World Tour 1: Antigua – Canada

Welcome to Encircle Photos. Part 1 of your Virtual World Tour highlights 50 global cities. Enjoy the travel photos but also read the descriptions. The historic details are fascinating. Then explore the hundreds of travel guides that Encircle the World!

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Cannon at Fort James in St. John’s, Antigua - Encircle Photos

1 Cannon at Fort James in St. John’s, Antigua

This is one of 10 cannons around Fort James at the northern entrance of St. John’s Harbour in Antigua. Each of these 2.5 ton cannons could fire a 24 pound ball up to 1.5 miles. Surprisingly, these museum quality guns are rarely visited. Instead, they are rusting away among the ruins of the British fort. Yet these smooth bores are still pointing out to sea as if waiting since 1706 for a battle that never happened.

Fort James, St John's Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda
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Casa Rosada Façade at Plaza de Mayo in Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina - Encircle Photos

2 Casa Rosada Façade at Plaza de Mayo in Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

If the Argentine president is not in residence, you can walk inside the gates for a closer look at the impressive Italianate Eclectic design of Casa Rosada. The government complex evolved in stages since the late 16th century. Starting in 1594, this was the site of a colonial fort. It was replaced by the Castle of San Miguel in 1720. In 1857, the property was cleared for the construction of the huge Taylor’s Customs House. A post office was added next door in 1879. The two buildings were combined with a central archway in 1898 to form the State House. So why is the building pink? According to legend, President Domingo Sarmiento selected the paint during his administration (1868 – 1874) to appease the Federalist Party (whose color was red) and the white representing the Unitarian Party.

Balcarce 50, C1064, CABA, Argentina
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Number 1 Rated Eagle Beach near Oranjestad, Aruba - Encircle Photos

3 Number 1 Rated Eagle Beach near Oranjestad, Aruba

Today is your lucky day! You have arrived at the #1 beach in Aruba: Eagle Beach. It has also been rated as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. What makes it so special? Spectacular sand – the widest on the island – plus calm, clear, aquamarine water. Sunbathers have plenty of space to relish the warmth. Active souls have plenty of water sport choices. And couples feel plenty of romance while walking hand-in-hand.

Eagle Beach, Aruba
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Scenic Skyway at Scenic World in Katoomba in Blue Mountains, Australia - Encircle Photos

4 Scenic Skyway at Scenic World in Katoomba in Blue Mountains, Australia

Scenic Skyway has been delighting passengers since 1958. The ride travels 2,362 feet across the Kedumba River valley. The large windows provide a terrific perspective of the Three Sisters. A glass floor gives you an unobstructed view of the gorge and Katoomba Falls 885 feet below you. This car is headed towards the Skyway East Station. The terminus connects to the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Along this winding trail are several amazing lookouts. Echo Point and Spooners Lookout provide the closet view of the Three Sisters. If you are super ambitious and physically fit, consider the Three Sisters Hike. But be forewarned. This difficult trail reaches an elevation of 7,000 feet and forms a 48 mile circle.

Violet St & Cliff Drive, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia
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Little Girl at South Bank Parklands in Brisbane, Australia - Encircle Photos

5 Little Girl at South Bank Parklands in Brisbane, Australia

Along the Brisbane River overlooking downtown Brisbane is the South Bank Parklands. This family-oriented attraction welcomes ten million visitors a year. It features the Wheel of Brisbane (giant Ferris wheel), the Queensland Conservatorium and the Nepal Peace Pagoda. You will also enjoy the plazas, bike paths, grassy areas, museums and restaurants. The centerpiece is a 2,000 acre, man-made beach called Streets Beach. This little girl was escaping the heat by scampering through the fountains in the lagoon.

Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
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Early Tasmania History in Burnie, Australia - Encircle Photos

6 Early Tasmania History in Burnie, Australia

These canoeists are paddling along the picturesque waters of Emu Bay, an activity that has been savored for millenniums. During the Ice Age (Pleistocene Period) over 30,000 years ago, Aboriginal people (Tommeginne) arrived near Burnie by crossing a shallow lake and land bridge. When these were flooded by the ocean about 10,000 years ago, the event created a 26,000 square mile island separated from Australia’s mainland by 123 miles of water. The passage is called Bass Strait, named after British navigator George Bass. He circumnavigated the island aboard the Tom Thumb in the late 18th century. However, the first European to explore the area was Dutchman Abel Tasman in 1642. He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land as a tribute to Antonio van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and the financier of the Great South Land exploration. In 1855, it was renamed Tasmania in recognition of Tasman.

West Beach, 3North Terrace, Burnie TAS 7320, Australia
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Australian Capital Territory in Canberra, Australia - Encircle Photos

7 Australian Capital Territory in Canberra, Australia

The Australian Capital Territory is the country’s federal district containing national government offices and museums. Although ACT measures 880 square miles, most of its 413,000 residents live in the capital city of Canberra. The territory was formed in 1911 when New South Wales gave the inland property to the Australian government. Canberra is located about midway between Sydney and Melbourne. Pictured is the Parliament House plus its Reflection Pond on Capital Hill.

Parliament House, 1 Capital Cir, Capital Hill ACT 2600, Australia
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Railway Station Arch Entry in Fremantle, Australia - Encircle Photos

8 Railway Station Arch Entry in Fremantle, Australia

Fremantle is a small port town in western Australia that neighbors Perth. It is charming to walk among the well-preserved buildings that date from 1830 to the early 1900’s; many of them reflect its merchant and shipping heritage. This railway station façade was built in 1907 with brick and local Donnybrook stone. It closed in 1979 yet re-opened four years later. Notice the perched birds; they are a tribute to the Swan River that flows nearby.

Fremantle Stn, Stand 1, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
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Sea Stacks at Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell on Great Ocean Road, Australia - Encircle Photos

9 Sea Stacks at Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell on Great Ocean Road, Australia

When approaching the Twelve Apostles Visitor Facility, you quickly discern from the parking lot full of tour buses and cars that you have arrived at Great Ocean Road’s most famous location. Now walk through a tunnel beneath the highway and stand on the first viewing platform. You will be awed by this vison of limestone sea stacks. The tallest one reaches 111 feet. Notice the smaller mounds in the foreground. These are stumps of collapsed rock columns and all that remains of former Apostles.

Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd, Princetown VIC 3269, Australia
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Parliament House of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia - Encircle Photos

10 Parliament House of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia

After Tasmania separated from New South Wales in 1825, the independent colony established a Legislative Council and met in the Government House (demolished in 1858). In 1841, the council moved to the newly finished Custom House designed by John Lee Archer. He was the civil engineer and colonial architect plus a magistrate for Van Diemen’s Land from 1827 until 1852. Since 1904, the Parliament of Tasmania’s House of Assembly and Legislative Council have occupied this entire radiant, bronze-colored edifice on Salamanca Place.

1 Salamanca Pl, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia
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Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia - Encircle Photos

11 Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia

The Royal Exhibition Building is the grand centerpiece of Carlton Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was created in 1880 for the Melbourne International Exhibition, a six-month World’s Fair that attracted nearly 1.5 million people. This was also the location of the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888. When Australia became a commonwealth in 1901, the REB hosted the first Australian Parliament and their subsequent meetings until 1927. Although the grand ballroom was demolished in 1979, the rest of this historic building is still used as an exhibition hall.

9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
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Cycling Past the Wheel of Perth at Barrack Square in Perth, Australia - Encircle Photos

12 Cycling Past the Wheel of Perth at Barrack Square in Perth, Australia

The exciting, modern city of Perth is in western Australia. Its tall, glass skyscrapers are a backdrop to vineyards, Swan River cruises, welcoming parks and Indian Ocean beaches. A giant Ferris wheel called the Wheel of Perth was a prominent feature of Barrack Square and Perth’s skyline. It closed in 2010. A smaller version was built in Fremantle a year later.

