Maracaibo also known as “La Tierra del Sol Amanda” meaning The Beloved Land of the Sun is the second largest city in Venezuela after the capital Caracas, Maracaibo is the capital of the Zulia state and is situated in the shores of the Maracaibo lake. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 3.7 million people.

The historical monuments in old town Maracaibo have been nicely restored, including Venzuela’s first elevator building “Botica Nueva” and the most famous landmark of downtown “Chiquinquira Basilic”. Just across the street from the Plaza, next to the Plaza Bolivar its surrounded by Maracaibo sightseeing known as the Government Palace, Baralt Theater and the Casa Morales which is the location where the Venezuelans singed the declaration of independence. While in downtown, you’re nearby the neighborhood of Santa Lucia which is defiantly worth a visit as well.

Several cultural sightseeing in the city of Maracaibo include fine art galleries and museums, the largest museum of South America, Maczul is located in city center, some others include Lia Bermudez Art Center and Theater of Fine Arts.

Maracaibo nightlife is vibrant and diverse, it offers cafes, pubs, bars and discotheques which can be find on several main nightlife streets including 72th, Dr. Portillo and Santa Rita Avenue. The most busy nights are Fridays and Saturdays. When you are looking to eat, and shop before going out at night it’s recommended to visit the large shopping malls Centro Sambil and Doral Center Mall, these malls provide quality stores, restaurants and outlets. When looking for shopping near lake side head over to Galerias Mall and Centro Lago Mall. Of course throughout the cities markets are located near the side of the street, where you can buy fake clothing and hand crafted souvenirs made by the local Guajira tribe.

Once landed at Maiquetia International Airport you are required a valid passport and visa to enter Maracaibo. To get around in the city simply hail a tax in the street, be warned first agree upon a price before getting in as they have no meters. You can also choose to travel by metro which is clean, modern, safe and extremely cheap. The city has a good climate throughout the year.

Table Mountain

The National Park of course includes Table Mountain, or Tafelberg as it is called in Afrikaans, but it also encompasses a much larger area, ranging from Signal Hill all the way to Cape Point in the South. Most of the Table Mountain National Park area is open to visitors at no charge, but some activities and parts of the park require a fee. Cape Point, Boulders, Table Mountain and Silver mine are the most popular parts of the park with a cost.

Cape Point, the southernmost point of Cape peninsula, is a stunning rock formation, with unique flora and fauna, including the klipdassie, a local species of hyrax. The highest elevated formation on Cape Point features an old lighthouse, and the opportunity for visitors to look out over the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Boulders beach is another major attraction. The beach is enclosed by large granite boulders, which provides the perfect environment for the indigenous, rare African penguin. For a small fee, visitors can observe an African penguin colony in its natural environment. Table Mountain is the most prominent natural feature of Cape Town. The geography of the city is determined by the location of the mountain, and it forms a magnificent backdrop to many of the cities’ natural and architectural scenes. A visit to the city is not complete without a visit to the top of the mountain.

There are several routes leading up to the flat mountain top. Experienced guides organize tours along the more dangerous route. Anyone in good health with two to three hours to spare will enjoy the more gradual hike to the top. Alternatively, if the weather permits, a glass-paneled cable cart with a 65 person capacity will take you to the top of the mountain, while giving a unique 360 degree view of the city below.

At the top of Table Mountain, a restaurant and souvenir shop, as well as several panoramic view sites with magnificent photo opportunities are located near the exit of the Cableway. From there on out, several hiking trails along the table top will lead you to even more stunning views.

V&A Waterfront

Since the end of Apartheid, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has developed from an active harbor and commerce center into the main tourist hub of the city. Located close to the city center, it is very accessible by public transport or even on foot. The V&A, as it is also called, covers a large area, and one of the finest hotels (the V&A) as well as some smaller accommodation is available on site. This makes the V&A a perfect place to stay if you want to explore the city.

The Waterfront’s appeal is fueled by the several attractions, including a number of historical museums, a large shopping mall, several pubs, bars and restaurants and hotels. The Victorian styled old buildings, erected after Prince Alfred supervised the initial development in 1860, include the Clock Tower, the Robben Island Demarcation Building and the Breakwater Prison. But many of the newer structures have managed to keep the classic charm of the historical harbor.

Strolling through the Waterfront’s harbor area, you will notice that the colonial legacy is not the only cultural influence present on the boardwalks. European styled mime artists and African choirs perform regularly side by side in the streets between the cafes, and open air musical performances take place near the smaller V&A mall most afternoons in summer.

The Waterfront caters mostly for tourists, and at any given point, tourists will outnumber locals by a wide margin. Because of this, there are a lot of foreign exchange bureaus, souvenir shops, travel agencies and tourist activity businesses, promoting sailing trips, paragliding, parachuting and other activities taking place nearby. Of course, other amenities such as pharmacies, toilets and wireless access are easy to find.

One of the attractions near the Waterfront any tourist should visit is Robben Island. A ferry to the notorious prisoner’s island leaves from the Waterfront harbor, past the Demarcation Building, on scheduled times, and the subsequent tour, given by a former prisoner, is both interesting and emotional.


Marrakech (مراكش) also known as “Red City” and “Al Hamra” is a city located in the south west of Morocco, nearby the foothills of the snow capped Atlas Mountains. Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 1.3 million people.

