Stargazing Adventures & Astro-Tourism in Latin America
by Patricia Perez-Sahin
The sky has always aroused admiration, mystery and curiosity. The different #stargazing experiences allow not only to identify and analyze the stars, galaxies and constellations, but also to understand the unique landscape of the sky from the place you visit. It is an original way to discover a place, and to be surprised and amazed by all the secrets and wonders of the sky that are beyond the human eye.
Bellow we highlight the Top Destinations for Stargazing in Latin America, paired with unique locations and experiences by our #LatinDMCs. Where would you like to start star gazing?
The Norte Grande, the Chilean north region, is considered one of the finest places on Earth to enjoy the beauty of the starry sky and peer into outer space. The Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world has crystal-clear skies, 300-plus cloud-free days per year and almost no light pollution, which is why some of the most advanced telescopes and observatories in the world chose to call this arid land home.
Stargazing in Chile is a must in every itinerary through South America. Besides, since observation of the stars, planets and other celestial bodies also occupied an important place in Chile’s native, pre-Columbian cultures, currently there are Astronomy programs combined with historical education; which is the best way to understand the past Andean peoples’ connection to the stars; the cosmovision developed centuries ago by the Likan Atay or Atacama people.
Stargazing in the Uyuni Salt Flat is one of the most sublime things any person can do for enjoyment and inspiration. Just being at a height of 3,600 meters above sea level gives an idea of how spectacular it is to live this experience.
During the rainy season, stargazers in Uyuni get an extra bonus when relaxing under the night sky as the water reflects everything just like a giant mirror. The feeling is one of walking in space amongst the stars.
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the “highest navigable” lake in the world. It is because of the altitude and the stunning surrounding Andes that this location is specially suitable for stargazing.
A tip to further elevate this experience will be to do a trip to the “Uros”, a group of man-made islands named after the Uru people who made these from layers of “Totora”, a thick type of grass that grows in Lake Titicaca.
For the adventure seekers, there is an option to star gazing while hanging on a pod from the side of a mountain, with panoramic views of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Located in route to Machu Picchu, Skylodge’s Adventure Suites seats over 1,000 feet of a mountain, and people must climb in order to get there.
Argentina has many privileged places that offer 360 days a year of clear skies far from light pollution, and vast outdoor settings clear of large cities and conglomerates. Each is surrounded by large cacti with the Andes Mountains as the background, high mountains, or rests on the shores of the Atlantic Coast.⠀
Rediscovering the beauty of the sky is within our reach. At any time of the year it is possible to enjoy these nocturnal explorations, which can be accompanied with a pairing of Argentine wines and a traditional 𝑨𝒔𝒂𝒅𝒐, or with photographic safaris to capture small moments of intensity.
Costa Rica is one of the few places in the northern hemisphere where visitors can see the Magellanic Clouds, the two galaxies first identified by Magellan. The best location to see the skies is in the small town of La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, for a natural showcase of lights, combining the stars in the skies with lava flows in the ground.
For an exceptional stargazing experience in Colombia, we recommend going far off the beaten track. Corocora Camp sits remotely within vast wilderness and rich agricultural land in region of Los Llanos, (the plains), perfect for embracing the life of “El Llanero”, the South American cowboy culture characterized by centuries of traditions bound of ugh cattle farming and calling, barefoot horseback riding, traditional music and chants, and even anaconda catching.
For “Glamping” under the stars, Corocora Camp offers four spacious tents, adorned with fabrics and handcrafts from different regions of Colombia, showcasing the country’s artisans and cultural diversity.
The most popular locations for star gazing in Colombia are Cocuy National Natural Park, Tatacoa Desert and Cabo de la Vela.
It is important to acknowledge, that all these locations are certainly not the only extraordinary places for star gazing in the region, but clearly the most popular. If we are missing any most locations in Latin America, please post a comment bellow.
Special thanks to Vivaterra Group for sparking this idea and to the rest of our DMCs for their contributions.
For additional information about stargazing experience for groups or any other inquires about taylor-made and unconventional experiences in Latin America, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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