The Best Brazilian Art Museums for the Refined Culture Hound

These works from the Museu de Arte Sacra rank among the best Brazilian art museums

Brazilian art is rarely pre-Columbian in nature and mostly a reflection of Western art. Portugal colonized Brazil in the mid-16th century, a time when most of the country was still primitive and had no specific art form.

By the late 16th century, local artistry was born thanks to Western influences and it continues to evolve until this day. The best Brazilian art museums are great places to witness local art and how it has evolved.

Museu de Arte Sacra, Mariana

The museum has some of the best collections of sacred Brazilian art. It can be found in Mariana, a small town located right outside of Ouro Preto. Museu de Arte Sacra also has an impressive collection of gold and silver artwork which complement the colonial mansion where they’re displayed.

Museu de Oratoria

It is located behind the main square of Ouro Preto. Just as its name suggests, the museum boasts a collection of oratories or small altars kept by home owners so they can pray without having to visit a church.

Oratories of different colors and designs are displayed on the museum. Among them are those of Afro-Brazilian origin which, due to the influence of Candomblé religion, are decorated with shells and flowers.

Ouro Preto is one of Brazil’s best preserved colonial towns. Although you can’t fly directly there, Belo Horizonte is about 100 km away and plenty of airlines like the biggest in the country, TAM, fly there.

Monument to Latin America

The landmark is not your typical Brazilian art but represents it nonetheless. It was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a famous Brazilian architect. The monument is a good example of modernist Brazilian art. You can find it in São Paulo.

Pinacoteca de Estado

Situated in São Paulo, the city has a massive collection of Brazilian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among them are the creations of Alfredo Ceschiatti who is known for his Brasilia sculptures.

Museu de Arte Sacra, Salvador

Not to be confused with Museu de Arte Sacra of Mariana, the museum has one of the country’s best collections of Catholic art. Included in these collections are oratorios, oil paintings, and silver work. The Catholic Brazilian art works are displayed at the monastery connected to Igreja de Santa Teresa, a building with architecture worth admiring.

The Best Switzerland Attractions To See On Your Holiday

The best Switzerland attractions are the ones that involve the mountains in its scenic backyard...

Switzerland has more than vast Alpine meadows, luscious chocolate, and elegant watches to offer. The country also has a wealth of different attractions for nature lovers, adventurers, history buffs, religious faithfuls, and other kinds of travelers. The best Switzerland attractions caters to a wide variety of interests which in turn attracts tourists both young and old alike.

The Benedictine Convent of Saint John Mustair is a must-see for the faithful. It is thought to have been founded by Charlemagne. The date at which it was built is unknown but the murals inside the convent date back to 800 AD. Stucco artwork and Romanesque frescoes may also be seen in its interiors and contributes to its overall charm. The convent’s façade is rather simple and is probably the reason why most tourists don’t include it in their itinerary.

If you love architecture and nature, one of the top reasons to visit Switzerland is Chateau de Chillon. It is strategically located on the eastern edge of Lake Geneva. The beautiful Chillon Castle sits on top of jagged mountains. The castle appears to be surrounded by calm waters from afar and looks like a scene straight out of a movie. The reason why it was isolated is because it served as a medieval fort and prison. Long-abandoned, Chateau de Chillon is now open for tours and for exploring its natural surroundings.

The town of Bellinzona is strictly a historical-only landmark in Switzerland protected by fortified walls. Within its walls are the Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro castles. On the contrary, a strict nature-only attraction in the country is the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area. It is a glacial area with about 35,000 hectares of frozen mountains. It is also home to Aletsch, the lengthiest glacier in the Alps which stretch 23 kilometers long. Hiking, trekking, and skiing opportunities are available to visitors of this nature reserve.

If you’re taking kids with you and if you want them to have fun, take a train that passes through Albula and Bernina. Some of the country’s most scenic landscapes are along these train routes. It’s an effortless way of showing your kids the best of Switzerland. Meanwhile, travelers who adore art should stop by the Fine Arts Museum where works of Picasso, Monet, and other famous painters are on display. Products of Expressionism, Pop Art, and other kinds of art are also on display at the Fine Arts Museum.

Top Tourist Attractions In Newtownabbey

Castle ruins and an old cemetery rank as one of the top tourist attractions in Newtownabbey

If you want to visit Northern Ireland and its towns then here are the top tourist attractions in Newtownabbey for you to delve into in a big town in the County Antrim. It is a great place to start if you want to go to other destinations in Northern Ireland. If you are a sporty type of person then you came at the right place to have your vacation because Newtownabbey’s natural landscape is great for all sorts of outdoor activities.   

