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  • Mount Roraima Venezuela | Rough Guides
    the air I am here to explore the Canaima National Park home to some awe inspiring table top mountains that are among the oldest geological formations in the world dating back over 1 6 billion years These structures are also known as tepuis which in Native American Pemón language means house of the Gods The indigenous Pemón people honour the tepuis believing them to be inhabited by deities About 200 million years ago at the time of the supercontinent Gondwanaland when South America and West Africa were joined the summits of the tepuis were connected When the continents eventually drifted apart disruptions broke up a gargantuan massif forming individual tepuis that over time grew smaller some crumbling away It is the remnants of these sandstone plateaus that can be seen today in the Canaima National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site that occupies over 30 000 square kilometres and is home to over half of the area s tepuis We traverse the large dry plains of the Gran Sabana or Great Savannah where jagged structures jut out of the earth occasionally stopping for a photographic memento And suddenly there it is rising precipitously along the border of Brazil Venezuela and Guyana the awe inspiring Mount Roraima the highest of the tepui range reaching 2810m and measuring eight kilometres across This giant tabletop mountain featuring 400 metre high sheer cliffs stands in isolation its summit often enveloped in clouds of mist With heavy rainfall year round the top of this bleak windswept plateau is one of the wettest places on earth and like much of the area home to extraordinary endemic flora and fauna Over time dozens of species of plants have adapted to the semi sterile soil of Mount Roraima s plateau by supplementing their diet with the flesh of insects The pretty red leaves of the carnivorous sundew attract insects that soon become trapped by the plant s sticky tentacles which wrap themselves around the little creatures before greedily digesting them The rocky terrain of Roraima s summit is home to endemic animal species that exist nowhere else on earth including seed eating and nectar feeding birds that have adapted to the harsh environment The most peculiar species here are undoubtedly tiny black pebble toads that are believed to predate dinosaurs They are closely related to an African species and were likely trapped here when the continents separated adapting over time to their new habitat First discovered in 1895 when early biologists set foot on Mount Roraima these curious little creatures measure about one inch and cling onto slippery rocky surfaces They are unable to swim or hop and escape predators by wrapping themselves up into tiny balls and bouncing off rocks From here I travel northwest to Ciudad Bolívar where I board a little wobbly plane to Canaima the jumping off point to the world s highest waterfall I peer out of the window at the Canaima National Park that spreads out below meandering rivers make their way

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/discovering-a-lost-world-on-mount-roraima/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Literary Breaks | Rough Guides
    the cheapest places to travel 20 places to embrace your inner hippy The most beautiful places in India 20 brilliantly colourful places The most beautiful places in the USA as voted by you The most beautiful places in England 20 of the best family travel destinations In pictures around Italy in 16 foods 30 inspiring quotes to live by from around the world 20 seriously weird places around the world 20 of the best honeymoon destinations The most beautiful city in the world as voted by you View by Destination Africa Egypt Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Mali Morocco Namibia Rwanda South Africa Tanzania Zanzibar Tunisia Asia Cambodia China India Indonesia Japan Laos Malaysia Mongolia Myanmar Burma Nepal Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand United Arab Emirates Vietnam Australasia Australia Fiji New Zealand Central America the Caribbean Barbados Belize Costa Rica Cuba Guatemala Jamaica Panama Puerto Rico Trinidad Tobago Europe Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Denmark England Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom Middle East Dubai Israel Jordan North America Canada Mexico USA South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Ecuador Peru View

