CTIO  >  Travel and Tourism in Chile

Official Visitors and Astronomers to Cerro Tololo

Astronomers and other official visitors planning a trip to Cerro Tololo will find much useful information here.

Public Access to Cerro Tololo

Cerro Tololo is open to the public every Saturday, summer and winter, weather permitting. For safety and security reasons, the number of visitors is limited to two groups of 40 people. One group meets at the gatehouse at 9 AM and the other at 1PM. Because the number of visitors is limited, advance reservations are essential. During the tourist season from mid-December to March, reservations must be made several weeks in advance. To make reservations, call (051) 205 200. Permits must be picked up in La Serena before proceeding to the mountain. Access to the mountain is by private vehicles only. There is no public transportation.

Permits are free and may be obtained from the Reception Desk in La Serena. Tours are conducted at no charge by a professional guide. Total elapsed time from leaving the gatehouse until returning to the highway is approximately three hours.

For more information on public access to CTIO (in Spanish), click here.

Back to Top

Cerro Tololo

The Cerro Tololo Observatory turnoff is about 80km east of La Serena, 15km west of Vicuña on the south side of main road 'Ruta 41'. The access road is prominently marked with a large white sign bearing the Cerro Tololo blue and yellow seal (see some CTIO Historical Highlights).

Tourism in Chile

Check here for some pretty pictures of the floración del desierto.

For more information about visiting Chile, check out our Tourism Page, Sernatur (Chile's National Board of Tourism), Chile Travel and CHIP pages.


Lan Chile, the Chilean airline

U.S. Embassy & Consulate, Santiago, Chile

U.S. Department of State Background Notes on Chile

Chilean News in English from , SANTIAGO TIMES,    NEW YORK TIMES

Travel Advisories

The most current U S State Department travel advisory.

International traveler's health information for Chile from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Back to Top

La Serena

La Serena's CTIO facilities are on a hill 15 minutes from the downtown (walking) and 45 minutes from the sea shore (walking). Click here for maps showing the locations of CTIO Facilities.

Also available is a rudimentary La Serena Restaurant Guide.


The NOAO South (CTIO) Santiago Facilities consist of a logistics office at:

   NOAO South Office (CTIO)
   Avenida Presidente Riesco 5335
   Edificio Parque Araucano
   Oficina 507
   Las Condes
   Fax:    011-56-2-3709504

Additional information about Santiago

Back to Top

  CTIO  >  AURA Colloquium Series