One of the most sought after destinations for tourists is the Belfast Zoological Gardens which is home to a lot of species. The place is located in a secluded area at the northeast side of Cavehill which makes it a very serene place for animals and the visitors alike. The zoo also caters exotic and rare animals and tropical plants which will surely amaze you that’s why you shouldn’t miss this great opportunity to see the ring-tailed lemurs, Malayan tapirs, Sumatran Tigers and other animals that will bring you delight.

Don’t forget the Sentry Hill Historic House and Visitor Center because you get to see a peek on the life of the Mckinney family, who came from Scotland but later on, moved to Ireland. William Fee McKinney was the one who putted up an amazing collection of family letters, diaries, pamphlets, books as well as other items with historical interest. Visitors are very much welcome inside his house. Though the rest of the family is gone, the doors to the Sentry Hill will always be open for you.

Another one of the top tourist attractions in Newtownabbey is the Theater at the Mill. Its facilities are quite outstanding which will definitely give you only the best entertainment. Programs vary from musicals, dances, drama, comedy, concerts and a lot more that will give you a lot of fun and surprises. Not only that, the theatre also has restaurant facilities and a accredited bar that will spice up your evening that’s why a trip to the Theater at the Mill is a must because you will certainly regret if you missed this one.

Now that you know a little bit of the top tourist attractions in Newtownabbey there’s nothing left to do but to plan your trip and enjoy a vacation in one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Aside from the stunning landscapes, great outdoor activities will definitely liven you up and give your energy a boost that’s why plan it ahead because you don’t want to miss an exciting place such as Newtownabbey. 

Best Time To Visit Itacare

If you want to experience conditions like what you see in this picture, then April to November is the best time to visit Itacare, Brazil

Knowing the best time to visit Itacare can help you make the most of your vacation in this known vacation located in Northeast Brazil.  This famous tourist haunt in Bahia is popular for its amazing beaches, capoeira and a whole lot of culture.

But certain weather conditions and high hotel accommodation prices can put off the savviest traveller.  So it’s best to be prepared early on.  Knowing the best time to visit Itacare can spare you from the hassles associated with travelling to a city or country without prior research.

Here are some pieces of information which could come in handy, should you plan to spend your holidays here.

Weather.  Itacare, just like the rest of Bahia, enjoys a tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.  But things get even warmer from February to March with an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.  But things get cooler starting July with a temperature averaging 22 degrees Celsius.

Rainy season is from December to March.

Surf Season.  If you’re here to learn how to surf, or to indulge in the sport, the best time to visit Itacare would be Anytime between May to September.  But on some beaches in Itacare such as Corais and Tiririca offer great waves anytime of the year.

How long can I stay?  Locals would definitely recommend spending a week in Itacare, especially during Carnaval season as there are so many activities you can enjoy with your loved ones, family and friends when you’re there.  There’s just so many things you need to experience in Itacare, such as witnessing Capoeira practices, or maybe having a crash-course on the said martial arts.  In addition, you can enjoy surfing, tasting local delicacies and enjoying the sun, sea and surf.  So there’s no reason not to stay longer in Itacare.

Top Tourist Attractions In Tonga

The enviable beaches easily rank among the top tourist attractions in Tonga

Tonga has had its share of riots but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the top tourist attractions in Tonga. Its people are friendly and not once have they directed violence against tourists. In fact, the people are so nice that Tonga is called the “Friendly Islands” of the South Pacific. Below are the best sights and experiences this island country has to offer.

1. Tongan Feast refers to a traditional Tongan practice where a group of people – family, friends, or acquaintances – gather to eat their favorite dishes. A maximum of 30 various dishes may be served on pola or banana leaves. It is often accompanied by traditional music and dance on the background as well as kava, an ancient ceremonial ritual. Many local restaurants serve Tongan feasts but prior notice is required.

2. Whale watching is one of the top tourist attractions in Tonga. It’s something you can experience from June until November of each year. During these months, humpback whales travel to Vava’u so they could breed.