Barrack Square, Perth WA 6000, Australia
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Cape Woolamai Beach in Cape Woolamai on Phillip Island, Australia - Encircle Photos

13 Cape Woolamai Beach in Cape Woolamai on Phillip Island, Australia

Your introduction to Phillip Island’s southern coastline will bedazzle you. A wide, near-flawless stretch of golden sand defines 2.6 miles of Cape Woolamai, a headland facing Bass Strait. Although its constant waves justifiably intimidate swimmers, this National Surfing Reserve is a welcome challenge among boarders. Hikers enjoy it, too. The 5.3 mile Cape Woolamai Coastal Walk encircles the promontory revealing spectacular sites such as The Pinnacles. These impressive columns of granite accent the end of the bluff.

Club House, Woolamai Beach Rd, Cape Woolamai VIC 3925, Australia
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Introduction to Port Arthur, Australia - Encircle Photos

14 Introduction to Port Arthur, Australia

For nearly fifty years, Port Arthur confined, punished, tortured and subjected to hard labor over 12,700 of the British Empire’s hardened criminals. Named after Sir George Arthur – the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land from 1824 to 1836 – this bayside, 100 acre property was supposed to be an exemplary reformatory based on the Separate Prison Typology theory. Instead, the penal site evolved into one of Australia’s cruelest prisons. Most of the original 30 buildings are gone or in various state of ruins. These hallowed shells among groomed paths and blooming gardens only add to the haunting atrocities that occurred within their crumbled walls.

6973 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS 7182, Australia
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Historic Origin of Richmond, Australia - Encircle Photos

15 Historic Origin of Richmond, Australia

In 1803, Rear-Admiral John Bowen was the first naval officer to discover a potential settlement in Tasmania at Risdon Cove. A year later, Captain David Collins moved it to Sullivans Cove and named it Hobart Town. Meanwhile, John Bowen continued exploring for two years. His travels included navigating a river he called Coal River where he identified an ideal tract of land. Colonists initially named their new home Sweetwater. In 1824, William Sorell, the third Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, brokered to purchase the 90-acre Richmond Park estate. After the sale, the village was renamed Richmond. The townspeople then harnessed convict labor to build their churches, a bridge, government buildings and homes. This influx of prisoners resulted in the Richmond Gaol, a harsh jail to manage the inmates. Hopefully, you can sense this history as you explore historic Richmond. Take time to visit the boutique shops and galleries along Bridge Street inside quaint, mid-19th century cottages such as Ewe Nique shown here.

44 Bridge St, Richmond TAS 7025, Australia
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Sydney Harbour and Skyline at Port Jackson in Sydney, Australia - Encircle Photos

16 Sydney Harbour and Skyline at Port Jackson in Sydney, Australia

The South Pacific Ocean flows into Sydney Harbour creating a spectacular setting for this eastern Australian city. The skyline includes the iconic Sydney Opera House plus the Martello Tower at Fort Denison on Pinchgut Island. Port Jackson is always busy with ferries, commercial boats, cruise ships and sailboats. This is also the site of spectacular fireworks when Sydney is the first city to celebrate the New Year.

2 Milson Rd, Cremorne Point, NSW 2090, Australia
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Elephant Statue Facing Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum in Vienna, Austria - Encircle Photos

17 Elephant Statue Facing Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum in Vienna, Austria

An art and a history museum in Vienna, Austria, are architecturally mirrored buildings that resemble a palace and were built in 1891. The Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum displays art from world masters. The Naturhistorisches Museum of Natural History (not pictured) contains over 30 million objects, including dinosaurs, fossils and extinct plants. In the Maria-Theresien-Platz between them stands a humble, bronze elephant. In the center is a statue of Empress Maria Theresa, who was a Habsburg ruler in the 18th century.

Burgring 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
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Beach Options in Freeport, Bahamas - Encircle Photos

18 Beach Options in Freeport, Bahamas

All of Grand Bahama’s best beach options are along the island’s southern shore. Some have restricted access, like this one in front of the Princess Isle gated community. Others have limited facilities. So many day trippers elect to purchase a day pass from a resort with full amenities such as equipment rentals, swimming pools, restaurants, etc. Popular choices are the Paradise Cove Beach Resort to the west of the port and the Grand Lucayan on Lucaya Beach across from the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Another option with fewer services is the Junkanoo Beach Club at Taino Beach. Shuttles are available from the cruise terminal.

