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USA & CANADA + Mexico, Alaska & Hawaii

Travellers Guide 09-10 Inside you’ll find lots of important information about your tour & all the places you’ll visit


This booklet has been prepared to give you as much background detail and information as we can about your Contiki tour. We have included information, suggestions, explanations and ideas that we hope will help you prepare for and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Please take time to read it carefully before leaving home. Most holidays are as good - or bad - as people make them and ours are no exception. Over forty years of experience and hard work have gone into planning and organizing your holiday, and throughout the trip we’ll be doing our best to make it the ‘holiday of a lifetime’. Nevertheless, in the end, the success of your holiday will depend on you, for you will only get out of it what you yourself put into it. Thank you for choosing Contiki - together we’ll prove that your choice for enjoyment, quality and value for money was right. On behalf of all the Contiki Team - have a great holiday!

GREG FISCHBEIN PRESIDENT CONTIKI - USA

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WELCOME TO CONTIKI


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WELCOME TO CONTIKI

ENGLAND Wells House, 15 Elmfield Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1LS. Telephone: (020) 8225 4200 travel@contiki.co.uk

AMERICA 801 East Katella Avenue, 3rd Floor, Anaheim, CA 92805. Telephone: (714) 935 0808 contiki@contiki.com

NEW ZEALAND 1st Floor, 15-17 Day Street, Newton, Auckland. Telephone: +64 (0) 9 300 1601 contiki@contiki.co.nz

AUSTRALIA Travel House, Level 3, 35 Grafton Street, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022. Telephone: +61 (0) 1300 266 845 contiki@contiki.com.au

CANADA 33 Kern Road, Toronto, ON M3B 1S9. Telephone: (416) 932 9377 contactus@contiki.ca

SOUTH AFRICA The Travel House 6 Hood Avenue Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196 Telephone: +27 11 280 8400 reservations.sa@contiki.com

ASIA 3 Pickering Street, China Square Central #02-29 (Nankin Row) Singapore 048660. Telephone: +65 6337 8166 contiki@pacific.net.sg info@contiki.com.sg

contiki.com If you choose to write to Contiki via the Internet, please provide your home address so we are able to reply to you in writing. The information in this booklet was, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to print but we cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes to the contents of it. Edition 2009/2010 Š Contiki America All rights reserved.


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PAGE CONTIKI OFFICES

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BEFORE YOU GO

8-15 • What to Pack • Baggage Allowance • Checklist • Passports and Visas • Insurance • Vaccinations • Budgeting • Credit Cards • Security • Currency • Banks • Travellers Cheques • Duty Free • Making Phone Calls • Leaving Home • Pre-tour meeting • Receiving Mail on Tour • Mailing Addresses

TOUR DEPARTURE DETAILS

16 • Flying Hints • Departure Points • Pre-departure Briefings • If you miss the coach Chicago information

17-18

Hawaii information

19-21

Las Vegas information

22

Los Angeles (Anaheim) information

23-25

New York information

26-27

New Orleans information

28-30

Anchorage information Vancouver information Mexico information

TOURING THE FACTS

31 32 33-34 35

• The Contiki Team • Accommodation • Meals

GENERAL INFORMATION • • • • • • • •

36-45 Transport • Smoking • Music • Shopping Optional Meals & Excursions • Photography Tipping • Calling Home • Time Differences Helpful Telephone Numbers • Health and Hygiene Liquor Laws • Calendar • Public Holidays Useful Words • Clothing Sizes • U.S. Measures Airline Telephone Numbers • Sending Letters Home Travellers Ten Commandments

AMERICA • General Facts • Places of Interest

46-73

CANADA • General Facts • Places of Interest

74-81

MEXICO • General Facts • Places of Interest

82-88

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CONTENTS GUIDE


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PERSONAL DETAILS

ABOUT ME: Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home Address: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... Home Phone:

...........................

Blood Group:

...........................

Allergies:

..............................

Driver’s Licence (Home):

..................

Driver’s Licence (Int'l): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contiki ekit Number: . . . . . . . . . PIN: . . . . . . . .

EMERGENCY CONTACT: Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Relationship: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phone:

................................

PASSPORT DETAILS: Number:

...............................

Expiry Date:

............................

When/Where issued:

.....................

HOLIDAY INSURANCE: Company Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Policy Number: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


WHAT

TO

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PACK?

‘Decide how many clothes you want to take - halve the amount and that’s how much you’ll need!’

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE Baggage is strictly limited to one reasonable sized suitcase, (73cm x 50cm or 29" x 20" non expanding) and one piece of hand luggage (eg. an airline bag). No external frame backpacks or vanity cases please as they make it difficult to pack the coach. Please Note: It is important that you adhere to these restrictions. Below is a suggested clothing list. If your tour departs between November and March, you’ll need to bring warmer clothes, keeping in mind the possibility of snow in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and on the East Coast. Likewise, the weather in Canada can change year round, so warmer clothing is necessary on these tours.

CHECKLIST ❏

Rainproof jacket

Jeans

Shorts

T-shirts

Thick sweater

Nightwear

Underwear

Swimwear

Towel

Toilet bag and contents

Travel clock

Sunglasses

Suntan lotion

Plastic bags

Handkerchiefs/tissues

Washing powder

Insect repellent

Sewing kit

Writing material

Aspirin/medicines etc.

Thongs/sandals

‘Going Out’ shoes

Adaptor (for electrical appliances)

Comfortable shoes (for outdoor activities)

Rechargeable Phonecard (Contiki ekit card supplied in your documentation)

HIS

HERS

Casual shirts

Skirts

Trousers

Summer dresses

Collared shirt (for evenings only)

Dress (for evenings out, not too formal)

Socks

Remember to bring your supplies of any pills and medicines you normally might need - like antibiotics and antihistamines. Please note: It is not Contiki’s responsibility to retrieve items that you leave behind in hotels, etc. on the tour circuit.

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BEFORE YOU GO


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BEFORE YOU GO

Checklist cont’d: Have you labelled your suitcase inside and out? Have you all the necessary medication you will need? Have you your airline tickets, passport, traveller’s cheques, insurance policy, credit cards, visas, cash in handbag and Contiki’s ‘Ticket to Ride’? Have you your driving license with you? Have you your vaccination certificate if required? Have you your camera, flash and film? NB: Don’t pack your passport or travel documents in your suitcase, but do enclose a copy of your passport, address list and traveller’s cheques’ numbers. It is also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport, visa and traveller’s cheques numbers at home, with someone you can call while you are away or you can store these details in your Contiki ekit Travel Vault. You can then access them quickly over the phone or web. You’ll need your Contiki ‘Ticket to Ride’ travel vouchers to board the Contiki coach on the morning of your tour departure.

PASSPORTS

AND

VISAS

U.S. Tours and Hawaiian Holidays Important: All travellers seeking admission into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must present a machinereadable passport (MRP). A digital photograph printed on the passport data page is required OR an integrated chip containing information from the data page (“e-passport”). A digital photo is one that is printed on the page, not a photo that is glued or laminated into the passport. VWP travelers with non-compliant passports do not have a valid travel document for admission under the VWP, and will need to obtain a visa to travel to the United States. Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after 10/26/06 are required to be e-passports. VWP travelers with non-compliant passports do not have a valid travel document for admission under the VWP, and will need to obtain a visa to travel to the United States. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA): The United States is changing its entry procedures for Visa Waiver passport holders visiting or transiting the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and has introduced an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The program is voluntary until 12 January 2009 at which point, online completion is expected to become mandatory for all eligible VWP travelers to the United States. To apply visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta. Once approved the Authorization is valid for two years. Canadian Tours Please visit www.cic.gc.ca to find out if Canada requires a visa from your nationality. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 1, 2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.


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Canadian Tours cont’d: January 8, 2007 - Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. January 1, 2009 - Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel. This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports. This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States. Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement. Mexico Tours Holders of a American, Australian, Canadian, British/EU Member Country*, New Zealand, Israeli passports do not need a visa to visit Mexico. They may, instead, use a visitor's permit known as a FMT. This is a simple form: pick one up from the check-in counter at the airport and fill it out on the airplane before you land or you can get one when you land in Mexico and fill it out before you line up to have your documents checked and stamped by the officials at the airport. Mexico charges a fee to all tourists and business visitors arriving in the country. The fee is approximately US$22, and Airlines normally collect the permit fee on behalf of the Mexican government and include the cost within the total airfare (under 'taxes and surcharges') so in the majority of cases, there will be no need for you to pay the fee separately Holders of other passports (including holders of passports of one of the 10 New EU Member Countries*) should check with their local Mexican Consulate for details of visa requirements.

INSURANCE We strongly recommend all clients to be adequately covered prior to their tour departure for Medical Insurance and Cancellation and Curtailment Insurance. Medical and hospital treatment in the USA is very expensive and some establishments may give lower priority to people who have no proof of insurance. We strongly advise that clients take out insurance coverage against loss of money and personal effects, including luggage. This should also include damage to baggage and possessions.

VACCINATIONS Generally inoculations are not necessary for United States and Canada visitors. Check with your travel agent or consulate to make sure.

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BEFORE YOU GO


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BEFORE YOU GO

BUDGETING How Much Spending Money Should I Bring? This is a difficult question to answer because the amount varies from person to person. As a rough guide, we suggest that you budget US$25/35 per day to cover incidental expenses. However, a lot depends on how much you spend on shopping (there’s plenty to tempt you in America, Canada and Mexico), as well as entertainment, drinks and optional excursions. To ensure that you budget more accurately, we would suggest that you read your travel documents prior to the start of your tour where you will find prices for any optional excursions you may wish to participate in. If possible, bring more travellers cheques than you intend to spend. It’s easy to refund excess travellers cheques at the end of your holiday and then if you see something you really can’t resist you won’t be disappointed. Unlike many other holiday operators, Contiki includes many extras and highlights at no extra cost to you (see brochure for full details). However, we don’t fill every hour of the day and there’s plenty of time to wander at leisure and discover the fascination of the country by yourself. • Cab rides can range from $3.00 to $10.00 when sharing. Cabs hold up to five people. • Public transportation such as shuttles, buses, and trolley cars range from 25 cents to $5. • The average cover charges at nightclubs is $5-$20.

CREDIT CARDS Store your credit card details and emergency contact numbers in your Contiki ekit Travel Vault. If they are ever lost or stolen you can retrieve the details quickly over the phone or the web. Please note: Do not rely on credit cards as an alternative to travellers cheques or cash. In some areas it can be extremely difficult to obtain money with them.

SECURITY Even though you are on holiday, it is essential that you are constantly security conscious. Valuables such as your passport, money and camera should be kept on your person at all times. It is advisable to take only the essential valuables with you as the loss of such items could ruin your holiday. Contiki does not accept responsibility to retrieve items which have been left behind at your hotel. We strongly recommend that you use the room safes and safety deposit boxes in hotels. They are either free or available for a small charge. As in all countries, there are areas where you need to be cautious. Your Tour Manager will brief you on the areas where it is not wise to walk alone. There are sometimes areas where you need to be cautious. Your Tour Manager will make you aware of these areas where it is not wise to walk alone at night.


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CURRENCY United States The US basic unit of currency is the Dollar ($). In paper form it is available in $1, $2 (rare), $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are available in 1c (penny), 5c (nickel), 10c (dime), 25c (quarter), 50c (rare) and $1 coin. Canada The basic unit of currency in Canada is also the Dollar ($). In paper form it is available in $2 (rare), $5, $10, $20, $50, etc. Coins are available in 1c (penny), 5c (nickel), 10c (dime), 25c (quarter) $1 (loony), and $2 (toony). Note: The one dollar coin is called a loony because there is a picture of a loon bird on the coin. Mexico Mexico’s basic unit of currency is the Peso. In its paper form, it is available denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Pesos. The most commonly used are the 50, 100 and 200 Peso notes. The coins commonly encountered in circulation have face values of 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5, $10, and $20. The $50, 10¢ and 5¢ coins are rarely seen Banks Banks are normally open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 4.00pm and Saturday mornings. Very few cash foreign currency travellers cheques. If you find it necessary to have money wired from home, a very useful bank is: The Bank of America, Anaheim Industrial Branch No: 1156 1701 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92805. Credit Cards Contiki Holidays accepts the following credit cards for payment of optional excursions, hotel accommodation: Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Credit cards are accepted at the majority of places visited on North American tours. PLEASE NOTE: Contiki does not accept MAESTRO cards. Travellers Cheques It is very difficult to cash foreign currency notes and travellers cheques in the US. It is strongly recommended that all clients carry US$ travellers cheques in $20 and $50 denominations. US$ travellers cheques are accepted as cash in virtually all retail stores in the US, eliminating the need to convert them to currency prior to making a purchase. In Canada and Mexico, US$ travellers cheques are widely accepted. Duty Free The United States and Canada have the following restrictions on duty free goods: • 200 cigarettes • 50 cigars • 1 litre of alcohol

MAKING PHONE CALLS When you buy a prepaid, Contiki Global phonecard, powered by ekit, you’re instantly closer to friends and family. Call someone who can't be there to share that magic moment or a serene sunset (okay, a wicked beach bash). Simply pull out this handy phonecard, and soon enough, you’re dialling digits and chatting about the daring details of your trip. Make sure you say “wish you were here,” (minus the snickering, of course) before you hang up.

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BEFORE YOU GO


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BEFORE YOU GO

CONTIKI GLOBAL PHONECARD – GET YOUR FREE GLOBAL PHONECARD IN YOUR CONTIKI PACK! Save money on calling home from around the World wherever you are, using a Contiki Global Phonecard! Your Contiki Global phonecard is more than just a phonecard. It has heaps of great value features: • Low cost international and long distance calls: Save up to 70% off payphones and hotel phones calling from over 150 countries. • Each card comes with a FREE 5 minute call so you can let your family know that you arrived safely. • Messaging: Friends and family can leave you voice messages for FREE - no matter where you are. You can then retrieve your messages over the phone or the web. Send SMS (text messages) from the web to any Cell Phone worldwide - check it out at www.contiki.ekit.com . • 24 x 7 Customer Service: Our multilingual team provide FREE assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call the free phone access number for the country you are in and press 0 # to speak with a consultant. One of the best things about the Contiki Global phonecard is that it is RECHARGEABLE! Always go to www.contiki.ekit.com for all the latest access numbers and calling tips. If you are visiting a city where there is an economy number, use this for even cheaper rates. You may require a coin deposit for the payphone but the Contiki Global phonecard rate will be much cheaper. Dialling Toll Free access numbers usually require no coin deposit but the per-minute charge on your Contiki Global phonecard will be higher. Save money and stay in touch wherever you are with the Contiki Global Phonecard! Go to www.contiki.ekit.com for more information.

CONTIKI INTERNATIONAL ROAMING SIM CARD If you want an even more convenient option, why not get yourself a Contiki roaming SIM card? It saves you 70% on Global roaming rates and works from all the countries that you will visit on your Contiki tour and more, over 110 Countries in total! Simply go to www.contiki.ekit.com/mobile and choose a SIM card to suit your calling patterns. Using your Cell Phone from home while travelling can become very costly. With the Contiki Global SIM card calls cost from just 49c per-minute as well as FREE to receive calls in over 50 Countries! For more rates information go to www.contiki.ekit.com/mobile Save a bundle on your calling and texting from around the world and control your spending whilst travelling. Top up your SIM card anytime anywhere either over the phone by dialling 191 or online at www.contiki.ekit.com.


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BEFORE YOU GO

TRAVEL JOURNAL – GET A FREE AUTOMATIC TRAVEL JOURNAL WITH AN EKIT SIM CARD! You could also get a FREE automatically updated record of your trip when you buy an ekit SIM card! The travel journal automatically plots your current location using Google maps and uploads photos of where you are to keep family and friends back home up-to-date on your progress! You have the freedom personalise your Journal as much or as little as you want! Log into journal online or text your entries direct to your Journal using your ekit SIM. You can also upload your own photos and let your friends and family comment on what a great time you are having! Keeping in touch has never been easier or more fun! Simply go to http://www.contiki.ekit.com/ekit/tj/ to create your journal and leave your log in details with friends and family back home to let them follow your trip day-by-day. Journal auto-updates with cool features like local time and weather for your current location so people back home know when to call and leave messages for you! Let mum and dad even top up your calling credit through logging into Journal so there is no excuse not to call home! So buy an ekit SIM card today and set up your own Travel Journal at http://www.contiki.ekit.com/ekit/tj/

LEAVING HOME Cancel milk, papers and all deliveries to your home. Leave a key with a neighbour or relative to keep an eye on the house, water the plants, collect your mail. Unplug all electrical appliances and remove all perishable goods. Arrange for the care of any pets. It is also a good idea to notify your local police station that you’ll be away for a certain period of time, and who has a spare key.

PRE-TOUR MEETING PLACE If you would like to meet some of your fellow travellers before you go on tour, check out the Contiki web site at www.contiki.com. The site features community message boards where you can post a message, or reply to someone else who is going on your tour. You'll also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).


MAILING ADDRESSES ANAHEIM, LOS ANGELES Best Western Stovalls Inn 1110 W. Katella Avenue Anaheim CA 92802 U.S.A Tel: +1 (714) 778-1880

NEW ORLEANS Prytania Park Hotel 1525 Prytania Street New Orleans LA 70130, U.S.A. Tel: +1 (504) 524-0427

CHICAGO Days Inn Lincoln Park North 664 West Diversey Parkway Chicago, IL 60614, U.S.A. Tel: +1 (773) 525-7010

NEW YORK Marrakech Hotel 2688 Broadway New York City NY 10025, U.S.A Tel: +1 (212) 222-2954

HONOLULU Queen Kapiolani 150 Kapahulu Avenue Honolulu HI 96815, U.S.A. Tel: +1 (808) 922-1941

SAN FRANCISCO Hotel Whitcomb 1231 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94103, U.S.A. Tel: +1 (415) 626-8000

LAS VEGAS America’s Best Value Inn 167 East Tropicana Las Vegas NV 89109, U.S.A. Tel: +1 (702) 795-3311

VANCOUVER Sandman Hotel 180 West Georgia Street Vancouver BC V6B 4P4, CANADA Tel: +1 (604) 681-2211

MEXICO CITY Best Western Royal Zona Rosa Amberes No. 78 Mexico City 06600, Mexico Tel: +52 55 91 49 30 00

CANCUN Club Verano Beat Cancun Blvd. Kukulcan #166 Km 3.5 Hotel Zone, Cancún Q Roo 77500, Mexico Tel: +1 998 849-4800

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BEFORE YOU GO


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TOUR DEPARTURE DETAILS

FLYING HINTS Ensure you carry all your travel documentation in your hand luggage, which can include camera, film, toiletries, fruit, paperbacks, etc. Please confirm what liquids you may carry on the plane in your toiletry bag. Make sure you take advantage of duty free shopping; see page 9 for details of duty free allowances. Don’t carry items packed by others and never accept packages or articles to carry from people not known to you. The longer flights can be made a little less painful by wearing loose clothing, good comfortable shoes as well as walking the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (preferably not alcohol). Try to get some sleep and, upon arrival, adjust immediately into local time by waiting until evening before sleeping - this should relieve the effects of jet lag.

Pre-departure Briefings Here’s your chance to meet your fellow passengers and Tour Manager and receive any new information about your tour. Predeparture briefings are held the night before you leave. Check for the time and place at the Hotel’s front desk in Anaheim, Anchorage, New York, Vancouver and Mexico City. Please note: The following tours will not have a pre-departure meeting : Mexico & Yucatan, California Highlights, Eastern Discovery start New Orleans, Southern Adventure start New Orleans, and the Northern Escape. However an information sheet detailing meeting times will be posted in the lobby of the departure hotel

IF YOU MISS THE COACH Please contact our representative at the Best Western Stovalls Inn, if you are in Anaheim or call Contiki toll-free 1-800CONTIKI. If you are in Canada or Mexico, you will need to phone us at +1-714-935-0808. Ask to speak to Contiki Operations and we’ll give you details on how and where to catch up with the tour.


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TOURS BEGIN AT: Days Inn Lincoln Park North 664 West Diversey Parkway. Chicago, IL 60614 Tel: (773) 525-7010

NORTHERN ESCAPE Tour check-in time: Tour departure time:

7.00 am 7.30 am

DAYS INN LINCOLN PARK NORTH Located in a vibrant neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants, the Days Inn is walking distance to Lake Michigan and its beaches, Wrigley Field and public transportation.

HOW TO GET THERE Chicago is serviced by two major airports, O’Hare and Midway. After claiming your luggage, find the Airport Express Ticket Counter located in the baggage area or an Airport Express Representative located curbside outside the terminal. Request a one way trip the Days Inn Lincoln Park North. The cost from O’Hare is $28.00 and $21.00 from Midway. If Airport Express is not available, a taxi (we recommend yellow cab) is your most convenient transportation option. Taxis are approximately $35 from O’Hare and $25 from Midway. Don’t forget the customary tip to the driver of $3-4.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

CONTIKI NOTICE BOARD The day before your tour departs please check the notice board at the hotel for information about meeting your group. This will give you the opportunity to meet your Tour Manager and other members of your group and receive any last minute information about your tour. Please ask the front desk if you do not see the Contiki notice board.

PLACES

OF INTEREST

The Art Institute of Chicago One of the United States best art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago houses seven centuries of art, including drawings, photography, textiles, and architectural sketches. An absolute must for all art lovers. The Magnificent Mile Stretching along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street is the Magnificent Mile, one of the highest concentrations of posh boutiques, department stores, and salons in the world.

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CHICAGO INFORMATION


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CHICAGO INFORMATION

Lincoln Park The largest park in the city, Lincoln Park stretches along Lake Michigan and contains several beaches, famous outdoor works of art, and a free zoo featuring over 2,000 species of animals from around the world. The area surrounding Lincoln Park is a nightlife favourite for university students and young adults living in Chicago. Museum of Science and Industry One of Chicago’s most popular attractions, the Museum of Science and Industry contains exhibits of applied sciences, engineering, and industry, in a hands-on setting with buttons to push, cranks to turn, and levers to lift. There is a World War II submarine on display, as well as a simulated space station and an Omnimax movie theatre. Sears Tower The country's tallest building at 442m (1,450 feet). A great way to see the city. Wrigley Field For those who believe that the game of baseball is truly “America’s Pastime” - Wrigley Field is the centre of the baseball universe. Without a doubt, it is one of America’s most famous ballparks. Check out the pubs and bars around the stadium on game day - they’re sure to be fun! Navy Pier Over 8 million people a year visit the sights and sounds of Navy Pier. Speciality shops, an Imax Theatre, and boat tours of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River are all represented on the Pier. Restaurants include the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and the Navy Pier Beer Garden. The Navy Pier also features live entertainment daily throughout the summer.


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ekit Toll Free Hawaii access number: 1-800-527-6786 STOPOVER INFORMATION Queen Kapiolani Hotel 150 Kapahulu Avenue Honolulu, HI 96815 Tel: (808) 922-1941 Check-in: 3:00pm Check-out: 11:00am The Queen Kapiolani Hotel is situated just a short walk from Waikiki beach. All rooms are smartly furnished with colour TV’s and air conditioning. The hotel’s sundeck has two pools and a snack bar that serves a variety of food and beverages.

HOW TO GET THERE If you are arriving in Honolulu on an international flight, then you must first pass through immigration and customs. Once you have collected your luggage exit the airport. Look for the 'Airport Waikiki Express' podium or an 'Airport Waikiki Express' employee wearing a red shirt who will direct you to a shuttle. The cost is $9.00 one way or $15.00 round trip to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. (Please note a tip of at least $1.00 is customary for the driver). The shuttles run 24 hours from the airport to the Waikiki area hotels.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates for extra nights accommodation are not available at the hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent.

CONTIKI CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE The Contiki Customer Service Centre is located inside the Waikiki Trade Centre at 2255 Kuhio Avenue Ste 1002. The Centre is open from 8am - 5pm on Monday through Friday and 8am 12noon on holidays and closed on Saturday and Sunday and Christmas Day. The centre offers staffed professionals who can offer advice about local sightseeing, and many other things to help you enjoy your stay in Honolulu. You can also reach the centre by telephone at (808) 971-0504. The centre is about a fifteen minute walk from the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. The staff at the Customer Service Centre would also like to invite all Contiki clients to an orientation, which takes place every morning of the year (except Christmas). Please call in advance to schedule. You will be taken on a short drive through Waikiki, with a stop at Maui Divers Jewelry Design Centre. Light refreshments will be offered, and the staff will be on hand to answer further questions. A shuttle can be arranged to pick you up at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. (The centre will reconfirm the time).

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HAWAII INFORMATION


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HAWAII INFORMATION

PLACES OF INTEREST Polynesian Cultural Centre Experience 7 Polynesian island villages with demonstrations of arts, crafts and cultural handiwork, followed by a night time dinner luau. Pearl Harbor Pay tribute to the thousands of soldiers who died in the infamous Dec. 7th, 1941 attack on this beautiful harbour. International Marketplace This is a must for souvenir shopping! A wide selection of Hawaiian handicrafts set in an outdoor Polynesian village. Bargaining is allowed! Beaches Naturally, Waikiki is the best known beach used by Hawaiian Royalty for centuries. Others include Hanauma Bay (the best snorkelling in Oahu), Makapuu (great surfing) and Sandy Beach (used for filming ‘Magnum, PI’). Water Sports The beautiful Hawaiian waters can best be explored by snorkelling or by sailing on a catamaran. Let the Contiki Customer Service Centre fill you in on all the details. Circle Island Tour Experience the spectacular scenery of the island of Oahu on this full day, 190km (120 mile) narrated tour. Includes visits to picturesque Hanauma Bay, Waimea Falls Park, and the Pali Lookout. Honolulu Zoo Spend a couple of hours at Honolulu’s small yet enjoyable zoo. It’s right across from your hotel. Paradise Cove Iuau Enjoy an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian Buffet dinner at a beautiful secluded beach 55 km (35 miles) outside of Honolulu (transport provided). Take part in various forms of island entertainment before dinner and then take in the spectacular dinner show. Duke’s Canoe Club Looking for somewhere to have dinner and drinks? Try the barefoot bar at Duke’s Canoe Club, located in the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach Hotel. Great atmosphere - and yes, it’s located right on the beach!


Queen Kapiolani Hotel

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AQUARIUM

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PUALANI WAY

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PAOAKALANI AVENUE

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KOA AVEN UE

WAIKIKI

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Contiki Customer Service Center Waikiki Trade Centre

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LAS VEGAS INFORMATION

TOURS BEGIN AT: America’s Best Value Inn 167 East Tropicana Las Vegas, NV 89109 Tel: (702) 795-3311 Fax: (702) 795-7333 Tour check-in time: 7.00 am

Tour departure time: 7.30 am

AMERICA’S BEST VALUE INN The hotel is located across the street from the MGM Grand Hotel and is just a short walk to the famous Las Vegas Strip! The hotel features a swimming pool, spa, laundry facilities, and an adjacent restaurant.

HOW TO GET THERE Las Vegas International Airport is located within a couple of miles/kilometers, of America’s Best Value Inn. Shuttle service and public transportation are limited at the airport, so we recommend that you take a taxi to the hotel. After collecting your bags from baggage claim, proceed to the taxi stand outside of the terminal. The fare is approximately $9 per taxi to America’s Best Value Inn, not including a customary tip of $2 for the driver.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

SOME BETTER KNOWN ATTRACTIONS Luxor Pyramid: Take a peak inside at the world’s largest indoor atrium! MGM Grand: One of the world’s largest hotels. Make sure to check out the Lion Habitat. New York, New York: Voted the best “Theme Hotel” in Las Vegas. Looking for some excitement, why not try the Manhattan Express Roller Coaster The Bellagio: The fountain show in the lake, as seen in Ocean’s Eleven, takes place every 15 minutes after dark. The Mirage: The famous volcano erupts in front of the hotel every 30 minutes after dark. Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: “The Shopping Wonder of the World” - A must see! Treasure Island: The show, “Sirens of Treasure Island” has multiple performances in front of the hotel after dark. Stratosphere Tower: This 114-story tower is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. You’ll find three thrill rides at the top of the tower. Hard Rock Café and Hotel: Great music and memorabilia inside the casino. Outside sits the world’s largest guitar. Located off of the Strip - easiest to take a taxi from the hotel.


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Universal Studios To San Francisco

Hollywood Beverly Hills

Malibu

LOS ANGELES

Santa Monica

AIRPORT

Disneyland Long Beach Orange County

Queen Mary

Best Western Stovalls Inn

SCALE 20 Miles

To San Diego

TOURS BEGIN AT: Best Western Stovall’s Inn 1110 W. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802 Tel: (714) 778-1880 Fax: (714) 778-3805 Tour check-in time: 7.00am

Tour departure time: 7.30am

BEST WESTERN STOVALLS INN Central to Disneyland, Downtown Disney, Anaheim Stadium, shopping and nightlife.The hotel has a pool, jacuzzi and gym. The Contiki Representative hours are posted at the front desk.

PRE-DEPARTURE MEETING Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at 7:00pm the night before your tour departure to receive important information about your tour. Please check the Contiki notice sheet in the hotel lobby for the meeting place.

HOW TO GET THERE Anaheim is approximately one hour from Los Angeles International Airport. Taxis from LAX to Anaheim generally cost $80, so we recommend that you catch a shuttle van to the hotel. Follow these instructions for the quickest and most economical transportation to the hotel: Domestic Arrivals: After collecting your bags from baggage claim, proceed outside to the median and an orange sign marked "Van Stop" (located outside baggage claim). International Arrivals: After collecting your baggage and clearing customs, proceed up the ramp to the arrival area, then proceed outside to the median and an orange sign marked "Van Stop". Tell the Super Shuttle coordinator (wearing a blue Super Shuttle jacket) that you wish to go to the Best Western Stovalls Inn at 1110 W. Katella Avenue, as well as the number of passengers in your party. They will radio for your van which will arrive within 5-10 minutes. The van will pick you up at the curb. The fare is $16, not including a customary tip of $2 for the driver.

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LOS ANGELES INFORMATION

International Arrivals cont’d: Please note that there are a number of van companies that operate between LAX and Anaheim, but Super Shuttle is the only one that Contiki recommends. Don’t forget to use your Super Shuttle discount coupon on page 23 or book online at www.supershuttle.com and use the discount code listed on the advertisement.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so book your stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

CONTIKI WELCOME CENTRE The Contiki Representative’s hour are posted at the front desk. The Contiki Representative can offer information about on car rentals, sightseeing, and local excursions.

PLACES OF INTEREST LOS ANGELES

IN

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Beverly Hills: The home to movie stars, famous athletes and musicians, Beverly Hills is a must-see attraction in Los Angeles. Stroll up and down Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue - you’ll marvel at the prices in the luxurious boutiques. Hollywood: Take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard where the sidewalks are lined with stars. Stop off at Mann’s Chinese Theatre where the hand and footprints of many of America’s most famous silver screen stars are imprinted in cement. Universal Studios: You’ll spend an extraordinary and unforgettable day right in the middle of the greatest film adventures and right alongside the biggest stars. You’ll go ‘behind the scenes’ to share in the magic of how television, movies and movie history are made. At Universal Studios Hollywood, you’re the star. So hurry, you’re wanted on the set!

ANAHEIM Disneyland: Welcome to the happiest place on earth. Opened by Walt Disney himself in 1955, Disneyland is one of America’s most famous landmarks. The park is split into four different lands - Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland each with their own rides, shops and restaurants. Disney's California Adventure: Located right next to Disneyland, California Adventure is Disney’s newest theme park having opened in early 2001. Rides, shows and attractions highlight the diverse state of California. Explore such areas as: Sunshine Plaza, Golden State, Paradise Pier and Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Downtown Disney: This bustling entertainment area is located adjacent to Disneyland and California Adventure. Downtown Disney has quickly become one of the hottest nightspots in California with its multitude of shops, theatres and restaurants. Just a few of the dining options include: The Rainforest Café, ESPN Zone, The House of Blues and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.


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LOS ANGELES INFORMATION

ORANGE COUNTY Newport Beach: This popular beach town is a fun place to shop, roller blade, eat, drink, and relax on the sand. Your Hotel Rep can tell you how to get there by public transport. San Diego: It’s only a 2-hour drive to San Diego, California’s second largest city. While there you can enjoy the world famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld or Balboa Park.

GETTING AROUND Most visitors are amazed at the size of Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County and the land area that it encompasses. Driving is a way of life for most residents in Southern California, and while efforts are being made to create an efficient mass transit system, Southern California simply does not match that of other regions. Taxis can be expensive when travelling long distances, so your Hotel Representative at the front desk can help you with the following: Car rental, excursions with local sightseeing companies, shuttle services, public bus routes and Amtrak & Metrolink train service.

1-800 Blue Van (258-3826)


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NEW YORK INFORMATION

TOURS BEGIN AT: Marrakech Hotel 2688 Broadway New York, New York 10025 Tel: (212) 222-2954 Fax: (212) 678-6842 Tour check-in time: 7.00am

Tour departure time: 7.30am

PRE-DEPARTURE MEETING Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at 7:00pm the night before your tour departure to receive important information about your tour. Please check the Contiki notice sheet in the hotel lobby for the meeting place.

MARRAKECH HOTEL The hotel is in New York’s convenient upper West side - just two blocks from Central Park and a leisurely walk or short ride (bus, subway or taxi) to the city’s most popular sites and hot spots. Every room has a coffee-maker (including complimentary coffee), cable TV, hair dryer and more.

HOW TO GET THERE New York City is serviced by three major airports: JFK (Kennedy), La Guardia and Newark. After claiming your luggage, find the ground tranportation desk in the baggage claim area. Tell the representative that you wish to take the Super Shuttle to the Marrakech Hotel in Manhattan. You will then be escorted outside to your waiting van where you will be taken to the hotel. The one-way cost from JFK and Newark is $19 and from La Guardia is $17, not including a customary tip of $1-2 for the driver. (Don’t forget to use your Super Shuttle discount coupon on page 23 or book online at www.supershuttle.com and use the discount code listed on the advertisement).

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

PLACES

OF INTEREST

New York City is a huge, exciting city and can be a bit intimidating to the first-time visitor. If you keep common sense safety rules in mind when sightseeing and shopping, you’ll enjoy New York much more. Please keep your valuables in a secure spot such as a safety-deposit box at the hotel or a money belt. It is also advised not to travel alone late at night.

SOME BETTER KNOWN ATTRACTIONS Statue of Liberty: This world famous symbol of freedom was given to the US by France and was the first thing immigrants saw as they came into New York’s harbour. Empire State Building: Two decks let you get the same view ‘King Kong’ did when they filmed the movie. This building is 102 stories high and modelled in an art deco style.


SOME BETTER KNOWN ATTRACTIONS

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cont’d:

Times Square and Broadway: Theatres, clubs, the rich and sometimes the not-so-famous hang out here. The majority of New York plays are showcased nightly in this area. Fifth Avenue: All the big-name stores and classy boutiques are on this street...Start your shopping here and you may never go elsewhere. Very pricey, but excellent quality in most shops. Rockefeller Centre: 200 shops and restaurants are here, also Radio City Music Hall (home of the Rockettes and NBC Television studios). An Observation Tower tops the building. Greenwich Village: Many consider “The Village” to be New York’s cultural centre with its eclectic bars, cafés and shops. Make sure to check out the street performers and chess players in Washington Sqaure Park. Museum of Modern Art: ‘MoMA’ houses one of the world’s finest collections of modern art works from the past 150 years. SoHo: South of Houston Street, is at Canal Street, between Sixth Avenue and Lafayette Street. Once the home of factories and warehouse buildings artists flocked to this area in the 50’s and 60’s because of the cheap loft space. The neighborhood is now a very trendy and rather upscale area with many shops, bars, restaurants and boutiques. It’s a great place to visit at night, or on the weekend to walk around and just window shop. Chinatown: It is a colourful and vibrant area of the city. Many shops offer bargains on clothing and leather. If you walk down Canal Street in the open markets you can buy knockoffs of most anything and everything. Most of the Chinese restaurants can be found near Mott St. Little Italy: Next to Chinatown located on Mulberry Street, you will find Little Italy, the Italian section of New York City. Little Italy is slowly shrinking due to booming Chinatown encroaching on its borders. Today, there are less than five thousand Italians living in Little Italy.

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NEW ORLEANS INFORMATION

TOURS BEGIN AT: Prytania Park Hotel, 1525 Prytania St New Orleans, LA 70130, Tel: (504) 524-0427 Tour check-in time 8.30am

PRYTANIA PARK HOTEL The Prytania Park Hotel is located in the lower Garden District, half a block from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. This renovated 1850’s Greek Rival home is surrounded by lush Gardens and beautiful historic homes while remaining near the French Quarter and its action.

HOW TO GET THERE Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is 30 minutes from the Central Business District. Shuttle service is available from the airport to the hotels in the Central Business District (CBD) for $15.00 (per person, one-way). Tickets are available at the Airport Shuttle at desk. Information Line: (504) 522-3500. A cab ride costs $28.00 from the airport to the CBD for one or two persons and $12.00 (per passenger) for three or more passengers. Pick-up is on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area. There may be an additional charge for extra baggage. $1 fuel surcharge added to total fare.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are NOT available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

CONTIKI NOTICEBOARD The day before your tour departs, please check the notice board at the hotel for meeting times and departure information.

PLACES

OF INTEREST

French Quarter: The heart and cultural center of New Orleans is the French Quarter, a must-see for its high energy, rich history, diverse architecture, music, street performers, renowned jazz clubs, lively nightlife and the finest art galleries and restaurants in the city. Bourbon Street: The partying never stops on Bourbon Street, the French Quarter’s liveliest and wildest thoroughfare, where the rhythmic sounds of jazz, country western, Dixieland and sultry blues permeate the air. Brimming with life, you’ll find everything from shopping to music to Cajun food to nightclubs. National D-Day Museum: The mission of this museum focuses on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, teamwork, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served during World War II. Preservaton Hall: Historic and inexpensive, this jazz venue may not serve food or drinks, but the music it serves up is first rate.


