moon in the night sky

There’s a lot of mystique and magic about moons in folklore, including the belief that the moon symbolizes personal transformation throughout its four phases, from a tiny sliver all the way on up to a full moon. Capturing this spiritual energy, some resorts realize the day doesn’t stop at sunset. These unique experiences take place under the soft glow of moonlight. From full-moon sound therapy to nocturnal wildlife spotting, along with activities authentic to the region, like batik painting in Thailand or a Mayan cacao ceremony in Mexico, here’s how to fall in love with the moon.

El Mangroove, Autograph Collection, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Thanks to stand-up paddleboards that glow in the dark, this luxury beachfront resort, hugging the Gulf of Papagayo along the Pacific coast, hosts a moonlight excursion. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., it’s a marvelous two hours of not only being out on the water but also seeing aquatic life with a new, um, glow.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Aruba

Anchored around a full-moon dinner (hosted on select dates, with the next one on April 5) and featuring items like “lunar eclipse lobster,” there’s an opportunity to set intentions for the coming year and manifest nothing short of abundance. Guests also receive mood rings — paired with a cocktail of the same hue — and a booklet explaining the significance of moon phases.

Punta Caliza, Holbox, Mexico

At this family-run boutique hotel, guests embrace Mayan culture through their palates, via the Ancient Mayan Cacao Ceremony, coupled with a moonlight kayak trip. Guided by a shaman, guests first engage in the ceremony as a form of purification, folding in the four elements (earth, water, air and fire) before paddling through the water in a kayak — and a moonlit swim.

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany, Italy

For most people, the stars are a huge mystery. This resort’s Under the Tuscan Stars activity is a guided, private experience with the estate’s astronomer aims to demystify it all. High-end, sophisticated equipment allows you to view much more than you would with your own eyes.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Wolgan Valley, Australia

Australia’s wildlife is most active at night, precisely what inspired the resort’s one-hour Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting Tour. From the comfort of a four-wheel drive vehicle’s interior, guests can spot — and observe — possums, wombats and owls, plus kangaroos, wallabies, and wallaroos.

Secret Bay, Dominica

This all-villa, eco-minded resort’s perch in the rainforest is perfect for night snorkeling, led by the light of the moon. Frequently spotted underwater here are lobsters, octopus, and moray eels, plus basket stars and the orange ball corallimorph, a predatory mushroom, as well as coral reefs, their beauty even more stunning at night.

ANI Private Resorts, Thailand

Once dusk unfolds, batik painting by moonlight is hosted at this all-inclusive property on the East Coast of Koh Yao Noi Island, where the luxury villa is designed for a group of up to 20 people to rent it out together. As a centuries-old tradition in Thailand, cloth is the canvas and melted wax allows for the creation of this art.

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay, California

In this 50-minute Full Moon Sound Therapy Meditation — hosted on the resort’s beachfront and for a small group of guests on certain dates — therapists channel the moon’s power to further deepen the relaxation. Vibrations from a crystal bowl form the music and help lull guests into a deep meditative state.

Malliouhana, Aubgerge Resorts Collection, Anguilla

The Caribbean Sea is a beautiful sight any time of day but few people witness its quiet stillness after dark — and not just from the beach. The resort’s Paddleboard by Moonlight experience is offered daily, allowing guests the opportunity to view the moon with fresh eyes, from a stand-up paddleboard floating on top of the water.

Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, Vero Beach, Florida

Stargazing on the Sea partners with expert astronomer (David Brown of Mission Astronomy Group) and Paddles by the Sea for a private river-boat cruise celebrating all that’s above — including decoding the constellations. Designed for up to six people, the experience departs from the resort around sunset and is offered on select dates in April, May, and June.