Considered the first astronomical center in the Southern Hemisphere, northern Chile has one of the clearest skies in the world, a stable climate and is far from light pollution. Ideal for astronomical observation and for those wishing to watch the stars from a privileged place. You access the various observatories permission. It is best to hire a tour in a travel agency.
It is a tourist observatory located 9 kilometers from the city of Vicuña and 60 kilometers. east of the city of La Serena, in the heart of the Elqui Valley, at an altitude of 1,200 meters. In 1994 he became the first amateur observatory for tourism, it will be possible to observe through a modern telescope, both planets and other celestial bodies. It is open all year and for all kinds of tourists. The duration of the tour is approximately two hours and prior reservations must be made at the municipal offices in the vicinity of the main square of Vicuña. This place was the inspiration for the album Mamalluca the Chilean group Los Jaivas, published on November 25, 2009.
It located approximately 80 kilometers east of the city of La Serena, at an altitude of 2200 meters. It has 7 Domes of which 5 are kept in operation, and its largest telescope Victor Blanco. The project was initiated in 1962 and was finalized on November 6, 1967. The tours are free and take place every Saturday in two time: 9:00 and 13:00. Must book at least a month in advance. The visit consists of a tour of the facilities of the Centre, conducted by guides, which shows and explains the operation of one or two telescopes and basic astronomy talk supported with images of galaxies, supernovas and other space phenomena. It has a "Visitor Center" where popular models of instruments and spatial shown photographs taken by the Observatory.
Located 157 km. north of La Serena and 94 km. La Higuera, at a height of 2510 m. Bell has ample capacity for observing the universe getting sharp photos. It has 4 telescopes, and is equipped with auxiliary elements. Its main telescope is 2.5 meters in diameter. Responsibility, its operating and research corresponds to American observatories, involving the University of Chile. His visits are only possible on Saturdays, reservation at (51) 224-680.
Located 150 kilometers north of La Serena, 2,440 meters high. La Silla observatory is equipped with telescopes thirteen great magnitude. Its main reflector telescope type measuring 3.6 meters in diameter, which belongs to the European Association for Astronomical Observation in the Southern Hemisphere. The building is 18 meters high and 30 meters in diameter. The weight of the dome is 400 tons and 250 tons main telescope. His visits are only possible on Saturdays and for which you must apply to your reservation antipación (2) 2285-006 in Santiago.