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NEW ORLEANS INFORMATION

PLACES

OF INTEREST cont’d:

Blaine Kerns Mardi Gras World: Where else can you see giant alligators that float and King Kong several stories high? Tour the studio of the Mardi Gras float designers to see how it’s done. Jackson Square: A fun area with street painters, musicians and jugglers. Also in Jackson Square is St Louis Cathedral, the oldest Cathedral in the United States. The Cathedral is flanked on either side by the Cabildo and the Presbytere. The Cabildo is a 19th-century building that housed the old Spanish government which is now a museum covering the history of Louisiana through the Civil War. The Presbytere is built on the site of the residence of Capuchin monks in 1791; the site is part of the Louisiana State Museum complex and houses the Louisiana Portrait Gallery and historical exhibits. Pat O’Briens: An intimate and very popular bar, Pat O’s is known for the Hurricane, it’s signature drink. French Market: Whether you are seeking an authentic Creole meal of Jambalaya or a romantic candlelit dinner overlooking the Mississippi, this historic market area is for you. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum: There’s just enough voodoo lore here to introduce you to the history and culture of this spiritual practice and to tempt you to bring home a love potion or voodoo doll as a souvenir. Guided swamp, plantation and cemetery tours are available. New Orleans School of Cooking: Offers classes in which students can learn to cook favourite local dishes, such as jambalaya, shrimp Creole and Gumbo.


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TOURS BEGIN AT: Ramada Anchorage Downtown 115 East 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 Tel: (907) 272-7561 Fax: (907) 272-3879 Tour check-in time: 7.00am Tour departure time: 7.30am

PRE-DEPARTURE MEETING Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travellers at 7.00pm in the hotel lounge the night before your tour departure to receive important information about your tour. Please check the Contiki notice sheet in the hotel lobby for meeting times.

RAMADA ANCHORAGE DOWNTOWN HOTEL Located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, the Ramada Anchorage Downtown is conveniently located within walking distance to shopping and major attractions such as Anchorage Museum of History and Art, downtown shopping and the Alaska Experience Theater.

HOW TO GET THERE Before you depart visit www.alaskaramada.com to book your free shuttle. Click shuttle services and complete the form and click Submit. You will only be contacted if there is a problem regarding your request. Please submit your Shuttle Service Request 4 days prior to your arrival. Please contact the hotel for your shuttle upon arrival using the hotel shuttle kiosk by the airport baggage claim or by calling 1 (866) 726-2327 from any phone.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

PLACES OF INTEREST Anchorage Museum of History and Art: Experience the Museum’s extraordinary permanent collection depicting 10,000 years of Alaska history - Native subsistence lifestyles, European exploration, Russian America, and contemporary times. View art of the North. 7th Ave & A Street. Alaska Public Lands Information Center: Explore Alaska’s public lands through wildlife and cultural exhibits, interactive videos and trip-planning information. Maps and guides for purchase. Free movies and special programs. 4th Ave. & F Street. Alaska Museum of Natural History: Fascinating information about prehistoric Alaska, a collection of Alaska fossils and artifacts and educational programs about Alaska's unique geological, cultural, and ecological history. Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers Co-op: Step inside for a look and feel the unique quality of qiviut (pronounced "kiv-eeute"), the soft underwool of the musk ox. The luxurious wool, which is eight times warmer than sheep wool of equal weight, is hand knit into warm garments by Natives in western Alaska. 604 H St. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail: Enjoy spectacular views of mountains and ocean on this popular paved bike, ski and walking trail that traces the coastline 11 miles (17.6 km) to Kincaid Park. The trail begins at western end of 2nd Ave. Bicycle rentals are available from Downtown Bike Rental 333 W. 4th Ave.

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VANCOUVER INFORMATION

ekit Toll Free Canada access number: 1866-626-9724 TOURS BEGIN AT: Sandman Hotel 180 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 4P4 Tel: (604) 681-2211 Fax: (604) 681-8009 Tour check-in time 10.30am

PRE-DEPARTURE

Tour departure time 11.00am

MEETING

Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at 7:00pm the night before your tour departure to receive important information about your tour. Please check the Contiki notice sheet in the hotel lobby for the meeting place.

THE SANDMAN HOTEL Located in downtown Vancouver, the Sandman Hotel is situated just across from the BC Place Stadium, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Airport Bus Terminal. The hotel has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, saunas, restaurant and bar. Eateries and shopping are all within walking distance.

HOW TO GET THERE On arrival at the Vancouver International airport, collect your baggage and, after proceeding through customs, go to level 2 and make your way out to the main airport entrance. Outside the entrance, look for ‘The Airporter’ bus stand. These buses leave every half-hour and drop off directly across the road from the Sandman Hotel. (You will have to change busses. Ask the driver for details.) You can purchase your ticket from the driver. Cost $13.75 Canadian dollars.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

PLACES

OF INTEREST

B.C. Place Stadium: The world’s largest air-supported domed stadium, it is host to numerous shows and concerts, as well as football games and other sporting events. Gastown: The recreated birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown’s cobble-stoned streets are lined with 19th century buildings which now house restaurants, shops and art galleries. Street vendors selling various items add to the area’s charm. Stanley Park: Covering an entire peninsula right in downtown, Stanley Park is one of the finest inner-city parks in the world. The park offers a variety of options, from biking and tennis to swimming. There is also a zoo, aquarium and even a totem pole display all located in the park.


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ekit Toll Free Mexico access number: 01800-088-5000 or 001800-514-4737 TOURS BEGIN AT: Best Western Zona Rosa Amberes No. 78 Mexico City, 06600, MX Tel: (52) 55 91 49 30 00 Fax: (52) 55 91 49 92 80 Tour check-in time: 7.00am Tour departure time: 7.30am

PRE-DEPARTURE MEETING Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at 7.00pm the night before your tour departure to receive important information about your tour. Please check the Contiki notice sheet in the hotel lobby for meeting times.

BEST WESTERN ZONA ROSA The Best Western Royal Zona Rosa is surrounded by three of Mexico City's most important avenues, where financial, commercial and entertainment centers are located. It is within walking distance from banks, monuments, embassies, restaurants, pubs, museums, galleries, boutiques, parks, and public transportation.

HOW TO GET THERE The easiest and least expensive way to get to the hotel is by prebooking a Grayline shuttle in advance by going to http://www.grayline.com/Grayline/destinations/mexico/mexicocity.go. Select Transfers and other services. Select Day or Evening arrival. The Best Western Royal Zona Rosa is located in Zone 2. The price for a daytime arrival is $15.00US and an evening arrival is $20.00US (prices are subject to change). Select day or evening arrival and then select book now. Taxi: Pre-paid taxi tickets are available from Taxi Autorizado in the Transportacion Terrestre (Ground Transportation) booth in baggage reclaim. Travellers are strongly advised to take an authorised (white and mustard with an aeroplane logo), pre-paid taxi and always lock taxi doors when inside.

HOTEL RATES See your Contiki brochure for details of special rates. These rates are not available at hotel reception, so make sure you book your full stay through your travel agent before you leave home.

PLACES OF INTEREST Mexico City is a huge, exciting city and can be a bit intimidating to the first-time visitor. If you keep common sense safety rules in mind when sightseeing and shopping, you’ll enjoy Mexico City much more. Please keep your valuables in a secure spot such as a safetydeposit box at the hotel or a money belt. We advise not to travel alone late at night.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

PLACES

OF INTEREST cont’d: The Zócalo: The main square or plaza where many Colonial Building and museums are located.

The Cathedral: Although it is now visibly sinking into the ground, it is a beautiful colonial structure. Originally built on the Aztec Temples that are now below, a walk through the inside of the Cathedral reveals beautiful oil paintings, gold carvings and many more things that are interesting. The "Templo Mayor": Situated to one side of the Cathedral, it is an Aztec center and part of the original Tenochtitlán city. The "Templo Mayor” can be seen quite clearly from the sidewalk, however if you pay to enter a lot more is revealed. The Government Palace: Located on the same side of the Zócalo as the "Templo Mayor", it is a very beautiful structure. Inside you will find Diego Rivera’s' famous murals showing various cultures and times in Mexico's history. There is also a permanent classic art exhibition of Spanish oil paintings and a lovely garden at the back. "Palacio de Bellas Artes": Located next to the "Alameda" and on the other side of "Eje Central", Bellas Artes is a majestic marble building in which the ballet folklórico performs regularly; there are rotating changing art exhibitions in Bellas Artes. "Plaza de Garibaldi" or Garibaldi square: Located on the opposite side of "Eje Central" to Bellas Artes and a few blocks towards the "Tepito" market, it is a place where the "Mariachis" (traditional Mexican musicians) play for a small fee. Garibaldi square is famous all over the Mexican Republic for it´s Mariachi musicians. There are also a number of restaurants and market restaurants available in the square, serving a delicious typical Mexican cuisine. Chapultepec Castle: Located in the Chapultepec forest close to the "Avenida Reforma" and the localities of Polanco, Condesa and Roma, Chapultepec Castle dates back to just after the Spanish conquest and since then has been the home of many Mexican leaders. Xochimilco (pronounced so-she-mill-co): These colorful markets date back to the Aztec times. There are boats at Xochimilco that will take you for a ride through the lake, offering food, drink and music along the way. There are also wonderful flower and plant markets. Teotihuacán: Although not originally built by the Aztecs, Teotihuacán was inhabited by them for many years and became one of the most powerful cities of the pre-Hispanic era. It is a very interesting place to visit, with large pyramids and fascinating sculptures and wall paintings. The ancient City of Teotihuacán is located about 30 miles to the north of Mexico City.


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TOUR MANAGERS Contiki Tour Managers have been chosen for the qualities that enable them to make your trip a richer experience. Their knowledge of all the local hotspots ensures you’ll be in the midst of the action day in and day out. They’ll also add cultural and historical footnotes along the way. Being the Tour Manager, his or her decisions and discretion should be observed because they are in your interest and that of all the team. There may be occasions on the tour when a decision has to be made by your Tour Manager, but all the group are not in agreement. Your Tour Manager will endeavour to make the best decisions in such circumstances and, once made, the decision is final. At the same time, your individuality will be respected and ample free time is planned to enable you to explore on your own to follow personal interests.

DRIVERS Your Driver works in close co-operation with the Tour Manager. They are fully trained and tested on North American roads. Their responsibilities include the vehicle’s safety inspection, loading and unloading luggage, its cleanliness and most importantly your safety.

ACCOMMODATION On every Contiki holiday, you will stay in some amazing places specially chosen for you to experience the real America. All accommodation is a balance between quality, location and price. Ranging from lodge or hotel-style accommodation in special locations, to hotels near the action in towns and cities, each night stop is as varied as the places you’ll visit. All accommodation is based on twin-share, except in Banff, which is quad-share. Each room has a private bath. NB. This arrangement is subject to change, without notice, in any of Contiki’s properties, based on summer availability.

MEALS Your holiday cost includes the majority of breakfasts and some dinners as indicated in the itinerary for your specific tour. Breakfasts on tour vary between a light continental fare such as toast, cereals and juice, and on some days a heartier selection of eggs, meats and potatoes. Of course, there’s always coffee and tea to get your day off to a good start. Lunches are at your own expense, but we’ll ensure that you have inexpensive and healthy options across the continent! From hamburgers to salads - almost any type of lunch is available at the right price - allow $8 per day. Included dinners feature a variety of menus to reflect local cuisine. There are times when dinner is not included so that you will have an opportunity to sample local cuisine. Your Tour Manager will always have a number of suggestions to fit your budget. Often, Contiki will plan a special dinner, from a feast in San Francisco’s Chinatown to a jazz cruise on a riverboat in New Orleans, you can count on a memorable evening out.

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TOURING - THE FACTS


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GENERAL INFORMATION

TRANSPORT Modern, air conditioned coaches equipped with video monitors have been carefully selected by Contiki with your comfort, safety and scenic viewing in mind. We highly recommend you move throughout the coach in order to mix with your fellow passengers. There are times when your driver will have the day or evening off due to rules established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Therefore, a few times on tour your transportation, during free time, will be at your own expense. (See budgeting section). Please Note: The New York Explorer uses a coach on Day 1 only and the Best of USA uses local coaches for sightseeing and transfers.

SMOKING For the comfort of all members of the group, our coaches are designated non-smoking. However, frequent stops take place during each day when smokers can ‘light up’ freely.

MUSIC Our coaches are equipped with CD players and can play I-pods and MP3’s. Clients are invited to bring along their own particular favourites.

SHOPPING The prices of clothing and souvenirs vary at every stop and all items will include a local sales tax that is not assessed until you purchase the item and it will vary from city to city. Certain items in America, Canada and Mexico may be 10-20% less than what you would pay at home.

OPTIONAL MEALS

AND

EXCURSIONS

A Contiki America or Canada holiday is all about exciting ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences, including trying local culinary specialities typical of the places you visit. Your holiday cost includes many visits and meals as listed in the brochure for your specific tour. In addition, we offer a range of optional visits, activities and local meals available throughout your tour. Your Tour Manager will make firm bookings in advance for any optional excursion you choose and you will be liable for the cost of all excursions you have booked. All excursions can be booked through your Tour Manager. To help you plan your budget our list of Optional Excursions and Meals is sent to you with your travel documents. Make sure you read this information thoroughly so you will know how much to budget for optional excursions. For any optional trips you choose your Tour Manager will make firm bookings in advance and you will be responsible for the cost of all excursions you have booked. Please note: These optionals are available via third party suppliers. Contiki does not own nor operate any of these excursions, but rather has used its buying power to negotiate favourable rates on your behalf with local suppliers and excursion operators.


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PHOTOGRAPHY As the saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words�. There is vast and varied scenery in the United States and Canada. We have found that clients traveling with a digital camera find a 1 GB memory card sufficient for their trip. Clients travelling with a traditional camera will usually use 2 rolls of film per week. There are many photo services for those who wish to develop film or transfer photos from a digital camera to a disk while on tour.

TIPPING In North America, it is customary to tip for a variety of services, but particularly in restaurants and bars. Whether you agree or disagree with the practice, tipping is a way of life in North America. Waitresses, bartenders and barmaids generally make minimal salaries and depend on tips for a substantial part of their earnings. As a guide, a restaurant server is usually tipped 15-20% of the total bill if the service was of good quality (it is appropriate to leave a tip on the table or with the bill when you leave). In bars and pubs, the bartender and cocktail server usually earn 75c per drink. You may want to be a bit more generous for the first round, thus ensuring good service throughout the night. Americans tip a variety of people, from taxi and van drivers to hairdressers. Your Tour Manager can also answer questions that you may have about when to tip and how much. Tipping your Tour Manager and Driver is also customary on all North American tours. If you feel that your Tour Manager and Driver have done their jobs well while on tour then we suggest a guideline of $3.00 per person per day of the tour for each crew member. As we use local guides and drivers in certain cities, we would ask you to consider (per person) the following amounts (or local equivalent), subject to the service provided being os a sufficiently high standard: Local Guide $3.00 per day Local Driver $3.00 per day Hotel Staff/Barstaff $1.00

CALLING HOME Your Contiki Global phonecard card will save you up to 70% off hotel and payphones for international and long distance calls - which means more money for souvenirs, beer and big nights out!! Check your Contiki Travel Documents for your Contiki Global phonecard - the easiest way to make calls and receive messages around the world!

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GENERAL INFORMATION


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GENERAL INFORMATION

CALLING HOME

cont’d: Check your travel documents for your Contiki Global Phonecard or go to www.contiki.ekit.com. Making calls with your Contiki Global Phonecard is simple • Dial the access number from the country you are in (in Canada dial the Canada access number printed on the phonecard) • Enter your account number (this is printed on the phonecard) and press # • Enter your PIN and press # and then 2 to make a call. You then dial the country code, area code (without the 0), and the phone number of the person you wish to call. The access numbers are printed on your phonecard or can be found on the web at www.contiki.ekit.com. The US (48 states) access number can be used throughout the US. For cheaper rates check if there is an economy number for the city you are calling from. Economy numbers may require a coin deposit for the cost of a local call but the Contiki Global phonecard rates will be much cheaper. Look under the Helpful Telephone Numbers list for the Contiki Global phonecard access numbers.

TIME DIFFERENCES To find the time in other parts of the world whilst you are in Los Angeles, Seattle or Vancouver, add the following number of hours to local time: Auckland:

+ 20 hrs

New York:

+ 3 hrs

Europe:

+ 9 hrs

Perth:

+ 16 hrs

Johannesburg: + 10 hrs

Sydney:

+ 18 hrs

London:

Toronto:

+ 2 hrs

+ 8 hrs

HELPFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS - USA/CANADA USA Toll Free (48 States)

1 800 706 1333

Hawaii Toll Free

1 800 527 6786

Canada Toll Free

1 866-626-9724

Chicago economy

1 312-281-0339

Los Angeles economy

1 213-337-5555

New York (Manhattan) economy

1 646-205-0193

New York (Staten Island) economy

1 718-989-7239

HEALTH & HYGIENE Life on a Contiki tour can get quite hectic with early mornings and late nights, making it easier for you to catch the common cold, the flu or aggravate an existing medical condition. Also, different air, water, food and lifestyle can reduce your resistance and you may find a course of vitamins will help you. Please keep these points in mind while travelling - sickness can spoil a wonderful holiday. Life on a Contiki tour can get quite hectic with early mornings and late nights, making it easier for you to catch the common


HEALTH & HYGIENE cont’d: cold, the flu or aggravate an existing medical condition. Also, different air, water, food and lifestyle can reduce your resistance and you may find a course of vitamins will help you. Please keep these points in mind while travelling - sickness can spoil a wonderful holiday. If, at any time you feel ill, do not hesitate to inform your Tour Manager and he/she will assist you in contacting a doctor for consultation. Medical clinics are widely available throughout America, but as the US has no nationalised medical programme, doctor visits can be quite costly. Be certain to obtain comprehensive travel health insurance prior to departing your home country. If you are on a regular course of medicine/contraception you must bring a supply sufficient for the whole time you are away from home, as your particular medicine and/or brand may not be readily available in North America. In some cases medications available over the counter at home may only be obtained by prescription in North America. All Contiki coaches carry a First Aid Kit for use in a coach emergency. Everyday medications, e.g. Band Aids and Aspirin are not carried on the coach and are your responsibility. Any client found using illegal drugs will immediately be removed from the tour LIQUOR LAWS In all states in the USA, the law strictly prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking and from entering most drinking establishments. Identification (e.g. passport) is mandatory before entering almost all establishments - even if you look well over 21. In Canada, the legal drinking age varies from province to province. In British Columbia and in Ontario, the legal drinking age is 19; in Alberta and Quebec, it is 18. In Mexico, the legal drinking age is 18

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CALENDAR 2009 January

February

March

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22

2 9 16 23

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

April

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 13 20 27

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

S

M

T

W

T

F

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

May W

June S

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

W

T

F

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25 31

30 2 9 16 23

31 3 10 17 24

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

July

6 13 20 27

August S

October

S

S

September S

November

S

December S

S

CALENDAR 2010 January

February

S

M

T

W

T

F

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

W

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

S

S

T

W

T

F

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28

2 9 16 23

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

1 8 15 22 29

2 3 9 10 16 17 23 24 30

30 2 9 16 23

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

M

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

April

S

May S

July

6 13 20 27

March

M

June S

August

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

October

S

S

September S

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25

S

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

S

M

T

W

T

F

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25 31

November

December S

S


PUBLIC HOLIDAYS New Years Day

IN

2009

January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday January 19 Valentine’s Day February 14 President’s Day February 16

Labor Day US/Canada

September 7

Rosh Hashanah (First day) September 19 Yom Kippur

September 28

Columbus Day

October 12

Daylight Saving Begins March 8

Thanksgiving (Canada)

October 12

St Patrick’s Day

Halloween

October 31

Ash Wednesday February 25

March 17

Passover

April 9

Good Friday

April 10

Daylight Saving Ends November 1

Easter

April 12

Veteran’s Day November 11

Mother’s Day

May 10

Thanksgiving Day (USA)

Victoria Day

May 18

Memorial Day

May 25

Hanukkah (First day)

Father’s Day

June 21

Christmas Day December 25

Canada Day

July 1

New Years Eve December 31

Independence Day

July 4

November 26 December 12

USEFUL WORDS Residents of the United States and Canada speak English, but at times they use entirely different vocabulary to the rest of the English-speaking world. Here are a few examples - you’ll pick the rest up as you go along.

