Chile Things to Do: 351 reviews and 652 photos

  Telescope at Observatory Mamalluca
by swesn

The dry region around La Serena has exceptionally clear atmospheric conditions that makes it ideal to observe stars. As such, there are several observatories in the nearby towns, some of which are opened to the public.

You can organise a tour to an observatory in La Serena easily from any travel agency.

I went to Observatory Mamalluca which is located about 1 hour from La Serena.

They pick you up from your hostel in the evening. Once at the observatory, they give you a presentation for you to learn some new starry terms like nebula, clusters, supernova, etc? I wish I could in turn tell you exactly what they are but in fact, I did not quite understand them myself.

Then, we were brought to the large telescope located at the top. There is a round roof and they opened a small gap and aimed the telescope at Venus, the moon or some clusters of stars. Wow, it sure feels like being in one of those science-fiction movies!

Try to time your visit when the moon is a crescent, so there are shadows and light, making it easier to see the craters. On a full moon here, no one works, everyone sleeps.

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  • Written May 29, 2007
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