Chile Astronomy Tour:

With Robert Naeye with Sky & Telescope Magazine

 Another Successful Trip 

March 27th to April 4th, 2014

Photo Gallery

Other websites:

Jiri Poupe - Photo Gallery
Diana Nevins - Photo Gallery
Jon Blum - Photo Gallery

Arrive in Santiago and transfer from SCL Apt to your hotel.
Hotel Fundador 4* (Standard rooms ABB).

March 28th, 2014 - Santiago
In the morning, we will setup a visit to the University of Chile and their astronomy department. (Great view of the city of Santiago along with some antique telescopes).
Half Day City tour of Santiago
Chile’s capital Santiago is one of the most modern and safest large cities in Latin America. It is known worldwide for its continuous development and its economic, political, and social stability. We will visit Santiago’s civic center, where we will encounter Chile’s historical, architectural, and cultural heritage. We will see distinguished museums, buildings, ancient churches, squares, and parks. Among them, we will visit the metropolitan cathedral, the Precolumbian Art Museum, the Plaza de Armas (main-square), the Palacio de la Moneda (the Mint Palace), the Stock Exchange, the Court House, the Forest Park, the ENTEL Tower, the Casa Colorada Museum, and the Club Hipico (Riding Club).
Another important cultural area is the Bellas Artes neighborhood, where cafés and restaurants are mixed with theaters, museums, and bookstores. We will observe large historical houses and impressive buildings of important architectural value. Here we will see the Palacio de Bellas Artes which houses the Museo Nacional de la Especialidad. We will also visit the Bohemian Bellavista neighborhood. This vast area combines the most varied costumes and handicraft trade with restaurants, art galleries, theaters, and jewelry stores. The Cerro San Cristóbal Metropolitan Park offers one of the best panoramic views of the city. The poet Pablo Neruda built one of his homes here, and today it’s a museum. Finally, we will visit the exquisite neighborhoods of Las Condes, Vitacura, and Santa María de Manquehue.
Hotel Fundador 4* (Standard rooms ABB).

March 29th, 2014 – Santiago / La Serena
Transfer from our hotel in Santiago to the SCL airport.
Fly to La Serena and transfer LSC Apt to our hotel.
Walking city tour La Serena and Coquimbo
La Serena was founded in 1544 to facilitate maritime and terrestrial communications with Peru. The city was destroyed by native peoples (Diaguitas) and re-founded in 1549 by Francisco de Aguirre. In downtown, the architecture has colonial style, special laws allows the conservation of the buildings and churches, which are National Monuments.
Night visit to Observatory Collowara
Touristic Observatory Collowara, located in Cerro El Churqui, away 5 kilometers from Andacollo, and 59 kilometers southeast of the city of La Serena. It was inaugurated on June 25, 2004. It is a scientific, tourism and education center, which has a telescope of the highest quality that you can appreciate the full dimension space. Facilities include the projection room, entrance hall, access for disabled people and three direct observation decks.
Hotel Francisco de Aguirre 4* (Standard rooms ABB)

March 30th, 2014 – La Serena / Vicuña
Full day excursion - Observatories Cerro Tololo.
Night visit to Observatory El Pangue.
Observatory Cerro Tololo is located inside the Elqui Valley, at 80 kilometers so east of La Serena, at Elqui Province at an elevation above 7,000 feet. CTIO is unaffected by light pollution, and it enjoys a transparent atmosphere and proximity to the desert. These characteristics combine to create one of the best places in the world for astronomical observations. This observatory has specialized telescopes and instruments that facilitate advanced scientific research. CTIO has 7 giant telescopes, including the 4-meter Blanco Telescope, which has been operating since 1976. All of the telescopes are equipped with cutting-edge cameras, spectrometers, and photometers, which are used by astronomers for scientific research.
Box Lunch on board, continue to Vicuña.
Snack at a local restaurant in Vicuña.
Transfer to Observatory El Pangue, for a night excursion.
Located 18km. south of Vicuña, approximately, and 80 km. east of La Serena, Observatory El Pangue takes his name of the area where it is, Hacienda El Pangue.
Equipment: Meade T630 25 "Newtonian, Dobson type mount, manual, Meade LX200R 16" Schmidt-Cassegrain computerized mount, and Orion Sky Quest 12 "Dobson type mount, manual.
Accommodations at Hotel Vicuña 3 or similar* (Standard rooms ABB).

