Chile is an astronomer’s paradise. With some of the clearest skies in the world, it’s no wonder so many come to this corner of the world and enjoy looking up at the night sky and then enjoy the amazing valleys and snow-capped volcanoes during the day. No matter where you are in Chile, you are guaranteed to have an amazing show of the stars above. Well maybe not in the Santiago, but we have a few places just outside of Santiago that’s totally worth a visit.
The North Of Chile:
Elqui Valley, La Serena, Coquimbo Region
If you’re into Chilean Pisco and Stargazing, then this is your destination. The Elqui Valley is just one of the many valleys that lead up from the coast of the ridiculously narrow country towards the Andean foothills. This valley is special because some say it contains a special type of energy that will attract people to locations like this valley that has specific vibrations presently needed for their growth and evolution. Google it, it’s a thing. Once you actually you, you’ll feel it.
Just outside of Vicuña, you’ll find the Mamalluca Tourist Observatory that has evening tours that discuss the history of the area and a chance to look through its 30 cm Smith-Cassegrain telescope
Illapel, Coquimbo Region
This sleepy little valley doesn’t really get talked about much unless you’re talking about stars. The Valley itself is a place of tranquility, clear skies year round, and just green landscapes to clear the mind. One of the best stops to visit near the valley is the Chinchillas National Reserve. It’s just you and sky above. Maybe some Chilean wine if you’re in the mood, but nothing else.
San Pedro-de Atacama, Antofagasta Region
San Pedro de Atacama might just be the mecca of stargazers in the world. In the middle of the driest desert in the world and at over 5.000 meters above sea level, you’ll find a number of observations such as the Paranal Observatory and an endless amount of tours available to see some of the most distant and ancient galaxies ever seen. Make sure you take something warm with you, the temperatures drop quickly dramatically at night in the desert.
Central Valley of Chile
Now, you mind think with the bright city lights it’s nearly impossible to see the stars. Well, your right. But right outside of Santiago there are plenty of places that you can visit and get a clearer view of the sky above. These are great getaways from the city when you can take so much time to see the north or the South of Chile. The Observatorio Astronómico Nacional is open and close to Santiago, you can even take the 421 Bus from Costanera Center with a direct Route. Just outside of Santiago, in the Cajon de Maipo, there are a number of observatories that are worth a visit. Pailalén has its astronomical observatory, a restaurant, audiovisual rooms, an extensive path and a cafeteria, which invites the visitor to enjoy a special moment.
The South Of Chile
Torres del Paine, Southern Patagonia
I’m sure you already know that Torres del Paine is an amazing place to visit for its breathtaking landscapes so it’s no surprise that the night sky is any different.. Torres del Paine National Park is far from any large city so once the sun sets over the mountains, the stars come out for their turn to shine.
Carretera Austral: Northern Patagonia
If you love road trips in the middle of nowhere, this is one to add to your list. Due to the area’s isolation from the world, you have 1240 KM of clear skies to enjoy each night. There are no observatories here for you to check out or go on a tour but each town is so small that you can see the stars from anywhere.
Where else have you seen the starts in Chile? We know that there are so many more places since the whole country has someone the clearest skies in the world! Tag us in your sky adventure pictures using the hashtag #TodayinChile so we can see where you are!