Dundee Bay Dr Freeport, The Bahamas
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History of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas - Encircle Photos

19 History of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Great Stirrup Cay is uninhabited except for cruising day trippers. But that was not always true. Its first residents were the Lucayans dating back to 600 A.D. These Indians lived and farmed throughout the Caribbean. Their name means “people of the islands.” Most of them were removed and enslaved by the Spanish during the 1500s. From the mid-17th century until 1730, the island was a hideout for seagoing bandits during the Golden Age of Piracy. Beginning in 1815, it became a settlement for British slave traders and a couple of plantations. During the American Civil War, the Confederates and Unionists engaged in several sea battles here. At this same time, the existing lighthouse was built in 1863. During WWII, this was an American base. They used underwater cables to detect German subs. From about 1940 until 1991, the U.S. Air Force used Berry Islands as a tracking station. In 1986, the Belcher Oil Company sold the 268 acres to the Norwegian Caribbean Line (the original name for NCL).

Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
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Romantic Isolation on Beach at Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas - Encircle Photos

20 Romantic Isolation on Beach at Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas

The white sand on this private island stretches for two miles. Although it can be a bit crowded near the tender pier, the further you walk the more isolated and romantic it becomes. So hold your partner’s hand and go enjoy a perfect afternoon now while creating a lasting memory for the future.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
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Atlantis Paradise Island Properties in Nassau, Bahamas - Encircle Photos

21 Atlantis Paradise Island Properties in Nassau, Bahamas

Three of the six Atlantis Paradise Island properties are shown in this view from the Sidney Poitier Bridge. The colorful villas in the foreground are part of Harborside Resort. On the right is the iconic Royal Towers. Their most expensive room – the Bridge Suite – features a 1,250 square foot living room with a grand piano plus a private staff of seven. Don’t ask about the rate. You can’t afford it. On the left is The Cove Atlantis. This all-suites tower opened in 2007.

Sidney Poitier Bridge, Nassau, The Bahamas
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Flag above Clock Tower at Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados - Encircle Photos

22 Flag above Clock Tower at Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados

The Barbadian flag above The Public Buildings’ clock tower features a broken trident. The heraldic symbol was adopted on November 30, 1966. This was the day Barbados became independent of British rule since English settlers arrived on the island in 1627. The three points represent the “government of, for and by the people.” As a constitutional monarchy, Elizabeth II is the head of state and Queen of Barbados.

Broad St & Rickett St, Bridgetown, Barbados
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Cathedral of Our Lady from Suikerrui in Antwerp, Belgium - Encircle Photos

23 Cathedral of Our Lady from Suikerrui in Antwerp, Belgium

From the bank of the Schelde River, walk along the Suikerrui towards the historic city center of Antwerp, Belgium, for a view of the Cathedral of Our Lady. This spectacular Roman Catholic Church was built in 1521. On the left are statues of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, and his wife, Salacia. As rulers of the oceans, they represent the importance of shipping to Antwerpen.

Groenplaats 21, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
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Royal Palace of Laeken in Brussels, Belgium - Encircle Photos

24 Royal Palace of Laeken in Brussels, Belgium

The Royal Palace of Laeken was built in 1784 by the Governors of the Habsurg Netherlands when Belgium was under Dutch rule. However, after the Belgian Revolution in 1830, which gave the country their independence, it became the residence of their first king, Leopold I. Ever since, it has been the official home of the King and Queen of the Belgians. The public does not have access to it or the huge park called Royal Domain of Laeken where it is located.

Avenue du Parc Royal, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
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Savor the Undeveloped Beauty South of Kralendijk, Bonaire - Encircle Photos

25 Savor the Undeveloped Beauty South of Kralendijk, Bonaire

Say the words “Caribbean Island” and most people think of lush vegetation, sandy beaches, fancy hotels and exciting night life. None of that describes Bonaire. Instead, only 5% of this crescent-shaped island is developed. It offers 112 square miles of unspoiled, natural beauty surrounded by exquisite coral reefs. So enjoy and savor it leisurely.

