Starry Eyed in Chile’s Atacama Desert

July 22, 2014
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All News, Chile


What’s happening?

It’s eyes to the skies in the Atacama Desert, located in the North of Chile, because this place just got even more exciting. It has long been a world renowned hotspot for star gazing but now, thanks to a 1.1 billion euro investment, the desert will be home to the world’s biggest telescope and therefore become the most important site in ground-based astronomy. The new model will fittingly be known as the “European Extremely Large Telescope” or “E-ELT” and will contain a 39 meter mirror that will allow astronomers to look deeper into space than ever before. The entire project will span a decade, with the telescope estimated to be completed in 2024.

Stargazing is a popular activity among holiday-makers in the Atacama due its clear skies, high altitude, lack of light pollution or radio interference. The night skies are truly a sight to behold and an evening spent learning about the constellations and mysterious legends of the indigenous cultures will be an evening you’ll never forget. Of course stargazing is not the only activity out in the desert. There is an abundance of fabulous wildlife and with such an impressive landscape you cannot make a trip all the way up to the Atacama without seeing the sun set over the breath-taking Moon Valley.

Where can I stay?

At the Awasi Lodge, just outside San Pedro de Atacama, their ethos is all about sustaining the local culture and educating visitors on their surrounding environment. Alongside their top of the range, stylish accommodation, they offer a huge range of blow-your-socks-off excursions to show you the very best of the region, each of which are included in your stay. Highly recommended is the evening astronomical tour complete with a guide to teach you all you wish to know about astronomy in the Atacama.

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Alternatively, the luxurious Alto Atacama boasts its own private observatory exclusively for its guests. So, if it’s the stars you’ve come to see, then this is the place for you. The hotel also offers six swimming pools and a fabulous Spa to relax at the end of a day packed full of adventure.

For recommendations on the right accommodation for you and to find out what else you can do in the Atacama Desert, have a look at our Chile section on our website or speak to one of our Travel Specialists and we will put together your perfect tailor-made itinerary. Or, if you’d like a bit of inspiration, have a look at one we made earlier.

For more information contact a Latin Routes Travel Specialist – click here

For more information on Awasi Lodge – click here


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