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The Best Places in the World for Stargazing.

Most of us who live in cities full of light pollution don’t really get to see too many stars when we look up from time to time. In some places, away from the city, you can get a good view and see a few more stars then you are used to, but nothing too exciting. And then you have these places, where the skies are so full of stars you won't believe your eyes. These are some of the best places in the world to go stargazing and lose yourself in the vast beauty of heavenly lights.

Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

stargazing

Found in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Mauna Kea is considered a prime place to see the stars. It has a dry atmosphere and it's one of the most cloud-free spots on Earth. Its home to one of the most renowned observatories in the world, perched atop a 13,796-foot volcano, open to both professionals and tourists. 


Death Valley National Park, California.

stargazing

If you want to properly enjoy a meteor shower or a lunar eclipse, there are few vantage points better  than this one. The park has very little artificial light but what really makes it special is the combination of dry climate, clean air, and an expansive horizon that seems to start at your feet. It's best to visit from November to April, when temperatures are nicer and park rangers lead night sky tours.


Denali National Park, Alaska.

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The night's sky can hold many wonders besides the stars and the Northern Lights are the best known of them. This jaw-dropping phenomenon fills the sky with green, red, blue and purple lights, dancing above your head. The lights center on the magnetic poles but they are still hard to predict so consult experts before planning your trip.


Big Bend National Park, Texas.

An isolated area in southwest Texas along the Mexico border, Big Bend National Park claims its skies are "dark as coal." In case there was any doubt, the park underwent a drastic reduction in energy consumption and lighting in 2011 to achieve its gold certification as an International Dark Sky Park. On a clear night, expect to see 2,000 stars, plus planets and meteorites, courtesy of the remote location, very low humidity, and infrequent cloud cover.


Kiruna, Sweden.

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Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden, not far from the border with Norway and Finland. In addition to a massive space research center you can also enjoy stunning views of the glowing, colorful and wavy bands, courtesy of the Northern Lights.


The Caribbean Sea.

stargazing

Far away from any major light and pollution sources, the southern Caribbean islands make for outstanding stargazing sites. Given its proximity to the equator in the Tropic of Cancer, the Caribbean offers a particularly bright view of objects you can hardly see form other places on Earth.


La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

stargazing

The 5,436-foot Volcano in northwestern Costa Rica is one of few places above the equator where the Magellanic Clouds (two galaxies first identified by Magellan in the 1520’s) are visible. Visit from mid-December through mid-April and you just might see a sky so full of stars you won't believe it's real.


Yangtze River valley, China.

stargazing

The beautiful Yangtze River valley, with its monumental Three Gorges Dam project, offers both stunning daytime scenery and magical night spectacles. Unlike most of China, this area isn’t very industrialized and has relatively little light making the nights sky more visible.


NamibRand International Dark Sky Reserve, Namibia.

stargazing

The perfect place to combine a safari with a stargazing trip. The site is "perhaps the darkest location IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) has ever designated", and possibly the closest thing you will ever find to "natural darkness".


Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand.

stargazing

Also known as Mt. Cook National Park, this area is another example of near-primeval darkness. It’s a place where you can combine amazing walking tracks by day, and breathtaking views at night. 


Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, Ireland.

stargazing
If you ever want to get a feeling of being away form everything else, this is a good place to go. Located in the remote southwest corner of Ireland, this park is one of the darkest places in Europe on account of being furthest from any major city as well as being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania.

stargazing

This area is known as one of the best places to stargaze on the East Coast of the US and one of its eight International Dark Sky Parks. Under the best conditions, the Milky Way is so visible that it can cast a shadow right at your feet. Just imagine what an amazing feeling it must be...

 

Uluru, Australia.

stargazing

Also known as Ayers Rock, this is one of the most iconic places in Australia and it lies at the very heart of the desert wilderness known as the Outback. The large sandstone rock formation can be seen at night thanks to starlight and moon light shining across the dessert. If you stay up long enough to see the sunrise, you are in for a sight like no other.


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