Van der Valk Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire 80 Julio A. Abraham Boulevard, Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands
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Toco Toucan in Boca da Valeria, Brazil - Encircle Photos

Toco Toucan in Boca da Valeria, Brazil

A fascinating and colorful bird in the Amazon Rainforest is the toucan. There are over 40 species living in a range from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. The common genus is ramphastos. The most recognizable of these eight species is the toco toucan. It is also called the giant toucan because it can exceed two feet long with a seven inch tail. The prominent feature is the stunning, nine inch yellow-orange bill. This cartoon-like appendage helps the bird dispel body heat during the hot Brazilian summers.

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Brigitte Bardot Statue in Búzios, Brazil - Encircle Photos

26 Brigitte Bardot Statue in Búzios, Brazil

Búzios was primarily a fishing village until discovered by French movie actress, model and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot in 1964. B.B. visited the area with her boyfriend, Brazilian musician Bob Zagury, when she was 30 years old and at the pinnacle of her career. Her public admiration for Búzios quickly popularized it as a resort town. She had a similar impact on Saint-Tropez, France, in the late 1950s. This full-size bronze sculpture of the pop icon on Orla Bardot Boardwalk was created by Christina Motta in 1999.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 510 - Centro Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil
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World Waterfalls versus Iguaçu Falls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil - Encircle Photos

27 World Waterfalls versus Iguaçu Falls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls is always ranked among the five greatest waterfalls in the world. But is it the very best? Its peak drop of 269 feet is not the largest (that honor belongs to Angel Falls in Venezuela at 3,212 feet). Nor does its average flow of 62,000 cubic feet per second compete with the 2.5 million gallons a second at Inga Falls bordering Cambodia and Laos. But “amazing” can rarely be quantified. That is definitely true at Iguaçu Falls. Based on the sheer beauty of its 275 cascades, Iguaçu Falls is often rated as the world’s best.

Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Rod, Br-469, Km 18 - Foz do Iguaçu - PR, 85853-830, Brazil
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Miles of Glorious Beaches in Ilhabela, Brazil - Encircle Photos

28 Miles of Glorious Beaches in Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela has 40 beaches along its 85 miles of coastline. That should be enough to satisfy any sun worshiper. The western shore is almost a continuous ribbon of sand. The closest beach to the Historic Center is Praia do Pereguê in the Saco da Capela neighborhood. A lovely promenade starts near the main pier and hugs the waterfront for miles. Or claim your spot at Pereque Beach while relishing the tropical climate. It has every amenity you need. Among the best beaches on the island – and some claim in Brazil – are Baia de Castelhanos, Julião, Jabaquara, Bonete, Pedra do Sino and Pinto.

Av. Pedro de Paula Moraes, 151 - Saco da Capela, Ilhabela - SP, 11630-000, Brazil
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Facts about Amazon Rainforest, Manaus, Brazil - Encircle Photos

Facts about Amazon Rainforest, Manaus, Brazil

The Amazon Basin is massive. It spreads over 2.7 million square miles. About 80% is forested with over 390 billion trees earning the moniker “the lungs of the earth.” To put this size into perspective, the lower 48 United States are 3.1 million square miles. The Amazon Rainforest is well named. On average, it receives 87 inches of precipitation a year over 200 days of rain. The wettest months are December through May. During this period, water levels can rise over 30 feet causing forests to flood. The hot dry season is September through November. The best time for visiting Floresta Amazônica (Portuguese) is in May and June.

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Amazon Theatre in Manaus, Brazil - Encircle Photos

29 Amazon Theatre in Manaus, Brazil

Teatro Amazonas is undeniably the cultural and architectural highlight of Manaus. The sweeping double staircase invites the visitor toward the elegant, mauve-colored Renaissance Revival façade. The opera house was funded when the city was rich from rubber exports. From its opening night in January of 1897, this European-style performing arts venue was a success among the social elite and plantation barons. But soon after artificial rubber was invented in 1909, the economy of Manaus crashed, the wealthy left and Amazon Theatre closed. It remained vacant for nearly 90 years until refurbished in 2001.