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/gallery/25-breaks-for-bookworms/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Catatumbo Lightning, Venezuela | Rough Guides
    and the world s highest waterfalls amongst its accolades is also home to the Catatumbo Lightning the world s most frequent and intense thunderstorm The lightning occurs nightly above Lake Maracaibo the continent s largest body of water close to the Colombian border Ringed by the northern Andes the lake s position provides the perfect conditions for electricity For lightning you need heat and humidity says Professor Graeme Anderson one of the UK s top lightning scientists These are in abundance in this part of the world Add in the factor of the changing winds caused by the cool air coming down from the surrounding mountains and you are left with something very special By day this sweltering water basin is virtually untouched by human hands save for the lake top fishing communities that dot its shores The villages are accessed by speedboat from a forested harbour at the lake s southern edge Passing through jungled channels where howler monkeys the world s loudest terrestrial creature shriek from their shaking canopies we arrive at the lake itself The perspective widens to reveal enormous skies in all directions where the localized cumulonimbus storms clouds will explode many kilometres into the troposphere in this nightly show The villages consist of huts built atop the water s surface supported by stilts driven down into the ground below The locals are accordingly adept with canoes evidenced through their effortless paddling between brightly painted shacks on visits to their neighbours The younger villagers not yet old enough to operate full size boats sit bobbing in washbasins capsizing one another in watery games of dodgems The country actually takes its name from these lake top settlements This region was the first land embarked upon by the Spanish explorers to the continent who were put in mind of a Venice Land upon sighting the communities The name Venezuela stuck For the locals who rarely see nights without the lightning the increasing interest from tourists is bewildering It s nothing unusual for us says 17 year old Daniel Bracho the lightning has always existed here It s funny to us that tourists come stay up all night to watch the storms when we sleep through them Situated on the edge of one village our hut is a simple affair Guests can choose to sleep in hammocks or in the dormitory the same room in which Professor Brian Cox was awoken shrieking during a filming expedition to the Catatumbo Lighting following the appearance of an uninvited bat in his mosquito net Days are spent touring the region s backwaters and making friends in the village while by night the stars come out The lightning show begins at around 2am which gives the group a chance to gaze into skies populated with innumerable stars before the first rumblings of thunder roll in off the lake to announce the opening act The storms build slowly their sheet lightning inside the clouds illuminating the thundering source of the bolts which draw great

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/the-worlds-most-intense-frequent-storms-venezuela/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Travel Features by Alasdair Baverstock | Rough Guides
    Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Features Alasdair Baverstock Sort by Date Popularity Picking eating and tripping on Peyote in Mexico Surrounded by the dwarfing Sierra de Catorce mountain range Rough Guides writer Alasdair Baverstock indulges in some hallucinogenic Mexican cactus for an eye opening experience The cactus beside me was quite audibly breathing Its expansions and contractions were sure signs of its survival in this desert In fact looking around at the abandoned silver mine everything Alasdair Baverstock 17 09 2014 Old cars and cigars a Cuban road trip From the enchanting streets of Havana to the luscious green town of Viñales Rough Guides writer Alasdair Baverstock finds out why road tripping is one of the best things to do in Cuba By the time we left Havana I d run out of cigars I had puffed away my last Churchill the night before Alasdair Baverstock 20 01 2014 The world s most intense storms Venezuela Every night on Lake Maracaibo the clouds gather to perform the world s most intense storms Thunder and lightning crash about in the skies as residents of the local villages built on stilts sleep peacefully in their shacks Alasdair Baverstock went to investigate The towering thunderclouds that had been swelling upwards into the enormous skies were Alasdair Baverstock 22 07 2013 Extreme mountain biking in Ladakh India Mountain biking at altitude in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in northern India takes your breath away writes Alasdair Baverstock At the truck thundered towards us on the narrow dirt road tossing boulders down the steep mountainside in its wake Sonam Norbu took both hands off the wheel and fumbled for his lighter Unimpressed by Alasdair Baverstock 16 05 2013 Hunting for the world s best chocolate in Venezuela As we walked along the beach road towards Chuao a coastal Venezuelan town a local was approaching from the other direction swinging a machete in time with his steps On either side of the concrete surface the dense jungle towered above enormous mango trees banana groves bamboo thickets and the shorter cocoa or cacao plants Alasdair Baverstock 28 03 2013 The view from Caracas as a nation mourns Chávez As Venezuela mourns its lost leader Huge Chávez Alasdair Baverstock describes the mood in Caracas and reflects on the country s reputation abroad Twelve hours after President Hugo Chávez died the central square of Caracas was still occupied by his red clad supporters Through the television lens broadcasting into homes around the world the scene looked terrifying Alasdair Baverstock 07 03 2013 Dodging kangaroos on Australia s Great Ocean Road As we celebrate 40 of the world s greatest road trips Alasdair Baverstock recounts a memorable drive down Australia s Great Ocean Road Watching carefully for kangaroos Mike weaved the car s wheels through dense rainforest

