Astro Tourism: The Wellness Vacation You Didn’t Know You Needed
March 11, 2024
By Danielle Owen

When it comes to travel these days, the sky isn’t just the limit– it’s the goal. Travelers are venturing far and wide for prime viewing of eclipses, meteor showers, and the northern lights. 

A travel trend referred to as astro tourism, planning a vacation around the night sky is a magical way for families, solo travelers, or couples to reconnect with nature in some of Earth’s most incredible nature destinations. These star-studded getaways are especially perfect for travelers who live in heavily light-polluted locales and rarely get the chance to enjoy the night sky. 

Ready to experience the cosmos in all its glory? These stellar ideas for a vacation are calling your name:

Northern lights

The aurora borealis is experiencing peak activity this year. There’s never been a better time to plan a trip to check this bucket list experience off your list. So where should you go to see the lights? It’s hard to beat the tried-and-true destinations of Iceland, Scandinavia, Finland, and Canada. 

And while you can certainly try to spot this incredible natural phenomenon by yourself, this is one of those trips worth enlisting the help of experts. Whether you take a boat trip from Reykjavik or chase the aurora in a snowmobile in Lapland, it’s truly a choose-your-own-adventure for expert-guided northern lights tours. 

Some other-worldly ideas for northern light astro tourism:

  • Tromso, Norway: Husky sledding by day and bus chases of the Northern Lights by night.
  • Iceland: Set sail from Reykyjavic’s Old Harbour and watch the Northern Lights from the bay.
  • Yellowknife, Canada: Enjoy the lights from a fire-heated teepee in Aurora Village.
  • Finland: Stay in a glass igloo where you can enjoy the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed.


Seeing an eclipse in all its glory is worth planning a trip around. This idea for astro tourism will be huge in 2024, with an April 8th total solar eclipse passing over North America. 

These are the best destinations in Canada and Mexico for an eclipse-viewing vacation of a lifetime:

  • Mazatlan, Mexico: Head to this beach resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, where you will see the total solar eclipse in April. This is a beautiful wellness destination with incredible food (try their tacos gobernador) and ample beach and mountain activities. Horseback ride on the beach or climb to the top of the highest lighthouse in the Americas.
  • New Brunswick, Canada: A vast portion of New Brunswick lies in the path of totality for the April 8th, 2024 eclipse. This eastern province of Canada is full of untouched nature and is perfect for hikers. Base yourself in the adorable seaside town of St. Andrew’s, where you can watch the eclipse in near totality and follow it up with whale watching and a lobster roll. 

Meteor showers 

Shooting stars fly across the sky at upwards of 75 per hour during the most extensive meteor showers of the year. And when it comes to the Perseids, the Geminids, and the other heavy hitters, it is well worth planning a trip to a dark sky destination just to see the show.

In 2024, the Eta Aquarids (May 4th and 5th) will occur during a 16% full moon, making viewing conditions Ideal. The Eta Aquarids are best seen from the Southern Hemisphere, so consider a trip to some of the best dark sky destinations south of the equator. Some popular favorites include: 

  • Along the Great Ocean Road, Australia: Drive this incredible stretch of coastline during the day – stopping for waterfall hikes and surfing – and enjoy the Milky Way in all its glory at night.  
  • The Atacama Desert, Chile: One of the most spectacular natural places on Earth, the Atacama Desert is also one of the best dark sky destinations.
  • Kruger National Park, South Africa: A safari day followed by a night of stargazing.
  • Khomas Hochland, Namibia: Nature lovers will thrive in Namibia, and Khomas Hochland has the third clearest and least polluted sky in the world. 

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About the Author

Danielle Owen
Danie is a full-time traveler and freelance travel writer. She’s been on-the-move since 2015 from Albania to Zambia (and 70+ others in between). She’s developed a very sophisticated algorithm that evaluates countries based on a thorough analysis of their wine, hot sauce, local friendliness, and how hard she happy-cries at their nature. You can find her portfolio at or her photos on Instagram @danieelizabeth