Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is a scientific complex composed of telescopes and instruments dedicated to professional astronomical observation, located at an altitude of 2,200 meters on the hill with the same name, Valle del Elqui.
The observatory development began in 1963, after three years of selecting an appropriate place in the austral hemisphere for the observation of skies impossible to find in the northern hemisphere. With 320 square kilometers of surrounding land, it is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). It is the first international astronomical scientific project developed in the country and it opened the way for the development of this science and its dissemination throughout Chile.
El Tololo Observatory is located 87km east of La Serena, on the way to the Elqui Valley. It is open to the public every Saturday of the year, if time permits. For security, the number of visitors is limited to two groups of 40 people. The guided tours begin with a group at 9am and the other at 1pm. Reservations must be made weeks in advance by calling (51) 2205200. Admission to the observatory is free but permits must be previously withdrawn in La Serena. Access is only in private cars, there is no public transport. The transfer time from La Serena is approximately 2 hours.