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/author/alasdair-baverstock/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Transported cultures and ethnic enclaves | Rough Guides
    the cheapest places to travel 20 places to embrace your inner hippy The most beautiful places in India 20 brilliantly colourful places The most beautiful places in the USA as voted by you The most beautiful places in England 20 of the best family travel destinations In pictures around Italy in 16 foods 30 inspiring quotes to live by from around the world 20 seriously weird places around the world 20 of the best honeymoon destinations The most beautiful city in the world as voted by you View by Destination Africa Egypt Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Mali Morocco Namibia Rwanda South Africa Tanzania Zanzibar Tunisia Asia Cambodia China India Indonesia Japan Laos Malaysia Mongolia Myanmar Burma Nepal Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand United Arab Emirates Vietnam Australasia Australia Fiji New Zealand Central America the Caribbean Barbados Belize Costa Rica Cuba Guatemala Jamaica Panama Puerto Rico Trinidad Tobago Europe Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Denmark England Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom Middle East Dubai Israel Jordan North America Canada Mexico USA South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Ecuador Peru View

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/gallery/transported-towns/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Hunting for the world’s best chocolate in Venezuela | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    of this is cacao my friend asked as the three of us greeted one another The man looked puzzled and slowed his steps allowing the tip of his blade to scrape along the road s surface Raising it to eye level he drew a wide arc through the air with its point indicating the plants with long thin leaves that surrounded us This is all cacao Moving towards the nearest tree he looked with a discerning eye at the oval pods growing out of its trunk Finding one to be sufficiently ripe he twisted it from the plant and using the curb rather than his weapon opened it with three swift cracks around its perimeter Removing the empty half and throwing it back into the jungle he revealed a stack of slimy white seeds within the other Suck on the seeds they are delicious he said resuming his stroll towards the beach Delicious perhaps but not at all what we d expected rather sweet and tangy like mango and leaving a tingling sensation in the mouth They don t look or taste like chocolate until after fermentation he shouted back in response to our bemused expressions Chuao is situated in Henri Pittier National Park a region of protected coastline and hidden beaches less than two hours from Caracas The region s farmers produce some of the world s finest cacao specialising in the criollo strain a superior if less resilient type of the plant of which there are over two thousand The oldest national park in Venezuela Henri Pittier is packed full of beaches accessible only via speedboat and is home to an amazing variety of wildlife Pumas howler monkeys and rattlesnakes inhabit the dense jungle around the road to Choroní the park s main tourist draw Bird watchers come to catch glimpses of nearly half of the avian species native to the country with specimens as extravagantly named as the Rufous vented Chacalaca and the Pin striped Tit Babbler Leaving our cocoa expert behind we arrived in the town itself Plastic bunting lined the streets suspended from first floor windows below which front doors remained open a rarity in security conscious Venezuela Inside families were sitting down to lunches of fish bought directly from the boats as they returned with the day s catch In front of the church is the Plaza de Secado drying plaza where the cacao undergoes the traditional process of preparation spending specific periods of time on each of the various surfaces some rough and others polished and smooth The beans are laid out in circular piles to be baked under the sun until they gain the dark brown hue and rich aroma that is turned into chocolate Serving Europe s growing hunger for chocolate Caribbean imperialism saw cocoa become a large and profitable industry Huge plantations sprung up and left their mark throughout the region with Trinidad in particular one of the largest producers A plantation owner was known as a Gran Cacao or

