The World Traveling Guide

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In the Brazilian state of Pernambuco is the state capital Recife which is one of the oldest settlements in the country. The city is one of the largest in Brazil with a population of over 1,500,000 inhabitants. The city was once a fishing village until it was invaded by Dutch troops and occupied Pernambuco (and later most of the Brazilian Northeast) in 1630. The capital was transferred to nearby Olinda. Recife was developed by its foreign occupiers by building building bridges and palaces and was called Mauritsstad, or Maurice Town by the Dutch settlers. One can find in the old quarters of Recife Antigo the oldest synagogue in the New World. Pernambuco was eventually reconquered by the Portuguese in 1654.

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In Recife, the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Sugar cane industry prospered in Pernambuco state that started with the introduction of the industry by a certain Duarte Coehlo. Recife is blessed with fertile soil and a climate suitable for growing sugar cane. Most Brazilians worked as sugar cane cultivators.

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Pernambuco’s food, music and dance are influenced by black culture due to the introduction of Africans in Brazil. Recife has become a melting pot for Indians, black slaves and Portuguese making the city as one of the most culturally diverse in Brazil.

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In Boa Viagem are the nicest beaches that have warm water all year-round. It is one of the most famous beaches in the country and visitors enjoy the sand and the green waters, as well as the complete infrastructure of hotels, restaurants, and other services within the area.

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The name Recife is derived from the Portuguese word for reef. This was aptly called its name because of the reef barrier which is very close to shore, sometimes almost touching it. Swimming or surfing beyond the reef line or in exposed stretches of beach is definitely prohibited due to dangers of shark attacks that have become frequent since the 1990s.

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Aside from the beaches, there are also 18th century Baroque churches and 19-th century public buildings in Recife. Nearby Olinda is also worth visiting because it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Some of the other attractions in the city proper are the Santo Antônio and Boa Vista quarters on the banks of the Rio Capibaribe, and The Polo Bom Jesus (in Recife Antigo) where visitors can enjoy good food and fun nightlife.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. It has a land area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California.

The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 13 million and over 18 million people in Combined statistical area respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation’s largest cities.The city’s inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.

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Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production. Additionally, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.

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Los Angeles has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid either Köppen’s BSh or BSk (semi-arid climate) classification. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.

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The average annual temperature in downtown is 66 °F (19 °C): 75 °F (24 °C) during the day and 57 °F (14 °C) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature typically ranges from 59 to 73 °F (15 to 23 °C) during the day and 45 to 55 °F (7 to 13 °C) at night. In the warmest month – August – the temperature typically ranges from 79 to 90 °F (26 to 32 °C) during the day and around 64 °F (18 °C) at night.

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Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September. Temperatures are subject to substantial daily swings; in inland areas the difference between the average daily low and the average daily high is over 30 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) degrees. The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August. Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.

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The Los Angeles area is also subject to phenomena typical of a microclimate, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For instance, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 75 °F (24 °C) whereas it is 95 °F (35 °C) in Canoga Park. The city, like much of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called “June Gloom.” This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning which yield to sun by early afternoon.

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Downtown Los Angeles averages 15.14 inches (384.6 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April), generally in the form of moderate rain showers, but often as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during winter storms. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the mountains get slightly more. However the San Fernando Valley Region of Los Angeles can get between 16 and 20 inches (410 and 510 mm) of rain per year. Years of average rainfall are rare; the usual pattern is bimodal, with a short string of dry years (perhaps 7–8 inches or 180–200 millimetres) followed by one or two wet years that make up the average. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932. The highest recorded temperature in downtown Los Angeles is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010 and the lowest recorded temperature is 24 °F (−4 °C) on December 22, 1944.


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Jamaica

Jamaica  is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. The island, 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island containing the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it Xaymaca in Arawakan, meaning the “Land of Wood and Water” or the “Land of Springs”.

Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country’s largest city and its capital, with a population of 937,700. Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world, due to emigration from the country.

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Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, currently Patrick Allen. The head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica is Portia Simpson-Miller. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.

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Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. It lies between latitudes 17° and 19°N, and longitudes 76° and 79°W. Mountains, including the Blue Mountains, dominate the inland. They are surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. Chief towns and cities include the capital Kingston on the south shore, Portmore, Spanish Town, Mandeville, Ocho Ríos, Port Antonio, Negril, and Montego Bay on the north shore.

Kingston Harbour is the seventh-largest natural harbour in the world, which contributed to the city being designated as the capital in 1872.

