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European Southern Observatory Paranal
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Review Highlights
Interesting tour

We booked our Saturday tour about 8 months in advance by email. Tour takes 3 hours and is offered... read more

Reviewed 18 October 2018
Helen F
,
London
via mobile
fabulous place

I had the chance to visit it for a weekend, sleep in the hotel, visit and see all the... read more

Reviewed 30 August 2018
PaulDouk
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Reviewed 12 December 2015

It is not often anybody gets the chance to visit an observatory so we took it.

Well explained by the guide bearing in mind that he is marine-biologist during the week, not anything to do with the observatory as one might expect.

A worthwhile trip from Antofagasta (about 1hr 45mins) I wasn't quite knowing what to expect but it was informative.

NOTE these tours are in Spanish and English only, much to the disappointment of a party of French speakers who were on the same tour.

While you are out there you may as well visit the Mano del Desierto which is about 30k
South of the Paranal turning off the Ruta 5.

Visits are free, but must be booked in advance. While we were there two parties of school children were on a similar tour so good to see everybody can get a look.

No public transport, and no food available. Toilets only at the entry gate complex.

Date of experience: November 2015
3  Thank Bill V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2015 via mobile

A visit at Paranal was very interesting, we could visit James Bond hotel and of course had a tour in the Observatory. We saw the Telescopes and learned about their system. In addition we could shortly visit the offices of scientists. Prepare questions as you can definitely learn some things. The view on top is breathtaking - photos are allowed. Have fun! :-)

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank Deimantele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2015

We booked the Saturday early afternoon visit (there's only 2 visits on Saturday). As there's absolutely no way the get there on public transport (unless you plan to walk up the hill from the junction for a few km in the heat) we rented a car in Antofagasta. It still took us about 2h30 to get there. The guide was very serious and didn't seem very passionate about his job at ESO Paranal. We had to drill him with questions to make it worthwile. A better guide would have made it more enjoyable especially as the subject is a bit complex for non astronomy entusiasts.

Date of experience: July 2015
1  Thank mohlux123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2015

Sign up online to visit and tour the facility. It is an amazing place to see how we are exploring the galaxies and what has been done to provide European, North American, East Asian and Chilean scientists with advanced equipment and facilities to explore the galaxies.

I will always remember my visit here.

Also, their staff living "hotel" is the " Bolivian hotel" that was blown up in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank SanDiegoGuy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2015

I knew I couldn't enter without a booking but I went there and tried to go up to see just the view. You can't even go up. There is a security point and you can't pass without a booking. The tours are made on Saturdays only, really? Come on, open one more day, there is nothing to do in Antofagasta to see and wait until next Saturday. You can climb a small mountain before the security point and see how much would be fun if you could go up there. The view is great but would be amazing on the top. This place is the only thing that would make me go back to Antofagasta.

Date of experience: May 2015
1  Thank Maufisio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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