Because of the extraordinary quality of its skies, Chile has become a natural laboratory for astronomy, concentrating 40% of the astronomical observatories of the world. In addition to the advantages this offers Chilean science, this is an enormous opportunity to continue transforming the country into a destination of outstanding astrotourism and international excellence.
Throughout the north of the country it is possible to find suitable sectors for sky observation, such as Pampa Joya, Mano del Desierto and Alto Loa sectors in the Antofagasta region (which already have Starlight certification for the quality of their skies), or the sectors of Chañar, Andacollo, La Campana, Paihauano, Cochiguaz-Magical River and Pisco Elqui-Horcón, in the Coquimbo region, which obtained the first Starlight certification in South America, granted to the Fray Jorge park.
Chile also has 36 national parks, 49 national reserves and 15 natural monuments, as well as numerous private parks, many of which can offer the appropriate conditions for astronomical observation for tourism purposes. On the other hand, our original cultures have a rich astronomical tradition, which is evident in archaeo-astronomical sites and other tangible and intangible cultural expressions.
At present, the country already has astroturistic products, distributed between the regions of Antofagasta and Biobío, being Coquimbo the region with the most consolidated offer. Thanks to its more than 300 clear nights and its sky, the cleanest on the planet, the region has become a recognized pole of international scientific research, as well as astronomical tourism, attracting thousands of people from different parts of the world every year. world, interested in discovering the cosmos.
Thus, while La Silla, El Tololo, Paranal, Alma and SOAR observatories monitor the sky with objectives linked to science, important advances and discoveries are made in the understanding of the universe, there is a circuit of 35 tourist observatories in our country, which allow its visitors to transform the contemplation of space into an exciting, entertaining and didactic experience.
Next, we leave you a list of Marca Chile with all the visitable observatories in Chile:
This region concentrates a large number of scientific observatories, among which are ALMA and the Paranal Observatory, both created thanks to international investments, in addition to the UCN (ex-Sirius) observatory, the Universidad Católica del Norte and the observatories Ckoirama and Nayra, from the University of Antofagasta. Meanwhile, the tourist observatories are:
Baquedano School Observatory (Sierra Gorda)
Ahlarkapin Observatory (San Pedro de Atacama)
Paniri Caur Observatory (Calama)
SPACE Observatory (San Pedro de Atacama)
The Atacama region has a representative for each type of observatory. The scientific observatory Las Campanas is accompanied by the Inca de Oro tourist.
Inca de Oro Observatory (Diego de Almagro)
The region with the most observatories in Chile, since it has fifteen tourist observatories, as well as three scientific observatories: Cerro Tololo, La Silla and Gemini-Sur
Collowara Observatory (Ancadollo)
Observatory Cruz del Sur (Combarbalá)
Mamalluca Observatory (Vicuña)
Solar Observatory of Chile (Vicuña)
Antilhue Observatory (Ovalle)
Cancana Observatory (Vicuña)
Observatory Cielo Sur (Paihuano)
El Pangue Observatory (Vicuña)
Chakana Observatory (Paihuano)
Observatory Cerro Mayu (La Serena)
Observatory Alfa Aldea (Vicuña)
Observatory Hacienda Los Andes (Río Hurtado)
Valle del Sol Observatory (Monte Patria)
Astronomical Observatory and Spa El Molle Refuge (El Molle)
Inti Runa Observatory (Vicuña)
The Valparaíso region does not have scientific observatories, but with two tourism:
Galileo Galilei Observatory (Valparaíso)
Pocuro Observatory (Calle Larga)
In this region we will find three scientific observatories: the observatory of the UMCE, the observatory Manuel Foster Metropolitan Park (observatory museum) and the Cerro Calán National Astronomical Observatory, the latter being fundamental at the beginning of national astronomy. We also found five tourist observatories:
Andean Astronomical Observatory (Lo Barnechea)
Pailalén Observatory (San José de Maipo)
Observatory of Chicureo Chilean Skies (Hill)
Cerro El Pochoco Observatory (Lo Barnechea)
Roan Jasé (San José de Maipo)
The O’Higgins region adds two tourist observatories to the list:
Tagua Tagua Observatory (San Vicente de Tagua-Tagua)
Cerro Chamán Observatory (Lolol)
Only one observatory is located in the Maule region:
Orion Observatory (Villa Alegre)
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The University of Concepción manages a scientific observatory called Wangulen Mapu, but in this region we also find four tourist observatories:
Observatory of the Skies Shangri-La (Pinto)
Yepún Observatory (Cañete)
Amateur Astronomical Observatory Antares (Talcahuano)
Elke Tourist Observatory (Penco)
The tenth region of Chile is home to a single tourist observatory:
San Francisco Javier School of Astronomy
Chile has tremendous potential but there is still a way to go. Today the efforts are destined to strengthen this offer, integrating it to routes and consolidated tourist experiences and also making it more competitive in the international market.