3. Nuku’alofa is the capital of Tonga. There are many things to look forward to in this city. First off is the Tonga Royal Palace where King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV lives. You can also visit the city’s Talamahu markets where a variety of fresh produce are sold. Or, you can drop by the Langafonua Women’s Handicraft Centre to get handmade items as souvenirs. The Royal Tombs is also one of the top tourist attractions in Tonga and it’s not too far from the city proper. It is a place where former kings and queens of the country were buried.

4. Sailing is a popular activity in Tonga, particularly around the Vava’u group of islands. Vava’u has a reliable network of waterways, peaceful islands, and a large natural harbour. The perfect time to go sailing in Vava’u is between June and November when humpback whales visit its waters.

5. Lavengatonga is best known for its limestone caves which are among the best tourist spots in Tonga. The caves feature long stretches of stalagmites and stalactites which continue for some distance. At the end of the caves you will find deep, freshwater pools. Lavengatonga is located 24 km from the capital.

Raising money for charity with a difference!

The great thing about raising money for charity is that there are so many different ways in which you can do it. While lots of people choose to run marathons or organise events within their community, there’s no reason why you can’t do something more adventurous.

To get you in the mood we’ve come up with a few suggestions to get your fundraising efforts started.

sky diving


If you’re something of a thrill seeker and want to channel that energy into your charity effort then skydiving is the option for you. What’s great about it is that you can hurl yourself out of a plane with a parachute strapped to your back in so many places around the world.

So, you can combine raising money for a good cause with a bit of travelling if you’d like to. Among the best places in the world to skydive are Hawaii – where you can see entire islands from the air – Switzerland, where you have views of lakes and mountains as you fall, and Sydney, where you’ll soar over the city and its nearby beaches.

Arctic expedition

For an adventurous fundraising activity you can go on a longer expedition to one of the most extreme environments on the planet – the Arctic. Trekking across the frozen tundra in search of polar bears and Arctic foxes is a fantastic adventure to go on and will be made all the more enjoyable if you’re raising money for charity at the same time.

You could even incorporate a crazy activity into your trip to the Arctic – such as a brief dip in the freezing polar waters to boost the amount your friends and family are willing to donate to your chosen cause.

If this interests you, check out the various Arctic tours available here for some further inspiration.

Climb Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest walkable peak in the world and it’s a great endurance activity if you’re not up for running a marathon but still want to undertake a physically demanding challenge for your chosen charity.

You’ll need to put in a fair amount of preparation for this climb, which will give you plenty of opportunities to raise awareness of your fundraising endeavour and possibly to even raise a little more money by undertaking smaller challenges before the main event.

From a purely personal point of view, climbing Kilimanjaro is a truly memorable experience, as the landscapes on the mountain’s slopes are particularly striking and the views from Uhuru Peak are truly breathtaking.

The practicalities of charity fundraising

Regardless of how you decide to raise money for your chosen good cause, it’s important to generate plenty of awareness about your endeavour. Spread the word among your friends, family and colleagues, and host events to boost your funds before you head off on whatever adventure you’ve decided is right for you.

Make the most of social media to tell as many people as possible about what you’re going to be doing and why. The why is especially important, as this will be what encourages everyone to give generously to your cause.

There are a host of ways in which you can raise money for charity, so you can choose something that appeals to you and, most importantly, that you believe you can achieve. While it’s great to set your sights high, you need to make sure you can complete the challenge if you want everyone to donate.

The 5 Best Hotel Pools in Dubai!

As the Arab emirate state of Dubai has advanced over the past decades, so have the swimming pools available to tourists. Often times, no expense has been spared to literally take the edge off the desert heat which maintains temperatures in excess of 100° F on a daily basis. Travelers looking to enjoy the pleasures of this nation will miss out on a great experience if a hotel is not chosen for the quality of its swimming pool. That’s not to say this is the only factor in choosing a hotel, but the extravagance of the pool should be an important consideration. Here are the top five best hotel pools in Dubai:

 License     Copyright All rights reserved by 1. The One & Only Royal Mirage, +971 43999999, Those looking for the best opulence in a pool will book a stay at the One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel. The pool contains a rich landscape of greenery, stunning Arabian architecture, and fountains. The architectural feat of engineering that is Palm Island Bay is visible from the pool area.

2. Madinat Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, +971 4368888, The hotel with the name meaning “Harbor of Peace” lives up to its name. Guests will swim in an elevated pool across sun terraces inside the Grand Boutique Hotel. Rekindle your romance against the skyline of the Arabian Gulf and let the water & ambiance work their magic in your senses. Solitary road warriors looking to reconstitute themselves will enjoy the pool as well. There is a pool just for children so that the experience is appropriate for families. The pool is staffed with a qualified lifeguard and drinks & light meals can be brought poolside allowing for extended stays in the pool area.

3. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 43480000, The outdoor pool at Jumeirah Beach Hotel is definitely one of the best hotel pools in Dubai because of its proximity to Jumeirah Beach’s white sands. The pool, replete with a tropical landscape amid miniature islands & palm trees, creates the epitome of an oasis. The pool’s edge follows a curved line for a highly aesthetic look. This hotel also has the poolside amenities of drinks and light meals. There are also four other pools at this hotel and a very short trip to the beach for water sports. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is a fantastic choice for the ultimate Dubai holiday.

4. Burj Al Arab, +971 43017777, When it comes to opulence and splendor, guests will get exactly what they pay for at Burj Al Arab. Besides the hotel’s interior luxury, guests will travel back to a heated pool version of aquatic recreation which the ancient Middle East offered its royalty. Towering mosaic decorated columns light up the pool area.

5. Intercontinental Hotel, ‎1-866-539-0036‎, Rounding out the list of the top five best hotel pools in Dubai is the Intercontinental Hotel. Located just five minutes from the airport, the hotel provides a quiet escape for patrons. When cooling off in the 25 meter long temperature controlled pool, guests will be able to take in the Dubai skyline from within the pool’s waters. This is because the pool is what is known as a hanging pool whose transparent plexiglass section allows swimmers to go past the edge of the hotel building and overlook the street below as well as enjoy the skyline. Unlike other hanging pools, the Intercontinental Hotel’s is curved allowing for a much easier swim to the edge and wider angle views. It is considered by some to be the best hanging pool in the world. If you want to visit Dubai, make sure to sort out a visa first if you are required to have one. You can apply for Dubai Tourist visa online before going to save yourself some trouble.

Top Tourist Attractions in Barbados

Barbados is an island nation found close to the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles. The top tourist attractions in Barbados represent the “little Britain” of the coast. Bridgetown is the capital and biggest metropolitan of Barbados and can be accessed through Grantley Adams International Airport. There is a wealth of great accommodation options for every budget to make a stay for almost anyone accessible. Check out the Colony Club Barbados for the best of both worlds. Here are some of the top attractions in Barbados not to miss.

St. Nicholas Abbey found in Cherry Tree Hill belongs is one of the top tourist attractions in Barbados. St. Nicholas Abbey is actually a sugar agricultural estate with an authentic Jacobean Mansion built within it. An educational tour in St. Nicholas Abbey which is one of the historical heritage sites in Barbados allows you to view antique furnishings, structural designs and photographs of its previous landlord and workers. From here you can learn various narratives and legends of the olden times. Also a documentary film is presented along the tour which portrays the life of the plantation around the year 1930s. The total experience here is quite fulfilling and interesting. St. Nicholas Abbey is definitely a must-see when in Barbados.

Situated in the hamlet of Saint Peter occupying 4 acres of mahogany jungle close to the summit of Farley Hill lies the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. The wildlife sanctuary was at first built as a research center for primates in 1982 to safeguard Green Monkeys. In the year 1985, the research center was transformed into a wildlife reserve which was financially supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and is now one of the top tourist attractions in Barbados. At present, aside from displaying Green Monkeys, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is also home to many other animals which wander with freedom within the vicinity such as Red Brockets, Patagonian Maras, Red-Footed Tortoises, Cuban Rock Iguanas and several varieties of exotic birds.

Being renowned as the most historic town in Barbados, Holetown was formerly named as Jamestown after King James I of England. This town takes pride in showcasing one of the most private resorts of the island featuring astonishing natural and artificial panoramas which are definitely included among the top tourist attractions in Barbados. Among its famous attractions include Paynes Bay, Sandy Lane, Pratts Rock, Sandy Lane Bay and Alleynes Bay which are also ideal for varied aquatic sports. The Holetown celebration is also a broadly distinguished occasion in Barbados which celebrates every year the 1st settlement of Barbados at Holetown in February 1627. The merrymaking usually lasts for about a week showcasing the indigenous artefacts, crafts and the rich history and tradition of Barbados.

Top Things To Do In Maldives

It is essential that you have some idea of the top things to do in Maldives before you buy a ticket. That way, you can hit the ground running the second you land, as there are a wealth of amazing activities to enjoy.

