Atacama Desert, Chile
Like Paranal, La Silla is an ESO-operated observatory in Chile. Its perch high on the La Silla mountaintop, nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, means the location is free of light pollution, and it also boasts good weather 300 days per year—conditions perfect for stargazing. The ESO hosts a collection of telescopes at La Silla, but one of the most famous is the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, which is constantly on the hunt for extrasolar planets.
Visit: Free, guided tours are offered on Saturdays at 2 pm. There is no charge, but reservations are required. Tours are not offered in July and August, due to the possibility of snowstorms.
More From Condé Nast Traveler:
The Most Dangerous Foods You Can Eat Around the World
Cemeteries So Beautiful, You Wouldn't Mind Spending Eternity in Them
The Top 25 Cities in the World
Eerily Beautiful Abandoned Places