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/hunting-for-the-worlds-best-chocolate-in-venezuela/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The view from Caracas as a nation mourns Chávez | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    down and send to my editors at the national newspapers hungry for yet more Venezuelan madness It s for this reason this fervour this courting of a dangerous image bordering on insanity I thought to myself that no tourists ever come to Venezuela Away from the zealous exhibitionism Caracas was in a somber mood People didn t want to talk to me about the future of Venezuelan socialism for my stories they wanted to tell me about their personal grief at having lost what one resident described as a part of herself Speaking from Chacao a district affiliated with neither political persuasion Marela Contreras told me It s a very great pain he was part of us we were part of him My soul is hurting There was no violence in Caracas as the news channels portrayed only hurt On the night Chávez s death was announced I was on the streets of Caracas The mood was not one of anger although gunshots had been heard in the pro Chávez western barrios immediately after the announcement but of quiet contemplation One anti Chávez resident José Sardinia speaking from opposition stronghold Altamira in eastern Caracas told me today the country has lost the greatest man who ever appeared in Venezuela Extremely high praise given the vitriolic hatred which emanated from those districts when the leader was alive I originally started work in Venezuela as a Rough Guides author to the country and seeing up closing an entire nation as a job such as guidebook writing enforces teaches one to appreciate all aspects of the culture Venezuela is a country that lends itself to tourism with all its weight boasting gorgeous people distinctive food a passion for partying and one of the widest ranges of physical beauty found anywhere It was now that I found myself as a foreign correspondent in the capital aiding the country in perpetuating the dreadful international reputation that keeps the tourists away The same reputation that made my father on the phone from active service in Iraq years before tell me Alasdair don t go to Venezuela Hugo Chávez is not good news The amazement with which the western world received the news last October that Chávez had won yet another election and by a considerable margin displayed the misunderstanding that we have of Venezuela Chávez came to power in 1999 after an immensely corrupt government was ousted by a military coup The then imprisoned officer who had spend the previous two years in prison following a failed military coup was remembered for his speech to the nation from the presidential palace in Miraflores Caracas before he was taken away to prison He said to his nation sincerely and honestly looking into the camera as the chavistas throughout Caracas today have learned we have failed in our attempts For now If Chávez s death encourages more visitors to the country then the boost it will give the ailing economy and the education of international affairs it will

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/what-hugo-chavez-death-means-for-venezuela/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Continent & Country Venezuela Travel Features - Page 2 | Rough Guides
    Czech Republic Denmark England Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Malta Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom Wales Middle East Abu Dhabi Dubai Iran Israel Jordan Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia North America Canada Greenland Mexico USA South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Peru Uruguay Venezuela UK View by Theme Activity Architecture Beaches Belief Boats sailing Budget travel Coasts islands Crafts and markets Cycling Deserts Discovery Diving snorkeling Everyday Life Extreme Adventure sports Family friendly Festivals events Food drink Heritage ruins Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Features Venezuela Sort by Date Popularity Island hopping among the dolphins in Venezuela We were barely five minutes from the shore when the dolphins appeared their splashing visible along the distinct line between the earthy red of the landmasses and the deep blue of the Caribbean At the tiller Jhonny the silent Spanish J affording him an unusual title made a beeline for them attracting their attention by rhythmically Alasdair Baverstock 14 02 2013 The world s most expensive cities Don t go to Japan or Australia if you re looking after your pennies A new poll from the Economist Intelligence Unit has placed Tokyo and Osaka as the first and second most expensive cities in the world followed closely by Sydney Oslo and Melbourne Personally I didn t find Oslo too bad but as a Londoner I m Tim Chester 08 02 2013 Page 2 of 2 1 2 Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/country/venezuela/page/2/ (2016-02-16)
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