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Welcome to Arizona


Visits to Arizona are generally limited to the northwestern corner of the state that encompasses one of the great natural wonders of the world - the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Although a major tourist attraction, it need not be the only reason to visit the state.

Arizona has 27 State Parks and numerous natural wonders that provide access to a wide variety of activities, fauna and flora, and landscapes. The Sonoran Desert and Sagauro National Park feature typical desert scenery, with canyons, red cliffs and sandstone pinnacles, coyotes and rattlesnakes, and the giant multi-armed cacti that typify the Arizonian landscape. The Painted Desert and the magnificent sandstone spires of Monument Valley in the northeast, the spectacular Red Rock Country of Sedona, and the mountains and forests of Flagstaff are just some of Arizona's other natural attractions.

The desert is also home of the Wild West, the land of cowboys and Indians, prospectors, gamblers and dusty towns. The character of the Old West is epitomised in the old mining town of Tombstone, the site of the famous shootout at the OK Corral where staged gunfights, swinging saloon doors and old wooden buildings are reminders of the harsh past that respected the 'law of the gun'.

But Arizona is not only about deserts, history and natural wonders. Two of the state's biggest metropolises are in the desert: the cities of Phoenix and Tucson, offering 21st-century comforts such as luxurious resorts, shopping plazas and golf courses. The region's continuous sunshine and dry desert air have attracted thousands of people to its restorative properties and expensive health spas, and made it one of the most popular places to retire in the US.

Outside the cities, the Native Americans who have lived in Arizona for centuries make up the majority of the population, and more than a third of the land is encompassed within Indian Reservations. Northeast Arizona is known as Indian country, where the Navajo and the traditional Hopi tribal groups reside, and is where the beautiful Canyon de Chelly, and numerous Ancestral Puebloan sites are to be found in the cliff walls and valleys. The Apache live in the southeastern mountains and were the last tribal group to concede to the US government.

Information & Facts


Arizona has mild winters and hot summers, with thunderstorms during the summer months between July and September. Great extremes in temperatures occur between day and night throughout the state, particularly in the desert areas where daytime temperatures over 125°F (52°C) have been recorded. During winter temperatures average 70°F (21°C), dropping to below freezing in the desert valleys, and summer temperatures can vary from 80°F (27°C) to 35-40°F (2-4°C) at night. Snow falls on the mountains, but not in the desert areas, and the mild temperatures in the southern desert attract many tourists in winter.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

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