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Tourist attractions include Dunn’s River Falls in St. Ann, YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, the Blue Lagoon in Portland. Port Royal was the site of a major earthquake in 1692 that helped form the island’s Palisadoes.

The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains, are relatively dry rain-shadow areas.

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Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and because of this, the island sometimes suffers significant storm damage.Hurricanes Charlie and Gilbert hit Jamaica directly in 1951 and 1988, respectively, causing major damage and many deaths. In the 2000s (decade), hurricanes Ivan, Dean, and Gustav also brought severe weather to the island.

Among the variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are dry and wet limestone forests, rainforest, riparian woodland, wetlands, caves, rivers, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The authorities have recognized the tremendous significance and potential of the environment and have designated some of the more ‘fertile’ areas as ‘protected’. Among the island’s protected areas are the Cockpit Country, Hellshire Hills, and Litchfield forest reserves. In 1992, Jamaica’s first marine park, covering nearly 6 square miles (about 15 km2), was established in Montego Bay. Portland Bight Protected Area was designated in 1999.

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The following year Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was created on roughly 300 square miles (780 km2) of wilderness, which supports thousands of tree and fern species and rare animals.

Jamaica’s climate is tropical, supporting diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals.

Jamaica’s plant life has changed considerably over the centuries. When the Spanish came here in 1494- except for small agricultural clearings- the country was deeply forested, but the European settlers cut down the great timber trees for building purposes and cleared the plains, savannahs, and mountain slopes for cultivation. Many new plants were introduced including sugarcane, bananas, and citrus trees.

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In the areas of heavy rainfall are stands of bamboo, ferns, ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. Cactus and similar dry-area plants are found along the south and southwest coastal area. Parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees.

The Jamaican animal life, typical of the Caribbean, includes a highly diversified wildlife with many endemic species found nowhere else on earth. As with other oceanic islands, Land mammals are made up almost entirely of bats. the only non-bat native mammal extant in Jamaica is the Jamaican Hutia, locally known as the coney. Introduced mammals such as wild boar and the Small Asian Mongoose are also common. Jamaica is also home to many reptiles, the largest of which is the American Crocodile. However, it is only present within the Black River and a few other areas. Lizards such as anoles and iguanas and snakes such as racers and the Jamaica Boa (the largest snake on the island) are common. None of Jamaica’s native snakes are dangerously venomous to humans. Birds are abundant, and make up the bulk of the endemic and native vertebrate species. beautiful and exotic birds such as the Jamaican Tody and the Doctor Bird (the national bird) can be found, among a large number of others. Insects and other invertebrates are abundant, including the world’s largest centipede, The Amazonian giant centipede, and the Homerus swallowtail, the Western Hemisphere’s largest butterfly.

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Jamaican waters contain considerable resources of fresh-and saltwater fish. The chief varieties of saltwater fish are kingfish, jack, mackerel, whiting, bonito, and tuna. Fish that occasionally enter freshwater include snook, jewfish, grey and black snapper, and mullet. Fish that spend the majority of their lives in Jamaica’s fresh waters include many species of live-bearers, killifish, freshwater gobies, the Mountain Mullet, and the American Eel. Tilapia have been introduce from Africa for aquaculture, and are very common.

Among the variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are dry and wet limestone forests, rainforest, riparian woodland, wetlands, caves, rivers, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

The biodiversity is indicated by a number five (5) ranking amongst countries worldwide of the endemic plants and animals in Jamaica.

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The authorities had recognized the tremendous significance and potential of this aspect of their heritage and designated some of the more ‘fertile’ areas ‘protected’. Among the island’s protected areas are the Cockpit Country, Hellshire Hills, and Litchfield forest reserves. In 1992, Jamaica’s first marine park, covering nearly 6 square miles (about 15km²), was established in Montego Bay.

The following year Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was created on roughly 300 square miles (780km²) of wilderness that supports thousands of tree and fern species and rare animals.


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Toluca

Toluca officially called Toluca de Lerdo , is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. It is located 63 kilometres  west-southwest of Mexico City and only about 40 minutes by car to the western edge of the Distrito Federal. According to the 2010 census, the city of Toluca has a population of 819,561. The city is the fifth largest in Mexico in population. The municipality of Toluca, along with twelve other municipalities, make up the metropolitan population of 1,610,786 in Greater Tolucaas of 2005, making it the fifth most populous metropolitan area in Mexico.

