From the vast plains of Africa to otherworldly South American deserts, here are some of the best properties in the world for clear night skies and spectacular stargazing.

Glittering galaxies strewn like diamond necklaces across the cosmos, shooting stars sailing through the night, delicate constellations tracing images over a canvas of inky black—the night sky is one of nature’s greatest shows. But with light pollution on the rise, enjoying the unfiltered night sky is getting harder and harder.

That’s why the best spots for stargazing tend to be remote, miles from cities and towns, far removed from the glow of humanity. For the same reason, some of the most incredible properties are way out in the middle of nowhere—where the skies so clear you’ll scarcely believe it.

From luxury African safari lodges and South American rainforest escapes to New Zealand eco retreats to spend your nights looking at the stars, here are our pick of the best luxury properties for stargazing in the world.

Ol Donyo Lodge: Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Set amid 274,000 acres of wild grassland and gentle hills, Ol Donyo Lodge offers the perfect combination of stargazing and safari. Each of the nine suites has star beds, letting you sleep out under the open skies of East Africa, surrounded by the nocturnal noises of elephants and other big game. The remote Chyulu Hills of Kenya, where the lodge is located, is so close to the equator that there’s a chance you’ll see both the Southern and Northern Hemisphere constellations—if you stay up long enough, that is. When you’re not gazing skyward, keep an eye out for the area’s bull elephants. Ol Donyo is home to some of Africa’s few remaining large-tusked male elephants.

Starbed at Ol Donyo
Spend a night beneath the stars at Ol Donyo, Kenya Credit: Ol Donyo Lodge

The Lindis: Ahuriri Valley, New Zealand

While it’s not a designated Dark Sky Reserve like nearby Lake Tekapo, the nighttime canvas above The Lindis is still very special. Sitting in solitude in the Ahuriri Valley on New Zealand’s South Island, mountainous terrain, a low population density, and minimal light pollution ensure phenomenal stargazing—you could see the celestial-looking Magellanic Clouds, the Milky Way, and some of the brightest stars in the solar system. So you can tell your Māori constellations from your Greek ones, The Lindis provides tours of the cosmos, complete with high-powered telescopes and expert local guides. After a night under the Te Waipounamu sky (the South Island’s name in Maori), retire to the lodge for a night of luxurious comfort in your private suite.

Night sky above the Lindis
New Zealand’s South Island is famous for its clear skies. Credit: The Lindis

Explora Atacama: The Atacama Desert, Chile

Spend your nights gazing at the pristine Chilean sky from Explora’s private observatory in the remote heart of the Atacama Desert. One of the driest places on the planet, the Atacama has very little cloud cover and incredibly low population density—both of which make for exceptional stargazing. While the beauty of the cosmos is easily seen by the naked eye here, Explora’s powerful telescope adds a new dimension to stargazing, letting you peer into the far reaches of deep space. Each night, the lodge runs an astronomy exploration experience, where you’ll learn about judging stellar distances, how to orient yourself using the sky, and the local culture linked to the stars. Each guest can take a session as a part of their booking.

Night sky above the Atacama Desert
View the spectacular starry sky through Explora’s telescope. Credit: Getty Images

Wilderness Little Kulala: Sossusvlei, Namibia

Vast and empty, the Namib desert has some of the darkest skies on earth—in fact, the nearby Namib-Naukluft National Park is a designated Dark Sky Reserve. Little Kulala technically isn’t in the reserve, but it’s so close (the lodge has private access to the park through an exclusive-use gate) that the sky above it is still exceptionally clear. The light pollution is virtually nonexistent; the stars are magnificent, with the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds two of the biggest highlights. But the Namibian night isn’t just for spotting stars and planets. As darkness engulfs Namib-Naukluft National Park, a different ecosystem comes to life. Head out on a night walking safari searching for scorpions, bat-eared fox, aardwolves, and other nocturnal animals.

Starbed at Little Kulala, Namibia
Nambia has some of the darkest skies on earth. Credit: Teagan Cunniffe

Pristine Salinas Grandes: Salinas Grandes, Argentina

A stay at Pristine Salinas Grandes feels more like a night on a far-flung lunar outpost than anything you’d find on Earth—which could be why the stargazing is next level. Located in a vast salt flat at an altitude of 3,450 meters in mountainous northern Argentina, the night sky here stretches out in all directions and feels close enough to touch a star. Then there’s the out-of-this-world accommodation. Four space-age domes sit out on the salt, with one side of floor-to-ceiling windows allowing you a full view of the cosmos from your bed. Book a two-night stay, and Pristine’s expert guides will take you out onto the salt for an extraordinary stargazing experience, where you’ll learn how to spot and interpret the constellations with the help of a laser. During the day, explore the mind-bending landscapes of the salt flats and visit salt pools with a guide from the local community.

Night sky and dome at Pristine Salinas Grande.
Spend a night on another planet at Pristine Salinas Grande. Credit: Pristine Camps.

La Selva: The Amazon, Ecuador

Imagine the night sky, faultless above your head, illuminated with a billion iridescent stars, as you glide in a canoe surrounded by the natural chorus of the rainforest—this is stargazing, Amazon style. With almost no light pollution, the skies around La Selva in the Ecuadorian Amazon are some of the darkest in the world. Still, it is the sensory combination of the wildlife and the cosmos that makes stargazing so unique here. In between wildlife sightings of caimans, owls, bats, and more, keep your eye on the sky for the Southern Hemisphere constellations. Back at the lodge, unwind after a day’s wildlife activities with an indulgent treatment at the spa—its thoughtful design includes open-sided massage rooms, bringing the healing qualities of nature to your session.

La Selva lodge deep in the Amazon.
Combine stargazing with wildlife experiences in the Amazon. Credit: La Selva

Ishara: Maasai Mara, Kenya

Ishara’s starbed is the first in the Maasai Mara, an open-top observation deck raised high above the savannah floor. Spend the night beneath a canvas of stars in complete comfort, with the best and brightest of both hemispheres on show. While the Maasai Mara isn’t traditionally known as a stargazing destination, its location close to the equator, sparse population, and lack of light pollution make for a romantic night under the open sky. Then, of course, there’s abundant wildlife here. Lions roaring at dusk, hippos wallowing in the night, and gentle birdsong your alarm clock, you’ll hear the nocturnal noises of the Mara’s many species. During the day, see them in person with game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon safaris.

Starbed at Ishara in Kenya
The Ishara starbed is a first in the Maasai Mara. Credit: Ishara

Natural Selection Khwai Private Reserve: Botswana

Stargazing meets refined luxury at Natural Selection, where three-story raised platforms let you sleep under the sparkling skies of the Khwai Private Reserve in Botswana. Found in a remote northeastern corner of the Okavango Delta, the nighttime visibility is so clear you should have no problem spotting the Southern Cross, Orion, and other twinkling constellations. With only three “rooms” at this camp, you’ll have the skies almost entirely to yourself—it’s one of Africa’s most exclusive star bed experiences. Each platform overlooks a waterhole where wildlife is a constant sight. Around 400 bull elephants drink here, alongside lion, leopard, eland, and many more species. A night under the stars makes a fantastic add-on to a safari—one you’ll never forget.

A man looking at a watering hole from his skybed room.
Natural Selection skybeds overlook a busy watering hole. Credit: Natural Selection

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