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Tour guides for

iac-guiaWhen it comes to the extraordinary natural landscapes of the Canary Islands, most tourists still do not think of their skies and that these islands constitute an exceptional astronomical viewpoint in the world. With the aim of trainingprofessionals who help interpret the cultural and natural heritage of the Canarian sky, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) successfully launched the accreditation course for the first Starlight Guides at the end of March. Before summer, the islands will have these new guides trained with the rigor necessary to introduce the visitor to the scientific itineraries of the “star tourism“.

Scientific dissemination, environmental education and stellar observation articulate this course with theoretical and practical subjects on various topics: from telescopes and observation instruments and large astronomical events, to safety protocols in the mountains, meteorology, spaces protected, astronomical photography, legislative keys to tourism law or communication techniques for managing groups, among many other issues.

The practices have their peak moment with the visit to the famous Canarian astronomical viewpoints: the Llano de la Venta, the Llano del Jable or Las Brujas, the cresting in the southern area of Pico de la Cruz, the Caldera de Taburiente and the Observatorio del Boys roque. In this night out, techniques are taught that train toguide in the night contemplating the sky, in addition to studying the fauna and flora of these nocturnal landscapes, as well as their historical and archaeological value.

Since its inception, the IAC has promoted, in parallel to its scientific objectives, the protection of the sky and the promotion of astronomical tourism. In 2007, this research center convened in La Palma the first International Conference in Defense of the Quality of the Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars and promoted the Starlight Initiative, sponsored by international organizations such as UNESCO, the International Astronomical Union ( UAI) or the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

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