Saturday, December 12, 2009

See the stars from Costa Rica

(Chicago Tribune) - Costa Rica is a fantastic place to stargaze. During TravelQuest's annual Costa Rica Southern Sky Party tour, amateur astronomers can take in the vast southern sky during the new moon from a dark lookout with deep-sky experts. Other activities will include birding, cultural experiences and boating to Isla Chira.

The deal: $1,740 (double occupancy, single supplement $330), including seven nights in hotels, round-trip airport transfers, private motor coach transportation in Costa Rica, most meals, two boat excursions, a sunset tractor ride, evening sky shows with the guidance of astronomy author Gary Seronik, and nature walks led by Costa Rican guides.

The itinerary goes from San Jose to Costa Rica Star Lodge, Sarchi and back to San Jose. The price does not include international airfare, the Costa Rica departure tax ($32) or gratuities. Inquire about a $100-per-person discount when booking. Jan. 16 to 23. TravelQuest, Prescott, Ariz.; 800-830-1998, travelquesttours.com