ENGLISH

AMERICAN

ENGLISH

AMERICAN

food and drink crisps chips biscuit cracker/cookie swiss roll danish chips french fries white coffee with cream black coffee w/out cream soft drink soda lemonade 7-up with ice on the rocks

vehicles and driving motorway freeway/interstate dual divided carriageway highway level crossing grade crossing lay-by pull-off petrol gas bonnet hood boot trunk hire car rental car

shopping spirits sellotape chemist

miscellaneous underground (tube) subway footpath sidewalk public phone phone booths reverse charges call collect lift elevator toilet bathroom/restroom mobile phone cell phone

liquor Scotch tape Drug store

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CLOTHING SIZES Sizes vary from country to country around the world. While in America and Canada you may want to buy clothes, so as a guide we have listed the approximate comparative sizes. However, we do recommend before making the purchase, you make sure you are happy that the size of the article you are purchasing is correct.

MEN Suits and Coats American/English

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

Continental

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

Shirts American/English 15

151⁄2

153⁄4

16

161⁄2

17

39

40

41

42

43

Continental

38

Sweaters American/English

S 34

M 36-38

L 40-42

XL 44

Continental

44

46-48

50-52

54

Shoes American

71⁄2

8

81⁄2

91⁄2

10

11

Continental

40

41

42

43

44

45

WOMEN Dresses, Coats and Suits American

32

34

36

38

40

English

10

12

14

16

18

Continental

38

40

42

44

46

Blouses and Sweaters American

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

English

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

Continental

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

5

51⁄2

61⁄2

71⁄2

81⁄2

9

91⁄2

Shoes American

1⁄ 2

English

3

Continental

36

1⁄ 2

4

5

6

7

7

37

38

39

40

41

8 42

CHILDREN’S WEAR American

1

4

6

8

10

13

15

English

1

2

5

7

9

10

12

Continental

1

2

5

7

9

10


US MEASURES

AND

METRIC EQUIVALENTS

US Measures Liquid Measure

Cubic Measure

16 ounces . . . . . . . . . .1 pint

1728 cu. in . . . . . . . .1 cu. ft.

2 pints . . . . . . . . . . . .1 quart

27 cu. ft . . . . . . . . .1 cu. yd.

4 quarts . . . . . . . . . .1 gallon

40 cu. ft . . . . . . . . . . . .1 ton

Long Measure

Dry Measure

12 inches . . . . . . . . . . .1 foot

2 pints . . . . . . . . . . . .1 quart

3 feet . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 yard

8 quarts . . . . . . . . . . .1 peck

Metric Equivalents Linear Measure 1 centimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.3937 inch 1 inch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.54 centimetres 1 decimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.937 inches 1 foot

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.048 decimetres

1 meter 1 yard

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.09 yards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.9144 metres

1 kilometre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.621 miles 1 mile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.6 kilometres Square Measure 1 hectare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.471 acres 1 acre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.4047 hectares Weights 1 gram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.03527 ounce 1 ounce 1 kilogram 1 pound

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28.35 grams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.2 pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.45 kilograms

Temperatures Celsius° = F° -32, then x 5⁄9

Fahrenheit° = C° x 9⁄5, then + 32

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GENERAL INFORMATION


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GENERAL INFORMATION

AIRLINE TELEPHONE NUMBERS The following phone numbers are for your use while on tour. Air Canada

(888)247-2262

Air France

(800)237-2747

Alitalia

(800)223-5730

Air New Zealand

(800)262-1234

Alaska

(800)426-0333

America West

(800)235 9292

American (American Eagle)

(800)433-7300

British Airways

(800)247-9297

Cathay Pacific

(800) 233-2742

China Airlines (People’s Republic)

(800)227-5118

Continental

(800)525-0280 (800)231-0856

(domestic) (international)

Delta (Delta Connect)

(800)221-1212 (800)241-4141

(domestic) (international)

Hawaiian Airlines

(800)367-5320

Icelandair

(800)223-5500

Japan Airlines

(800)525-3663

Jet Blue

(800) 538-2583

KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines

(800)374-7747

Korean Air

(800)438-5000

Lufthansa

(800)645-3880

Northwest

(800)225-2525 (800)447-4747

Philippine Airlines

(800)435-9725

Qantas

(800)227-4500

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

(800)221-2350

(domestic) (international)

Singapore

(800)742-3333

South African Airways

(800)722-9675

Southwest

(800)435-9792

Swissair

(877)359-7947

Thai Airways

(800)426-5204

United (United Express)

(800)241-6522 (800)538-2929

(domestic) (international)

USAir (USAir Express)

(800)428-4322 (800)622-1015

(domestic) (international)

Varig Brazilian

(800)468-2744

Virgin Atlantic

(800)862-8621


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SENDING LETTERS HOME US postal rates may rise in 2008 pending approval by Congress Postage prices can change without much notice, but at the time of printing the local currency cost of mailing a letter and postcard are: FROM THE USA (in US dollars) Postcard (small) 1 oz. letter

to the USA

FROM CANADA (in Canadian dollars) 0-30 grams 30-50 grams

to the USA

FROM Mexico (in Pesos) 0-20 grams 50-99 grams

to the USA

FROM Mexico (in Pesos) 0-20 grams 60-79 grams

Mexico

$.27 $.42

$.96 $1.15

$10.50 $17.50

to Canada International $.72 $.72

$.94 $.94

to Canada International $.54 $.98

$1.60 $2.30

to Canada International $10.50 $17.50

$14.50 $44.50

$6.50 $9.00

THE TRAVELLER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS 1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as they are at home for thou hast left home to find things different. 2. Thou shalt not take things too seriously, for a carefree mind is the beginning of a carefree holiday. 3. Thou shalt not let other tourists get on they nerves as we are all here for the same reason and thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself. 4. Thou must know at all times where thy passport lies, for a man without a passport is a man without a country. 5. Thou shalt not worry, for he that worrieth hath no pleasure. 6. Remember that thou art a guest in other lands and he that treateth his host with respect shall in turn be respected. To learn to speaketh ���please’ and ‘thank-you’ in thy host’s tongue will make thee thy host’s friends. 7. Thou shalt not judge the entire people of a country by one person who was a poor host. 8. Thou shalt remember that to err is human and to forgive is divine. 9. When in Rome, thou shalt be prepared to do as the Romans do. 10. Thou shouldst remember that if thou was expected to stay in one place, thou would have been created with roots. ANON.

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GENERAL INFORMATION


Isla Mujeres

Zihuatanejo

Acapulco

Mexico City Morelia

MEXICO

Homer

Seward

Gulf of Mexico

Merida

Honolulu

Hawaii

OAHU

ANCHORAGE Talkeetna

Fairbanks

Denali N.P.

ALASKA

The following pages contain a brief description of the regions visited by Contiki. This section is organised by country, then state or province, then city or area. Use the map above to locate the city or area of your interest.

Cancun

Idaho

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USA, CANADA & MEXICO


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UNITED STATES HISTORY In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-two Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue and discovered America! Then... the Spanish, English and French moved in... until the French were moved out, the British began imposing restrictions resulting in: 1775-1776 American War of Independence broke out with 13 colonies gaining independence and forming a Confederation of States. 1787 Federal Constitution was adopted so the 13 States could form an effective Central Government. Slowly the importance of the industrial North began to outstrip the agricultural slave-owning South. 1803 Known as the Louisiana Purchase, the United States purchased 828,000 acres of land from France for approximately 4 cents an acre, thus doubling the size of the Nation. 1820 The Missouri Compromise set a line between the slave and free territory. 1849 Gold is discovered in California, sparking the largest migration of people in history. 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President. 1861-65 The American Civil War broke out when 10 southern states declared independence from the United States. 1869 The Transcontinental Railroad linking the East Coast to the West coast is completed. 1898 The Spanish American War begins and ends 9 months later. 1917-18 USA joined the Allies in First World War against Germany. 1929 The Wall Street Crash knocked $26 billion off the prices on the Stock Exchange in a month. 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered the Second World War. 1950-53 Korean War. 1954-1968 United States Civil Rights movement; Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, TN. 1960-73 U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 1963 J F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. 1974 President Nixon resigned from the Executive Office, due to involvement in the Watergate scandal. 1981 President Reagan was elected President of the United States. 1988 Presidential Elections occurred with George Bush, former Vice President, taking over. 1991 Gulf War. 1992 Governor Clinton defeated George Bush for the Presidency. 1996 President Clinton re-elected. 2000 George W Bush (son of former President Bush) elected as President. 2001 A terrorist attack destroys the World Trade Centre in New York City. 2003 U.S. begins involvement in the Iraq War. 2004 President George W. Bush re-elected. 2008 In a historic election, Barak Obama is elected the first African-American President of the United States.

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UNITED STATES HISTORY


48

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AMERICA INFORMATION

Area: 9,372,610 sq. km (3,449,120 sq. miles) Population: 300,009,701 Capital: Washington, D.C. The United States is a Federal Republic of 50 States and the Federal District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. It is situated within and coterminous with the District of Columbia (abbreviated as "D.C."). The city and the district are located on the banks of the Potomac River and bordered by the states of Virginia (to the west) and Maryland (to the north, east and south). The city was planned and developed in the late 18th century to serve as the permanent national capital; the federal district was formed to keep the national capital distinct from the states. The city was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. The district's name, "Columbia", is an early poetic name for the United States and a reference to Christopher Columbus, an early explorer of the Americas. The city is commonly referred to as Washington, The District, or simply D.C. In the 19th century, it was called the Federal City or Washington City. The centers of all three branches of the U.S. government are in the District. Also situated in the city are the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other national and international institutions, including labor unions and professional associations. Washington is a frequent location for political demonstrations and protests, large and small, particularly on the National Mall. A center of American history and culture, Washington is a popular destination for tourists, the site of numerous national landmarks and monuments, the world's largest museum complex (the Smithsonian Institution), galleries, universities, cathedrals, performing arts centers and institutions, and native music scenes. The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are governed by a single municipal government and for most practical purposes, are considered to be the same entity. This has not always been the case: until 1871, when Georgetown ceased to be a separate city, there were multiple jurisdictions within the District. Although there is a municipal government and a Mayor, Congress has the supreme authority over the city and district, which results in citizens having less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting at-large Congressional representative.

CONSTITUTION The constitution of 1787, modified by amendments, provides for the election of a President every four years - a Vice-President who is a member of his/her party is elected with him/her. The President appoints members of the Executive Branch, including the Cabinet - subject to Senate approval. Neither the President nor his Cabinet are members of Congress, the Legislative Branch. The President and his administration can initiate legislation only through their supporters in Congress. In order to become law, Congressional measures need his signature. As Chief Executive, the President is constitutionally empowered to act on his own initiative in military and diplomatic matters. However, Senate ratifies Presidential appointments and foreign treaties - see next page.


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CONGRESS One of the most powerful assemblies in the world; it is divided into two houses: • Senate (originally Upper House) - each State sends two representatives - 100 members, elected by the people. • House of Representatives (originally Lower House) elected by the people - 435 members. Legislation can originate in either House and is discussed by Committees in both houses - the President has no means of expediting a bill - but he can veto a bill, after which it needs a twothirds majority in each house to override him. Congressional elections take place during a Presidential term of office so that a Presidential administration may find their party in the minority.

STATE GOVERNMENT Each State has its own Governor, law makers, judges and militia. The State deals with police, local government, education and social welfare.

ALASKA Population:

670,053,

ANCHORAGE Population: 278,700 Russian explorers had established themselves in southern Alaska by 1784, but English explorer Captain James Cook is credited with first exploring and describing the Anchorage area in 1778 during his third voyage of discovery. During the next hundred years Russian trading activity and cultural influence increased. Then in 1867 problems at home forced the sale of Russian America to the United States for a sum of $7,200,000. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage was selected as the headquarters of this effort. Soon a “Tent City” sprang up at the mouth of Ship Creek and a population quickly swelled to more than 2,000. Although the area had been known by various names, the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name “Anchorage,” and despite some protests the name stuck. Anchorage was incorporated on November 23,1920. Alaska attained statehood in 1959. On March 27th, 1964, a natural disaster of incredible proportions struck Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska: the Good Friday earthquake. This earthquake measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale, the largest ever recorded in North America and, because Anchorage lay only 80 miles from the epicenter damage to structures ran to the hundreds of millions of dollars. The decade of the eighties was a time of growth, thanks to a flood of North Slope oil revenue into the state treasury. By the beginning of the 1990’s Anchorage could boast of 259 miles of maintained trails. Hilltop Ski Area was established in 1984, which along with the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood and Alpenglow Ski Area gave residents three fully operational skiing areas. Tourism and recreational activities were fast becoming a mainstay of the modern Anchorage economy, which has continued to the present day.

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REGIONAL INFORMATION


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GENERAL INFORMATION

TRANSPORT Modern, air conditioned coaches equipped with video monitors have been carefully selected by Contiki with your comfort, safety and scenic viewing in mind. We highly recommend you move throughout the coach in order to mix with your fellow passengers. There are times when your driver will have the day or evening off due to rules established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Therefore, a few times on tour your transportation, during free time, will be at your own expense. (See budgeting section). Please Note: The New York Explorer uses a coach on Day 1 only and the Best of USA uses local coaches for sightseeing and transfers.

SMOKING For the comfort of all members of the group, our coaches are designated non-smoking. However, frequent stops take place during each day when smokers can ‘light up’ freely.

MUSIC Our coaches are equipped with CD players and can play I-pods and MP3’s. Clients are invited to bring along their own particular favourites.

SHOPPING The prices of clothing and souvenirs vary at every stop and all items will include a local sales tax that is not assessed until you purchase the item and it will vary from city to city. Certain items in America, Canada and Mexico may be 10-20% less than what you would pay at home.

OPTIONAL MEALS

AND

EXCURSIONS

A Contiki America or Canada holiday is all about exciting ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences, including trying local culinary specialities typical of the places you visit. Your holiday cost includes many visits and meals as listed in the brochure for your specific tour. In addition, we offer a range of optional visits, activities and local meals available throughout your tour. Your Tour Manager will make firm bookings in advance for any optional excursion you choose and you will be liable for the cost of all excursions you have booked. All excursions can be booked through your Tour Manager. To help you plan your budget our list of Optional Excursions and Meals is sent to you with your travel documents. Make sure you read this information thoroughly so you will know how much to budget for optional excursions. For any optional trips you choose your Tour Manager will make firm bookings in advance and you will be responsible for the cost of all excursions you have booked. Please note: These optionals are available via third party suppliers. Contiki does not own nor operate any of these excursions, but rather has used its buying power to negotiate favourable rates on your behalf with local suppliers and excursion operators.


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PHOTOGRAPHY As the saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words�. There is vast and varied scenery in the United States and Canada. We have found that clients traveling with a digital camera find a 1 GB memory card sufficient for their trip. Clients travelling with a traditional camera will usually use 2 rolls of film per week. There are many photo services for those who wish to develop film or transfer photos from a digital camera to a disk while on tour.

TIPPING In North America, it is customary to tip for a variety of services, but particularly in restaurants and bars. Whether you agree or disagree with the practice, tipping is a way of life in North America. Waitresses, bartenders and barmaids generally make minimal salaries and depend on tips for a substantial part of their earnings. As a guide, a restaurant server is usually tipped 15-20% of the total bill if the service was of good quality (it is appropriate to leave a tip on the table or with the bill when you leave). In bars and pubs, the bartender and cocktail server usually earn 75c per drink. You may want to be a bit more generous for the first round, thus ensuring good service throughout the night. Americans tip a variety of people, from taxi and van drivers to hairdressers. Your Tour Manager can also answer questions that you may have about when to tip and how much. Tipping your Tour Manager and Driver is also customary on all North American tours. If you feel that your Tour Manager and Driver have done their jobs well while on tour then we suggest a guideline of $3.00 per person per day of the tour for each crew member. As we use local guides and drivers in certain cities, we would ask you to consider (per person) the following amounts (or local equivalent), subject to the service provided being os a sufficiently high standard: Local Guide $3.00 per day Local Driver $3.00 per day Hotel Staff/Barstaff $1.00

CALLING HOME Your Contiki Global phonecard card will save you up to 70% off hotel and payphones for international and long distance calls - which means more money for souvenirs, beer and big nights out!! Check your Contiki Travel Documents for your Contiki Global phonecard - the easiest way to make calls and receive messages around the world!

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CALLING HOME

cont’d: Check your travel documents for your Contiki Global Phonecard or go to www.contiki.ekit.com. Making calls with your Contiki Global Phonecard is simple • Dial the access number from the country you are in (in Canada dial the Canada access number printed on the phonecard) • Enter your account number (this is printed on the phonecard) and press # • Enter your PIN and press # and then 2 to make a call. You then dial the country code, area code (without the 0), and the phone number of the person you wish to call. The access numbers are printed on your phonecard or can be found on the web at www.contiki.ekit.com. The US (48 states) access number can be used throughout the US. For cheaper rates check if there is an economy number for the city you are calling from. Economy numbers may require a coin deposit for the cost of a local call but the Contiki Global phonecard rates will be much cheaper. Look under the Helpful Telephone Numbers list for the Contiki Global phonecard access numbers.

