Mamalluca Hill Observatory

Mamalluca Hill Observatory near Vicuña

Mamalluca Hill Observatory near Vicuña

The Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory it’s located in the IV Region of Coquimbo, at 3.7 miles northeast of Vicuña and is one of the destinations of our Elqui Valley and the astronomy tour service.

Placed under the skies of the center-northern area of Chile internationally known as the most pure and clearest skies  on the planet. Thanks to the weather conditions of the IV Region of Coquimbo, there are 345 nights of clear skies per year.

The area in which is located is ideal for the astronomical observation, research and photography. Due to this fact, gigantic projects have been initiated in the desert of Atacama and also in Elqui Valley (Valle del Elqui), aiming to achieve a great advance in terms of astronomical research. Projects such as El Tololo, La Silla and Las Campanas are located also in the zone. But unfortunately, the access to general public is restricted and limited only to guided visits and it’s not permitted to use the scientific instruments.However, Mamalluca Hill Observatory is open to the general public and instruments can be used by visitors, standing as a great alternative for amateurs astronomical watchers.

The Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory provides guided tours by experts, including explicative lectures and observation of the stars through the telescope.

The first dome of the Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory has a telescope of twelve inches, donated by the observatory from the Tololo hill. The Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory also has a cafeteria and a multimedia room where the Archeoastronomy  program is shown, a recreation of the Andean cosmovision accompanied with live music.

In addition to this, there is the equipment used to present astronomic themes and related ones. Also there’s the working exhibits room with multimedia and exhibition areas, management, casino, sales and services, with a surface of 4305.5 square feet.

The Nocturnal Observation Program (Programa de Observación Nocturna) of the Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory is directed to the general public and consists of a tour of approximately 2 hours conducted by specialized guides. The following activities are held at the Municipal Mamalluca Hill Observatory:

  • Introductory lecture of the astronomical theme with audiovisual aids.
  • Explanation with the observation of the sky with the naked eye and through minor telescopes.
  • Observation through a major telescope, of 12 inches, where different space objects can be observed, such as: stars, planets, nebulas, galaxies, etc.

The tours are held Monday through Sunday with four schedules: 8:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 12:30 am and 02:30 am.
For guided visits, it’s required to register previously in Vicuña, open to the public every day, except during January, February, Winter break and long weekends, from 9 am to 10 pm and the rest of the year, from 9 am to 8 pm.
The daily astronomy tours are offered for groups between 6 and 45 people and the Cosmovision program for groups between 16 and 45 people, both with a duration of 2 hours and must be reserved two weeks in advance. It’s closed on October 30, December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.
The admission ticket is $3.500, children between 2 and 12 $1.500.

Its main offices are located at Gabriela Mistral 260 Street – office 1, next to the Bahuer Tower (Torre Bahuer) and steps away of the Arms Square (Plaza de Armas) of Vicuña.

** Information related to hours, dates and rates might change without any previous notice **