It is always fascinating to look up at a clear night sky and get lost among the stars.
Anyone can enjoy stargazing, even if you can’t readily name the constellations or planets.
The best places to go, of course, are where the sky is wide open and very dark, with no distracting city lights. Up in the mountains, or in the desert, or out on the open ocean; it is breathtaking to stare upwards at night at millions and millions of twinkling stars and planets in a blue black sky.
Costa Rica is one of the top places in the world for stargazing according to Travel & Leisure Magazine; especially now during Costa Rica summer (December through April). February and March are the best months for clear star-filled night skies. These dry season months offer astronomy buffs incredible opportunities to see the constellations of the Southern Cross, Omega Centauri, the Magellanic Clouds, the Eta Carinae Nebula, and countless other spectacles in the Milky Way.
Stargazers traveling to Costa Rica also get the added bonuses of watching the night sky in a warm tropical climate, and during the day enjoying spectacular natural scenery, abundant wildlife, fun adventure activities and friendly local people.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a superb stargazing location. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin at the foot of the colossal, active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste is a particularly excellent place. There are no city lights near the family-owned hotel, set on a 3,460-acre ranch, to wash out the night sky. And the unique surrounding dry tropical forest trees lose their leaves like in northern autumn and winter, opening the sky even more to see stars. You can be inspired by an immense sky filled with millions of stars and listen to the symphony of tropical life at night.
Best times for stargazing in Costa Rica: from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and again at 4:00 a.m.
More stargazing opportunities: You can view the sky as seen from various cities around the globe at the Your Sky website. Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer that shows a realistic sky in 3D. If you are in San Jose, Costa Rica, visit the San Jose Planetarium at the University of Costa Rica.
Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin: An ideal place to stay for a real Costa Rica experience and an active vacation at the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. Stay overnight in comfortable ranch-style accommodations and enjoy the best adventure tours in Guanacaste. Located only 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of Guanacaste’s main city of Liberia, the hotel is easily accessible from the Liberia International Airport.
Article by Shannon Farley