UFO sightings in the United States are older than the country itself. The Puritans wrote about strange lights and flying objects as early as the 1600s, but they didn’t attribute them to aliens. They were simply unidentified, and that’s technically the definition of a UFO: an unidentified flying object.

While we often associate them with aliens today, that idea didn’t really appear in American culture until an incident in 1947. Today, it’s common to accept the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, and UFOs often go hand in hand with aliens.

A lifelong sceptic of all things yet unproven, I’m fascinated by the unexplained. From the supernatural to the extra-terrestrial, I love traveling to the scenes of mysterious tales. For a chance at your own unique encounter, here are the best places for UFO sightings, with my tips for how to get there and where to stay.

UFO sightings around the world

1. Roswell, New Mexico, and the dawn of UFO sightings in the United States

  • How to get there: Fly to El Paso International Airport (ELP) and rent a car for the 3.5-hour drive.
  • When to travel: The best photos here are taken outdoors, so go in fall when the weather is at its best. Flights from $417.
  • Where to stay: There are no alien-themed hotels in Roswell, but Comfort Suites Roswell has everything you need, plus some cute aliens outside.
  • Remember that 1947 incident I mentioned? It kicked off a landslide of alleged UFO sightings that year, including the most famous. Wreckage found near Roswell, New Mexico, was widely believed to be from a flying saucer, and the legend has refused to die.

    Visit today and you’ll be as shocked as I was to see how profoundly alien tourism has taken over Roswell. You probably won’t see any modern UFO sightings here, but it’s undeniably the most important UFO site in the nation.

    Check out the International UFO Museum, The Roswell UFO Spacewalk, and alien art of every scale throughout town. There’s even a UFO-shaped McDonald’s.

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    2. Wycliffe Well, Australia, and a near promise of UFO sightings

    DEST_AUSTRALIA_Wycliffe Well_GettyImages-530587361
  • How to get there: Fly to Alice Springs Airport (ASP) and rent a car for the 4-hour drive.
  • When to travel: Summers are brutally hot here. Visit in Australia’s winter, which is American summer. Flights from $2,380.
  • Where to stay: Checking in at Devils Marbles Hotel allows you to remain in the area overnight without returning to the city, hours away.
  • Not many places are willing to guarantee UFO sightings, but Wycliffe Well in Australia’s Northern Territory comes close. They don’t quite promise one, but they do insist that you can see a UFO any night of the year, and you’re just unlucky if you don’t.

    World War II soldiers were the first to report regular sightings here and logged the constant activity in a book that disappeared in the 1990s. There’s a new book, though, so you can still take part in the tradition if you settle into this seriously remote locale for a night.

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    3. Warminster, England, and a double dose of mystery

    A world-famous prehistoric landmark name Stonehenge in England consists of enormous standing stones topped by connecting horizontal stones.
  • How to get there: Fly to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and rent a car for the 2-hour drive.
  • When to travel: Early fall offers ideal weather while avoiding summer crowds. Flights from $642.
  • Where to stay: Just 15 minutes from Warminster, The Three Daggers offers quintessential countryside luxury near both attractions.
  • Warminster is in the English county of Wiltshire, home to two major mysteries. From the mid-1960s into the late 1970s, a string of much-publicized UFO sightings became known as ‘The Warminster Thing’, and people continue to report incidents today, though less often.

    Even more famously, Wiltshire is also home to the enigmatic circle of towering rocks called Stonehenge. As neither the method nor purpose of building them has been discovered, theories of alien involvement persist, which only adds to the fun of a UFO stakeout in Warminster.

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    4. The Nazca Lines, Peru, and a century of intrigue

    DEST_PERU_Nazca Lines_GettyImages-1003005032
  • How to get there: Fly to Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) and rent a car for the nearly 7-hour drive.
  • When to travel: December through March is high season, when flyovers of the Lines are most frequent. Flights from $435.
  • Where to stay: It’s mostly hostels around here, but Anccalla Inn Guesthouse offers more privacy and comfort for little expense.
  • I’ll be honest: People don’t report many UFO sightings here. But if you did see one, this would be the most incredible spot to do so. The 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines of Peru are monumental geoglyphs that were only re-discovered in 1926.

