Chile has positioned itself as a global capital for astrotourism since it has the best skies on Earth for stargazing. In fact, 40% of the global infrastructure for studying the universe is found in this southern country, attracting scientist from all over the world to use its far-reaching telescopes to observe the stars, discover new galaxies, and be astounded by the beauty of space.
Despite the fact that most of the astrotourism praise goes to the northern regions of the country, you can also find astronomical centers in Santiago’s backyard. Have a good glass of wine while you enjoy a window to the universe in the capital city of Chile.
1. Cerro Calán Observatory: This observatory has been in business for over 150 years, taking the greater public on guided night visits. It boasts a wide array of children’s activities, such as “Space Explorers,” which invites kids to discover the secrets of the universe in an educational manner.
2. Cerro Pochoco Observatory: More academically-oriented, this observatory aims to spread the love for astronomy to both children and adults through workshops and guided visits, led by professionals from non-profit astrotourism endeavors. Tours are offered from Monday to Friday beginning at 7pm (prior reservation required).
3. Roan Jase Observatory: Nestled between massive peaks of the Cajón del Maipo, this observatory offers guided stargazing tours as well as gazing with the naked eye. Here visitors can also enjoy the geological formations of the area during the tours.
4. UMCE Observatory: This observatory focuses on research and outreach activities pertaining to the wonders of the universe, and it also offers daytime and night-time tours throughout the year. Reservations must be made at least one month in advance.
5. Cielos Chilenos Observatory: This astronomical center located in the outskirts of Santiago allows visitors to gaze at stars and planets during the middle of the daytime thanks to its 2 domes and 8 telescopes. Guided tours are held from Monday through Sunday (prior reservation required).