There is something to be said about stretching your head back to look at an unfiltered night sky full of stars with the human eye. When you are far away from big city lights and in pure, untainted nature, you can really take in the extraordinary, natural beauty that the universe offers. All types of travellers long to enjoy a starry night sky whether you are close to home or on the other side of the world, it never loses its magic. So what are you waiting for? Cross one of these destinations off your stargazing bucket list in 2019! Skyscanner Canada has rounded up a must-see stargazing destination from almost every continent.
Stargazing Bucket List: Our Top 6 Destinations
What are the best places to see the stars at night?
Atacama Desert, Chile
Prepare to feel like you can reach up and touch the stars. The Atacama Desert is a 1000 km plateau of land, just west of the Andes Mountains. It is known all over the world as being one of the top destinations to see the stars due to its high altitude, 300+ days of clear skies and little to no light pollution.
The best time to come and appreciate the darkest skies is April through September. Several studies are conducted here on the formation of stars, therefore the ALMA Observatory is open to visitors all year round, offering a look into laboratories, control rooms and the largest telescope! Just make sure to reserve your visit ahead of time as they are only open to the public on Saturday and Sunday mornings.Find Cheap Flights to Chile
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
It is no surprise that the northern lights are on the stargazing bucket list for many travellers. For those that want a starry sky and the northern lights, look no further than Canada’s underrated destination, Yukon Territory. In fact, most are willing to brave the colder temperatures here to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder: the distinguishable colourful ribbons that make up the aurora borealis.
At Watson Lake, the Northern Lights Centre opens your eyes to this spectacle even more with a dome theatre. Furthermore, there are several chalets to cozy up in that offer panoramic views of the sky, or the more adventurous travellers can opt for a tour that will take you more into the tranquil wilderness, offering either a quaint cabin or a heated tent for the full experience. The best time to go during the year is from mid-August to mid-April.Find Cheap Flights to Whitehorse
Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal
Climbing Mount Everest or the Himalayan Mountains are high on many travellers bucket lists – so why not consider stargazing at clear night skies with no sign of civilization in sight? If you are heading to Nepal to enjoy this breathtaking corner of the world, consider sleeping under the stars in Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located in the eastern part of the Himalayas, views of Mount Everest will be plain in sight. Moreover, this is an extraordinary place to add to your stargazing bucket list because of the unique terrain that includes majestic mountains, deep valleys and glaciers. You may even catch some wildlife! The high-above-the-clouds altitude will offer the perfect conditions for unobstructed views of the stars. Depending on your interests, you can opt for staying at a hotel near the park or taking a guided, multi-day trek. The most optimal time of year to visit is late October until early May.Find Cheap Flights to Nepal
Under the Tuscan Sun no longer; stick around after that beautiful Tuscan sunset, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the sheer vastness of a Tuscan starry night. Some of the best stargazing destinations in Europe can be found in the northern parts of the continent, and that is what makes this Italian stargazing bucket list destination even more special. Far away from the light pollution of the big cities in Italy, but accessible enough for any type of traveller, the Tuscan countryside needs to be added to your Stargazing Bucket List for 2019.
With incredible landscapes, low population and an endless supply of pizza, pasta and wine, what more could you ask for while sleeping under the stars? This is ideal for your next romantic getaway or creative retreat. In fact, Galileo himself developed his telescope here in the 17th century! Besides the glittering stars, Tuscany is an optimal place to see the moon’s craters and sunspots. Any time of year is good to visit, but if you want to avoid that Italian heat, aim to travel in the autumn or winter months.Find Cheap Flights to Italy
NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia, Africa
A destination like Namibia is more off the beaten path, but still high on the radar for stargazing fanatics. With its dark and cloudless night skies, low tourism traffic and remote location, Namibia should be added to your stargazing bucket list for 2019. Prepare yourself for some of the brightest stars around. The Namibia night sky is a photography lover’s dream.
Furthermore, because Namibia’s geographical terrain is mostly desert, you will feel like you have the whole sky to yourself. Stay at the famous stargazing hotel, the Sossusvlei Lodge, where a skylight opens above your bed or take a guided tour with passionate local guides. The best time to visit Namibia is from December through March, so book your ticket today!Find Cheap Flights to Namibia
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
Saving the best for last, this is the largest dark-sky reserve in the world at 4300 square km, so naturally, it should be added to your stargazing bucket list. Be prepared to feel closer to nature as this reserve is almost completely unobstructed by light pollution and the sky seems to stretch far beyond what the eye can see.
Here, there are extraordinary constellations that can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere such as the Magellanic Clouds and satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Besides the millions of sparkling stars above you is the ringed, mountainous terrain around you. Enjoy this breathtaking sight from a cabin or a tent or watch the night sky reflection glitter off of the surface of Lake Pukaki. Regardless, this is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. The best time to visit New Zealand is during the autumn months.Find Cheap Flights to New Zealand
Wherever you want to see the stars, any of these destinations would make for magical stargazing in 2019 and beyond.
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