Tenerife is officially recognised as one of the top three astronomy locations in the world alongside Hawaii and the Atacama desert in Chile. Not only are the skies here very clear and dark (sky quality readings exceeding 21.50SQM – Bortle 2 to 3), they are dark all year round; even on the shortest nights at the height of summer, we get seven hours of astronomical darkness allowing us extended observing and imaging sessions
Thanks to Tenerife’s location and topography, clouds are typically restricted to lower altitudes, meaning the higher areas are almost always cloud free – a stargazer’s dream! Vilaflor is located on the edge of the beautiful Corona Forestal National Park, at about the altitude where the clouds stop. This lack of clouds mean we rarely miss a celestial event!
Situated just above Vilaflor, The El Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site globally recognised as a ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’ due to its exceptionally clear and protected dark skies. The observatory located here is one of the most important sites in the world for scientific research. They record 81% of days as clear or only partially cloudy ranging from 94% in summer to 71% in Autumn so you can be confident of experiencing the dark skies any week of the of year. http://www.iac.es/eno.php?op1=3&lang=en
On site we have a roof-top observing terrace with telescopes for the use of guests and our staff can provide guidance on their use and what to look for in the night sky. We also provide binoculars and red light torches to preserve your night vision. Within 30mins drive we know several exceptionally dark sites in the national park away from the coach tours, tourists and headlights where you can experience the real dark skies of Tenerife.
If you are interested in astrophotography, we can instruct you in deep sky, planetary or nightscape photography and we run regular stargazing nights both at the hotel and within the National Park.
Casa Zaguan also hosts the island’s astronomy society TAS (Tenerife Astronomy Society) who hold their meetings here once a month. Guests are free to attend and participate during their stay. https://www.facebook.com/groups/tastro/
Whether you are new to stargazing or an experienced astronomer or astro-photographer, we believe Casa Zaguan offers the very best place to come and enjoy the wonders of our very dark skies.