Escape “Light Pollution” – 5 Places to Stargaze in the World

circles of lightHappy International Astronomy Day!

For all you stargazers out there, our zest for exploration spans far beyond the far corners of the world – the night sky never ceases to amaze us as well.  While we tout the amazing cities to travel to, sometimes we want to venture far away from the “light pollution”.

Add a few of these items to your world travel bucket list or maybe include these places in your Vine video for Contiki’s #EmptyTheBucket campaign?  Either way, it’s time to start looking up when the sun goes down.

Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles

Despite overlooking a city known for light pollution, The Griffith Park observatory hosts free public star parties where you can gaze at the stars overhead while enjoying the picturesque California weather.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Watch this time-lapse video of a stargazing tour at the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand.

Death Valley National Park, California

Unlike The Griffith Observatory which is perched on a hilltop, you can enjoy expansive views of the night sky in Death Valley.  You can see both satellites and planets with the naked eye.

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne offers some breathtaking views of the night sky from Lake Lucerne.

Tuscany, Italy

Home to one of the most famous astronomers of all time, it was in Tuscany where Galileo turned his eyes (and telescope) towards the sky and discovered the astronomical phenomena that we know today.

Tell us – what are some of your favorite places in the world to stargaze?

Contiki Storytellers Travel to Costa Rica

To celebrate Earth Month (April 2014), Contiki sent an influential group of bloggers, filmmakers, photographers and social media experts—known as Storytellers (—to join Contiki’s sustainability partner Céline Cousteau on a VIP conservation trip, based on the brand’s own Costa Rica Unplugged itinerary.

The mission of this trip is to further sea turtle conservation efforts in Costa Rica while simultaneously making young people worldwide aware of the impact their own efforts can have on the preservation of a species.

View the Storytellers’ adventures on Instagram and Twitter using the #contikistorytellers hashtag, and enter to win a chance to go to Costa Rica at

The Storytellers include:

A continuation of the Earth Month initiatives from last year in the Galapagos Islands, Contiki has invited these 12 inspiring storytellers from around the world to travel to Costa Rica for their newest Contiki Cares partnership ( with The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC).

Joining this diverse group of storytellers are the three winners from a recent contest hosted by Contiki and Matador Network – entrants were asked to submit a video, photo or written essay to describe where they felt closest to nature in hopes of winning a spot on this epic conservation adventure. The winners – who hail from Canada, USA and the Netherlands – had a Matador representative and photographer present to help them hone their skills as they documented this life-changing experience working with Céline Cousteau and the STC.

You have until May 31, 2014 to submit your own photo for a chance to win a trip to Costa Rica

Find out more at

Marie Digby in Ireland with Contiki

@mariedigby on Instagram

@mariedigby on Instagram

YouTube musician Marie Digby traveled to Ireland with Contiki to get in touch with her Irish roots and she has released this beautiful travelogue detailing how her first visit to Ireland felt like a homecoming – a #NOREGRETS moment if we do say so ourselves!

See stunning panoramic shots of Giant’s Causeway, The Cliffs of Moher and the luscious green landscapes of Ireland in Marie’s video below (and be sure to click through to see Contiki’s Ireland video!)

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California Dreaming on Contiki’s California Highlights

SFAs the temperatures drop, we can’t help but turn our eyes to the Golden State, where one can hit the ski slopes and then go visit the Pacific Ocean all in the same day.

YouTube user Alexander Leeway brings us on a fantastic journey through one of Contiki’s favorite USA tours, California Highlights!  Check out the video below and enjoy!

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