TIME DIFFERENCES To find the time in other parts of the world whilst you are in Los Angeles, Seattle or Vancouver, add the following number of hours to local time: Auckland:

+ 20 hrs

New York:

+ 3 hrs

Europe:

+ 9 hrs

Perth:

+ 16 hrs

Johannesburg: + 10 hrs

Sydney:

+ 18 hrs

London:

Toronto:

+ 2 hrs

+ 8 hrs

HELPFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS - USA/CANADA USA Toll Free (48 States)

1 800 706 1333

Hawaii Toll Free

1 800 527 6786

Canada Toll Free

1 866-626-9724

Chicago economy

1 312-281-0339

Los Angeles economy

1 213-337-5555

New York (Manhattan) economy

1 646-205-0193

New York (Staten Island) economy

1 718-989-7239

HEALTH & HYGIENE Life on a Contiki tour can get quite hectic with early mornings and late nights, making it easier for you to catch the common cold, the flu or aggravate an existing medical condition. Also, different air, water, food and lifestyle can reduce your resistance and you may find a course of vitamins will help you. Please keep these points in mind while travelling - sickness can spoil a wonderful holiday. Life on a Contiki tour can get quite hectic with early mornings and late nights, making it easier for you to catch the common


HEALTH & HYGIENE cont’d: cold, the flu or aggravate an existing medical condition. Also, different air, water, food and lifestyle can reduce your resistance and you may find a course of vitamins will help you. Please keep these points in mind while travelling - sickness can spoil a wonderful holiday. If, at any time you feel ill, do not hesitate to inform your Tour Manager and he/she will assist you in contacting a doctor for consultation. Medical clinics are widely available throughout America, but as the US has no nationalised medical programme, doctor visits can be quite costly. Be certain to obtain comprehensive travel health insurance prior to departing your home country. If you are on a regular course of medicine/contraception you must bring a supply sufficient for the whole time you are away from home, as your particular medicine and/or brand may not be readily available in North America. In some cases medications available over the counter at home may only be obtained by prescription in North America. All Contiki coaches carry a First Aid Kit for use in a coach emergency. Everyday medications, e.g. Band Aids and Aspirin are not carried on the coach and are your responsibility. Any client found using illegal drugs will immediately be removed from the tour LIQUOR LAWS In all states in the USA, the law strictly prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking and from entering most drinking establishments. Identification (e.g. passport) is mandatory before entering almost all establishments - even if you look well over 21. In Canada, the legal drinking age varies from province to province. In British Columbia and in Ontario, the legal drinking age is 19; in Alberta and Quebec, it is 18. In Mexico, the legal drinking age is 18

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GENERAL INFORMATION


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CALENDAR 2009 January

February

March

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22

2 9 16 23

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

April

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 13 20 27

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

S

M

T

W

T

F

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

May W

June S

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

W

T

F

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25 31

30 2 9 16 23

31 3 10 17 24

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

July

6 13 20 27

August S

October

S

S

September S

November

S

December S

S

CALENDAR 2010 January

February

S

M

T

W

T

F

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

W

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S

M

T

S

S

T

W

T

F

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28

2 9 16 23

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

T

F

S

M

T

W

T

F

1 8 15 22 29

2 3 9 10 16 17 23 24 30

30 2 9 16 23

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

M

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28

S

S

M

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 6 12 13 19 20 26 27

April

S

May S

July

6 13 20 27

March

M

June S

August

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

S

M

T

W

T

F

31 3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

October

S

S

September S

T

W

T

F

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25

S

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

S

M

T

W

T

F

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

1 8 15 22 29

2 9 16 23 30

3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25 31

November

December S

S


PUBLIC HOLIDAYS New Years Day

IN

2009

January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday January 19 Valentine’s Day February 14 President’s Day February 16

Labor Day US/Canada

September 7

Rosh Hashanah (First day) September 19 Yom Kippur

September 28

Columbus Day

October 12

Daylight Saving Begins March 8

Thanksgiving (Canada)

October 12

St Patrick’s Day

Halloween

October 31

Ash Wednesday February 25

March 17

Passover

April 9

Good Friday

April 10

Daylight Saving Ends November 1

Easter

April 12

Veteran’s Day November 11

Mother’s Day

May 10

Thanksgiving Day (USA)

Victoria Day

May 18

Memorial Day

May 25

Hanukkah (First day)

Father’s Day

June 21

Christmas Day December 25

Canada Day

July 1

New Years Eve December 31

Independence Day

July 4

November 26 December 12

USEFUL WORDS Residents of the United States and Canada speak English, but at times they use entirely different vocabulary to the rest of the English-speaking world. Here are a few examples - you’ll pick the rest up as you go along.

ENGLISH

AMERICAN

ENGLISH

AMERICAN

food and drink crisps chips biscuit cracker/cookie swiss roll danish chips french fries white coffee with cream black coffee w/out cream soft drink soda lemonade 7-up with ice on the rocks

vehicles and driving motorway freeway/interstate dual divided carriageway highway level crossing grade crossing lay-by pull-off petrol gas bonnet hood boot trunk hire car rental car

shopping spirits sellotape chemist

miscellaneous underground (tube) subway footpath sidewalk public phone phone booths reverse charges call collect lift elevator toilet bathroom/restroom mobile phone cell phone

liquor Scotch tape Drug store

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CLOTHING SIZES Sizes vary from country to country around the world. While in America and Canada you may want to buy clothes, so as a guide we have listed the approximate comparative sizes. However, we do recommend before making the purchase, you make sure you are happy that the size of the article you are purchasing is correct.

MEN Suits and Coats American/English

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

Continental

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

Shirts American/English 15

151⁄2

153⁄4

16

161⁄2

17

39

40

41

42

43

Continental

38

Sweaters American/English

S 34

M 36-38

L 40-42

XL 44

Continental

44

46-48

50-52

54

Shoes American

71⁄2

8

81⁄2

91⁄2

10

11

Continental

40

41

42

43

44

45

WOMEN Dresses, Coats and Suits American

32

34

36

38

40

English

10

12

14

16

18

Continental

38

40

42

44

46

Blouses and Sweaters American

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

English

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

Continental

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

5

51⁄2

61⁄2

71⁄2

81⁄2

9

91⁄2

Shoes American

1⁄ 2

English

3

Continental

36

1⁄ 2

4

5

6

7

7

37

38

39

40

41

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CHILDREN’S WEAR American

1

4

6

8

10

13

15

English

1

2

5

7

9

10

12

Continental

1

2

5

7

9

10


US MEASURES

AND

METRIC EQUIVALENTS

US Measures Liquid Measure

Cubic Measure

16 ounces . . . . . . . . . .1 pint

1728 cu. in . . . . . . . .1 cu. ft.

2 pints . . . . . . . . . . . .1 quart

27 cu. ft . . . . . . . . .1 cu. yd.

4 quarts . . . . . . . . . .1 gallon

40 cu. ft . . . . . . . . . . . .1 ton

Long Measure

Dry Measure

12 inches . . . . . . . . . . .1 foot

2 pints . . . . . . . . . . . .1 quart

3 feet . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 yard

8 quarts . . . . . . . . . . .1 peck

Metric Equivalents Linear Measure 1 centimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.3937 inch 1 inch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.54 centimetres 1 decimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.937 inches 1 foot

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.048 decimetres

1 meter 1 yard

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.09 yards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.9144 metres

1 kilometre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.621 miles 1 mile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.6 kilometres Square Measure 1 hectare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.471 acres 1 acre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.4047 hectares Weights 1 gram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.03527 ounce 1 ounce 1 kilogram 1 pound

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28.35 grams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.2 pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.45 kilograms

Temperatures Celsius° = F° -32, then x 5⁄9

Fahrenheit° = C° x 9⁄5, then + 32

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AIRLINE TELEPHONE NUMBERS The following phone numbers are for your use while on tour. Air Canada

(888)247-2262

Air France

(800)237-2747

Alitalia

(800)223-5730

Air New Zealand

(800)262-1234

Alaska

(800)426-0333

America West

(800)235 9292

American (American Eagle)

(800)433-7300

British Airways

(800)247-9297

Cathay Pacific

(800) 233-2742

China Airlines (People’s Republic)

(800)227-5118

Continental

(800)525-0280 (800)231-0856

(domestic) (international)

Delta (Delta Connect)

(800)221-1212 (800)241-4141

(domestic) (international)

Hawaiian Airlines

(800)367-5320

Icelandair

(800)223-5500

Japan Airlines

(800)525-3663

Jet Blue

(800) 538-2583

KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines

(800)374-7747

Korean Air

(800)438-5000

Lufthansa

(800)645-3880

Northwest

(800)225-2525 (800)447-4747

Philippine Airlines

(800)435-9725

Qantas

(800)227-4500

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

(800)221-2350

(domestic) (international)

Singapore

(800)742-3333

South African Airways

(800)722-9675

Southwest

(800)435-9792

Swissair

(877)359-7947

Thai Airways

(800)426-5204

United (United Express)

(800)241-6522 (800)538-2929

(domestic) (international)

USAir (USAir Express)

(800)428-4322 (800)622-1015

(domestic) (international)

Varig Brazilian

(800)468-2744

Virgin Atlantic

(800)862-8621


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SENDING LETTERS HOME US postal rates may rise in 2008 pending approval by Congress Postage prices can change without much notice, but at the time of printing the local currency cost of mailing a letter and postcard are: FROM THE USA (in US dollars) Postcard (small) 1 oz. letter

to the USA

FROM CANADA (in Canadian dollars) 0-30 grams 30-50 grams

to the USA

FROM Mexico (in Pesos) 0-20 grams 50-99 grams

to the USA

FROM Mexico (in Pesos) 0-20 grams 60-79 grams

Mexico

$.27 $.42

$.96 $1.15

$10.50 $17.50

to Canada International $.72 $.72

$.94 $.94

to Canada International $.54 $.98

$1.60 $2.30

to Canada International $10.50 $17.50

$14.50 $44.50

$6.50 $9.00

THE TRAVELLER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS 1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as they are at home for thou hast left home to find things different. 2. Thou shalt not take things too seriously, for a carefree mind is the beginning of a carefree holiday. 3. Thou shalt not let other tourists get on they nerves as we are all here for the same reason and thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself. 4. Thou must know at all times where thy passport lies, for a man without a passport is a man without a country. 5. Thou shalt not worry, for he that worrieth hath no pleasure. 6. Remember that thou art a guest in other lands and he that treateth his host with respect shall in turn be respected. To learn to speaketh ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ in thy host’s tongue will make thee thy host’s friends. 7. Thou shalt not judge the entire people of a country by one person who was a poor host. 8. Thou shalt remember that to err is human and to forgive is divine. 9. When in Rome, thou shalt be prepared to do as the Romans do. 10. Thou shouldst remember that if thou was expected to stay in one place, thou would have been created with roots. ANON.

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GENERAL INFORMATION


Isla Mujeres

Zihuatanejo

Acapulco

Mexico City Morelia

MEXICO

Homer

Seward

Gulf of Mexico

Merida

Honolulu

Hawaii

OAHU

ANCHORAGE Talkeetna

Fairbanks

Denali N.P.

ALASKA

The following pages contain a brief description of the regions visited by Contiki. This section is organised by country, then state or province, then city or area. Use the map above to locate the city or area of your interest.

Cancun

Idaho

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USA, CANADA & MEXICO


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UNITED STATES HISTORY In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-two Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue and discovered America! Then... the Spanish, English and French moved in... until the French were moved out, the British began imposing restrictions resulting in: 1775-1776 American War of Independence broke out with 13 colonies gaining independence and forming a Confederation of States. 1787 Federal Constitution was adopted so the 13 States could form an effective Central Government. Slowly the importance of the industrial North began to outstrip the agricultural slave-owning South. 1803 Known as the Louisiana Purchase, the United States purchased 828,000 acres of land from France for approximately 4 cents an acre, thus doubling the size of the Nation. 1820 The Missouri Compromise set a line between the slave and free territory. 1849 Gold is discovered in California, sparking the largest migration of people in history. 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President. 1861-65 The American Civil War broke out when 10 southern states declared independence from the United States. 1869 The Transcontinental Railroad linking the East Coast to the West coast is completed. 1898 The Spanish American War begins and ends 9 months later. 1917-18 USA joined the Allies in First World War against Germany. 1929 The Wall Street Crash knocked $26 billion off the prices on the Stock Exchange in a month. 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered the Second World War. 1950-53 Korean War. 1954-1968 United States Civil Rights movement; Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, TN. 1960-73 U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 1963 J F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. 1974 President Nixon resigned from the Executive Office, due to involvement in the Watergate scandal. 1981 President Reagan was elected President of the United States. 1988 Presidential Elections occurred with George Bush, former Vice President, taking over. 1991 Gulf War. 1992 Governor Clinton defeated George Bush for the Presidency. 1996 President Clinton re-elected. 2000 George W Bush (son of former President Bush) elected as President. 2001 A terrorist attack destroys the World Trade Centre in New York City. 2003 U.S. begins involvement in the Iraq War. 2004 President George W. Bush re-elected. 2008 In a historic election, Barak Obama is elected the first African-American President of the United States.

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UNITED STATES HISTORY


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AMERICA INFORMATION

Area: 9,372,610 sq. km (3,449,120 sq. miles) Population: 300,009,701 Capital: Washington, D.C. The United States is a Federal Republic of 50 States and the Federal District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. It is situated within and coterminous with the District of Columbia (abbreviated as "D.C."). The city and the district are located on the banks of the Potomac River and bordered by the states of Virginia (to the west) and Maryland (to the north, east and south). The city was planned and developed in the late 18th century to serve as the permanent national capital; the federal district was formed to keep the national capital distinct from the states. The city was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. The district's name, "Columbia", is an early poetic name for the United States and a reference to Christopher Columbus, an early explorer of the Americas. The city is commonly referred to as Washington, The District, or simply D.C. In the 19th century, it was called the Federal City or Washington City. The centers of all three branches of the U.S. government are in the District. Also situated in the city are the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other national and international institutions, including labor unions and professional associations. Washington is a frequent location for political demonstrations and protests, large and small, particularly on the National Mall. A center of American history and culture, Washington is a popular destination for tourists, the site of numerous national landmarks and monuments, the world's largest museum complex (the Smithsonian Institution), galleries, universities, cathedrals, performing arts centers and institutions, and native music scenes. The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are governed by a single municipal government and for most practical purposes, are considered to be the same entity. This has not always been the case: until 1871, when Georgetown ceased to be a separate city, there were multiple jurisdictions within the District. Although there is a municipal government and a Mayor, Congress has the supreme authority over the city and district, which results in citizens having less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting at-large Congressional representative.

CONSTITUTION The constitution of 1787, modified by amendments, provides for the election of a President every four years - a Vice-President who is a member of his/her party is elected with him/her. The President appoints members of the Executive Branch, including the Cabinet - subject to Senate approval. Neither the President nor his Cabinet are members of Congress, the Legislative Branch. The President and his administration can initiate legislation only through their supporters in Congress. In order to become law, Congressional measures need his signature. As Chief Executive, the President is constitutionally empowered to act on his own initiative in military and diplomatic matters. However, Senate ratifies Presidential appointments and foreign treaties - see next page.


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CONGRESS One of the most powerful assemblies in the world; it is divided into two houses: • Senate (originally Upper House) - each State sends two representatives - 100 members, elected by the people. • House of Representatives (originally Lower House) elected by the people - 435 members. Legislation can originate in either House and is discussed by Committees in both houses - the President has no means of expediting a bill - but he can veto a bill, after which it needs a twothirds majority in each house to override him. Congressional elections take place during a Presidential term of office so that a Presidential administration may find their party in the minority.

STATE GOVERNMENT Each State has its own Governor, law makers, judges and militia. The State deals with police, local government, education and social welfare.

ALASKA Population:

670,053,

ANCHORAGE Population: 278,700 Russian explorers had established themselves in southern Alaska by 1784, but English explorer Captain James Cook is credited with first exploring and describing the Anchorage area in 1778 during his third voyage of discovery. During the next hundred years Russian trading activity and cultural influence increased. Then in 1867 problems at home forced the sale of Russian America to the United States for a sum of $7,200,000. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage was selected as the headquarters of this effort. Soon a “Tent City” sprang up at the mouth of Ship Creek and a population quickly swelled to more than 2,000. Although the area had been known by various names, the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name “Anchorage,” and despite some protests the name stuck. Anchorage was incorporated on November 23,1920. Alaska attained statehood in 1959. On March 27th, 1964, a natural disaster of incredible proportions struck Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska: the Good Friday earthquake. This earthquake measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale, the largest ever recorded in North America and, because Anchorage lay only 80 miles from the epicenter damage to structures ran to the hundreds of millions of dollars. The decade of the eighties was a time of growth, thanks to a flood of North Slope oil revenue into the state treasury. By the beginning of the 1990’s Anchorage could boast of 259 miles of maintained trails. Hilltop Ski Area was established in 1984, which along with the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood and Alpenglow Ski Area gave residents three fully operational skiing areas. Tourism and recreational activities were fast becoming a mainstay of the modern Anchorage economy, which has continued to the present day.

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Denali National Park The word "Denali" means "the great one" in the native Athabaskan language and refers to the highest mountain in North America 6,193.6 metres (20,320 ft) aka Mt. McKinley located within its boundaries. The park was established as Mount McKinley National Park on February 26, 1917. Denali National Monument and Mount McKinley National Park, whose name had been subject to local criticism from the onset, were incorporated and established into Denali National Park and Preserve by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, December 2, 1980. At this time the Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain back to "Denali," even though the U.S. Board of Geographic Names maintains "McKinley". Alaskans tend to use "Denali" and rely on context to distinguish between the park and the mountain. The size of the national park is over 6 million acres (24,500 km). Fairbanks Population: 31,324 Fairbanks was founded accidentally in 1901 by Captain E.T. Barnette. On his way to set up a trading post on the Tanana River, Barnette was instead stranded on the Chena River when the riverboat in which he was traveling was forced to turn back. As he was making plans to move his supplies to a more profitable location, gold was discovered about 12 miles away, near Fox. During the ensuing gold rush, Barnette's trading post became the center of activity for prospectors who swarmed into the area. A settlement grew up and was named for Senator Charles Fairbanks of Indiana who served as vice president under Theodore Roosevelt from 1905-1909. In 1922 the Alaska Territorial legislature accepted lands granted by the United States Congress, creating the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, which grew into the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During World War II the Alaska Highway was constructed as part of the military buildup, and Fairbanks experienced yet another boom period when thousands of military personnel were located at nearby Eielson Air Force Base and Ladd Field (now Fort Wainwright). In August 1967, just weeks before the expected winter freeze-up, the city was swept by a flood that inundated 95 percent of its residences and left the city under eight feet of water. Fairbanks recovered from the extensive damage, and with the discovery in 1968 of oil on the north slope of the Brooks Mountain Range, the city entered a new era of expansion. Construction of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline triggered one of the city's largest booms, and the population is estimated to have reached 70,000 persons in 1977. With the completion of the pipeline construction, the community's economy went into a serious decline, but it soon recovered with the injection of state revenues in the early 1980s. By the mid-1980s, however, crude oil prices had dropped and Alaska slipped into a severe recession, with Fairbanks experiencing the most abrupt decline in the state. Today, Fairbanks is a popular tourist destination; visitors are attracted to its boundless opportunities for outdoor adventure and its pioneer spirit still reflected in its gold mines, saloons and frontier towns.


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Homer Population: 3,726 Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its most distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile (7 km) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor. Much of the coastline as well as the Homer Spit sank dramatically during the Good Friday Earthquake in March of 1964. After the earthquake, very little vegetation was able to survive on the Homer Spit. Coal was discovered in the area in the 1890s. The Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company built a town, dock, coal mine, and a railroad at Homer. Coal mining in the area continued until World War II. There are an estimated 400 million tons of coal deposits still in the area. Currently, tourism, sport fishing, commercial fishing and logging are important industries in the Homer area. Seward Population: 3,016 Seward is situated on Resurrection Bay on the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, 125 highway miles south of Anchorage. It lies at the foot of Mount Marathon, and is the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. Resurrection Bay was named in 1792 by Russian fur trader and explorer Alexander Baranof. While sailing from Kodiak to Yakutat, he found unexpected shelter in this bay for a storm. He named the bay Resurrection because it was the Russian Sunday of the Resurrection. The City of Seward was named for U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, 1861-69, who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia during the Lincoln administration. In the 1890s, Capt. Frank Lowell arrived with his family. In 1903, John and Frank Ballaine and a group of settlers arrived to begin construction of a railroad. Seward became an incorporated City in 1912. The Alaska Railroad was constructed between 1915 and 1923, and Seward developed as the ocean terminus and supply center. By 1960, Seward was the largest community on the Peninsula. Tsunamis generated after the 1964 earthquake destroyed the railroad terminal and killed several residents. As an ice-free harbor, Seward has become an important supply center for Interior Alaska.

