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?

Our 5 Fav Vine Videos from Week 1 of Contiki’s #EmptyTheBucket Campaign!

FacebookGraphic_ContestLaunch_ETBWe’ve already blasted through Week 1 of the #EmptyTheBucket :06 Seconds to Adventure Campaign and we are enjoying all the Vine submissions!

The first winner of the #EmptyTheBucket challenge has already been selected!

Congratulations to Vine user @BrookeLovesMusic.  She’ll be filling up her empty passport as she’s emptying out her bucket list on a Contiki adventure of her very own!


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Happy Earth Day 2014 from Contiki!

Happy Earth Day from the Contiki team here in the US! 

Whether youWatch Our Story Unfold‘re taking a #globalselfie for NASA or just doing your part in your everyday life to be more environmentally-conscious and friendly, we want to take this opportunity to share the story of truly inspiring trip known to us as the Contiki Storytellers: Costa Rica trip.

In honor of April, designated as Earth Month, Contiki partnered with Matador Network to look for storytellers to join a fantastic trip to Costa Rica to visit our latest conservation project, The Sea Turtle Conservancy in Costa Rica.   Check out this fantastic preview video from the trip and stay tuned for more!

To find out more information and Contiki and our conservation efforts, visit

Kick that Bucket List Over! It’s time to #EmptyTheBucket

#EmptyTheBucket Bucket List Campaign Engagement adWe all love lists.  On the daily, our Facebook feeds are filled with the “10 Cereals We Miss” or “The 10 Best 80’s shows of all time.”  However, we often neglect one list in our lives – our bucket list – and more often than that, travel is definitely on that list but we don’t actually go and do.  We’re constantly pinning new destinations on Pinterest or commenting on friend’s travel photos that the destination THEY just visited is on YOUR bucket list.  Well, now it’s time for you to empty that bucket, and Contiki is here to help.

Starting now and going until May 22, 2014, we are challenging  you quick-tongued, bitten-by-the-wanderlust-bug travelers (US residents only!) to tell us as many of your bucket list items in a six second Vine video.  Vine – the social media video platform that you can download for free as an app on your phone.  Be creative, silly, quirky, and funny and six lucky winners will get a Contiki trip that helps them empty those bucket list items off the map!

To see recent entries and to find out  more, go to