When did you last see a sky glittering with stars, Lykkers? Few sights are as awe-inspiring as a velvety black horizon dotted with sparkles, but for many of us—especially those living in cities—access to the stars is vanishing.

Research published this year reveals that light pollution is increasing by a staggering 10 percent annually, making those twinkling stars even harder to see.

For this reason, the best stargazing spots tend to be remote, high-elevation areas far from human-made 'skyglow.' Many of these locations are International Dark Sky Places, certified by DarkSky as reserves, parks, sanctuaries, and communities with exceptional nighttime protections.

Spending time in such dark places not only offers breathtaking views of the stars but also the chance to see fascinating nocturnal wildlife and enjoy deep, restful sleep. If you want to fill your eyes with stars, here are our top picks for the best stargazing spots around the world.

1. Elqui Valley, Chile

The Elqui Valley in north-central Chile boasts high elevation, low population density, and nearly cloud-free skies, creating ideal conditions for stargazing. Declared an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2015, the area is home to over half of Earth's astronomical infrastructure, with more facilities being constructed, including the new dark-matter-hunting Vera C. Rubin Observatory.

Visitors can stay in the village of Vicuña and begin their stargazing adventure at the Observatorio Mamalluca, where astronomers provide introductions to planets, stars, and galaxies through various high-powered telescopes.

Observatorio Mamalluca ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A tourist observatory with educational displays set in a dramatic mountain setting known for its clear skies.

Addmission: from $70 per adult

Open hours: 9 AM–11:30 PM, Hours might differ

Phone number: +56 51 267 0330

The Night Observations program includes the following:

a) Introduction of guides and group formation.

b) Introductory lectures on astronomical topics supported by audiovisual materials.

c) Observation and explanation of the skies with the eye and small telescopes on the terrace, where you can learn to recognize bright stars and constellations.

d) Viewing through a 12-inch telescope to better appreciate various objects in space.

2. South Island & Rakiura, New Zealand

Te Waipounamu, also known as the South Island of New Zealand, is a stargazer‘s paradise with its mountainous landscapes and very low light pollution. Wai-Iti International Dark Sky Park hosts regular stargazing events, while Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, located at the heart of the island, is one of the world’s largest dark sky reserves.

Here, you can go stargazing on Mount John with the Dark Sky Project and learn about indigenous Māori sky beliefs and traditions. Additionally, the remote Rakiura (Stewart Island) to the south is an International Dark Sky Sanctuary where you can spot the Aurora Australis, the southern lights.

Dark Sky Project

a. The Summit Experience

Premier guided stargazing tour at the summit of Mount John. This exclusive mountaintop tour is held at the summit of Mount John, home to the world-renowned astronomical research center, the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.


Setting: Evening/Outdoors

Duration: 2-hour tour

Equipment: Stargazing using 9 ¼ to 16-inch telescopes

Lykkers, keep this guide! Hope this helps you as you start planning your stargazing trip!