ARIZONA Population: 5,829,839 Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is one of nature’s masterpieces. In form, size and geological significance, few things approach it. Although the Canyon is 440km (277 miles) long, it averages only 16km (10 miles) in width from rim to rim; it is 1,740m (5,700 feet) deep measured from the North Rim which averages about 366m (1,200 feet) higher than the South Rim. The region possesses five of the seven ecological zones ascribed to the Northern Hemisphere. The geology of the Grand Canyon is of great scientific importance. At no other place in the world is such a vast panorama of time displayed so clearly. Each stratum of rock distinctly marks a period of the earth’s history from before life itself to recent geological times.

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Phoenix Population: 1,377,980 (Metro 3,251,876) Situated in the ‘Valley of the Sun’ and overlooked by the Camelback Mountains, Phoenix is the capital of Arizona. First settled by an ancient tribe known as the Hohokam, they tamed the desert with irrigation ditches and then mysteriously disappeared. During the 19th century, Phoenix developed from a village supplying hay to the north central Arizona district to a bustling town filled with prospectors. Cowboys and miners frequented the town and saloons and gambling houses multiplied. The resulting lawlessness was squashed by two public hangings at the turn of the century. Now the thriving capital of Arizona, countless suburbs and ranch-style homes retain the western look, while Spanish Colonial and Indian Pueblo architecture gives clues to the origins of this city. Places of interest include Arizona State University, Bank One Ballpark, where baseball’s 2001 World Series champions the Arizona Diamondbacks play and the Desert Botanical Gardens, where the state symbol, the Saguaro cactus can be found. The city is ringed by Native-American reservations whose influence is apparent in the handicrafts, jewellery and art found in local shops and museums.


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Sedona Population: 10,400 For more than 11,000 years, humans have lived in the Sedona region. Their settlement continued in the immediate area until the time of Spanish and European encroachment. The awe-inspiring vistas have drawn out the spiritual nature of all these peoples from the very beginning. The first Europeans to discover the region in 1583 were members of a Spanish expedition in search of legendary rich Indian mines. Sedona began as a small, remote ranching and farming settlement in 1876 when the first permanent settler, John James Thompson, squatted in Oak Creek Canyon. By 1902, 20 families lived in the settlement and a postal station was petitioned for by Theodore Schnelbly. The petition was granted and Schnelbly named the new post office in honour of his wife, Sedona. Because of it beautiful but rugged scenery Sedona has attracted the movie industry for over 60 years. At least 76 feature films and countless video productions and commercials have been shot either in full or in part in the Greater Sedona area. Sedona and its beauty has attracted the attention of the world and the community plays host to over 4 million tourists from around the world.

CALIFORNIA Population: 36,132,147 Anaheim Population: 331,804 The city of Anaheim was founded in 1857 when a group of German farmers established a colony to grow grapes for wine production. While grapes were the main crop, walnuts, citrus and strawberries were also grown. The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Anaheim to Los Angeles in 1869 and provided growers with a large market for their crops. In 1885 a plague wiped out the vineyards, and citrus became the dominant crop. The city of Anaheim was founded in 1857 when a group of German farmers established a colony to grow grapes for wine production. While grapes were the main crop, walnuts, citrus and strawberries were also grown. The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Anaheim to Los Angeles in 1869 and provided growers with a large market for their crops. In 1885 a plague wiped out the vineyards, and citrus became the dominant crop. Anaheim was put on the map when Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park in 1955. The park brought not only jobs, but also millions of tourists flocked to visit "the happiest place on earth". In 1966, professional sports came to Anaheim by way of the California Angels baseball team, winner of the 2002 World Series; and hockey’s Anaheim Ducks appeared in 1993 winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. The once small farming community is now one of the ten largest cities in the state of California.


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Lake Tahoe Population: 34,000 Explorer John C. Fremont first saw Lake Tahoe in 1844 from the top of Red Lake Peak, and is now Carson Pass. He named it Lake Bonpland after a botanist, but then changed it to Mountain Lake. Over the course of years, its named changed until the California State Legislature officially named it "Tahoe" an Indian name meaning "big water" in 1945. Lake Tahoe itself is the highest lake of its size in the United States and the largest alpine lake in North America. In the 1860's, Tahoe was the center of a lively commerce that involved the silver mines in Virginia City, where the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859, and the Central Pacific Railroad, which was pushing over the Sierra toward the town of Truckee. To supply wood to the mines, the new boomtown and the railroad created an extensive logging empire, which was established on the east shore of the lake, from Incline Village to Glenbrook. The loggers’ clear-cut the entire shoreline and left scars for decades, until the early 1880's. By then, the only business that showed promise was tourism and thus began a new land rush to build resorts. Since the late 50's, the attraction of the scenic wonders, the adjacent Nevada gaming casinos, boating, hiking, and the excellent skiing facilities, has made the area a popular year around destination resort Today, Lake Tahoe endures undiminished grandeur. Nothing can diminish first impressions driving to Lake Tahoe and seeing this giant pool of indigo-blue water cradled between mountain ranges. Los Angeles Population: 3,844,829 (Metro 9,935,475) On September 4, 1781, Don Felipe de Neve, Governor of Alta California, marched to the site of the present city and with solemn ceremony founded the Pueblo of Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, ‘The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels’.

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Los Angeles cont’d: The new town’s population consisted of 22 children, 11 men and 11 women. In 1845, the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War and California was acquired by the United States with Los Angeles becoming a vigorous frontier town. In 1892, oil was discovered on the grounds of a private home and soon oil derricks appeared everywhere. Today, occupying a land area of 1,200 sq km (464 square miles), Los Angeles has spread out and around the independent communities of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, Universal City and Inglewood. More than three-quarters of all movies made in United States are produced in the metropolitan area. Movies, music and television companies have made Los Angeles the entertainment centre of the West (some say the world). The city thrives on tourism, world trade and a diversified industry made up of oil, electronics, aircraft and aerospace engineering. Oakhurst Population: 2,868 Oakhurst's original name, Fresno Flats, marked an area just below where Nelder, Lewis and Redwood Creeks merge to create the headwaters of the Fresno River. This river gave its name to the County of Fresno when it was carved out of Mariposa County and subsequently to the City of Fresno. The "Flats" were not settled by gold seekers, but by families who came early in the 1850's to raise their children and make their living as farmers, lumbermen and merchants. Fresno Flats Historical Park recaptures the late 1800's. Oakhurst is the hub for economic and social activity for much of Eastern Madera County and portions of Mariposa County.


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San Diego Population: 1,255,540 (Metro 2,933,462) The southernmost city in California has a Mexican flavour because of its proximity to Mexico’s border city of Tijuana. Spreading from the coast to the desert, the scenery includes cliffs, hills, mesas, canyons and valleys. The city is built around one of California’s beautiful natural harbours. This ideal location has been a dominant factor in determining the city’s history, economy and development. Considered the birthplace of California, San Diego was first discovered in 1542 by Juan Cabrillo, who landed at Point Loma and claimed what is now California for the Spanish Crown. California’s first of 21 missions was founded here by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. Later, Alonzo Horton came to town and purchased waterfront land for next to nothing! Horton sold his property to aspiring businessmen and started an era of prosperity for the city. Later, Alonzo Horton came to town and purchased waterfront land for next to nothing! Horton sold his property to aspiring businessmen and started an era of prosperity for the city. Today, San Diego is home of the largest naval air station on the West Coast. Its bay is home to a third of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, as well as being the west coast training ground for the elite S.E.A.L division.


San Diego cont’d: San Diego is also a recreational paradise. Leisure activities include miles of sandy beaches for basking in the sun, swimming, surfing, sailing, waterskiing, tennis, hiking, cycling – the list is endless! San Francisco Population: 739,426 (Metro 7,009,400) Resting on 40 hills at the tip of a narrow peninsula, San Francisco is bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by San Francisco Bay, one of the largest land-locked harbours in the world. The city’s history began with early Portuguese, English and Spanish explorers who sailed into the bay. In 1775 a Spanish ship dropped anchor and on 28 March 1776 a mission site was selected and dedicated to St. Francis of Asissi. In 1849 gold was discovered in California. As the news spread around the world, a torrent of people and ships descended on the city. By the next year 6,000 miners were digging in the Sierra Nevada mountains and San Francisco was a wild tent city of 2,000 rough, tough transients. Some far-sighted businessmen realised that fortunes could be made in San Francisco as well as in the gold camps. Mercantile establishments, small industries and the shipping of goods to the Orient prospered.

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San Francisco cont’d: On April 18th 1906, a great earthquake struck and the resulting fire raged unchecked for three days, destroying the entire business district and burning 497 blocks in the heart of the city. Losses amounted to 500 lives and $350 million. The city started rebuilding before the ashes cooled. By 1915, when the city celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, reconstruction was nearly complete. Today, San Francisco leads the cities of the West in insurance and investment, but tourism is now its most important industry. San Francisco is such a beautiful, exciting city, it is easy to understand Rudyard Kipling’s lament - ‘San Francisco has only one drawback, it’s hard to leave.’

Santa Barbara Population: 85,899 (Metro 400,762) Resting on a narrow shelf between the Santa Inez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is one of the most scenic and historic cities on the California coast. Santa Barbara traces its history back to the earliest days of Spanish settlement in Upper California. In 1602, the Spanish conquistador, Sebastian Vizcaino, sailed into Santa Barbara Bay and named it for the saint who held that birth date. A presidio, or fortress, was built in 1782 and one of California’s famous missions was built in Santa Barbara four years later. Its rich history is still preserved in its old buildings and Spanish street names. Yosemite National Park A mountainous region of unusual beauty, the Park is in central California on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. It is much larger than most people realise with the Yosemite Valley occupying only seven of the 3,100 square km (1,200 square miles). The natural history of Yosemite spans many millions of years, starting from the ancient age when a warm shallow sea spread across what is now the Sierra Nevada and Great Valley of California.


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Yosemite National Park cont’d: After a long sequence of earth upheavals followed by erosion, glaciers gouged Yosemite Valley into a U-shaped trough. The first of at least three glaciers extended down the Merced River as far as El Portal, while the last left a moraine of rock debris damming the Merced back into Yosemite Valley. It was glacial action that rounded and polished domes like Liberty Cap and Lamberts Dome. Other domes, however, like Sentinel and Half Dome, are the result of a geological process called exfoliation, a steady weathering, chipping and crumbling of rock layers that shape angular monoliths into rounded contours on their way to ultimate dissolution.

COLORADO Population: 4,753,377 Cortez Population: 8,244 Located in ‘The Four Corners’ region of the American Southwest, Cortez and the surrounding area was the site of an ancient civilization known as the Anazasi. This highly developed culture lived in the region until 1300 A.D. Their descendents, the Pueblo tribes and others still reside in the area. In the mid 1700’s Spanish Missionaries were the first foreigners to explore this region in their attempt to find a land route from Santa Fe to Spanish California. A hundred years later Americans began moving west to this region and the city of Cortez was founded in 1886. The town started off as an agricultural and commercial town, but quickly discovered the value of grazing huge herds of cattle from Texas. In the 1950s a road was paved linking Cortez with Arizona and opening the area to tourism. Today Cortez offers a great central location for exploring national parks, the Rocky Mountains, and Monument Valley and is the archaeological and cultural center of the ‘Four Corners’ Region. Durango Population: 13,922 Due to its ideal climate, beautiful landscapes and plentiful natural resources, Durango has enjoyed a long and rich history. During the period beginning 2,500 years ago until the 1300s, Ancestral Puebloans called this area home. By the time the Ute Indians settled here, centuries later, these ancient people had mysteriously disappeared from their last homeland - the area now called Mesa Verde National Park. In 1860, a lucky prospector discovered gold. Within the year, miners, farmers and families flocked to the area. Twenty years later, railroad officials created plans for the railroad, Main Avenue, Second and Third Avenues, and by 1881 the City of Durango was incorporated and became the county seat. By the turn of the century, Durango had become a vacation destination, with the creation of the San Juan National Forest in 1905 and Mesa Verde National Park in 1906. The 1900s brought many of the modern-day amenities that residents still enjoy today, including the Durango Municipal Airport in 1929, the expansion of Fort Lewis College to a four year college in 1957 and Purgatory ski resort in 1965.

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Durango cont’d: Present-day Durango sees multitudes of visitors each year who embrace the many opportunities to fish, hike, mountain bike and ski, and welcomes history buffs taking in Durango's historic downtown and nearby archaeological wonders.

FLORIDA Population: 17,789,864 Cocoa Beach Population: 12,482 A family of newly freed slaves following the Civil War started the first real settlement in Cocoa Beach. A hurricane in 1885 discouraged settlement but in 1888, a group of Cocoa men bought the entire tract of land. The land remained untouched until an attorney named Gus Edwards arrived. He bought Cocoa Beach and began to develop it. The city of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925. It was incorporated as a city on June 29, 1957. Cocoa Beach started its current growth during the 1960s due to America's space program. NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center is located approximately 15 miles north of the town. After NASA's Apollo program ended, and before the Shuttle program was in full swing, the town suffered from layoffs. Many families lost their jobs or simply moved away. Cocoa Beach was the setting for the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie; although only one episode was actually filmed there, (Jeannie's wedding). The city is just south of Cape Canaveral on Florida's eastern "Space Coast. Miami Population: 5,413,212 For more than 1,000 years, Tequesta Indians inhabited the Miami area. In 1566, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés claimed what is now Miami for Spain. Miami holds the distinction of being the only major city in the United States founded by a woman, Julia Tuttle, who was a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native. Julia Tuttle convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railroad to the region bringing growth to the region. Miami was incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896 with a population of just over 300. Miami prospered during the 1920s but its economy weakened after the collapse of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, the 1926 Miami Hurricane and the Great Depression in the 1930s. When World War II began, Miami, well situated due to its location on the southern coast of Florida, played an important role in the battle against German submarines. After Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959, many Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population. In 2008, Miami was ranked as "America's Cleanest City" for its yearround good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and citywide recycling programs. In 2008, Miami ranked the 3rd-richest city in the United States and the world's 22nd-richest city in a UBS study


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Orlando Population: 213,223 English settlers came to Orlando in the 19th century buying land for as little as $2.50 a ha. ($1 an acre). They brought a new way of life with them and had organised a polo team by 1884. Now famous for the Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld, MGM Studios and Disneyworld’s technological showcase of the Epcot Centre, younger tourists are replacing the middle-aged and older people who visited Orlando for its well ordered beauty. Cape Canaveral, 105km (65 miles) away, employs some 3,000 of Orlando’s population.

Pensacola Population: 54,055 The town of Pensacola has flown under many flags in its lifetime: Spanish, French, British, Confederate, and the United States. Pensacola was settled by the Spanish in 1698, however the area was surrendered to France in 1719 - only to be reoccupied by the Spanish in 1722. Britain gained control of Florida, including Pensacola, in 1763 - only to be reoccupied by the Spanish a second time in 1781. The British moved back into Pensacola during the War of 1812, but were evicted two years later. By 1821, Pensacola was in the hands of the United States. When Florida seceded from the Union in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War, Pensacola became a part of the Confederacy. In 1868 Florida was re-admitted to the Union. The Naval Air Station was established in 1914, and to this day, the US Navy remains an integral part of Pensacola. Located on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola thrives as a lively beach town on the Florida panhandle.

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St. Augustine Population: 18,026 When Spanish Admiral Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed on the coast of Florida in 1565, he arrived on the Feast Day of St. Augustine – giving America’s oldest city the name it still has today. St. Augustine was founded 42 years before Jamestown, and 55 years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock – making it the oldest permanent European settlement in North America. Spain ceded St. Augustine to England in 1763 in order to regain the capital of Cuba but the Treaty of Paris signed in 1783 returned St. Augustine to the Spanish, who held on to the city until US troops took possession of the area in 1821. Henry Flagler arrived in the 1880s with the vision of bringing tourism to St. Augustine, with the help of the Rockefeller family who built two hotels in the city. Today St. Augustine is a quaint coastal town that combines a lively nightlife (local bars with live entertainment) with historical sites that date back centuries.

GEORGIA Population: 9,072,576 Savannah Population: 128,453 Savannah preserves its past with care and much of the downtown area remains as General Oglethorpe, Georgia’s founder, planned it. The General and a band of Englishmen arrived here on February 12, 1773, and over the next few years immigrants of many nationalities settled here also. Through the years, Savannah has been the scene of many battles, particularly between the British and the Americans and was also the site of a Confederate navy yard during the American Civil War. Today Savannah, noted for its splendid harbour, is a mixture of cobble-stoned riverfronts, broad avenues and squares shaded by majestic oaks and more modern buildings that reflect the city’s industrial growth. The waterfront is the centre of trade and commerce and many of the 18th and 19th century buildings have been restored to accommodate offices, shops and restaurants.

HAWAII Population: 1,285,498 Honolulu Population: 380,149 Located on the island of Oahu, Honolulu is the capital of the group of islands which comprise Hawaii, the 50th State of America. As the only place on United States soil that has ever been the seat of a monarchy, Honolulu and Waikiki have seen their share of change since the days of King Kamehameha III in 1843. Today, metropolitan Honolulu doubles as a world-class tourist destination while retaining its Polynesian heritage. Honolulu, a Polynesian name meaning “protected harbour” has been claimed by several European powers including Russia, Great Britain, and France before being annexed by the United States in 1900. It later became America’s naval bastion in the Pacific.


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Honolulu cont’d: “A day that will live in infamy” began at Honolulu’s Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 when U.S. Naval facilities were bombed initiating World War II in the Pacific. In 1959, Honolulu became the Union’s 50th state capital when Hawaii was granted statehood status. Today, Honolulu is the thirteenth largest city in America.

ILLINOIS Population: 12,763,371 Chicago Population: 2,842,518 (Metro 5,355,000) The history of Chicago parallels the history of the westward expansion of the United States. The first non-military settlers began arriving in the 1830s, and Chicago quickly grew into a bustling port, connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River through a system of rivers and canals. Connected to San Francisco by the railroad in 1869, Chicago quickly became the hub for transportation and trade between the East and the expanding West. Modern Chicago continues to be a major hub for transportation in the US, with highways connecting it to most major cities in the US and Canada. It is also home to three airports, including one of the world’s busiest, O’Hare, which handles nearly 67 million passengers per year. Chicago has become famous for its architecture, especially its skyscrapers; downtown is home to some of the tallest buildings in the world, the most famous of which is the Sears Tower. The city also boasts 50 colleges and universities, the Midwest Stock Exchange, and the Chicago Institute of Art, one of the finest art museums in the United States. Stretching along the shore of Lake Michigan for over 43 km (27 miles), Chicago is famous for the strong winds which blow.

LOUISIANA Population: 4,523,628 New Orleans Population: 198,000 (Metro 1.2 million) The city was originally a steamy bog between the Mississippi and the sea-sized Lake Pontchartrain. Survival was a constant struggle. There were floods, epidemics and food shortages. The French were attracted to this area in the 1700’s by its deep, swift harbour. Named for the regent of France, Philippe, Duc d’Orleans, New Orleans served as the capital of the French territories in America from 1723-1763. There was no real communication with the government in Paris but somehow levees rose and New Orleans became a territorial capital. The nucleus of Creole society, patterned after the court life of Versailles, as if in defiance of the crude surroundings, took form. With the Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans became part of the United States in 1803. This also was the start of the now famous celebration of Mardi Gras. With two floats and a theme, the first organised Mardi Gras skipped through the streets. Today, with sources of petroleum and gas nearby, plus relatively cheap electricity and an abundance of fresh water, manufacturing has become increasingly important.

