Starlight Guides

ID card for a Starlight Guide
ID card for a Starlight Guide

As fas as I know, the Canaries are the only place in the world to have tour guides with an official qualification in astronomical tourism.  The first batch of 14 starlight guides qualified in 2011.  Most of them are based on La Palma, although one lives on Tenerife. Two more groups have qualified since then.

Each of the new Starlight Guides has passed a course consisting of 120 hours of lectures (on astronomy, the island, and tourism theory) plus practical activities like stargazing and hikes.  You can find details of the course here, (in Spanish).

You can get in contact with a starlight guide via http://www.iac.es/cursostarlight/pages/guias-starlight-acreditados.php

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Hi we are arriving in La Palma on the 12th Dec and returning to england on the 19th dec please could you advise me of the best day to go star gazing and are there any shooting stars predicted at this time, Thank you for your help.

  2. Hi.

    The astrophysics institute are changing the way guides can book a telescope for a tour, so for the moment nobody can book anything after the end of November.

    When that’s sorted out, you can book a morning visit to the professional observatory at https://www.adastralapalma.com/tours-en/tours-observatory/ or https://www.canaryliveexperience.com/en/visit-to-the-ovservatory/ to join a group of about 25 people for 9€ per person. It’s morning visits only, because they’re very busy at night. You’ll have to book in advance, pay when you book, and make your own way up there with a hire car or a taxi. The tours are in English and Spanish.

    I do private visits, but inevitably that’s more expensive. It’s 110€ for groups under 12 people.

    You can also book night time stargazing (not with me) with AdAstra again https://www.adastralapalma.com/tours-en/stargazing/ or
    http://www.starsislandlapalma.es/en/starsislands-companies/specialized-companies/cielos-la-palma/ Most people love it. Do dress warmly though. The Canaries have a wonderful climate, but it’s usually at about 1,300 m and of course at night.

    If you’ll pardon the publicity, there’s also a guide book to the observatory aimed at normal people – tourists and amateurs – available on the island or via the internet. http://dragontree.sheilacrosby.com/blog/books-in-english/table-of-contents-2nd-edition/ Only in English and Spanish.

    I hope you have a great holiday.

    Sheila

  3. Hi.

    The astrophysics institute are changing the way guides can book a telescope for a tour, so for the moment nobody can book anything after the end of November.

    When that’s sorted out, you can book a morning visit to the professional observatory at https://www.adastralapalma.com/tours-en/tours-observatory/ or https://www.canaryliveexperience.com/en/visit-to-the-ovservatory/ to join a group of about 25 people for 9€ per person. It’s morning visits only, because they’re very busy at night. You’ll have to book in advance, pay when you book, and make your own way up there with a hire car or a taxi. The tours are in English and Spanish.

    I do private visits, but inevitably that’s more expensive. It’s 110€ for groups under 12 people.

    There is a meteor shower on the 13th of December, although there’ll also be a full moon that night so we won’t be able to see the shooting stars so well.

    You can also book night time stargazing (not with me) with AdAstra again https://www.adastralapalma.com/tours-en/stargazing/ or
    http://www.starsislandlapalma.es/en/starsislands-companies/specialized-companies/cielos-la-palma/ Most people love it. Do dress warmly though. The Canaries have a wonderful climate, but it’s usually at about 1,300 m and of course at night.

    If you’ll pardon the publicity, there’s also a guide book to the observatory aimed at normal people – tourists and amateurs – available on the island or via the internet. http://dragontree.sheilacrosby.com/blog/books-in-english/table-of-contents-2nd-edition/ Only in English and Spanish.

    I hope you have a great holiday.

    Sheila

  4. Dear Sheila,
    At the end of my holiday in Tenerife on 25 January, I plan to come to La Palma for a few days and would like to have a guided tour of the telescopes.
    Do you have a tour I could join during that week? If not, a private tour would be fine.
    I did physics at University of York many years ago and would welcome an astrophysics refresher.
    kind regards
    Michael Watts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.