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California Highlights (Until Dec 2016)

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Heya West Coast wanderer, wait 'til you see the treats we have in store for you. We'll be immersed in cool California vibes after a stint in Nevada's wild Vegas. We'll hike around Yosemite Valley, watch the sun set behind the city of San Fran & swim in the paradise of Bass Lake. 8-days abroad never looked so good.

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October 2016

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CALIFORNIA HIGHLIGHTS (UNTIL DEC 2016)

Only $200 deposit to book.
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United States United States +5 MORE
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Las Vegas
2 days
Barstow
San Joaquin Valley
Bass Lake
2 days
Yosemite National Park
San Francisco
5 days
Los Angeles
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California Highlights (Until Dec 2016)

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8 independent reviews

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  • Stuart
  • Booked from United Kingdom
  • Traveled May 2012
  • 21
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Great tour, would definitely recommend!

This was my first Contiki trip, I didn't know they were such a big company, having never seen or heard of them before. I met some amazing people on this tour, and I plan to see some again in the near future if the price is right! The tour guides were great, Jack and Adrian. There knowledge was great, telling backgrounds of places, where to go and what to see, all really interesting information, and they were really easy to get along with! I can honestly say I didn't have a dull moment whilst on tour with the group I was with. The accommodation was good too, absolutely no complaints there, beds were comfy and the hotels and cabins we stayed in were clean. The highlight of my trip had to be visiting Yosemite national park, I thought the views were absolutely stunning, especially at the time of year that I went (May). The only thing I didn't like were the early get ups, as I am not really a morning person, especially with a hangover.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Interesting-Experience

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21 May 2012 - 28 May 2012

  • Chandy
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled November 2014
  • 29
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

California dreams became reality!

Started off in Vegas, went a saw a Cirque De Soleil show went hit a nightclub that had a view over the Vegas strip at night! Next morning was tough! 10 hour bus ride to Bass lake. I recommend not going too hard before a bus ride :) Finally got to Bass lake and it was a nice holiday retreat to appreciate nature. The next day we headed up to Yosemite National Park, and what a view!! A definite must see!! Hiking up Yosemite was great to but its a shame no everyone can get to the top. Later that night we had our Thanks Giving dinner. Being from Australia, we dont celebrate thanks giving but being a food lover, might as well!! After dinner, we did some Karaoke! Everyone was a bit shy to get on the mic so I jumped on first, singing a Backstreet Boys classic "I want it that way". Once that song was done, everyone had the courage to go up. Next up, San Francisco!! What a great city to visit! People were friendly, the food was great, the gays were some of the nicest people I have ever met!! We had plans during the night but the days were for ourselves . Shopping there was a great experience. Definitely check out the Westfield there on Market st. Having a free day, I got to check out Alcatraz and bought a ticket on the day! Personal tip, if the tours are booked out, if you go really early in the morning before the ticket gates opens, the sell about 40 extra tickets. its first come first serve. In the day we did a bike tour of San Fransico which was the best way to see the city. We rode for hours and ferried it on a boat on the way back. Later that night, we had a ugly Christmas sweater night. Everyone buys an ugly sweater and we head out. 6 of us guys couldnt find any sweaters, so we bought Santa outfits! People loved us in our santa outfits! Even got a few photo ops with randoms. The next day was a free day to check out the city at my own pace. Got to see Lomard street then walked all the way to Lucas Arts studio. Silly of me didnt realized it was open to the public and I didnt go in. Finished off the night with a group dinner, then ventured back to our hotels. The next day we drove off the Santa Barbara with a pitstop in a small town. I cant remember the name of the town but it had one of the best hamburgers I have ever had! I almost cried because I was looking everywhere for a great burger but didnt succeed. Finally we got to Santa Barbara, a small beach town, that had that "Californian Surfer" vibe about it. A few of us boys found a bar in the backstreet which had a wide variety of beer. The bar tender was nice to us. He thought it was funny seeing an Australian, Canadian and a French walk into bar together because thats how all jokes start :) Finished off the night by have a pub meal at a bar. Food was good the atmosphere was relaxed. Most of us were getting fatigue by this time. So we went back to the hotel for casual drinks at the bar. Next morning we drove off the Los Angeles. There was plenty of seats left so we all just spread out and slept most of the time on the bus. Getting to L.A I got off early to check into my hostel, and meet with the team later that night to attend an ice hockey game. Everyone else did tours, some slept, but I did regret not being able to to join the others around Hollywood. I did get to see them before the game. Finishing off our night watching the L.A Kings vs the Boston Bruins was a great experience. Only watching ice hockey of tv, being there live was amazing!! once the game was done, I said my final goodbyes to my contiki buddies. Its a shame i only hanged out with these guys for 8 days but they will always be friends of mine for life!

My Contiki was: Fast-Fun-Amazing

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25 November 2014 - 2 December 2014

  • Leanne
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled June 2013
  • 22
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Great Fun!!!

This tour was amazing, made so many friends and had so much fun along the way. My only issue was we didn't get enough time in certain places. I would definitely recommend this tour to others. So much is included and you see some spectacular views at Yosemite, as well as passing through many towns.