Marrakech’s beauty lies in its ancient atmosphere and spectacular locations, with a breathtaking view of the Atlas Mountains from any location within the city. Walking in downtown Medina, the old city center gives an view of a exotic, distant city with markets selling magic carpets, jewelry, herbs and potions, candles, meat and metalwork. Fortune tellers and snake charmers to make money from tourists mixed with an incoming hot wind from the Sahara desert.

Today, the main focus of Marrakech continues to be the main square of Jemaa-el-Fna, its an extraordinary and social gathering place that seems is hasn’t change since medieval times. Local markets are setup every day, the noise and smell is mixed from several vegetables, fruits and local cuisines being sold while market vendors screaming to sell their merchandise. It’s tallest building within city limits Koutoubia mosque, viewable from almost anywhere within the city reminds the importance of the Islam to the locals.

Travelers to Marrakech are required a valid passport, most nationals are only required passport which is at least 6 months valid, and a return ticket. Travelers are advised to contact the Moroccan embassy before a trip. The city has two seasons with a hot and humid summers and white, snowy winters.


Maastricht is a city and municipality in the province of South Limburg. The city is situated on both banks of the Maas river in the south-east of the Netherlands, near the borders of Belgium and Germany. As of latest measurement the city of Maastricht has a population of 120 thousand people.

First time visitors to Maastricht will experience locals that attach great importance to it’s quality of life, public safety and social occasions, while the city has many historical buildings and settlements the minds are set towards the future offering modern university with international ambitions and a high cultural landscape.

Maastricht city center is attractive due to its wealth of history, about 1450 monuments are protected by the law. It’s locals show great care to renovate the buildings, monuments to maintain its atmosphere and historical look and feel. Because of Maastricht’s heritage value the entire city center is now serving as a “protected area”. In the center of the city you can find the main square “Vrijthof” where you can admire several monuments as the beautiful “Basilica of Saint Servatius” or the famous “St. Pietersberg’ caves which are the left overs of centuries of excavation of marl. There’s a possibility to book a boat cruise through the over 20 thousand passages through the tourist information office VVV.

The city history, culture and sightseeing and day to day living includes a wide variety of shops, impressive monuments, theaters, entertaining bars, cafes and pubs in between spacious parks and squares and of course last but not least the hospitality of its locals. This makes what makes the oldest city within the Netherlands a truly unique travel destination.

Travelers to Maastricht need a valid passport and visa. American citizens are allowed to stay up to 90 days without the use of a visa. Maastricht is a city of decent size, it’s easy to get around in the city center. he most convenient time to visit Maastricht is during daytime summer, from June till August.


Observatory, or “Obs” as most locals refer to it, is one of the Southern Suburbs, located south of Table Mountain, bordering Mowbray and Salt River. It has a large student population, due to its location near the University of Cape Town (UCT) Medical School, and the campus itself.

Obs used to be notorious for the high crime rate, but recent developments, such as the renovation of the main square and a cleaning out of its streets and parks, have improved the entire suburb.

One of the main attractions during the day is the famous Grootte Schuur Hospital. Grootte Schuur is a stately Victorian hospital, built by Cecil Rhodes. Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant ever over 40 years ago, and a small museum dedicated to this fact, and to the Hospital’s history, is open for those interested in both medical history and architecture.

On the other side of the suburb, on the east side, you can find the Royal Observatory, which gave the suburb its name. Twice a month in the weekend, it opens for visitors who like to get a clearer view of the South African night sky.

The Suburb itself is not frequented constantly by tourists, although a number of lively backpackers’ and cheap short-term accommodation are available throughout the year.

Obs’ main street features many organic food stores and alternative music and fashion shops, as well as a rapidly changing restaurant scene. Obz Cafe is the largest restaurant/cafe, and, like many of the smaller cafes and restaurants, it features wireless internet access and all-day breakfast specials. Occasional live music performances are held in its small theater section. Cafe Ganesh is a more chaotic and flamboyant place to eat, and one of the several places specializing in vegetarian dishes.

The other main appeal of the suburb is its nightlife scene. Like the restaurants, clubs appear, disappear and change appearance quite frequently, but Roots, a beach themed bar, Gandalf’s, an alternative rock club and Stones, the pool bar, are the most established ones.


Guayaquil or officially Santiago de Guayaquil is the largest and most populous city in Ecuador, also the country’s main port. The city is located on the west bank of the Guayas River, which connects to the Gulf of Guayaquil and Pacific Ocean. Because of the location, its Ecuador’s important center for manufacturing and fishing industries. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 2.3 million people.

Taxi’s to get around in the city are widely available also known as “taxi amigos” though meters are not the standard. Being a tourist gives you disadvantage, an over charge will be paid. Therefore always agree upon a price before you get into the cab.

The city of Guayaquil is a easy to like city, it has been watched by travelers worldwide lately as it’s been going through massive renovation for the past 12 years, and has opened new tourist opportunities in the port area and on the sides of the Guayas river. In Latin America it’s unique that this port has been designed by London University of Oxford, besides the fact its one of the top 10 ports to see and enjoy.

Guayaquil’s nightlife is most active throughout Ecuador. The guayaquileños or locals enjoy to party until the sun comes up. A large amount of discotheques, bars, pubs and restaurants are spread all over the city, there’s no center of nightlife as Cuenca in Quito. Although some club entries may sound expensive, about $10 to $15 US it’s being compensated with the cheap prices of alcohol and liqueur.

Travelers to Guyaquil or elsewhere within Ecuador do not need visa as long their visit does not exceed 90 days. Passports, of course and a return ticket are required to visit Ecuador, immigration officers may ask you for proof of traveler’s economic means.

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