Best known for the Iguazu Falls that are all of 18 kilometres away from the city, Puerto Iguazu has pretty much developed its infrastructure around tourism needs.
Etymologically Iguazu owes its roots to the Guarani or Tupi words ‘y’ that means ‘water’ and ‘uasu’ meaning ‘big’.
According to legends, a god hoped to marry Naipi, a beautiful woman who rather chose to flee with her human lover Taroba in a canoe.
Furious, the god is said to have sliced the river thus creating the waterfalls while condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
Legends apart, the Iguazu Falls are higher, wider and larger than the Niagara Falls and tumble over 80m and in a body of water that covers over 2km.
The city of Puerto Iguazu however has a lot more to offer than the falls. Lonely Planet writes, ‘Argentina’s most northeasterly town… doesn’t just want to be the fall guy. After all, it offers some of the best hostels, top-end hotels and spas in the country…. local tourism agencies are finally featuring trips out to the stunning Wanda mines, one of the continent’s most important gem deposits, on itineraries. It might not quite be El Dorado, but it’s fair to say that despite its popular waterfalls, Iguazu is still a much-undiscovered treasure’.
Developing at a super fast pace, the Ethiopian metropolis of Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state and the head offices of the African Union are based. The city is also has the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) which is why it is often called the political capital of Africa.
Addis as it is often called, is also home to the largest number of NGOs in Africa. And as Ethiopia, whose capital city it is, is slated to reach an economic growth of almost 5 per cent this year, the confidence of the city (and the country) is on the rise.
Ok. Here’s a bunch of reasons why Montreal made it to the list:
It ranks among the happiest cities in the world according to Lonely Planet and the hippest according to New York Times.
As LP points out, this year, it will star in Stephen Spielberg’s latest Robopocalypse, witness the launch of Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, unveiling of the Grevin wax museum at the Eaton Centre, flag out the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Place des Arts.
Visit it this year. Or better still, wrangle a year-long assignment from your office to Canada.
Perched on Australia’s southeastern coast, the lively city of Hobart is a unique mash-up of the 19th and 21st centuries. The waterfront cafes, restaurants and studios of Tasmania’s largest city are housed in centuries-old converted warehouses that overlook a harbor bustling with yachts and fishing boats. An active arts scene, vibrant nightlife and leisurely daytime pace add to the city’s charm.
The Garden City of New Zealand has been rising from the ashes of the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Christchurch has a lot to offer for the wandering heart — from live music venues to a variety of cuisines and more.
In less than two hours of driving distance from their international airport, you can ski at a world-class alpine resort or play golf or bungy jump or raft or mountain bike or go on a hot-air balloon or wind surf or whale watch or… whew the list can go on.
The city of Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island. It is situated at the edge of the Canterbury Plains and bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean.
Fascinating artworks have now come up at the earthquake damaged sites but overall the city is recovering from the shocks.
2013, Lonely Planet writes, will be an intriguing year to join the rebirth.
The capital city of China, Beijing is the centre for art and culture in China. Much of the city has undergone a change since it hosted the 2008 Olympics and remnants in the form of the mighty Bird’s Nest as well as street signs in English dot the city.
A high-speed railway line connects Beijing to Shanghai reducing the travel time to less than five hours.
There is, as Lonely Planet puts it, ‘a palpable sense of change in the air, though no-one quite knows what to expect. China is on the cusp of true greatness and one day, people will look back and say it all started here’.
Named as UK’s City of Culture 2013, Londonderry or Derry will witness a series of cultural events throughout the year.
This will include the All Ireland Fleadh, the world’s biggest Irish festival that lasts for ten days and of course the controversial Turner Prize.
Don’t miss also the many festivals including the Jazz Festival and Earhart Festival — the latter to celebrate the 80 years of Amelia Earhart’s landed here — as well as the many historical sights as well as ‘a determined air of can-do optimism that has made it the powerhouse of the North’s cultural revival’.
But the best attraction about Derry according to Lonely Planet is its people — ‘warm, witty and welcoming’.
In the ’90s, the city of Hyderabad blazed its way into international limelight thanks to its then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and his efforts to make it the IT capital of India.
Since the famed visits of Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, the capital of Andhra Pradesh has transformed itself from being an ancient city to a city of the future with practically every major IT company setting up base there.
It is thus easy to miss the old four centuries old city behind the glittering metropolis with its shopping malls and office buildings with glass facades. So do make an effort and visit the part of the city that exudes history at every turn — from the famed Charminar and Mecca Masjid to the Falaknuma Palace Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi Tombs.
The city of Amsterdam almost always knows how to charm its visitors but this year seems to be a series of never-ending parties. For starters, the canal ring turns 400 years old, were Vincent van Gogh alive, he’d be 160 as the van Gogh the museum celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The Rijksmuseum will also re-open after a t-e-n-year renovation and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will turn 125.
And as the Artis Royal Zoo completes 175 and Felix Meritis cultural centre 225, you can expect a heck of a lot of concerts, exhibitions and street fests. So head there and stay there through the year!
What can you say about the city of the Golden Gate Bridge?
For one, it isn’t golden.
The Bridge gets its name from the Golden Gate Strait on which it is located. Its colour is ‘international orange’, the colour used in the aerospace industry to help make objects stand out from their surroundings which the bridge got courtesy Irving Morrow the bridge’s consulting architect, who noticed the striking primer painted on some steel on the bridge.
Lonely Planet describes the city of San Francisco best: ‘If there’s a skateboard move yet to be busted, a technology still unimagined, a poem left unspoken or a green scheme untested, chances are it’s about to happen here. Yes, right now: this town has lost almost everything in earthquakes and dot-com gambles, but never its nerve’.
Why wouldn’t you want to be there?