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When Toluca was founded by the Matlatzincas, its original name was Nepintahihui (land of corn, tierra del maíz). The current name is based on the Náhuatl name for the area when it was renamed by the Aztecs in 1473. The name has its origin in the word tolocan that comes from the name of the god, Tolo, plus the locative suffix, can, to denote “place of Tolo”. It is also referred to in a number of Aztec codices as Tolutépetl, meaning hill of the god, Tolo, an allusion to the nearby volcano. The name Toluca de Lerdo was adopted in 1861 in honor of President Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada.

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Under the Köppen climate classification, Toluca features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb). The climate is cool and humid with high humidity, rainfall and occasional hail in the summer. Freezing temperatures are common during winter. Toluca’s climate is the coolest of any large Mexican city due to its altitude (2,680 metres (8,793 ft) above sea level) Winter nights are cold and the temperature may drop below 0 °C (32 °F). Throughout the year, the temperature is rarely below −3 °C (27 °F) or above 27 °C (81 °F).

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The climate is prone to extended dry periods particularly in the winter. The rainy season extends from June to October. Just outside the heavily industrialized city, the municipality has forests with oak, pine, fir, cedar, cypress, acacia and other flora, characteristic of the temperate zone of central Mexico.

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Toluca is home to a series of traditional festivities such as the typical solemn “silent procession” that takes place every Holy Friday when the Catholic congregation from Toluca and its surroundings get together in the centre of the city to express their respect and devotion for Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Easter and Lent are celebrated in a similar way.

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Currently there are two official orchestras: a State one and a Municipal one. The one from the State is the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. Higher education institutions have marching bands, and in some towns there are wind bands.

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The dancing institutions include the Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura, the IMSS, and DIF. There are also schools of dance such as the Escuela de Bellas Artes and the UAEM.

There is also a youth marching band of Toluca called “Eagles of Anahuac”. This band was formed about 35 years ago and was the first youth marching band in the country.


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Montevideo

Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, thecity proper has a population of 1,319,108  in an area of 194.0 square km. The southernmost cosmopolitan city in the Americas, is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata, or River Plate.

The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region; and it was also under brief British rule in 1807. In the 20th century, Montevideo hosted all of the matches during the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, and was the theater of the first major naval battle in the Second World War. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur, South America’s leading trading bloc, as well as ALADI.

Mercer has ranked Montevideo the top Latin American city since 2006 onwards (2013) on its quality of life rankings. It is classified as a Beta World City, ranking seventh in Latin America and 73rd in the world. As of 2010, it had a GDP of $33 billion, with a per capita of $21,000; making Montevideo the 19th most economically powerful city in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. For 2025 the projections are $61 billion and $33,000; respectively.

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Described as a “vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life”, and “a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture”, Montevideo ranks 8th in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area, with a population of 1.9 million.

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Montevideo enjoys a mild humid subtropical climate (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification) and it borders on an oceanic climate (Cfb). The city has cool winters (June to September), warm summers (December to March) and volatile springs (October and November); there are numerous thunderstorms but no tropical cyclones. Rainfall is regular and evenly spread throughout the year, reaching around a 950 millimetres (37 in).

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Winters are generally wet, windy and overcast, while summers are hot and humid with relatively little wind. In winter there are bursts of icy and relatively dry winds and continental polar air masses, giving an unpleasant chilly feeling to the everyday life of the city. In the summer, a moderate wind often blows from the sea in the evenings which has a pleasant cooling effect on the city, in contrast to the unbearable summer heat of Buenos Aires.

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Montevideo has an annual average temperature of 16.69 °C (62.0 °F). The lowest recorded temperature is −5.6 °C (21.9 °F) while the highest is 42.8 °C (109.0 °F). Sleet is a frequent winter occurrence. Snowfall is extremely rare: flurries have been recorded only four times but with no accumulation, the last one on 13 July 1930 during the inaugural match of the World Cup, although many meteorologists believe it was hail (the other three snowfalls were in 1850, 1853 & 1917); the alleged 1980 Carrasco snowfall was actually a hailstorm.

Hotel Palacio, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo enjoys a mild humid subtropical climate (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification) and it borders on an oceanic climate (Cfb). The city has cool winters (June to September), warm summers (December to March) and volatile springs (October and November); there are numerous thunderstorms but no tropical cyclones. Rainfall is regular and evenly spread throughout the year, reaching around a 950 millimetres (37 in).