    With that came dazzling theories of how and why these images were created, often leading to alien theories, since they can only be seen from the sky. Add to this the tiny, mummified bodies recovered from the surrounding desert and the intrigue only intensifies.

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    5. Tepoztlán, Mexico’s most mystical town

  • How to get there: Fly to Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) and rent a car for the 1.5-hour drive.
  • When to travel: Both winter and fall are comfortable here, but winter brings more darkness for better UFO spotting. Flights from $416.
  • Where to stay: Hotel Real Del Valle is just minutes from top attractions but removed enough for a solid rest.
  • For some, belief in extra-terrestrial life is a form of spirituality. Among Mexico’s many ‘magic towns’, a classification granted by the Mexican government to villages with unique heritage and charm, Tepoztlán is best known for mysticism. And that includes scores of UFO sightings. My favorite reason to visit Tepoztlán is for the vibrancy of the historic village itself, but an estimated 50% of locals say they’ve spotted UFOs over this enchanted town, so it’s a great place to head if you’re on the hunt.

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    6. Popocatépetl, Mexico, and the power of volcanoes

    DEST_MEXICO_PUEBLA_Iztaccihuatl-and_Popocatépetl_Volcano GettyImages-1219335005
  • How to get there: Fly to Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) and rent a car for the 2-hour drive.
  • When to travel: Winter is the dry season here. Flights from $416.
  • Where to stay: Hacienda Santo Cristo is a luxury stay with clear volcano views from colorful Atlixco.
  • Some enthusiasts say UFOs are drawn to the heat and activity of volcanoes, which may explain why there are so many famous UFO sightings around Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. It already attracts plenty of attention for its frequent activity and for being North America’s number one volcanic threat to population, but alleged UFOs have been captured in many photos and videos here, making it a major draw for hopefuls.

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    7. Dublin, Ireland, if you’re feeling lucky

    Aerial view of the Hill of Tara, an archaeological complex, containing a number of ancient monuments and, according to tradition, used as the seat of the High King of Ireland, County Meath, Ireland
  • How to get there: Fly to Dublin Airport (DUB) and rent a car for your convenience.
  • When to travel: Summer is crowded, but for good reason. It’s the only comfortable time to be outdoors. Flights from $644.
  • Where to stay: The Trinity City Hotel is a chic and affordable spot close to many city sights.
  • In 2021, The Irish Post reported on a study claiming Ireland was home to more reported UFO sightings than anywhere else in Europe. While there’s no specific site here that’s particularly known for UFO activity, I recommend the convenience of Dublin as your base for kicking off a UFO hunt across the country (the entire nation is within four hours of here). You’ll have to get pretty lucky to stumble across a sighting, but is there any better place to depend on luck than Ireland?

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    Keep an open mind

    A man gazes at the stars in the calm sky on a scenic beach along steep, rugged rocks.

    Embrace the excitement of the unknown, and also take the opportunity to fully appreciate the unique and captivating qualities of your destination. Remember, the journey itself is filled with countless opportunities for enjoyment and discovery.

    Statistically speaking, you’re not likely to spot a UFO in your lifetime, let alone while actively looking for one during your travels. By maintaining a positive and open-minded perspective, you're not only increasing your chances of a memorable encounter but also ensuring that every moment of your trip becomes a rewarding experience. Then again, this list puts you in the best position to see one, so you’re ahead of the game now.

    For more personalized recommendations of when to travel check out KAYAK’s Best Time to Travel tool , or if you have a month in mind, you can also specify it to receive the best combination of dates for that month.

    The foregoing article was last updated on December 1, 2023. It does not contain legal advice and is for informational purposes only. KAYAK does not guarantee, and accepts no legal liability arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any of the information contained in this article and/or any of the content linked to within it. Flight prices are subject to change.

    About the author

    Brandon SchultzBrandon travels every week and makes friends with stray cats wherever he goes. Dogs, too... he once brought one home to the US from the Amalfi Coast. He’s written 6 books, visited 6 continents (still waiting on Antarctica), and would eat ice cream 6 times a day if he could. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his partner and three cats.

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