The Southern Hemisphere provides wonderful opportunities for observing the stars and nowhere more so than in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. For it is here that many international observatories are found because of the remarkably clear atmosphere, the stable climate and the distance from the distraction of city lights.
This also makes it a haven for amateur astronomers who wish to observe the stars from a vantage point second to none in this region. The opportunity to see the magic of the skies unfold before you in one of the few places where you can see up to the eighth magnitude with the naked eye and whose geographical position is such that you can see the centre of the galaxy with ease.
Advance planning before visiting this Region could include a study of the local moon charts before making a reservation in order to avoid the new moon and to study the different constellations according to the seasonal changes. This is also an ideal place to take your own telescope providing a unique opportunity to use your own equipment.
The major scientific observatories have limited daytime visiting times and all need Advance Reservations. El Tololo, Las Campanas and La Silla are the three major scientific observatories in the area among amateurs touristic ones. Bookings have to be done in advance (recommended 3 months prior to visit) in order to get pass collected the day prior to the visit.