My Contiki was: amazing-spectacular-fun

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10 June 2013 - 17 June 2013

  • Elli
  • Booked from Europe
  • Traveled September 2013
  • 28
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

True Love :-)

It was the best trip and experience of my life till now. I cant say it in words how much this tour impressed and gave me. I enjoyed every single minute of it. I cant put this trip in a category. We`ve done so much: Nightlife in Las Vegas and San Francisco, hiking in Yosemite National Parc and biking in San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, shopping in SF and relaxing at the beach in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. Also I met so many friendliy and open people from all over the world. Guys I love you! It was funny to sit in a bus with 53 people who have all a hangover :-). We travelled a lot but it never feels like. The stops were perfect timed. After that tour i spent some days in a hostel. it was boring there. but i told him about contiki. how awesome this is and that they have to do it. and yes...they had immediately a look at the site and will book a trip. I think i will write a book about this life experience...maybe in german..its easier for me :-) I wanna thank Eileen, our Tour manager, for giving me the best time of my life. You did a perfect job. Showing us so many different things, telling us facts about different citys and showed us how to dance :-). hope we keep in touch and i can do another tour with you. Also thanks markus our driver. funny man :-). he showed me the best drink ever called AMF :-). And of course i wanna thank all people who shared the funny time with me. BIG HUGS from Berlin

My Contiki was: Fun-Experience-Friends

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9 September 2013 - 16 September 2013

  • Rhea
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled October 2015
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

West Coast adventure!!

This was my first time to Vegas and the West coast. Being from East Coast US I had no idea what to expect. Contiki outdid itself once again and I had the best time. My favorite part was hands down San Francisco. Shout out to Kiran for being an amazing tour guide! The hotels were very comfortable as was the cabins we stayed in at Bass Lake. Yosemite was my other favorite part because I got to see the beautiful mountains in an awesome part of the country. This tour has a mix of urban and well as nature and I would recommend this trip!!!

My Contiki was: amazing-exciting-beautiful

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5 October 2015 - 12 October 2015

  • ronny
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2014
  • 32
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

worst trip of all time

if your not Australian don't join contiki a bunch of racist Australians that never seen the outside world, the tour manager did nothing to sort out the issues . I was bullied as I tried to make friends but not only I got called names I was violently harassed, had alcohol thrown at me and was pushed out the door followed by a punch from the fellow Australians, the bus driver was the only person that I could of consider a nice person, and was quiet talkative, a few couples of met on the tour were nice as well, the tours were great and were set out in order. I felt that there was no introduction done at the start, the tour manager was not professional in this field he didn't introduce people to other people, I found the tour manager quiet selfish and only cared about himself and didn't answer much questions, without no answers from the tour manager I cut my contiki trip short and left after 6days,

My Contiki was: --

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21 July 2014 - 28 July 2014

  • VoyageFille
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled April 2014
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Great places, but..

I have very mixed feelings about this tour. I really loved the places we saw and am happy to have gone to California after wanting to for so long. There were only 4 people who were on the "California Highlights" tour. We were added to two other tours who had started a week before us. This wasn't at all what I had been led to believe and it was sort of daunting stepping into a massive group who had already formed friendships within the first week. By the time we got there it was hard to really get to know other people because groups had been formed. I didn't feel our tour guide made an effort to introduce us to the group and there would be times where I had to explain when I arrived into the group. Given I didn't know I was being added into a much larger group, I'd have appreciated having the situation explained. We were given the impression that we'd all start and stop together, so being thrown into another group wasn't what I had in mind and had I had that knowledge I likely would have signed up for a different tour. We weren't given our "day plans" until about an hour, sometimes even 5 minutes, before we were to depart the bus at a place. Sometimes we'd only find out we were going to have free time 10 minutes before getting off the bus, which gave people no time to make alternative plans. I'm not sure why the day plans weren't done in advance, but it really made things more difficult than they needed to be. I thought the tour guide was very nice, but I also thought that she had very limited knowledge of places. She didn't seem to read up on any place and gave us the type of tour that most people could probably give of a place they're from. I really thought I'd learn more about a place. I didn't realize how little we were told until the last day when our bus driver ended up using the microphone to give us a tour of LA. He had so many facts and stories. He really seemed to know what he was talking about. This made me realize how unprepared our tour guide seemed. She was a very nice person, but I really didn't feel like she was making an effort, which was annoying to me since I had been saving for this trip for a while. Honestly I didn't hate this trip or even dislike it, but it was not what I thought I was paying all this money for. The two best things I did - Alcatraz and Warner Bros. Studio Tour - were the two things I went out of my way to plan and spent extra money getting to. The rest of the trip seemed fine, but my honest opinion is to skip the California Highlights tour and make sure to ask if your tour is being added to another. That can make a very big difference in deciding.

My Contiki was: beautiful-rushed-hectic

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28 April 2014 - 5 May 2014

  • Lexi
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2015
  • 21
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Best week

I went solo on this tour and can honestly say it was the best week of my life with the coolest people. There was a fair amount of time spent on the bus between destinations but it was never monotonous. Kiran our guide was so much fun and everyone in the group got along really well. Can't wait to book my next trip.

My Contiki was: Fun-Organised-Amazing

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13 July 2015 - 20 July 2015

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