The perfect view here is up. Famed as one of the driest places on earth, the Atacama has optimal conditions for stargazing, thanks to its high altitude (about 2500 metres), low light pollution, lack of cloud cover and virtually no radio interference. So if you are fascinated by the thought of faraway galaxies, Chile’s Atacama Desert should be on your holiday list.
The Atacama is considered the best in the Southern Hemisphere for astronomy and a well known hub for astronomical research. Some of the observatories are off-limits to visitors, but a small number offer guided tours, and many of the area’s hotels feature star-gazing as an activity.
The San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations (SPACE), is regarded as one of the very best by astronomy experts and offers tours. Hosted by the French scientist Alain Maury and his Chilean wife, Alejandra – the tours begin at night with an introductory talk outdoors. Continued in the observatory, they contemplate in detail the constellations of stars, planets and galaxies through one of the world’s most powerful telescopes.
To arrange a holiday to the Atacama and an astronomy tour speak to us on +44 (0) 207 6106020. There are three hotels that we recommend in the area – Alto Atacama, Awasi and Explora Atacama.