So many quintessential travel experiences happen in the daylight. The eight hotels in this week’s Bucket List, however, offer unique moonlit travel activities. From full-moon meditation in Florida to guided stargazing in Arizona and after-dark rain forest hikes in Costa Rica, these options encourage you to make the most of your stay by extending the day. Embark on these tours or partake in these activities to experience destinations in a whole new light, or lack thereof.
Paste Travel’s Bucket List columnist Lauren Kilberg is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her travels have found her camping near the Pakistani border of India and conquering volcanoes in the Philippines.
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There's a handful of things you have to do when you visit Sedona, Arizona and one of them is stargaze. L'Auberge de Sedona is a resort that takes this to heart. It offers guests the unique chance to experience the desert skies on a tour with astronomer Dennis Young.
Photo by CEBImagery, CC BY-NC 2.0
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CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa invites guests to help in its turtle project program in a fulfilling way. During turtle season, from June to December, guests can take a nighttime walk on the beach to help the resort's resident biologist monitor nesting turtles. As an added bonus, you can even help release newly-hatched turtles into the ocean.
Photo Courtesy CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
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Puerto Rico's Laguna Grande quite literally shines at night. The bioluminescent bay is filled with millions of Pyrodinium Bahamense, a micro-organism that emits blue light when touched. The best way to experience the bay is via kayak. You'll watch the mangrove channels and bay glow as you paddle your way along. Tour providers leave from Fajardo, about an hour's drive from San Juan Marriott Resort. One option is Kayaking Puerto Rico, which offers 2-hour tours starting at $48 per person.
Photo Courtesy San Juan Marriott Resort
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The Resort at Longboat Key Club in Sarasota, Florida wants to help guests find clarity in what might be the most relaxing means possible. The resort offers free guided meditation lessons for guests once a month under the full moon. The moonlight meditation is hosted by a certified instructor and includes tranquil live music. The location changes with the position of the moon, sometimes it's held at the marina or beach and other times on the greens of one of the resort's two golf courses.
Photo Courtesy Resort at Longboat Key Club
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Washington, D.C. is full of must-see monuments. While many flock to them during the day, the Gaylord National Resort in Prince George's County, Maryland just outside the capital offers a different perspective. Its Monuments by Moonlight tour takes you around to some of the most iconic sights after dark when they're lit up and, as an added bonus, less crowded. Stops include the White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, among others. The tour costs $42 for adults.
Photo by Dan G, CC BY 2.0
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The Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel is located in the "heart of Maya World" in Guatemala, just minutes from Tikal. The hotel makes the most of its location on Quexil Lagoon by offering guests a moonlight boat tour. The private ride includes two glasses of wine paired with small plates from the hotel's Shultun Restaurant. Tours take place during the full moon and start at $75.
Photo Courtesy Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel
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The W Fort Lauderdale hosts a high-energy nighttime yoga experience that features a drum circle and rotating roster of DJs and yogis that lead the flow. Known as the Journey, the moonlight yoga events kick off at sunset and conclude once the moon is high in the sky with fire dancers, free time at the pool and bar area, as well as sound healing under the stars. Events are open to hotel guests and the public and cost around $20.
Photo Courtesy W Fort Lauderdale
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At night, nature comes alive and the Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa wants you to experience that firsthand. Located on a 900-acre natural reserve in northern Costa Rica, the resort partners with a local company to offer nighttime nature walks where trained guides help you appreciate the surrounding area's more than 500 species of plant and animal life. Keep your eyes peeled for translucent glass-winged butterflies, tree frogs and watch your step for caiman, an alligatorid crocodilian.
Photo Courtesy Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa