in finer hotels than you would otherwise be able to, so it’s worth looking into going at a time of year when not everyone else will be taking their holidays.

If you are like many other people are looking for a piece of luxury in one of the best Shanklin Hotels then do your research before you book to avoid disappointment.