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Best Places for Families to Sleep Under the Stars

There are plenty of hotels around the world that cater for families, but if you’re really looking to make an impact on the kids, you won’t go far wrong with a property that brings you closer to nature.

One of the best ways to do this is to spend a night or two under the stars. The seemingly infinite night sky can be closer than you think.

10 Places for Camping with the Family:

Mount Rinjani, Indonesia

Breathtaking scenery peppered with tiny villages dominates the sacred land that surrounds Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest peak. There are various camp sites dotted around the crater rim and it’s possible for you and your family to take a guided excursion to spend a night under the stars here.

A guide and porter will pitch your tent for you, but the experience is very much about getting back to nature; you spend the night wrapped in a sleeping bag on a mat or air mattress, but with low night time temperatures you’ll need to wear some warm winter clothes and a hat to keep you comfortable during your adventure. Due to this, camping on Mount Rinjani is best suited to older children aged 10 and above.

Patagonia Camp in Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine in Chile is arguably one of the best places in the world to appreciate the night’s sky and one of the finest ways to do so is by spending a night or two in a yurt at Patagonia Camp.

Untitled, Torres del Paine, 1
Photo By: Ben O’Bryan

Far be it for guests to ‘rough it’ at Patagonia Camp, instead visitors are treated to centrally-heated wooden tents that boast en-suite facilities and skylights so you can watch the stars as you drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Located on the shores of picturesque Lago Toro, this is property will also appeal to families who care about the impact they have on the environment, with its own water cleaning system and biodegradable bathroom products.

Bullo River Station, Australia

Bullo River Station offers quintessential Australia at its best. A homestead in the Northern Territory, the property gives guests the chance to immerse themselves in outback life, from building fences and cattle mustering, to the more relaxing pursuits of gorge river cruises and discovering Aboriginal rock art. The property has newly built cabins for those that wish to spend time in isolation but also offers the chance to spend a night in their “thirteenth room”, where guests are taken in the station’s helicopter to a remote waterfall called the Cascades and supplied with overnight provisions, including a satellite phone, swag and picnic. Spend the day splashing around in watering holes before sleeping out under the stars at night.

Sahara Desert Camp, The Erg Chebbi, Morocco

A magical experience for all the family, it’s possible to spend a night in a traditional Arab tent in the heart of the North African desert. The Sahara Desert Camp in the Erg Chebbi, although relatively basic, is one of the best ways to experience traditional Bedouin life.

Enjoy traditional Moroccan fare and entertainment, then take off along the sand dunes atop a camel to watch the sunset over the Sahara. Return to your tent where the electricity is switched off in order for you and your family to take in the clear night sky in all its splendour.

Kulala Desert Lodge, Namibia

A family safari is one of the most exciting holidays you can take and a stay at the Kulala Lodge in Namibia makes a trip just that little bit more memorable.

Sitting on the edge of the world-famous Sossusvlei sand dunes, each of the 23 traditional rooms have a private rooftop terrace where you can sleep out under the stars and enjoy views across the Namib desert. Three of the rooms are designed specifically for families and can accommodate up to two adults and two children.
There are also plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, including guided quad biking through the sand dunes and nature walks.

Temple Safari, Cambodia

What could be better than camping on the summit of Phnom Kulen National Park with your family? This is Cambodia’s most sacred mountain and a popular pilgrimage site for locals, but its stunning waterfalls and numerous temples mean it’s also a great spot for tourists.

An ideal choice for the active family holiday, this adventure includes a 4km trek across the plateau to see the impressive giant, rock-hewn animals known collectively as Sra Domrei (Elephant Pond). You then head to camp at Preah Kral where you can have a cool shower and a freshly prepared dinner, before watching the night close in from this amazing location.

Camping at Uaxactun in Guatemala

A campsite situated just a stone’s throw away from the famous Mayan ruins at Uaxactun, this is the perfect option for families looking for a rustic and authentic experience under the stars.

Sitio arqueológico Uaxactún - Petén, Guatemala
Photo By: rherreramarmol

While facilities are somewhat limited (toilets and cold showers are provided in a separate block) the candlelit dining experience at the foot of a Mayan temple more than makes up for this.

Traditional Yurt on the South Shore, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan may not be one of the first countries that springs to mind when thinking of a family holiday, but venture to this exotic land and you will be rewarded with lush and mountainous scenery, plenty of walking opportunities and a nomadic culture which forms the base of one of the best starry experiences for families.

A stay in a traditional yurt will give you and your family a truly authentic taste of nomadic life and in addition to the starry nights you’ll be treated to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Milky Way Camp, Jordan

Jordan has a lot to offer families; the country’s undoubted highlight, the ancient city of Petra, was used as a location for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, while floating in the Dead Sea is sure to delight family members of all ages.

Jordan is also a great place to appreciate the night’s sky and a stay at the Milky Way Camp is one of the best ways to do this. Found deep in the heart of the magical Wadi Rum, this camp provides an authentic but comfortable stay for a night or two, where guests can enjoy traditional home-cooked food by firelight.

Tinyeleti Treehouse, Lion Sands, South Africa

If you’re looking to really treat the family to a magical and memorable experience, you can’t go far wrong with a stay at Tinyeleti Treehouse at Lion Sands in South Africa. The ultimate for a luxury family holiday, Tinyeleti has an almost Peter Pan feel about it; high up on a wooden stilts sits a 40m2 deck, big enough to accommodate up to 4 people with a four-poster bed, seating area and tables and chairs.

Unlike any treehouse you’ll build in your back garden, Tinyeleti also has a toilet and the option of enjoying a meal and cocktails at sunset as you watch the animals come to drink!

Katy Pannell is Online Travel Editor at Audley Travel, an award-winning tour operator that specialises in tailor-made trips and small group tours to over 80 countries around the world.

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