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MASSACHUSETTS Population: 6,398,743 Boston Population: 559,034 Boston was first settled in 1630 by a group of Puritans who had fled religious persecution in England. As the cultural and economic capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it quickly became the most important city in the New England colonies. After the American Revolution, Boston merchants quickly opened trade with the Orient and India. The Industrial Revolution brought growth to Boston, and the population swelled in the 19th century as immigrants arrived from Ireland and Italy. Since World War II, an influx of computer and high tech companies have opened in the Boston area, bringing new investments to the downtown area. Boston is also the home of over 20 colleges and universities, including Harvard University, the oldest in the United States. Its historical importance and many charming attractions make Boston one of the most visited cities in America.

MONTANA Population: 928,670 West Yellowstone Population: 1,777 West Yellowstone's history closely mirrors the history of Yellowstone National Park. When the park was first formed, early guides would have lead their clients into the park by following the course of the Madison River through the area that would one day become West Yellowstone. Later in 1908, the first train loaded with tourists arrived on the Oregon Shortline railway extension. Over the course of several years, the track was constructed up from Ashton, Idaho through Island Park, Idaho, over Targhee Pass and into West Yellowstone, harkening the founding of the little town at the end of the line. At first, visitors didn't linger; but rather made their way in and out of Yellowstone only pausing long enough to grab a meal and make the train on time. Since then, visitors have found out about the great outdoor opportunities on all four sides of the "town at the end of the line".

NEVADA Population: 2,414,807 Las Vegas Population: 545,147 (Metro 1,710,551) Las Vegas, once an oasis on the route to California, began as a Mormon settlement in 1855 and boomed fleetingly during the silver rush. When the silver mines played out, Las Vegas survived on ranching. The coming of the railroad in 1905 stabilized the valley and an era of slow growth ensued. In the following years, the city developed as an agricultural centre.

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Las Vegas cont’d: The legalisation of gambling in Nevada in 1931 paved the way for change, and after World War II a great deal of investment capital was poured into the development of Las Vegas as a resort centre. Nowadays the neoned memorial to tinselled affluence booms 24 hours a day with a high flying atmosphere of “get rich quick”. The lure of easy money draws more than 35.5 million visitors a year. Whirling wheels and gaming tables, as well as numerous plush hotels, provide 24hour entertainment.

NEW MEXICO Population: 1,928,384 Albuquerque Population: 494,236 Situated between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande River, Albuquerque was settled by the Spanish in the 18th century and today is New Mexico’s largest and most populous city. The city gained national and international attention in 1945 with the creation of nuclear technology at nearby Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, which resulted in a population growth of scientists, and military personnel that gave Albuquerque the technology base that it still maintains. Every October Albuquerque plays host to over one million visitors for the world’s largest balloon fiesta.


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Sante Fe Population: 62,203 Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico, has flown under the flags of Spain, Mexico, the Confederate, and the U.S. since its founding by the Spanish in 1609. In addition to its rich Native American culture, Santa Fe hosts over 100 art galleries and museums, including the Georgia O’Keefe museum.

NEW YORK STATE Population: 29,254,630 New York City Population: 8,143,197 New York is a 814 sq km (314 square mile) city of contrasts. With approximately 10,250 people per square km (26,300 people per square mile), more than 17% of the total land area is devoted to parks and playgrounds. The first colonists arrived at what is now New York in 1624. The territory was claimed by Holland and, in 1626, a Dutchman named Peter Minuit brought 200 of his fellow countrymen to occupy the promising piece of real estate on the fine harbour. Soon after his arrival he negotiated the now famous purchase of Manhattan Island (reputedly for $24 worth of beads and other trinkets). New York was a strategic area in the American Revolution. On April 30, 1789, after the war was over, George Washington took his oath as the first President of the United States on the steps of a building on Wall Street. After the Civil War, both the nation and New York City grew and developed by leaps and bounds. Hardworking immigrants poured in from abroad and their efforts helped produce great wealth. New York’s harbour is one of the finest in the world. Its milewide entrance leads to the famous and dominating Statue of Liberty. The port is the busiest in the world, clearing some 26,000 ships each year.

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New York City cont’d: Changes are continuous in New York City. Once ridden with crime New York has lowered its crime rate by 65% and is considered one of the safest cities in the United States. Despite the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, that destroyed the World Trade Center, the spirit of the city remains strong.

NORTH CAROLINA Population: 9,061,032 Raleigh Population 382,572 (metro: 1,635,974) 1792 the General Assembly purchased 1,000 acres of Wake County and established the city of Raleigh, which was named in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh, to serve as the first permanent state capital. Raleigh grew at a slow but steady pace when most of its residents were in the business of agriculture. Eventually towns developed along railroad lines and market centers. In time, small textile and furniture factories grew up. Raleigh's major growth occurred after World War II ended in 1945. The seeds of the city's modern renaissance were sewn in the 1950s when the state of North Carolina created the world-famous Research Triangle Park west of the city. Raleigh is now recognized around the world for the basic and applied research and development conducted by the occupants of Research Triangle Park. The downtown area is currently undergoing revitalization. Major companies are regularly launching new operations or expansions in the Raleigh area, keeping the local economy healthy.

OHIO Population: 11,435,798 Cleveland Population: 452,208 Cleveland’s location at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River provided a waterway that stimulated the growth of heavy industry - shipping, steel, iron, and construction. The city sprawled and fortunes were made. John D. Rockafeller parlayed an oil business into wealth beyond imagination. Shipping magnates Sam Mather and Mark Hanna began their rise; the Van Sweringen brothers created a vast railroad and construction empire. Behind all this boom and most of the wealth was the muscle power of a largely immigrant work force that earned little more for its labour than the sweat of its own brow. Today, Cleveland seems to be redefining and reshaping itself. Having survived industrialisation, immigration and exploitation, Cleveland is on its feet and enthusiastic about its future! Today Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

SOUTH CAROLINA Population: 4,407,709 Charleston Population: 118,492 (Metro 603,178) Founded in 1670 Charles Towne (named for Charles II) was one of the busiest ports on the eastern seaboard and the centre of a prosperous rice-growing and trading colony.


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Charleston cont’d: With influences from the West Indies, Africa, France and other European countries, it became a cosmopolitan city often compared to New Orleans. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, in Charleston's harbor, but after the war, the city's importance declined as the labor-intensive rice plantations became uneconomical without slave labor. Natural disasters wrought severe damage, with a major earthquake in 1886 as well as several fires and storms. During the civil rights era, Charleston played a key role in the desegregation of the education system. Current trends put Charleston as the fastest growing central city in South Carolina.

SOUTH DAKOTA Population: 775,933 Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Created at the top of a 425 m (1,400 ft) piece of granite, Mt. Rushmore is one of the largest carvings ever created and one of the United States’ most famous landmarks. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum had intended to carve the four US Presidents down to their waists, but died before they were completed. The faces are each 18m (60 feet) high and are carved with intricate detail and perfection. The four presidents depicted along with their achievements are: George Washington, the founder of the Union; Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence; Abraham Lincoln, the preserver of the Union; and Theodore Roosevelt, the conservator of the nation’s natural resources.

TENNESSEE Population: 5,962,959 Memphis Population: 672,277 (Metro 900,000) Chickasaw Indians first settled the area on bluffs above the Mississippi River. In 1673, nine years prior to the time La Salle claimed the area for France, Joliet and Marquette stopped here to trade with the Indians. The French built Fort Assumption on the bluffs in 1739. After passing through British hands the area was ceded to the United States. In 1819, Andrew Jackson helped to found the town of Memphis. A part of the history of Memphis is Beale Street, immortalised in song and story. Here the late W.C. Handy composed his famous ‘Memphis Street Blues’ and ‘St Louis Blues’. Also in Memphis is Graceland Manor, the home of the late Elvis Presley.

TEXAS Population: 22,859,968 Amarillo Population: 183,021 Located on the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo sits at the crossroads of America – located almost exactly in the middle of the west coast and east coast of the United States. Once a major stop on famous Route 66, Amarillo today is responsible for about 25% of the nation’s beef, as well being America’s top producer for helium. Sites such as the Cadillac Ranch and the Big Texan Steakhouse provide Amarillo with some attractions that one has to see to believe.

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Dallas Population: 1,213,825 (Metro 2,305,454) John Neely Bryan chose this dusty spot as a future city in 1841, convinced that the nearby river could be used for trade. He was wrong and it took a lot of bribes for local politicians to convince the Texas Central Railroad to lay tracks nearby. By the 1900s Dallas was known as a major cotton market and banking centre, but fortune really hit when oil was struck nearby in 1930. Landowners were made rich overnight and Dallas banks kept the profits growing. Since then, Dallas has sprouted from an old cow town to a modern city, complete with glass skyscrapers crowding the downtown area. In and out of the city centre, the cowboy lifestyle lives on.

UTAH Population: 2,469,585 Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Canyon National Park is a scientist's laboratory and a child's playground. Because Bryce transcends 2000 feet (650 m) of elevation, the park exists in three distinct climatic zones: spruce/fir forest, Ponderosa Pine forest, and Pinion Pine/juniper forest. This diversity of habitat provides for high biodiversity. At Bryce, you can enjoy over 100 species of birds, dozens of mammals, and more than a thousand plant species. It is the uniqueness of the rocks that caused Bryce Canyon to be designated as a national park. These famous spires, called "hoodoos," are formed when ice and rainwater wear away the weak limestone that makes up the Claron Formation. However, the hoodoos' geologic story is also closely tied to the rest of the Grand Staircase region and the Cedar and Black Mountains volcanic complex. In short, Bryce has enough fascinating geology to fill a textbook. Salt Lake City Population: 178,097 Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon followers. Led to this area by Young who had a divine revelation, the Mormons believed that this was their destined home where they were to set up their Mormon Kingdom. City was the sight of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The city is named after the famous body of water located on the outskirts of the town, the Great Salt Lake. Covering over 260 sq km (100 square miles), the lake is the second saltiest body of water in the world, with only the Dead Sea being saltier. The salt content varies from 15 to 25 percent and it is so dense that a body is able to float on the water like a buoy. Because of the lack of a natural outlet, the lake traps mineral-laden water from fresh water streams. After evaporation, salt is left behind in the lake, making it possible for only blue-green algae and brine shrimp to survive in the lake’s water. Salt Lake City was the sight of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Zion National Park One of Utah’s eleven national parks and monuments, Zion’s vast 147,000 acres is comprised primarily of spectacular cliffs and canyons.


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Zion National Park cont’d: The centrepiece of the park is 13 million-year-old Zion Canyon, formed by the Virgin River at a depth of 610-910 metres (2,000-3,000 ft). In addition to the unusual rock formations, Zion has picturesque hanging gardens, waterfalls and desert terrain.

WYOMING Population: 509,294 Cody Population: 9,100 The town of Cody was founded by and named after Colonel William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody in 1898. It became the centre of activity for the area’s cattlemen, sheepherders and oilmen. Its most famous landmark is the Irma Hotel’s bar, which was a $100,000 gift from Queen Victoria to Buffalo Bill in appreciation of his Wild West Show. There are a number of buildings named after him and Buffalo Bill is honoured in Cody at numerous annual events. During the summer months, Cody hosts a nightly rodeo featuring the area’s best cowboys. Located in the midst of some of Wyoming’s most spectacular scenery, Cody is a haven for outdoorsmen of all types. The highway from Cody into Yellowstone National Park is called the ‘Most scenic 83 km (52 miles) in America’. Grand Teton National Park You can’t miss the Grand Teton Mountain Range as it towers up over the Wyoming plains at over 4300m (13,000 feet). Sculpted by eons of wind, rain, snow and glacial action, the mountains are easily the most recognised of any mountain chain in America with its three main peaks - the Middle Teton, the South Teton and the Grand Teton.Well-known for hiking and mountain climbing, this national park is 1,250 square km (485 square miles) in size and has eight large lakes and many smaller bodies of water, 12 glaciers, numerous snowfields and extensive forests of fir, pine and spruce. Yellowstone National Park Geysers, mud pots, hot pools, fumaroles and an abundance of wildlife - you’ll see all of this on a day’s trip through Yellowstone National Park. Discovered by John Colter in 1808, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, this area was originally known as ‘Colter’s Hell’. When John Colter returned to St Louis, Missouri, after the expedition exclaiming about the bubbling earth that shot out great towers of steaming water, local Missourians thought that he had surely lost his sense of reality. They continued to believe this until another expedition went into the same area and proved John Colter to be correct. More than 30,000 elk, 2,600 bison, 6,000 moose and 700 black and grizzly bears roam over the approximate 900,000 ha (2,219,000 acres) of Yellowstone. In 1872 the region was declared a national park, making it the United States’ first national park. Today, it is surely one of the most visited as people from around the world continue to pass through, snapping photos of Western wildlife and stopping to view ‘Old Faithful’, the geyser that faithfully erupts every 65-80 minutes.

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CANADA HISTORY

CANADIAN HISTORY Area: 9,920,000 sq.km (3,800,000 sq. miles) Population: 31,946,316 Capital: Ottawa, Ontario The first inhabitants of Canada were distinctive groups of Indians and to the North, Eskimos or Inuit. The first visitors were the Vikings who sailed from Iceland around 1000 AD; they were followed by explorers from England, Portugal and France. Today Canada has 10 provinces & 3 territories. 1534 French navigator, Jacques Cartier, sailed up the St Lawrence River and claimed the area for France. 1633 Canada becomes a province of France while fur trading thrives throughout the region. 1670 England continues to establish settlements along the Hudson River. 1754 The Seven Years War begins, pitting the British against the French and the Indians for control of the land. 1763 The Treaty of Paris is signed, handing over Canada to the British. 1812 Canada fights alongside the British against the newly independent United States. 1867 The British North America Act is passed, forming Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into the Dominion of Canada. 1905 Millions of Eastern European immigrants enter Alberta and Saskatchewan. 1960 Canada passes its first Bill of Rights. 1967 In celebration of its 100th birthday, Canada holds a World’s Fair and Expo in Montreal. 1973 Royal Canadian Mounted Police celebrate their 100th year of service to Canada. 1974 The CN Tower is completed – the tallest free standing structure in the world at over 550 metres (1800ft). 1982 Canada achieves complete control of its Constitution. 1988 The Winter Olympics are held in Calgary. 1989 Canada and the United States enact a free trade agreement (NAFTA) that eliminates all tariffs on goods transported between the two countries. 1995 The Quebec Referendum is held and separation from Canada is rejected. 1998 Canada is elected to the United Nations Security Council. 1999 Nunavat becomes Canada’s newest territory. 2000 Beloved former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dies. 2002 Men and Women’s Hockey win Gold Medals at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. 2003 SARS epidemic breaks out in Toronto, OT. WHO issues a travel advisory. 2006 Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team bring home a Gold Medal from Torino.


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ALBERTA Population: 3,375,763 Banff National Park Canada’s oldest national park, Banff, is renowned for its spectacular peaks and valleys which were formed through geological upheavals and glacier movements about 77 million years ago. Evidence of man dates back 11,000 years when ancestors of the Cree and Kootenay Indians lived in the area. The first white men arrived in the 1800s, and it was their arguments over the area’s natural resources that prompted the Canadian government to establish the park in 1885. Banff National Park is also a wildlife refuge, being home to such animals as elk, deer and bighorn sheep. One of the most famous parts of Banff National Park is Lake Louise, a turquoise coloured lake flowing from meltwater of the Victoria Glacier. Discovered in 1882, Lake Louise is 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) long, 69 metres (225 ft) deep and its icy waters, while too cold for swimming, are ideal for boating in the summer. The city of Banff, which is located within the National Park, is under strict control of the government. Residents do not own their land but rather lease it from the Park. Its dry climate, alpine grandeur and famous mineral hot spring pools all add to Banff’s cozy atmosphere. Calgary Population: 991,000 The Blackfoot Indians were the first inhabitants of Calgary and their mastery of the horse enabled them to hunt buffalo and fight all other plains tribes. As the white man began to enter the area, the Indians fought hard to retain their territory; in 1877, a treaty ended most of the fighting, establishing a series of reservations for the Indians. The town began to grow in the early 1900s when thousands of Chinese entered the area during the construction of the railroad. Later, oilmen from the United States came to Calgary and started the petroleum industry which is now so important to Calgary’s economy. Although Calgary’s growth has been rapid, it has been well planned. In addition to many beautiful parkways and pedestrian malls in downtown, the major skyscrapers which make up Calgary’s skyline are connected by a series of elevated walkways which allow people to move about the city even during the most severe winter weather. Jasper National Park The region which is now Jasper National Park was once the floor of a sea that covered North America. Internal pressure pushed the rock above the water and erosion carved its current peaks and valleys. Established as a National Park in 1907, the Park was named after Jasper Hawes, former manager of the Hudson Bay Trading outpost located in the area. The variety and beauty of its numerous lakes are the area’s chief attractions, with Lake Maligne being the largest.

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One of the park’s features is the Columbia Icefield, the largest mass of ice in the Rocky Mountains, covering 312 square kilometres (120 square miles) and ranging in depth from 600 to 900 metres (1,970 to 2,950 ft). Its meltwater empties into the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

BRITISH COLUMBIA Population: 4,310,452 Kamloops Population: 84,000 Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word “T’Kumlups”, referring to the flowing together of the North and South Thompson rivers. In the early days, 30 bands of Secwepemc (or Shuswap people) lived along the rivers and lakes of BC’s south-central interior, moving constantly, thus being known as a semi-nomadic nation. A bounty of elk, deer, salmon, wild plant roots and berries dominated the Thompson Valley, as well as excellent farmland and water sources for growing crops. This made for a suitable place to settle and eventually set up trading posts to trade furs and contraptions with the white man. The earliest human remains date back to over 8,250 years ago, yet it is not known exactly how long the people have occupied the valley. Before the Shuswap, vast ice sheets covered the valley. Europeans arrived in Kamloops around 1811. From their technical advances came further trading, industry, the railroad, and ship transport. The Gold Rush brought wealth and a large influx of people searching for a better life. In 1893, Kamloops was incorporated with less than 1,000 people; yet today it is a population of nearly 85,000 and growing. Kamloops is still a central hub, as it sits approximately halfway between Calgary, Vancouver, and the northern Cariboo-Chilcotin regions. Vancouver Population: 583,267 (metro 2,208,300) Vancouver is truly a young city with the first recorded sighting by a Spanish explorer occurring in 1791. The following year, Captain George Vancouver sailed into the area while looking for the Northwest Passage. Fur traders followed and then came the prospectors looking for gold during the rush of 1858. A wild and roaring community developed on the peninsula between the Fraser River and Burrard Inlet. Settlers soon began to populate other parts of the peninsula and in 1886 Vancouver officially became a city. The same year, a devastating fire destroyed the city and its 2,500 residents were forced to rebuild. In 1887, the first passenger trains arrived in Vancouver and a few years later the ships of the Canadian Pacific fleet sailed into Vancouver Harbour, establishing it as a major world port.


Paddle Pedal Adventure, Explore Whistler's Valley and still have time for shopping.


