Torres del Paine National Park

Cruz del Sur Tourist Observatory

Cruz del Sur Observatory, Chile.
   If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Chile, you might want to visit the Cruz del Sur astronomical observatory in Combarbala, a town in the Coquimbo region. This observatory is the largest astrotourism complex in South America, and it offers a chance to explore the wonders of the southern sky with modern telescopes and expert guides.

The project, of an innovative architectural design, was funded by the Regional Council of Coquimbo and promoted by the local Municipality in association with the planetarium of the Universidad de Santiago de Chile.

Based on the growing interest in this type of tourism nowadays, Cruz del Sur aims to become one of the most important tourist monitoring centers worldwide.


Southern Cross Observatory, is located on El Peralito hill, 3.5 kilometers from the main square of Combarbala, South of La Serena, capital of the Coquimbo Region. It was inaugurated in 2009 and its name is due to the position of its domes that emulate the constellation of the same name.

What is Cruz del Sur?

Cruz del Sur (Southern Cross) is a constellation that is only visible from the southern hemisphere, and it is also the name of this observatory that was inaugurated in 2009. The observatory has a design inspired by the shape of the constellation, with four domes equipped with powerful digital telescopes between 14 and 16 inches, connected by a multipurpose room with a spherical dome. The observatory also has a Greek amphitheater and an audiovisual room for 70 people, where you can watch educational videos and presentations about astronomy.

What can you see at Cruz del Sur?

The observatory offers guided tours at night, where you can observe the stars, planets, nebulae, galaxies and other celestial objects through the telescopes. You can also learn about the history, mythology and culture of the constellations, and how to identify them in the sky. The guides are very knowledgeable and friendly, and they will answer all your questions and curiosities.

The observatory is located on a hill with an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level, which provides a clear and dark sky for optimal viewing conditions. The observatory is open all year round, but the best time to visit is between March and October, when the sky is less cloudy and more stable.

How to visit Cruz del Sur?

The observatory is open all year, from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (or 11:00 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). There could be variations, please confirm on the official website. 

The night tours last about two hours, and they start at different times depending on the season. You can check the schedule and prices on their website:

You can buy your tickets at the visitors center/museum in the center of Combarbala, or online through their website. The tickets cost about $6 to $12 USD per person, depending on the age and group size. The observatory also offers discounts for students, seniors and residents of Combarbala.

To get to Combarbala from Santiago, you can take a bus or drive for about five hours. The observatory is about 15 minutes away from the town by car. You can also find accommodation options in Combarbala or nearby towns like Illapel or Salamanca.

Why visit Cruz del Sur?

Cruz del Sur is not only an observatory, but also a cultural and educational project that aims to promote astronomy as a science and as an art. The observatory is open to everyone who wants to learn more about the universe and enjoy a spectacular show of nature. Cruz del Sur is a touristic attraction that will make you feel closer to the stars and to yourself. 

Some of the activities that can be done include day and night tours, astronomical observation, attend talks, lectures and special events in its open-air amphitheater, visit to the observatory facilities.

How to Get There

Santiago- Combarbala 355 km
La Serena- Combarbala 188 km
ViƱa del Mar- Combarbala 293 km.

From Santiago:
Route 5 Norte to the detour of Combarbala (km 279), take Route D-71 to km 78 (entrance to Combarbala).

From La Serena:
Route 43 to Ovalle, take the detour to Monte Patria, then Route D-55 to Combarbala (paved route), or from Ovalle go to Punitaqui and take the route to Combarbala (rural road).

Contact information:

Land line: 56 532741854
WhatsApp: +56 993880191

Observatorio Cruz del Sur

Go back to Astrotourism in Chile