March 31, 2014 - Vicuña
Full day excursion Elqui Valley.
Excursion to Elqui Valley, en route visit Puclaro Reservoir, Organic Vineyard "Cavas Del Valle", the city of Vicuña, Museum Gabriela Mistral, and villages of Pisco Elqui and Paihuano. Elqui Valley, the most important valley of the region, Vicuña city located in this zone, with its famous Gabriela Mistral’s Museum.
Lunch at a restaurant in Vicuña
On the way back, visit to Observatory Cerro Mamalluca, for a night visit.
located at 9 kilometers, northeast of Vicuña. Is a project that began in 1995, and the facility has several telescopes, including a 12-inch telescope, which has CCD detectors for astrophotography, as well as computer equipment for the reduction and transfer of the observed data.
Accommodations at Hotel Vicuña 3 or similar* (Standard rooms ABB)

April 1st, 2014 – Vicuna / San Pedro de Atacama
Transfer from Hotel to La Serena Airport to fly to Calama airport.
Arrival in Calama and then transfer to the San Pedro de Atacama hotel.
San Pedro is considered the archaeological capital of the country due to its privileged geographical environment surroundings by landscapes. San Pedro de Atacama is located 6,600 feet above sea level. The town is the center of the Indian culture of the Atacama. The Padre Le Peige museum has about 4,000 rakes, innumerable mummies, weapons and pottery in exposition.
At night astronomical observation in Solor Ayllu.
Hotel Casa Don Tomas 4* (Standard rooms ABB).

April 2nd, 2014 - San Pedro de Atacama
Relive together the ancestral ritual of waiting of the sunrise. Very early in the morning we will go less than 100 kilometers from San Pedro of Atacama into the Andes mountain range. There you will participate in one of the most astonishing phenomenon produced by nature, see contrasting colors produced by the steam columns in the highest geothermal field in the world. Take the most impressing photographs while walking across the tracks over the geothermal field. Here you will have the unique opportunity to swim in The Tatio spring waters, rich in minerals. On our return we will go next to the imposing Andes mountain range, and participate in the adventure of observing native plants and animals in their natural habitat, all this with an incomparable volcanic background in one of the most pristine places in the world. After visiting El Tatio, departure to Machuca, a small village with an antique church located near Tatio. In the afternoon, excursion to Valley of the Moon and Valley of Mars, a salt mountain range, formed by successive folding’s from the bottom of an ancient lake. After a soft trekking we´ll arrive to the top of a great dune. There, we´ll be able to appreciate the sunset and the changes of colors on the mountains.
Hotel Casa Don Tomas 4* (Standard rooms ABB)

April 3rd, 2014 – San Pedro de Atacama
Visit to Valle del Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley). From San Pedro de Atacama we will heading to the Domeyko mountains, where you can enjoy the desert landscape and a view of the Andes, up to the Rainbow Valley sector, which owes its name to the hills of varied colors such as red, grey, green, gray and purple, that account for the composition of minerals, at this place we will have a soft walk. Our tour continues to the sector of Hierbas Buenas, where you will find volcanic rock formations that tell the history of peoples who have inhabited the place through their petroglyphs. Then, return to San Pedro.
Final dinner in a nice local restaurant.
Hotel Casa Don Tomas 4* (Standard rooms ABB)

April 4th, 2014 – San Pedro de Atacama
Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport and then you will make your connection in Santiago for your international flights back home.
*** End of services***

Program includes:
- Local english speaking guide.
- Arrival and departure transfers in a private coach with local guide.
- Private coach and guide for touring days.
- Meals as mentioned (ABB = American breakfast buffet).
- Entrantes fees to museums and nacional reserves.
- Coctails and beverages as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Mineral water and coffee during excursions.
- Excursions and transfers as mentioned.
- Transfers and excursions in bus pullman.
- Private services.
- Accomodations as mentioned (depending on providers availability at the time of bookigs, if not, a similar hotel will be booked).

Program does NOT include:
- International airfare to and from Santiago
- Passport fees
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with group
- Beverages unless otherwise noted
- Room outside of normal check-in/check-out times
- Optional excursions or pre and post trips
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses and anything not listed in the included list
Important Observations:
- Observatories La Silla, Tololo, ALMA request special permissions that must be issue directly, once we have the total number of passengers.
- Observatories La Silla and Tololo receive visitors only during



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