Visit LCO

Before your visit

  • The tour of the Observatory

People visiting Las Campanas Observatory will enjoy a day tour of the Carnegie Institution for Science telescopes. This can include: Swope telescope (40 inches), du Pont telescope (100 inches), and Magellan telescopes (6.5 meters). The telescopes visited on each tour will depend on the availability and the number of people in each group. Please take into account that this is a research facility, and astronomers, engineers, and technicians have priority in the use of telescopes. Visitors are not allowed overnight. 

  • Visit schedule, duration, and number of people
Days Time Tour duration Max. number of people
Tuesdays and Thursdays 11AM and 1PM 1.5 to 2 hours 10 people

For bigger groups, schools, and press, please read the "Special Reservations" section.

LCO tours are completely free. Since we are a non-profit Institution, we do not book tours for companies or tour operators that do charge for their servicies.

The Observatory is not allowed to offer meals for visitors. Please bring enough water and snacks.

  • Visit requirements

Visitors must arrive to our facilities in their own vehicle, and the assigned driver must have a valid license. The road up the mountain is not paved, but is in good condition, so no restrictions apply to the type of vehicle.
Potential visitors must read our Health and Safety Instructions.

Book a tour

In you wish to book a tour for a maximum of 10 people, please fill our Google Form. After receiving your request, we will confirm your visit by phone or email, according to your marked preference.

Special reservations

For large groups (over 10 people), schools, journalists, and other special visits, please contact our Communications and Outreach officer, Carol Rojas.

Instructions for confirmed bookings

Once your visit is confirmed, and after reading our Health and Safety Instructions, every member of the visiting group must sign our Liability Waiver and send it by e-mail to  Carol Rojas.

The day of your visit, you will be handed a GPS at the traffic control point. This device will register your speed. We ask our visitors to respect the speed limits indicated on the road to prevent accidents.

Please arrive at the meeting point at the Horace Babcock Hotel on time for your tour. Consider a total driving time of 2.5 hours from La Serena to the Observatory.

Contact Information

For inquiries related to visits and tours, please contact:

Carol Rojas
Communications and Outreach Officer
+56 51 2207316