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Winters are generally wet, windy and overcast, while summers are hot and humid with relatively little wind. In winter there are bursts of icy and relatively dry winds and continental polar air masses, giving an unpleasant chilly feeling to the everyday life of the city. In the summer, a moderate wind often blows from the sea in the evenings which has a pleasant cooling effect on the city, in contrast to the unbearable summer heat of Buenos Aires.

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Montevideo has an annual average temperature of 16.69 °C (62.0 °F). The lowest recorded temperature is −5.6 °C (21.9 °F) while the highest is 42.8 °C (109.0 °F). Sleet is a frequent winter occurrence. Snowfall is extremely rare: flurries have been recorded only four times but with no accumulation, the last one on 13 July 1930 during the inaugural match of the World Cup, although many meteorologists believe it was hail (the other three snowfalls were in 1850, 1853 & 1917); the alleged 1980 Carrasco snowfall was actually a hailstorm.


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Seattle

Seattle  is a coastal seaport city and the seat of King County, in the U.S. state of Washington. With an estimated 634,535 residents as of 2012, Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

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The Seattle metropolitan area of around 3.5 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city is situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States and 9th largest in North America in terms of container handling.

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The Seattle area had been inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.[8]Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to its current site and named “Seattle” in 1853, after Chief Si’ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamishtribes.

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Logging was Seattle’s first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. However, the Great Depression severely damaged the city’s economy. Growth returned during and after World War II, due partially to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing.

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The city developed as a technology center in the 1980s, with companies like Amazon.com, Microsoft and T-Mobile US based in the area. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city’s population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Since then, Seattle has become a hub for “green” industry and a model for sustainable development.

Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District.

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The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles,Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock music style known as grunge, which was made famous by local groups Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound garden, and Alice in Chains. Seattle is also famous for its hip hop artists, such as rappers Sir Mix-a-Lot, Blue Scholars, Sadistik, Grieves and Macklemore.

Seattle is historically a very diverse city and multiculturalism is seen as a virtue. Discrimination based on race is considered extremely offensive.

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Locals have long talked of the “Seattle Freeze,” referring to the cold politeness of residents. The theory is that while locals are very polite and warm on first interaction, most residents are also very reserved and interactions rarely lead to real acts of friendship (an invitation to dinner, personal conversations, etc.). For visitors it is best to treat this as shyness–expect to make all the “first moves” to meet people here.

Residents’ shyness also extends to anger and annoyance. Locals often make fun of themselves for their passive aggressive culture, where even in the most upsetting circumstances they will retain their polite nature.

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While Seattle is well known for its rain and dark, gloomy skies, it may surprise many how pleasant the weather can be, particularly during the summer months. November through March brings the worse of the unpleasant weather, with cool temperatures, heavy cloud cover and rain failing on most days. The short days and low angle of the sun during these months only add to the dark, gloomy feeling which is very unpleasant and depressing for some.

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The coldest month is January with average lows in the mid to upper 30s (about 3°C), with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing. Most precipitation falls as a light rain, or a drizzle, with snow falling in the city only occasionally (though the surrounding mountains receive heaps and heaps of snow). Most cold-weather systems come from the north, which generally results in dry weather when temperatures are below freezing. Nonetheless, Seattle is hit by a major snow storm about every 2-3 years on average, which can paralyze the city’s transportation network (hills and ill-prepared drivers are two commonly cited reasons for such). November is the wettest month, sometimes bringing in fairly intense wind and rain storms, which are often classified as a “Pineapple Express”. The record low for Seattle is 0°F (-18°C)

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In contrast, the weather can be quite pleasant from April to October, with exceptionally nice weather in July and August where highs average in the upper 70s and rain is very uncommon. Skies are mostly clear and smog-free, though mornings can produce an on-shore flow resulting in low clouds and fog which typically burns off by mid-day. The northern latitude (47.6 degrees) results in long days with a sunset of 9:11 p.m. on solstice. Summer heat waves can push temperatures into the 80s and 90s, and despite only low to moderate humidity, they can be uncomfortable as air-conditioning is not always prevalent in the city. The record high for Seattle is 103°F (39°C).

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As one might expect, the transitioning seasons of spring and fall can be a mixed bag, though as a rule, the closer to summer brings the greater chance of warm temperatures and clear skies. Winds are heavier in the winter than summer, but overall Seattle is not a windy city, adding to the comfort during the summer. The region does feature micro-climates due to the number of hills, mountains, and bodies of water, which can result in significantly different weather conditions over short distances. This also makes forecasting difficult and sometimes unreliable.