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Vancouver cont’d: Vancouver is the Canadian financial, industrial, shipping and cultural centre on the West Coast. Vancouver is often called the most beautiful city in Canada, combining spectacular scenery and a mild climate and on July 2nd, 2003 Vancouver was chosen as the host city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in the year 2010! Vernon Population: 34227 For many thousands of years, the Okanagan Valley was the undisputed home of the Interior Salish. Early in the 19th C., fur traders used their trails along Okanagan Lake to export furs from the area to the outside world. By the 1860’s, gold discoveries had brought miners and missionaries to the valley. Settlers soon followed and land was pre-empted for ranches in Coldstream, Vernon, and Okanagan Landing. Wagon roads soon replaced the old pack trails, and, with the arrival of a branch line of the CPR in 1892, settlers were able to reach the larger markets outside the Okanagan Valley. During World War I soldiers came from all parts of Canada to train at Camp Vernon. Another war brought troops for training at Camp Vernon, while the end of the war saw a new tide of immigration to the valley. Postwar optimism produced improvements in communication, education, transportation, and entertainment. The completion of new highways to the coast and Alberta added tourism to the economic mix. New construction from the 1960’s to present day has included a civic centre, a recreation complex, several shopping malls, library, multiplex, and a performing arts centre. Predator Ridge Golf Course, Silver Star Mountain Resort, Okanagan Spring Brewery, and the Far West outdoor clothing factory have brought Vernon international acclaim. The city continues to thrive – a unique history, a diversified economy, a beautiful natural setting, and a balance between sports and cultural activities have all contributed to making Vernon the "Top of the Okanagan”. Whistler Population: 9,965 Long before Whistler became a ski resort, logging was the primary source of income for residents. Crystal Clear Lakes made Whistler a popular summer destination. In 1960 a Vancouver businessman began developing an alpine ski area with the hopes of getting the 1968 Winter Olympics. Whistler opened its first ski lifts in 1966 and became a hot spot for skiing enthusiasts. Adjacent Blackcomb Mountain opened for winter activities in 1980. Whistler is consistently named as the #1 ski destination in North America, and will share the events of XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 with Vancouver. However, Whistler has never forgotten its summer roots. The village designed to create a European après-ski atmosphere offers outdoor cafes, excellent nightlife, and a multitude of outdoor activities that include biking, canoeing, and hiking.


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ONTARIO Population: 12,686,952 Niagara Falls Population: 82,184 Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular and famous sights in North America. The US/Canada border bisects the Niagara River and the Falls, and a bridge over the river connects the towns of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. The Canadian side of the Falls is 54 metres (177 ft) high and has a crest of 675 metres (2,200 ft), forming a deep curve and earning the nickname Horseshoe Falls. The American Falls are higher at 56 metres (183 ft), but are only 328 metres (1,075 ft) wide and somewhat less spectacular due to a rock slide in 1954 that left a number of boulders at the base. Until the 1840s, there was only a small pathway which led to the Falls and tourists did not begin arriving until the railroad made the area accessible to large groups of people. By 1885, the Ontario Legislature established a commission to preserve the natural beauty of the Falls on the Canadian side of the border. Throughout its history, Niagara Falls has been a place for daredevils who have tried to go over the Falls in barrels and rafts, or even cross them by riding a bicycle over on a tightrope. Some of these pranksters survived, but many did not. Today, the Niagara Falls is a combination of honky-tonk side shows, honeymoon hotels, and serene natural beauty.

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Toronto Population: 2,481,494 The Huron Indians introduced French explorer Etienne Brule to what they called their ‘meeting place’ in 1615. This spot, which would become Canada’s largest English speaking city, was not settled until 1814 and not named Toronto until 1839. During the 19th century, the city began to boom with increased traffic on Lake Ontario and with the arrival of the railroad at the end of the century. By the end of World War II, the city was growing quickly and attracted many immigrants from around the world. Because of its strategic position on Lake Ontario and its proximity to raw materials, Toronto has become a very prosperous and cosmopolitan city. Today, metropolitan Toronto is still one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The cityscape is very modern, with the world’s tallest freestanding structure, the CN Tower, dominating the skyline. Next to it is the Skydome, one of North America’s only domed stadiums with a retractable roof. Along the waterfront, old factories and warehouses have turned into a shopping, dining, and theatre centre which attracts locals and tourists alike.

QUEBEC Population: 7,651,531 Montreal Population: 1,584,590 (metro 3,640,000) The city of Montreal is situated on an island, the Ile de Montreal, at the point where the St Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The island’s most notable feature is Mont Royal, rising 233 metres (765 ft) above the island and today is a beautiful park accessible only by foot and horse-drawn vehicles. The first European to come across the island was the French explorer Cartier, who discovered a settlement of Hochelaga Indians living there.


Montreal cont’d: A trading post was set up on the island by 1611. The city remained under French control until the French and Indian War (the Seven Years War), when it was captured by the British and ceded to Great Britain by France in the Treaty of Paris in 1763. During the American Revolution, Montreal was captured by the American forces and occupied for nearly seven months. During the 19th century, the Lachine Rapids at the southern end of the Ile de Montreal hampered trade along the St Lawrence River. Fearing competition from the newly built Erie Canal, Montreal set about constructing the Lachine Canal which allowed ships to bypass the treacherous rapids. When completed in 1824, the canal consisted of seven locks and spawned the growth of Montreal’s commercial and industrial development. Today, Montreal is Canada’s second largest city, and although it lies 1,600 kilometres (990 miles) from the Ocean, it is one of the country’s major seaports. Confined to the Ile de Montreal, the city has had to move skyward in order to accommodate its growing population.Most of this modern growth occurred during the period between two of Montreal’s biggest triumphs - the World Expo of 1967 and the summer Olympic Games of 1976. The city has also built underground, with walkways lined with restaurants, shops, and services stretching between railroad stations, offices and stores. Despite its multicultural heritage, Montreal, like the rest of Quebec, is very French. Two thirds of its population speak French, making it the largest French-speaking city in the world next to Paris. The French influence is very evident throughout the city - from its bilingual signs, to its cuisine and the ‘joie de vivre’ of its citizens. Quebec City Population: 528,595 Quebec’s first inhabitants were First Nations Peoples who migrated across the Bering Land Bridge thousands of years ago. In 1534, explorer Jacques Cartier claimed this territory for France, however, it was not until 1608 when Samuel de Champlain established a fur trading post that Quebec City would become the first permanent French settlement in North America. Britain and France fought 150 years for control over the new land with Quebec City becoming a major battleground. Following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, the English took control of Quebec City and completed the walls around the city in 1775. In 1887, Quebec City became the capital of the Province of Quebec as it entered Confederation. In 1985, Quebec City became North America’s only urban area to be named a World Heritage Site. Today, Québec City is a busy seaport, an important center of services and research, and a cultural hotspot.

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MEXICO HISTORY

MEXICO HISTORY Area: 1,972,550 km (761,606 sq mi) Population: 106,682,500 Capital: Mexico City The history of Mexico begins perhaps as much as 30,000 years ago during the last ice age. Nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers from Asia first crossed the Bering Strait and entered the Western Hemisphere. (There is now an alternative theory that peoples also landed in the South Americas from both Africa and the Pacific Islands and gradually moved north into the North American continent). With its diverse geography and extraordinary natural abundance, this land gave rise to the development of early civilizations unique in the world. At least three great civilizations—the Mayas, the Olmecs, and later the Toltecs—preceded the wealthy Aztec empire, conquered in 1519–1521 by the Spanish under Hernando Cortés. Spain ruled Mexico as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain for the next 300 years until Sept. 16, 1810, when the Mexicans first revolted. They won independence in 1821. Today, Mexico is made up 31 states and 1 federal District. Mexico


MEXICO HISTORY

cont’d:

3500 B.C. - 300 A.D. The Pre Classical Period-Olmec Culture 300 - 900 A.D. The Classical Period-Mayan Culture 900-1521 The Post Classical Period – Toltec, Tarasco & Aztec Culture 1519 - 1521 Spanish forces led by Hernando Cortés arrive and conquer Mexico. 1523-1821 Viceroys ruled "New Spain" which claimed its northeast boundary near what today is Charleston, SC and its northwestern outposts at San Francisco, CA and Taos, NM. 1540 Expansion northward: Soto in present southeast United States; Coronado in southwest; Cabrillo in California. 1789 French Revolution: its doctrines spread to Latin America, where Creoles wanted to supplant Gachupines (Peninsular-born whites) in office. 1810 - 1821 Mexico fights for independence from Spain and wins it in 1821. 1836 Texas declares its independence from Mexico. Mexicans and Texans battle at the Alamo and San Jacinto. 1848 The U.S. wins the Mexican-American War and gains Mexican territory. The land includes what are now Nevada and Utah, plus parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado. 1862 Battle of Puebla. The Cinco de Mayo holiday honors this national army defeat of French invaders. 1910 The Mexican Revolution begins when citizens rise up against oppressive rulers. A new constitution is adopted in 1917. 1968 Mexico City hosts the first Olympic Games ever held in Latin America. 1985 An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 strikes Mexico City. Nearly 10,000 people are killed. 1992 Mexico joined the U. S. and Canada in NAFTA, effective January 1, 1994. 1993 A violent rebellion breaks out in Chiapas. Unrest continues today. 1995 Mexican banking crisis. With U.S. aid, the Mexican economy recovers. 2000 Vicente Fox is sworn in as the first president elected who did not belong to the ruling party 2006 Felipe Calderón wins the Presidency with a razor thin margin

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MICHOACAN Population: 3,966,073 Morelia Population: 608,049 Morelia is the capital city of Michoacan and was originally known by the indigenous people as Guayangareo. It was officially founded in 1541 by the Spanish and named La Villa de Valladolid, in honor of the Spanish city of the same name. In 1580, Valladolid became the Capital of Michoacan. Morelia has always been considered a leading city of Mexico and has been under siege or attack in every major war in Mexican history. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, Morelia played a role in the Mexican War for Independence, French Occupation and the Mexican Revolution. Valladolid name was changed in 1828 to honor its native son, the revolutionary leader, José María Morelos y Pavón. The rest of the 20th century was mainly peaceful in Morelia. As a university and artists center, the city has been known to "speak its mind" with student protests much in the way students do in the U.S. and Canada. Morelia is often cited as 'the most beautiful city in Mexico', with its fabulous colonial architecture, the stunning 400-year old cathedral and its museums. The Museum of Masks, the Museum of Geology and Mineralogy, the Museum of Contemporary Art Alfredo Zalce and The Museum of Colonial Art are the most visited by tourists.

GUERRO Population 3,167,400 Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Population 104,609 Archeological evidence suggests this area was inhabited by many tribes of Olmec, Toltec and Tarascan Indians. The name Zihuatanejo comes from the Náhuatl word "Cihuatlán" which means, land of women. This area once formed part of the province of Cuitlatecapan with Cihuatlán as its capital; the Cuitlatecs were located all along the Coast of Guerrero. The Spanish later modified the name to the present, Zihuatanejo. Up until the 17th century, Zihuatanejo Bay was a refuge from storms for travelers, seamen, and adventurers. It was also a hideout for pirates in search of treasure from the Chinese vessels arriving from Manila, carrying Oriental riches to New Spain. At the turn of the 20th century Zihuatanejo served as a port of arrival on shipping lanes from Acapulco as well as supplying precious hardwoods, coconut oil, shellfish and fish to ports around the world.


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Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo cont’d: At the end of the 1940´s with the worldwide rise in tourism, Zihuatanejo re-emerged and became a vacation hideaway. Many colorful stories exist about the international celebrities who vacationed here during this period, notably the American Beat Writers of the 50’s who passed through frequently. In the 60’s, construction began on the federal highway from Acapulco, connecting Zihuatanejo, previously accessible only by air or sea, to the rest of Mexico.At the beginning of the 70’s the Federal Government’s FONATUR chose the area north of Zihuatanejo to develop an excellent tourist destination, Ixtapa. The name, Ixtapa, also from the Náhuatl dialect means the "white place", named for the white beaches and the white rocky islands just offshore. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a corner of the Mexican Riviera that has been thrilling travelers with its beauty for centuries and remains a wondrous place on the majestic Pacific, home to white beaches, blue waters and glorious vistas. Acapulco Population 717,766 The first inhabitants of the area that is now Acapulco, Mexico were the Nahuas, a tribe of people that preceded the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spaniard Francisco Chico arrived and named it Santa Lucía.The city became a key trading port between Asia and America, which soon attracted infamous pirates such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Thomas Cavendish, and Sir Henry Morgan. In order to defend the port, the Spaniards built Fuerte de San Diego, which repelled pirates until an earthquake destroyed the fort in 1776. During the War of Independence, the city was devastated but became a prominent port again during the gold rush in Panama. Acapulco became a popular tourist destination for Europeans after 1920. In the 1950s, after successful efforts to build the city's infrastructure including numerous resort hotels, Acapulco became a vacation destination for the rich and famous of Hollywood and across the world. In the 1960s and 70s, a greater range of accommodations were built to make it more affordable for vacationers and in the 1990s, a road was built from Mexico City, enabling vacationers from all over Mexico to enjoy this beautiful resort city. Acapulco now has to compete with other popular Mexican cities such as Cancun, Cabo & Puerto Vallarta, but the city retains its exotic, exciting, and cosmopolitan aura. There are scores of first class hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and diverse attractions that continue to make Acapulco an excellent resort destination. Moreover, as always, the views and the sunsets over the bay and mountains are stunning.

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Taxco Population 98,854 The history of silver in Taxco is a fascinating combination of legend and fact. Located in the hills between Acapulco and about 100 miles Southwest of Mexico City, Taxco is one of the oldest mining sites located in the Americas. The discovery of rich mineral deposits attracted the interest of the Spaniards. In 1522, the conquistador Cortez learned that the Tlahuicas paid tribute to the Aztecs in silver and other precious metals. The Spaniards conquered the region and three centuries later Mexico became independent. Today Taxco is Mexico's main center for the silver trade. It has retained its natural charm with its colonial ambiance, red-tiled roofs, cobblestone, narrow winding streets and the towering, impressive 240-year-old Santa Prisca Cathedral. Mexico City (Federal District) Population 19,013,000 The origins of Mexico City date back to 1325, when the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan was founded and later destroyed in 1521 by Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez. The city served as the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain until the outbreak of the Independence War in 1810. The city became the capital of the Mexican Empire in 1821 and of the Mexican Republic in 1823 after the abdication of Agustin de Iturbide. During the Mexico - U.S. war in 1847, the city was invaded by the American army. In 1864, the French invaded Mexico and the emperor Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg ruled the country from the Castillo de Chapultepec and ordered to build Avenue of the Empress (today's Paseo de la Reforma promenade). Porfirio DĂ­az assumed power in 1876 and left an outstanding mark in the city with many European styled buildings such as the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Palacio Postal. Diaz was overthrown in 1910 with the Mexican Revolution and this marked a radical change in the city's architecture. The 20th century saw the uncontrolled growth of the City beyond the Centro Historico with the influx of thousands of immigrants from the rest of the country. In 1968, the city was host to the Olympic Games, which saw the construction of the Azteca stadium, the Palacio de los Deportes, the Olympic stadium and other sports facilities. In 1985, the city suffered an 8.1 Richter grade earthquake that tore down several buildings in the Centro Historico, Colonia Roma and other old neighborhoods. Mexico City ranks 8th in terms of GDP size among 30 world cities. More than a third of total Mexican economy is concentrated here. The size of its economy is US $315 billion, compared to $1.1 trillion of that of New York. Mexico City is the wealthiest city in all of Latin America, with a nominal GDP per capita is $17,696. Mexico City's poverty rate is also the lowest in Mexico.


Mexico City cont’d: It is home to the Mexican Stock Exchange and most of the large local and multinational corporations are headquartered here, mainly in the Polanco and Santa Fe districts.

YUCATAN Population 1,818,948 Merida Population 734,153 Mérida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo "el Mozo". It was built on the site of the Maya city of T'ho (also known as Ichcaanzihó or "city of the five hills", referring to five pyramids) which had been a center of Mayan culture and activity for centuries. Because of this, many historians consider Merida the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas. From colonial times through the mid 19th century, Mérida was a walled city intended to protect the Peninsulare and Criollo residents from periodic revolts by the indigenous Maya. Late in the 19th century and the early 20th Century, the area surrounding Mérida prospered from the production of henequén (known as sisal in English, because it was exported from the port of Sisal, which for most of the 19th century was the most important port in the state). At one time, around the turn of the 20th Century, it is said that Merida had more millionaires than any other city in the world. The result of the concentration of wealth can still be seen today in Merida. Merida has the one of the largest centro historico districts of any city in the Americas. Large and small colonial homes line the city streets to this day, in various states of disrepair and renovation; the historical center of Merida is currently undergoing a minor renaissance as more and more people are moving into the old buildings and reviving their former glory. Merida is the cultural and financial capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the capital city of the state of Yucatan. Chichen Itza Many years ago, a group of warriors called the Itzá, conquered a city in what is today part of the Yucatan in Mexico. They called it Chichén-Itzá, which means place of the "mouth of the well of the Itzá". The area around Chichén-Itzá had a least two such wells called cenotes, the most famous being the Cenote of Sacrifice. The Mayas who lived in Chichén-Itzá built many palaces, temples, and monuments. They not only were powerful warriors but also wise men who studied the stars and left a written record of their history in the form of carved glyphs. Their wise priests had an observatory built in the shape of a shell to study the stars and foretell the future. They also had their own ball games. To practice it they built a great ball court with walls and stands.

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Chichen Itza cont’d: They played with rubber balls that they should pass through rings of stone. Only the kings, the priests, and the most important warriors lived in the great palaces. The common people lived in huts made of straw located near the pyramids. For some reason the city was abandoned around 1300. Archaeologists do not know why but they left and the city remained silent in the middle of the Yucatan jungle.

QUINTANA ROO Population 1,135,309 Isla Mujeres Population 13,315 Isla Mujeres is a small beautiful island located a short ferry ride from Cancun. The island is seven kilometers [five miles] long and less than one kilometer wide. Isla Mujeres has a rich history filled with pirates and marauding buccaneers. As the story goes in 1517, a Spanish butcher by the name of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba happened upon the island searching for slaves for Cuban mines. Unfortunately, the slavers found nothing but old statues, which they perceived to be statues of women, thus the name of the island, "Isle of Women". According to Mayan legend, the island was used for traditional Mayan fertility ceremonies and there are Mayans alive today who can tell stories told to them by their grandparents about the Spanish invasion of the Island. In recent times, fishermen populated the island until the building of Cancun, which opened up opportunity for growth however; the island remains quaint while most of the building takes place on the Mayan Riviera. Cancun Population 572,973 Although the ruins scattered throughout the area tell of an ancient Mayan civilization across the region, Cancun itself was only developed as a resort island in the 1960s. Recognizing a rising outburst of tourism from the US, the Mexican Government carved Cancun out of the deep jungle of the Quintana Roo region, building causeways to connect the island to the mainland and constructing an international airport. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, the island was carefully developed with hotels, resorts, restaurants and gardens until it was opened to tourism in 1974. More recently, Cancun has been the site of interesting turns in history as the host of the 2003 World Trade Organization talks. In October of 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall on Cancun as a category 4 hurricane, causing at least three deaths and multiple disappearances, as well as millions of dollars of damages to homes and businesses. However, thanks to an exhaustive public campaign and vigorous restoration efforts, much of the tourist industry has been recovered. Rebuilding is ongoing, but already many of Cancun’s major attractions are up and running again.


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Travellers Guide - America - 2009-2010