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Falls in Love

Photography Picturegarden / Getty Images

Just a two-minute walk from the world-famous Iguaçu Falls, Brazil’s Hotel das Cataratas is in one of the best locations in the world. And now, thanks to renovations by luxury hotel operator Orient-Express, the rest of the colonialstyle lodging is just as spectacular. Still, the best part of staying at the Cataratas- the only hotel located inside of Iguaçu National Park-is waking up early and exploring the falls before the masses arrive. www.hoteldascataratas.com

LEADER OF THE PACHYDERM

No trip to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal or an elephant ride or a tiger safari or a sampling of the country’s exquisite cuisine. That’s why International Expeditions has combined all of those activities, and many more, into its Tiger Safari, an 18-day exploration of the subcontinent’s food, architecture, wildlife and culture. Those who book a spot on the tours departing Mumbai on December 18 will receive a discount of $1,100, leaving a large chunk of cash for extra naan. www.ietravel.com

A SITE TO SEE

On November 14, the Denver Art Museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton wing, an angular titanium beast, will be taken over by “Embrace!,” an exhibition of 17 site-specific installations. Each work, from a fourstory canvas hanging in the atrium to the hyperrealistic painting that seems to peel back the building’s exterior, plays off the design of architect Daniel Libeskind, turning the museum itself into a piece of art. www.denverartmuseum.org

COLONIAL ROAST

Twohundred fifty years after serving as a gathering place for America’s founding fathers, Charlton’s Coffeehouse reopens this month as Colonial Williamsburg’s newest exhibition building. Filled to the brim with period furniture and old-timey prints, the coffeehouse provides a rare glimpse at a Revolutionary-era hangout, and with 18th century-style coffees, teas and chocolates on the menu, an even rarer taste of George Washington’s favorite snacks. www.history.org

STREET WISE

Over the past decade, the quiet Dutch city of Utrecht has helped hundreds of homeless get off the streets. Now a local organization is providing them a chance to give back with “Utrecht Underground,” a program that has formerly homeless people leading tours through the tunnels and alleys where they once lived. At only five euros, it’s much less expensive than a double-decker bus and infinitely more educational.

THE ART SHOW BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Known for his often strange but always compelling films, director Tim Burton invades the Museum of Modern Art for the next five months with an exhibit comprising more than 700 examples of his lesser-known work, including drawings, storyboards and other oddities from his personal collection. Highlights include Burton’s never-beforeseen student films and his earliest childhood sketches, which serve as a reminder that weird kids can become wildly successful adults. www.moma.org

TEA TIME

High up in the hills of central Sri Lanka, hidden between the Earl Greys and English breakfasts that make up the area’s vast tea fields, sit four bungalows built for British tea magnates during the time of the Raj. Newly restored by the Dilmah Tea company, these bungalows, along with the hiking trails that connect them, make up the Ceylon Tea Trails. Visitors are encouraged to sleep in a new bungalow each night as they move among the trails, sampling the product fresh from the ground. Another selling point: Anyone who stays for three nights between now and June 2010 receives a free year’s supply of tea. www.teatrails.com

GUIDE LINE

For those too intimidated by guide books and unreliable online travel guides, TripBod pairs travelers with savvy locals who provide custom itineraries and, if you’re nice, company. www.tripbod.com

PEDAL POWER

After watching its out-of-print cycling guides sell for north of $125 online, Lonely Planet has wisely brought back the pedal-friendly publications with new guides for Britain, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand. Detailed maps, elevation charts and tips on bike-friendly hotels make the guides an essential addition to any two-wheeled traveler’s backpack. Just remember: Reading and riding don’t mix. www.lonelyplanet.com

CALENDAR NOVEMBER

7 FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA

Lee Ann Womack, Montgomery Gentry and Phil Vassar take the stage to support the troops at the American Freedom Festival. www.americanfreedomfoundation.org

11-15 HOUSTON

The Cinema Arts Festival is the only film festival in the country to show films exclusively about art and artists. Art about artists? So meta. www.cinemartsociety.org

13-15 LOS ANGELES

Things can get pretty spicy at the Los Angeles International Tamale Festival. The tamaleeating contest is best left to the pros. www.eatlosangeles.net/tamalefestival

14 RICHTERSWIL, SWITZERLAND

This Zürich suburb goes back to its roots with an annual turnip festival. Ever seen a turnip lantern? Gorgeous. www.r.bechilbi.ch

21 TAMPA, FLORIDA

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, but at the Cigar Heritage Festival, it might end up being the longest cigar in the world. www.cigarheritagefestival.com

21 ROME

The oft-maligned squeezebox finally gets its due as accordionists from around the world gather for the International V-Accordion Festival. www.v-accordionfestival.com

DECEMBER

3-6 MIAMI

One of the top art shows in the world, Art Basel Miami Beach is a great place to rub suntanned elbows with the glitterati. www.artbaselmiamibeach.com

5 NEGRIL, JAMAICA

Twentysix point two miles feels like a total breeze with reggae music blasting as you run through town and along the beach. www.reggaemarathon.com

5 LONDON

As if it weren’t odd enough that the English call dessert “pudding,” once a year, at The Great Christmas Pudding Race, they don costumes and race around with their puddings. Hey, it’s for charity…. www.xmaspuddingrace.org.uk

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