 


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Cayman Island

While the Cayman Island trio currently attract streams of holidaymakers to their sparkling waters and sweeping beaches, it is unlikely that the British, or anyone else for that matter, would have found theseCaribbean delights quite so desirable when they were first discovered.

A carpeting of turtles lead Columbus to originally name the islands Las Tortugas (The Turtles), and, even less invitingly, the word ‘Cayman’ probably comes from the Carib word for marine crocodile, caymanas, suggesting that the islands were also well-populated with somewhat snappier reptiles. In addition to this, the Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac – have long been tied to a history of buccaneers and pirates, who, legend has it, once established hideouts here.

For the 21st century traveller, all of this is easy to forget while luxuriating on wide, sandy stretches, beside crystal waters teeming with coral reefs and marine creatures; the Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is particularly popular and deservedly so. So while past Cayman explorers faced sharp teeth and ruthless foe, today’s visitor has the rather more enjoyable activities of diving amid ship wrecks, roving though mangrove swamps, wandering ancient forest and watching an array of colourful marine life go by.

Things to see and do

Birdwatching

Visit Booby Pond on Little Cayman, which hosts the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies, or the Parrot Reserve on Cayman Brac , home to the endangered Cayman Brac parrot.

Boatswain’s Beach

Boatswain’s Beach in West Bay is a commercial turtle farm where visitors can watch sea turtles at various stages of their development. There’s also an artificial predator reef, a snorkelling lagoon, an aviary, and a cultural centre.

Boatswain's Beach

Cayman Brac caves

The Bluff that runs along the centre of Cayman Brac is riddled with caves, many of them with tales to tell about the islanders who have sheltered there during hurricanes.

Cayman Brac caves

Experience the Atlantis Submarine

Delve beneath the deep completely wetsuit-free with the Atlantis Submarine, which offers hour-long trips to view the spectacular reefs.

Atlantis Submarine

George Town

The islands’ capital and main port is an attractive place to explore, and the pretty harbour front is lined with traditional Caymanian buildings that look like gingerbread houses.

Go fishing

The deep waters surrounding Grand Cayman are prime fishing grounds, offering various species of large fish. The annual International Fishing Tournament takes place in April.

Go fishing

Hell

Go to Hell and back – literally. The peculiar rock formations of this area of Grand Cayman have evolved from shells and corals solidified by salt and lime deposits. A close examination reveals petrified forms of sea life that could be up to 20 million years old.

Hike the Mastic Trail

Hike through the mangrove swamps and ancient forest along Grand Cayman’s Mastic Trail, linking Frank Sound to Old Man Bay. The trail dates back to the 18th century and passes through a variety of flora and fauna.

Hike the Mastic Trail

National Gallery

Local, American and British art is on display at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, George Town.

National Museum

Learn the history of the islands in The Cayman Islands National Museum , George Town, where there are interactive exhibits and a good shop.

Pedro St James

This early 19th century plantation great house and is set in beautiful grounds by the sea in Savannah. The oldest building in the Cayman Islands, it was the site of the 1831 proclamation ending slavery in the islands.

Reef diving

Cayman’s offshore reefs and walls – including Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall – are world renowned for diving. Various locations also offer wreck diving, particularly Cayman Brac, where a Russian warship was intentionally sunk in the late 1990s. .

Reef diving

Seven Mile Beach

The turquoise waters of Grand Cayman’s West Bay are backed by the long, sandy Seven Mile Beach, and, while this is the main tourist centre and highly developed, this glorious stretch of coast retains its idyllic charms.

Seven Mile Beach

Snorkelling at Stingray City

Snorkel alongside southern stingrays at Stingray City in North Sound on Grand Cayman. These shallow waters are home to a profusion of stingrays and visitors can get right up close with these intriguing marine life.

Snorkelling at Stingray City

Surfing

Need to polish up your board skills before hitting the beach? Learn to surf in a wave tank at Black Pearl Skate and Surf, in Grand Harbour.

Surfing

Visit a spa

For ultra indulgence and rejuvenation, chill out in one of the smart hotel spas alongside Seven Mile Beach. Contact the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism for details (see Contact Addresses).

Wander Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

Wander around the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, a 26-hectare (65-acre) heritage garden boasting a vivid array of cacti, shrubs and native flowers. The park has become the focus of a conservation programme to protect the endangered Cayman blue iguana.