Teatro Amazonas, Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro - Centro, Manaus - AM, 69025-140, Brazil
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Introduction to Parintins, Brazil - Encircle Photos

30 Introduction to Parintins, Brazil

Parintins is the second largest city in the Brazilian state of Amazonas with a population just over 100,000 residents. The municipality is located on Tupinambarana. This cluster of four islands are defined by the Madeira, Sucunduri, and Abacaxis rivers as they flow into the Amazon. The port is about 900 miles upstream from the Atlantic Ocean and 230 miles east of Manaus, the state’s capital. No roads lead to Parintins … literally. The only ways to reach Parintins are by air or water. Sightseeing boats provide tours around the islands and the Amazon River. Riverboats such as this one are ferries for people living along the rivers and for connections between cities.

R. Viêira Júnior, 51-89 - Centro, Parintins - AM, 69151-290, Brazil
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Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Encircle Photos

31 Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Without question, Rio de Janeiro’s most famous image is the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain. This figure’s outstretched arms – measuring 92 feet wide – symbolize peace. The Jesus Christ figure was made from sandstone and concrete in 1931 by sculptor Paul Landowski. The world’s tallest Art Deco statue stands 124 feet. Nearly every visitor to Rio travels through the forest of Tijuca National Park for a close up and a photo. Yet this icon of Brazil can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Not surprising, Cristo Redentor was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Cristo Redentor, Parque Nacional da Tijuca - Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
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Seven Beaches of Santos, Brazil - Encircle Photos

32 Seven Beaches of Santos, Brazil

At the east end of Itararé Beach is a large rock with a statue. This is Pedra da Feiticeira or the Stone of Sorrow. According to legend, a witch-like woman was impregnated here by a sailor. He promised to return but never did. One day she believed he was sailing by in a boat. When she swam out, she was drowned in the current. This marks the beginning of about 4.5 miles of near-continuous sand along the shores of Santos. The seven beaches range from Praia José Menino in the west (behind the strolling couple) to Ponta da Praia in the east at the mouth of the Santos Port. Parallel to the coastline is a beachfront garden measuring over 17,500 feet long. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the world’s largest.

Pedra Da Feiticeira, Praia Itararé - Itararé, São Vicente - SP, 11320-200, Brazil
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Introduction of Bayon in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

33 Introduction of Bayon in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

Shortly after defeating the Cham in 1178, Jayavarman VII became King of the Khmer Empire and launched a massive building campaign. His first project was Bayon located within an area now called Angkor Thom. It was initially a Buddhist temple but later became Hindu. This state temple was structured to resemble Mount Meru, the intersection of heaven and earth. The archeological gem is famous for its 216 giant stone faces on the 37 remaining towers. Originally, there were 49 prasats.

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia
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Jungle Temple of Ta Prohm in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

34 Jungle Temple of Ta Prohm in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

French naturalist Henri Mouhot is credited with “discovering” the ancient temples of Angkor in 1860. His actual accomplishment was popularizing these archeological ruins among Europeans. This sparked a major restoration effort during the 20th century managed by École française d’Extrême-Orient (French School of the Far East). Many of the structures were reclaimed from the vegetation engulfing them. One of the exceptions is Ta Prohm, nicknamed the Jungle Temple. Much of this complex had become ensnarled in the roots of giant sprongs, strangler figs and silk cotton trees. Removing them meant destroying the buildings so the wooden tentacles were left in place. The result is an enchanting beauty.

Ta Prohm, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Young Girls Going to Work in Farm Fields in Cheung Prey District, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

35 Young Girls Going to Work in Farm Fields in Cheung Prey District, Cambodia

The Cheung Prey District is a remote region of Cambodia made famous for selling fried spiders in Skuron, its capital city. The people are hardworking farmers yet very poor. Typically, their rickety houses are on stilts and pieced together by scrap metal, old wood and tree limbs. Most farmers cultivate their land by hand. The lucky ones use oxen. These young girls crawled out of the back of a crowded truck after school. They immediately picked up hoes and walked towards the muddy fields to help their parents.

