There’s nothing like seeing millions of stars lighting up the night sky to remind you of just how vast this universe is.
Unfortunately, not many places in the world can actually show you the naked beauty of the stars. I had my fair share in New Zealand, where the population of sheep is more than humans. There are certain popular spots around New Zealand for stargazing.
Due to the increase in population, there is so much pollution in our atmosphere that it is almost impossible to even see the Milky Way galaxy.
If you are a city dweller, there is a very good chance that you are living in a sky that is free of stars.
National Geographic recommends that the most ideal sites to go stargazing should be in high, dry, and dark places. So pack your bags, study up on buying a telescope, and get ready to be mesmerized by the site of the galaxies when you go to one or all of the five best stargazing destinations listed below.
Top 5 Stargazing Destinations In The World
1. Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Spain
This place has a high altitude and being far enough from tropical storms, so you can expect clear and dark skies at night.
They place so much priority on stargazing that not only do they have the annual Starmus Festival, they even regulate flight paths so as not to disturb the stargazing spots.
2. Atacama Desert, Chile
This 600-mile stretch ticks all of the requirements set forth by National Geographic. Not only is it located in high altitude, it is also home to unpolluted skies and the driest air on the planet. This place is every astronomer’s dream.
There are a lot of observatories you can check out, like the ALMA Observatory where you will find the world’s most powerful radio telescope that uses 66 satellite antennae. You can even stay at the Elqui Domos‘ domed tents with open ceilings.
3. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
It might be harder to get to this place – it is a two-hour drive to the summit, and there is a high chance of getting sick due to the high altitude.
But it will be worth it once you get to the top where one of the world’s leading observatories and the world’s largest optical telescope are located. You can enjoy one of the stargazing programs being offered at the visitor center, which is open until 10pm.
4. Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal
Sagarmatha in Nepal can be translated to Forehead in the Sky and it is in this place where you can have one of the most thrilling experiences in your life.
Imagine not only seeing the stars light up the night sky, but seeing it light up over the tallest mountain in the world. That is a once in a lifetime experience!
5. Alqueva Dark Sky, Portugal
Astro Tourism is emphasized so much in this part of the world that they actually have a Starlight Reserve so that the night skies will be preserved.
It may not be the world’s largest dark-sky reserve, but a trip to the southern part of Portugal is still worth it once you turn your head up to the sky and see the stars in all its glory.
Stargazing has been a tradition that has been enjoyed for decades. With the world growing at a record pace, it is becoming more difficult with every passing day to be able to see the bright night sky in all of its glory due to light pollution and other environmental factors.
To get a real good look at the stars overhead, it is best to travel to a destination such as a national park to enjoy stargazing to the fullest.