Photography by Reuters
Each year, in March and April, millions of people flock to Washington, DC, to experience the beauty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival when thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin.
Today marks the average peak bloom date for the cherry blossom trees, and while the actual bloom date is difficult to predict, the National Park Service predicts that this spring’s peak bloom period is between April 8 and 12.
If you’re planning a visit, a stroll along the Tidal Basin is a must, but here are some other ways you can also celebrate the festival in the nation’s capital: READ MORE
Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)
Rio de Janeiro is a magnificent city for travelers looking for a well-rounded experience of Brazil. Rio is more than a popular backdrop for countless movies. It’s home to iconic soccer players like Pelé, the popular Christ the Redeemer, the classic bossa nova, the most beautiful beaches in the world and the world’s most entertaining carnival. Rio de Janeiro’s laidback culture and natural beauty will leave a lasting impression to adventure seekers, soccer fans and history lovers making their way to Brazil for the World Cup.
Rio de Janeiro, The City of Yellow, Green, Blue Through and Through
In 1950, Brazil hosted the World Cup, which left the country heartbroken and disappointed when the championship title was awarded to Uruguay after the team won the final game by 1 point in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, the sport and the country of Brazil have drastically evolved, and locals are ecstatic to experience with visitors the fruits of their labor after more than 4 years of preparation for the 2014 World Cup. It all ends here in Rio de Janeiro, and only 1 team will win the title of 2014 FIFA World Cup champions.
Photography by iStock
Adorned with dozens of baroque statues, the historic 15th-century-era Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most scenic and well-trodden thoroughfares.
Photography by Alex Holland / Cultura / Aurora Photos
If you want take a stroll past one of Madrid’s best known landmarks, do so in the evening, when the brilliant gate and Neoclassical monument in the city center is dramatically lit against the night sky.
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.
Photography by Kevin Kerr / Aurora Photos
Atop a maze of trails inhabited by more yak than humans, the sacred structure can be reached by foot from the mud-brick, high altitude city of Leh, once a key stopover along the Silk Road.
Photography by Getty Images
Once largest Islamic college in Marrakesh, Ben Youssef Madrasa is a stunning example of traditional Moorish architecture and ornate décor.
Photography by Reuters
Today marks the 25th year of the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, and marks the tail end of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. This year’s festival will take place in Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County – the second largest county in Taiwan.
The main theme for the festival is determined by the Chinese zodiac animal for the new year. This year’s lantern theme is representative of the Year of the Horse. The lantern – a 75-foot-tall “Prancing Horse” — will be lit up with more than 200,000 LED lights, and will be on display at the festival’s center stage, positioned facing Taiwan’s highest peak, Yushan, which means “Jade Mountain.”
(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.
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.