Cuiaba (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)
Cuiabá is a host city not to be overlooked by visitors when traveling to Brazil for the World Cup. In the 20th century, this gold-mining city drastically grew from 57,000 to 544,737 residents in 30 years. Today, the city’s 3 ecosystems (the wetlands of the Pantanal; the savannas of the Cerrado; and the Amazon), are treasured by locals and tourists. The city offers visitors magnificent opportunities to immerse themselves in nature, whether it be waterfalls, rivers, plateaus, or miles and miles of beautiful green landscape.
Cuiabá, The City of Picturesque Countryside
One of the many spots to hike and explore in Cuiabá is the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park (Parque Nacional Chapada dos Guimarães), a UNESCO World Heritage site located a few miles outside of the city. This enormous natural park gives people a place to go and explore the large orange and red-rock formations via guided hikes with varying levels of difficulty. Along the hike, visitors to the park see caves, canyons and beautiful outlooks.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans (Photo: Getty Images)
The final countdown has begun to “Fat Tuesday” around the world. But only in New Orleans can you celebrate with the true flair of a party-ragin’ Cajun. There’s plenty to do during one of the biggest annual celebrations in America. And in a multilingual city with a rich French colonial history, there are myriad options for Carnival fun. It’s no coincidence that The Big Easy is sometimes referred to as the “most unique in the United States,” and this annual bead-begging bash shows exactly why.
A direct flight from New York to New Orleans is about 3 hours. From Los Angeles it’s just 1 hour more. And from Washington, DC, it’s only a 2 1/2 -hour jaunt, all of which makes it easy to jump right into the Mardi Gras mix. Once you arrive in New Orleans you’ll want a comfy place to rest up and energize from the day’s travels. Here are a few suggestions for enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans that will fit almost any budget. READ MORE
(Photo Courtesy of Embratur)
Recife will set the scene for the much-anticipated USA vs. Germany World Cup game, scheduled for June 26. In addition to being an entertaining host for the big game, Recife is also an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation full of adventure, culture and beaches just waiting to be explored. Recife is a popular city that is no stranger to grand celebrations and festivals. In the upcoming months, travelers can experience various events with the locals.
Recife, the City of Many Bridges
Recife is referred to as the “Brazilian Venice” because of its 50 bridges, which cross over various waterways and rivers similar to the ones in Venice, Italy. These bridges serve the purpose of connecting the city’s smaller surrounding islands like Santo Antonio, Sao Jose and Bairro do Recife. Nestled in Recife’s modern metropolitan style, the city also has an “Old Recife,” known as Recife Antigo, which is the oldest, most traditional district in the state of Pernambuco. Visitors can appreciate the city’s cultural and historical landmarks, all while enjoying its modern attractions, like the dozens of restaurants and craft fairs that are attended by locals and visitors alike.
The Washington Post / Getty Images
For more than a century, baseball spring training was strictly a professional endeavor — a time for athletes to shake the cobwebs of winter and prepare for the 6-month season that starts every April.
But that was before towns and teams discovered they could add to their coffers by persuading snow-weary fans to buy tickets, food, souvenirs in intimate ballparks where autographs are as common as hot dogs.
The 30 big-league teams, evenly divided between Florida and Arizona, spend March playing meaningless exhibition games that count only in the minds of managers who need to reduce rosters to 25 players by Opening Day. Newspapers print won-lost records and “standings” from the Grapefruit League and Cactus League, respectively, but few fans notice.
They’re more concerned with the play of red-hot rookies or rehabbing veterans whose spring performances can influence the pending pennant races.
Spring training is simply a baseball hors d’oeuvre. Established players rarely play more than a few innings and often skip road games; virtually all games are played on natural grass in daylight; and schedules are determined by geographic proximity rather than league rivalry.
If history serves as an accurate barometer, spring training was a cool topic even before it became a hot travel destination. Here are a few of the reasons: READ MORE
Want to meet Travel Channel’s hosts and get inspiration for your next vacation? Come to the Washington, DC Travel and Adventure Show this weekend to see Samantha Brown, Don Wildman and Todd Carmichael talk travel.
On Feb. 22 and 23, get advice from veteran travel experts, climb a rock wall, get a taste of world cuisines, and sign up for trip giveaways all under one roof at the Washington DC Convention Center.
Travel Channel is the official TV media sponsor for the annual Travel and Adventure Show, the nation’s largest and leading series of travel shows. Don’t miss some of your favorite hosts at the Travel and Adventure Show this weekend:
Who: Samantha Brown
What: “How to Travel Better” Seminar + Autograph Signing
When: Saturday 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Who: Don Wildman
What: Host Mysteries at the Museum Talk
When: Saturday 2:45 – 3:30 p.m., Sunday 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Who: Todd Carmichael
What: Coffee Importer, Adventurer and Host of Dangerous Grounds Talk
When: Saturday 12:15 – 1 p.m.
It’s not too late, buy your tickets now and find your next vacation, and maybe even win one, too!
