Lisbon is many cities, from the cobbled alleys of the Alfama district to the broad Parisian style avenues at its heart. View it all from the heights of St. George's Castle. Belem's Monument to the Discoveries recalls the seafaring past, while nearby Sintra's storybook palaces, and the seaside resort of Caiscais, have different tales to tell.
Founded by Phoenicians in 1100 B.C., CÃ¡diz may be the oldest continuously occupied city in the West. The Cathedral's gold dome dates from 1722, when New World treasures flowed here. But is also the gateway to the Moorish marvels of Seville: the Alcazar and Giralda Tower, the fountains and palaces of Maria Luisa Park, and the great Cathedral, whose altar is decorated with 4,000 pounds of gold from the Americas!
At the northeastern tip of the Canaries, Lanzarote offers some of the most unusual scenery to be found, with its unique "lunar" landscape of the Timanfaya National Park. Wander in the well-preserved colonial town of Tequise, the island's former capital, or visit the unusual house of the island's famed artist, the late Cesar Manrique, who designed it as part of the volcanic landscape.
The port of Santa Cruz has colorful markets and fine museums, but be sure to drive through the island's lush landscapes or enjoy the amazing views from the snow-capped peak of Spains highest mountain, 11,600-foot Mount Teide.
Known as the "Venice of Brazil," lovely Recife is built on islands and connected by bridges. The tropical city is graced with churches from its Portuguese colonial past, with their frescoes and bright tiles. Browse the teeming market, spend the day at popular Boa Viagem Beach, or visit the beautiful suburb of Olinda, a perfectly intact 16th century town.
Undoubtedly the highlight of everyone's South American experience, glittering Rio is a city that enchants mind, body and soul. Radiant beaches, like Ipanema and Copacabana, stretch like bejeweled arcs around the city's perimeter. The monumental 120-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer towers over Rio atop Corcovado Mountain. Take a cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain for stunning panoramic views of the mountains, beaches and skyline. Visit world-renowned nightclubs where samba bands and disco dancers jump all night long.