Visitors from around the world to descend on San Antonio for solar eclipse

Hotels, Airbnbs booked up at high prices

April’s eclipse will be drawing millions to Texas from all over the world. I came across one of those visitors by chance, after seeing a post on the San Antonio Facebook page “ask a local.” New Zealander Karolyn Timarkos had posted about catching a ride from San Antonio to Stonehenge II in Ingram for the eclipse.

”Which you know, God bless the Americans,” joked Timarkos over a Zoom call. “We can’t make it to Stonehenge, so we’ll just build one here.”

Intrigued by the idea of watching the celestial event at such a unique spot, she made plans years ago to make the trek to San Antonio and then Ingram.

Stonehenge II near Ingram (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“This thing is banged smack in the middle [of the eclipse path], so I’m like that was purposely built for the 2024 eclipse.” quipped Timarkos.

This is not Timarkos’s first total solar eclipse, however. She made the trip to the States in 2017 to watch the last one in Missouri.

Karolyn Timarkos enjoying the 2017 eclipse in Missouri (Karolyn Timarkos)

”The full eclipse is just mind-blowing,” she recalled.

It was an experience that assured she’d be traveling back for this eclipse.

”All the crickets start chirping and all the birds start doing their dusk chirp and then in the totality, the birds will go to sleep,” Timarkos said.

It left her wanting more, so Timarkos began planning for the 2024 eclipse years ago, knowing she’d need to move fast.

Karolyn Timarkos enjoying the 2017 eclipse in Missouri (Karolyn Timarkos)

”I very early got on and booked my flight from Auckland to Houston, which I picked up for $760 New Zealand dollars, which is like $500 American. It was so cheap,” Timarkos said.

Although the flight back, she said, turned out to be significantly more costly. So, too, were many of the accommodations.

”Originally I’d planned to stay in Ingram, which when I first discovered this town, I think it has three Airbnbs and they’re like $50 to $60 a night. And I said, oh, sweet, I’ll stay there. Then when I went to book one for the night, they were $3,500 a night. So, I thought ok, there was an RV park half an hour down the road, which was like $28 a night for an un-powered site. [They were asking] $15,000 a night for an unpowered campsite for the night of the eclipse,” said an animated Timarkos.

Eventually, she discovered she could camp at Stonehenge II for $140 per ticket for four people. That brings us back to the original post. She was offering a barter: two tickets for a ride (her friend from Chicago will be joining her). She quickly got a message.

”Jordan reached out to me, and he’s actually an Englishman,” explained Timarkos. “But, he’s lived in San Antonio for 15 years. And he went, yeah, I can. I can give you a ride. Not a problem.”

Jordan, as it turned out, was a local comedian and YouTube personality who hoped to document the eclipse. Everything fell into place for Timarkos. She’ll be joined by visitors from around the world who have chosen San Antonio as their eclipse destination.

About the Author

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.

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