Visitor Guidelines

[Unfortunately, at present, the observatory is not accepting visitors due to the risks associated with the spread of Covid-19. Once our operations state reaches phase-3 with a return to ‘normal’ operations following a change of state from the current world wide pandemic, site access restrictions will be lifted.]

Travel requirements and recommendations (when visits are again authorized)

Make sure that you are in possession of a valid passport for the duration of your trip.

Observers of some nationalities require a visitor’s visa (China and India, among others). In most cases these can be obtained at the closest Chilean consulate, but an invitation letter from the Observatory is required. Write to Dr. Leopoldo Infante, LCO Director (linfante@carnegiescience.edu);with a copy to Assistants (assistants@lco.cl) indicating: Full name, Nationality, Passport number, dates of travel, consulate where the visa will be requested (please provide fax number of this consulate and your own fax number). Please allow at least 30 days for the process of requesting and receiving the visa. it seems that the procedures have changed for some nationalities and different consulates have different procedures.

This site specifies visa requirements.

The Observatory does not provide winter clothing nor flashlights so make sure to bring your own. Typical nighttime temperatures in winter are between 3 and 10 °C and a parka is recommended.

Most power plugs on Las Campanas are US-standard, 110 volts. Bring an adaptor if you need one.

Any special dietary requirements should be specified in your travel form.

Arriving in La Serena 

Someone will be waiting for you at the La Serena airport with a sign indicating “CARNEGIE SCIENCE, LAS CAMPANAS OBSERVATORY” to take you to the El Pino offices. Due to flight delays or miscommunications of one sort or another, it has happened (very infrequently) that nobody is there to take you to the offices or the Observatory. In that case, take one of the blue taxis to the Las Campanas office at Colina el Pino (a 10 minute drive).

Depending on the arrangements, you will either stay at the El Pino “Motel” or go to the mountain. Assistants (assistants@lco.cl) is the contact person regarding transportation, flights, confirmations, etc.

If at any time during your visit you plan to stay in La Serena, make sure that a room has been reserved for you. A reservation at a La Serena hotel can also be made for you, if preferred.

Arriving on the Mountain 

Room and vehicle assignments will be indicated on the Lodge Information Panel at the entrance.

In each room you will find a binder of printed materials detailing site safety, operations and communications protocols.

Telephone system

A list of the mountain extensions and instructions for the use of the telephone system is placed by every telephone or check here. Dial “0” or “9” to get an outside line.

There are Vonage phones in every control room. Calls within the U.S. and Canada are free; simply dial AREA CODE + NUMBER.