Astrotourism Has Travelers Seeing Stars – Where Are The Best Locations?
Astrotourism covers any travel related to astronomy experiences, including star-gazing, solar eclipses, or meteor showers.
Certain areas in the world have the perfect conditions for visitors to clearly see the stars. However, these days, Astro-tourists are also planning their vacations around astronomy events, like a total solar eclipse or a lunar occultation. Of course, the Northern Lights are also a great draw.
See The Stars With Astro-Tourism
Anyone keen on seeing the stars in the night sky, or watching a meteor shower, solar eclipse or even a rocket launch can be an Astro-tourist. For instance, in April 2021, a lunar occultation of Mars is coming, along with a total lunar eclipse in May. In November, Astro-tourists can experience a lunar occultation of Venus and a total solar eclipse in December over Antarctica.
Where in the world can you experience the stars and become an Astro-tourist? Here are a number of resorts that focus on astronomy.
1. Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora
Tahiti is known for its clear, turquoise water and overwaters bungalows. However, it is also one of the best places to view the Southern hemisphere sky. The best stargazing getaway in Tahiti is at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. These overwater bungalows are a perfect place to relax and gaze at the stars.
While days are spent lounging in the sun and swimming in the clear waters, evenings are for relaxing on patio lounge chairs, gazing up at the night sky with the sound of waves below. There is no light pollution in Tahiti, which means there is such perfect clarity, it is often possible to spot the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. Guest can also enjoy a sunset cruise to a nearby island to learn how ancient Polynesians used celestial navigation.
Currently, French Polynesia is closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when it reopens, Air Tahiti Nui direct flights leave from Los Angeles International Airport to Tahiti.
2. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, Hawaii
Maui is an ideal location for stargazing, with great weather all year, little light pollution, and clear star visibility. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is renowned for its focus on the stars. Edward Mahoney has served as the director of astronomy at the resort for two decades and runs the property’s Tour of the Stars program. According to USA Today, visitors will find he can answer almost any question they can come up with relating to the night skies.
Maui sits just 20 degrees north of the equator, which allows guests to view 80 of the 88 constellations. They can choose an 8 or 9 p.m. astronomy session to view the crystal-clear skies. For romantics, the romance tour starts at 10 p.m. and comes with sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries.
3. The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Close by, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua also runs a stargazing program, where guests can learn about the role of Polynesian voyagers in their migration to Hawaii. The resort has telescopes available on request for guests to view the constellations during their stay.
During the day, there are miles of hiking trails and beaches to choose from. Visitors in Maui between December and March can also spot the whales. This is the time that thousands of humpback whales head to Maui’s shores to breed and give birth in the warm waters.
Maui is currently open for tourism with various travel protocols and restrictions in place. Visitors can catch nonstop flights from several major cities with Hawaiian Airlines.
4. Hotel Jackson, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The night sky in the Wyoming wilderness is outstanding and one place to truly enjoy the experience is Hotel Jackson in Jackson Hole. This four-star boutique property offers a bespoke stargazing experience. Known as Wyoming Stargazing, the program takes guests to the Grand Teton National Park, where they can get comfy wrapped in a blanket in a camping chair as an astronomer guides them through the stunning cosmic display.
During the day, the hotel offers views of the Jackson Valley Mountains and the Snow King. While there, make a day trip to Yellowstone National Park close by.
5. Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah
This 600-acre paradise is set in the middle of nowhere and offers spectacular stargazing. Amangiri Resort offers guests a complimentary stargazing session with an in-house astronomer. The resort also has an astrophotography machine that lets up to 10 users connect wirelessly to download astrophotos directly to their device.
During the day, guests can trek through the national parks, visiting the majestic Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, or experiencing hot-air ballooning at sunrise. For those wishing to stay behind, the Aman Spa is perfect for enjoying a healing Navajo-inspired treatment. However, when nighttime comes, guests can relax in a suite with a sky terrace, gazing at the stars.
Become an Astro-tourist this year and explore the constellations in comfort!