Hun Sen Skun High School, National Road 6, Cheung Prey District, Cambodia
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Danger Land Mines Sign with Skull and Crossbones at Koh Ker Temples, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

36 Danger Land Mines Sign with Skull and Crossbones at Koh Ker Temples, Cambodia

The Koh Ker temples in Cambodia offer a fascinating view of pyramids, sanctuaries, palaces, moats and tombs built by Jayavarman IV, ruler of the Khmer Empire in the 10th century. But as peaceful and secluded as these ruins are, signs warn of dangers buried in the surrounding jungle. When Pol Pot, the ruthless dictator of the Khmer Rouge, was overthrown in Phnom Penh in 1979, his army planted land mines which he called “the perfect solders” because they were always ready to explode. Approximately three million have been cleared, but up to six million remain. They still kill hundreds a year, usually boys, and have caused 40,000 amputees. So, don’t wander off the beaten path … literally.

Koh Ker Temples, 2641D Cambodia
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Throne Hall in the Royal Palace Complex of Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

Throne Hall in the Royal Palace Complex of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visible from the Mekong River is the opulent Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh. This home to the Cambodian kings was initially constructed in the 1860s. Walled in with the Khemarin palace is the Silver Pagoda, the Moonlight Pavilion and the Preah Thineang Dheva Vinnichay Mohai Moha Prasat or Throne Hall for short. It was rebuilt in 1917 and is used for royal ceremonies. On top of the 193 foot golden spire is the image of Brahma, a Hindu god and father of all humans.

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Introduction to Siem Reap, Cambodia - Encircle Photos

37 Introduction to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap in northwest Cambodia was virtually unknown to Western cultures until Henri Mouhot, a French naturalist, explored the ruins of the Angkor region in 1860. This triggered an influx of curiosity seekers. Today, more than two million tourists visit this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site. They all stay at “Temple Town,” a nickname given to Siem Reap. Its actual name translates to “Defeat of Siam,” a reference to the 16th century battles between the Khmer and Siamese Empires. This city of about 250,000 residents is worth an extra day or two to explore for its own merits.

Art Market Bridge, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Fathers of Confederation Sculptures in Charlottetown, Canada - Encircle Photos

38 Fathers of Confederation Sculptures in Charlottetown, Canada

The path to Canada’s unification began in Charlottetown in 1864. The process ended with the ratification of the British North American Act in 1867 by the British House of Lords, House of Commons and Queen Victoria. 36 colonial delegates were involved to varying degrees at conferences in Charlottetown, Quebec and London. They are called the Fathers of Confederation. This pair of sculptures by Nathan Scott honors two of them. Strangely, they had the same name: John Hamilton Gray. The one wearing a top hat was the Conservative Premier of Prince Edward Island. He was also chairman of the Charlottetown Conference. The other was a delegate from New Brunswick. The bronze ensemble was erected in 2014 to help celebrate the 150th year of the Charlottetown Conference. The tribute is located across Great George Street from the St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral.

62 Great George St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4K1, Canada
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Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook, Canada - Encircle Photos

39 Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook, Canada

Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous! Imagine crossing over this footbridge while watching the water churn among the rocks. The surrounding foliage is spectacular! This is Margaret Bowater Park, a recreational highlight of Corner Brook. It is the entry point to the Corner Brook Stream Trail and the Gorge Trail. Park features include a playground, picnic area, a splash pad, restrooms and a small canteen for snacks. In the summer, kids like swimming in the stream and parents like the watchful eyes of a lifeguard. Adjacent is the 18-hole Blomidon Golf & Country Club.

19 O'Connell Dr, Corner Brook, NL A2H 5M5, Canada
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History of Halifax Citadel in Halifax, Canada - Encircle Photos

40 History of Halifax Citadel in Halifax, Canada

The unquestioned hallmark of the city is the Halifax Citadel. The first fort was commissioned in 1749 by British officer Edward Cornwallis. He was the founder of Halifax while the Governor of Nova Scotia. A replacement was constructed in 1776 in response to the American Revolutionary War. It lasted until the end of the century when a third citadel was finished in 1800. The present-day Halifax Citadel took 28 years to construct (from 1828 until 1856). The star-shaped fort remained in service through the end of World War II. This soldier at the entrance is dressed as a member of the 78th Highland Regiment. They served here from 1869 to 1871. There is a changing of the sentry every hour.