An island nation found in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives receives as many as 900,000 tourists per year. And with its rich culture and amazing sceneries, it’s no hard to find a number of fun activities to do when you are in this magical place. Now, just a quick primer for first timers. The majority of the Malidives’ history has been a hodge podge of different occupations, with short colonization intervals in the 15th (Portuguese), 17th (Dutch) and 19th (British) centuries. As such, much of its heritage has been preserved. If you are wondering what this might come off as, neighbors like Sri Lanka and India should give you some idea.

Of course, with the prospect of making the country a summer destination, it is important to first establish what the top things to do in Maldives are that is coordinated with the season. The Maldives is famous for its natural beauty, blue oceans and white sand beaches. So you can expect to engage in all sorts of water sports from swimming to fishing, snorkeling, water-skiing, windsurfng, kite boarding, and scuba diving. Kanuhura Beach provides a luxurious setting for tourists who would like to enjoy all of these without any compromises on the sights they get to see. There are lagoons that could be perfectly enjoyed by kids and offshore, adults can pursue more challenging activities. As a bonus, dolphins and pilot whales also frequent this spot and the nearby Llaviyani Atoll. Reethi Beach has a more laid-back atmosphere, with badminton courts, gyms and different facilities all the way around, while Filitheyo boasts more budget-friendly options.

Male serves is the capital of the Maldives and has the most number of full-service resorts. So if you have to start anywhere, it would probably be here. But don’t be surprised if its beaches are not as stunning as other parts of the country, like at the Adaaran Club Rannalhi, since it is also the most densely populated and overly developed. But this does serve a tourism advantage given that guests enjoy a different pursuit during their stay. Another one of the top things to do in Maldives, especially Male, is to tour the Friday Mosque, Republic Square, and Maldives Naional Defense Force Headquarters. Then, add the Sultan Park and National Museum and you’d have some historical and cultural references crossed of your list. Just so you know though, the Friday Mosque does not admit non-Muslim guests. So your only choice is to admire its intricate and gorgeous designs from outside. If you have the budget, you might want to go for a helicopter ride around the area to enjoy the Maldives from another perspective.

The Most Iconic Hotels on The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip Iconic HotelsMost people traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada are looking for a bit of fun and entertainment. Gaming is the big draw to this city that never sleeps. The Las Vegas Strip is considered the place to visit because of the many hotels and casinos available for the tourists, and locals as well. It is a sight to see, especially at night. The most iconic hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are all aglow with sparkling lights and they are definitely a sight to behold.

The Luxor Hotel is located between the fabulous Mandalay Bay Hotel and the fantastic Excalibur Hotel. Both are well worth a visit. The Luxor Las Vegas has some very unique features and is considered the second largest hotel in Vegas and the eighth largest in the world. All of that may sound impressive but wait until you see the famous sky beam, which on a clear night can be seen about 275 miles away by aircraft flying at cruising altitude. The Luxor is built in the shape of a pyramid and it is named after the city of Luxor in Egypt. There is a re-creation of the Great Sphinx of Giza which stands 110ft tall. The re-creation of the 140ft tall Obelisk stands proudly at the front of the pyramid inviting all in for a visit.

Another wonderful hotel on the strip is the Excalibur Hotel. It is great, especially if you would like to return to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This hotel is a great place to stay for families or honeymooners because there is something for everyone and the entertainment is spectacular. Be sure to buy your tickets to the Tournament of Kings in advance. It is a good bet you will not be disappointed.

The Bellagio Hotel is a luxury hotel that is a five diamond resort and seems just about perfect in every respect. There is fine food, great gaming, wonderful service and too many other attractions and features to mention here. If you have heard about the fabulous Dancing Waters of Las Vegas, then you have probably heard about this hotel. The water fountain display is just one of the many features of the Bellagio.

All of the hotels on the famous Las Vegas Strip are full of fun and excitement and deserve a visit from all visitors. Each of these hotels have something unique and interesting for everyone. A few of these hotels are: The MGM Grand, Ballys, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, The Venetian, Treasure Island, The Flamingo, The Paris Hotel and Wynn Las Vegas. These are by no means all of the hotels on the Strip but all of them are worth a visit whether you are going to be staying in Las Vegas for one day or many days. Check with a local travel agent or on one of the numerous internet sites available if you would like to get more information about any one of these fine hotels.

Before you go to the US, make sure to sort out an ESTA visa beforehand to avoid problems at the border or airport.