You May Also Like:
Enter to Win a $100,000 Trip
Dangerous Grounds Tues @ 9|8c
Mysteries at the Museum Thurs @ 9|8c
More From Samantha Brown on Travel
Photography by Andre Maceira – Photo Courtesy of Embratur
Of all the 12 cities hosting the 2014 World Cup, Porto Alegre is the southernmost city in Brazil. Travelers heading down to the state of Rio Grande do Sul are recommended to pack warm coats and extra layers because unlike northern Brazil, the winter weather in Porto Alegre is usually between 44° and 55°F. Undoubtedly, the weather will not take away from the countless activities Porto Alegre has to offer both soccer fans and world travelers alike. Visitors should know that the citys offers great urban parks, wine tasting tours, cultural centers, delicious food and exhibits that feature some of the most important pieces of art in Brazil.
Porto Alegre, The City with Multiculturalism.
In the 19th century, Porto Alegre had a large influx of immigrants; the majority of which came from Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Africa and Lebanon. The immigrants that settled helped the city flourish as a melting pot of cultures. As a result, Porto Alegre has grown to become a diverse cosmopolitan city with over 1.5 million inhabitants known as Porto-Alegrenses. The city’s gastronomy and architecture is a mixture of Brazilian traditions infused with influences from different countries.
The Amazon (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)
If there is something that should be well-known about Brazil, it is that ecotourism is taken just as seriously as soccer. Just ask Fuleco, the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot whose name originates from “ful” for futbol and “eco” for ecology. This personable armadillo is native to Brazil, and symbolizes the importance of preserving the ecosystem, as well as a passion for soccer that is present in Brazil. The city of Manaus is a perfect marriage of the 2: the practice of street soccer and efforts to preserve the Amazon rainforest.
Manaus, the City of the Amazonas
In the 19th century, Manaus was known as the “Heart of the Amazon and City of the Forest,” when the natural resources of the Amazon rainforest were used in creating rubber as an international export. The city instantly began to flourish, and with wealth exponentially growing, extravagant buildings were being constructed like the Amazon Theater (Teatro Amazonas). For a while, there was a strong European presence in the tropics, but the city’s economic success suffered when the Asian market discovered a way to create artificial rubber. Since then, Manaus has made a comeback. Locals have continued to work hard to offer excellent tourism services and educational programs to travelers interested in exploring the Amazon rainforest.
Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock
The World Cup is a momentous occasion that sets the stage for the world’s greatest soccer athletes. Thousands of people will travel to 12 cities in Brazil to see their favorite teams play an international sport that will bring people together from all around the globe. And there are several reasons why Fortaleza is the perfect city to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup games.
Fortaleza, the City of “Fortalezenses”
Fortaleza is known for its people, “Fortalezenses.” Although the city on its own is aesthetically beautiful, it’s the good-humored nature of its people that automatically make it a charming destination. Fortalezenses are known for being helpful, hospitable and caring hosts to tourists. They stay active by walking around in urban parks or by the seafront.
The History of the Fortress
In case you didn’t know, Fortaleza in Portuguese translates to “fortress.” In 1649, the Dutch settled and built Fort Schoonemborch. A few years later, in 1655, the Portuguese seized the fort and renamed it Nossa Senhora da Assunção, after the patron saint of the city, the Lady of the Assumption. Visitors can visit the beautiful fortress on Monte Marajaitiba for free. Today, the fortress is home to the Army Military Headquarters.
Photography by George Powers
Update: February 2, 2014, 8AM
It was a cold, soggy morning in Punxsutawney, PA, for Groundhog Day. The world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his hole on Gobbler’s Knob and, to the chagrin of the crowd of over 20,000, saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.
Despite the rain and unfortunate prediction, the atmosphere in Punxsutawney is simply electric. If you ever have the chance, a visit to see Punxsutawney Phil is sure to excite.
Tired of winter? There may be some relief in store this weekend in the form of a furry, little groundhog.
That’s right, it’s once again time for Groundhog Day! The one day a year when everyone focuses their attention on the tiny Pennsylvania borough of Punxsutawney to see whether the world’s most famous rodent sees his shadow. Tradition has it, that if Punxsutawney Phil, as he’s affectionately known, sees his shadow, we are in store for 6 more weeks of winter. However, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, we can all look forward to an early spring.
Without a doubt, Groundhog Day is truly one of America’s more odd traditions, but it’s a big deal all throughout the country.
With 10 days to go until the Sochi Winter Olympics, we’re reminded that the Olympics represent an undisputed symbol of peak athleticism, entertainment and global cooperation. Also undisputed, however, is that the Olympics are consistently mired in controversy. The level of controversy varies from game to game. It can involve anything from performance-enhancing drugs and corrupt judges to political boycotts and most terrifyingly, assassinations.
The Sochi Winter Olympics are no exception to either end of the spectrum. There have been stories of self-sacrifice and excruciating decisions (Lindsey Vonn’s injury, for one) and ultimately triumph. There have been reports of heightened security and terrorism alerts, of wasted funds and a corrupt political environment.
It would be irresponsible to ignore the controversial political climate of the Sochi Games as it involves the world’s safety. However we must remain hopeful and optimistic that these 16 days will inspire the world.
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, here are some fun and hopefully inspirational facts:
Ralph Lauren once again designed the USA Olympic team uniforms. All of the uniforms were made exclusively in the USA, specifically in Oregon (yarn), Pennsylvania (spinning), North Carolina (material prep) and Los Angeles (assembly line).
We all know that the fourth-place finisher does not get a medal, but he/she does not go home empty-handed. The first eight athletes in each event receive a diploma from the IOC (International Olympics Committee).