5425 Sackville St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Y3, Canada
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Teahouse at Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Canada - Encircle Photos

41 Teahouse at Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Canada

A must-see attraction when visiting Hamilton is the Royal Botanical Gardens. The 2,700 acre property has five diverse gardens, 16.75 miles of tree-lined and waterfront nature walks, a major wetlands for fish spawning plus educational programs for nearly 20,000 students annually. On display are over 1,100 plant species. This is also a mecca for birdwatchers. Seen here is the reflecting pond and Turner Pavilion Teahouse in the 122 acre Hendrie Park. This tranquil setting is encircled by the two-acre Centennial Rose Garden. The abundant roses are from Asia, Europe and North America. RBC was granted permission to use the “Royal” designation by King George V in 1930. Spending a day here is definitely a royal experience.

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4, Canada
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Scarecrow at Annual Great Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay, Canada - Encircle Photos

42 Scarecrow at Annual Great Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay, Canada

Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada is a charming maritime town with less than 1,000 residents that comes alive during their annual scarecrow festival in early October. There are hundreds of creative scarecrows on the town’s streets, including Queen Elizabeth and the Royal family. Events also include an antique fair and pumpkin carving contest. It is a tremendous way to spend an autumn afternoon.

Pleasant St & Main St., Mahone Bay, NS B0J 2E0, Canada
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Downtown Skyline from Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada - Encircle Photos

43 Downtown Skyline from Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada

The best panoramic view of downtown Montreal is from atop Mount Royal. The extinct volcanic hill was formed about 125 million years ago. In 1535, French explorer Jacques Cartier was the first European to climb the mount. He called it Mont Réal. This evolved into the city name of Montreal. This observation point is located at Colline de la Croix, the highest of three peaks at 764 feet. It is part of Mount Royal Park.

1196 Voie Camillien-Houde, Montreal, QC H3H 1A1, Canada
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Panorama of Falls Seen from Niagara Falls, Canada - Encircle Photos

44 Panorama of Falls Seen from Niagara Falls, Canada

You have finally arrived! If you are similar to the 28 million people who visit each year, you are now gasping in amazement at this stunning panorama. Niagara Falls consists of three cascades separated by Goat Island. The two on the left are within the United States. The largest one at the end is in Canada. Collectively, more than 750,000 gallons of water flood over the cliffs per second. This is the highest flow rate in the world. The trio are formed by the Niagara River as it travels 35 miles from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Geologists estimate the falls are 10,000 to 12,000 years old. They were formed during the North American ice age called the Wisconsin Glacial Episode. The Great Lakes were also created during this period.

5211 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2G, Canada
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Ariel View of Old Québec City, Canada - Encircle Photos

45 Ariel View of Old Québec City, Canada

Old Québec City (Vieux-Québec) is among the most charming destinations to visit in North America. This area was first explored by Frenchman Jacques Cartier in 1535/1536. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain created a settlement here along the Saint Lawrence River. His fur-trading post grew into the epicenter for New France until the British conquest in 1759. The city remains predominantly French in culture, language and pride. The walled-in Historic District is small – less than one square mile – yet so filled with rich history it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy exploring the Upper and Lower Towns of Old Québec City.

Boulevard Honoré-Mercier & Rue Dauphine, Québec, QC G1R 4X5, Canada
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Homes Encircling Peggy’s Cove, Canada - Encircle Photos

46 Homes Encircling Peggy’s Cove, Canada

There are only about a dozen homes encircling Peggy’s Cove. That is because the population of this marvelous village is 30 to 35 people depending on the season. They relish their simple and quiet lifestyle. As the weather warms, the tourists arrive in droves. Each sightseeing bus disembarks more curious visitors than residents. An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 tourists make the trip to Peggy’s Cove each year. If living in Peggy’s Cove still seems enviable, good luck making that happen. These homes rarely sell. They stay in the family for generations. When a house does go on the market, it can easily fetch $1 million CAD.

128 Peggys Point Rd, Peggys Cove, NS B3Z 3S2, Canada
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