Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park

Collowara Astronomic Observatory

A night view of Collowara Observatory.
    From pre-Hispanic times, Andacollo's economy has depended on mining activity, specifically medium and small Copper and Gold mines. However, in recent decades, Astrotourism has positioned itself strongly in the region, thanks to the excellent climate conditions and clean skies, free of any contamination. In addition to national tourists, other regular visitors come from the USA, Europe, Australia, Canada, etc., making the activity stronger and more important within the tourism industry.

Collowara Observatory is a tourist, scientific and educational observation center located on Cerro El Churqui (El Churqui Hill), 1300 mts. above sea level in the Coquimbo Region, 5 km away from the town of Andacollo, 61 km. to the Southeast of La Serena, the regional capital and 487 km. North of Santiago. Opened in 2004, its name comes from the Aymara language and means "hill (or land) of stars". 

Astronomical tours, Northern Chile.
  The project was carried out with the participation of a team of professionals, experts in astronomical matters, who designed the facilities, of a beautiful architectural line and state-of-the-art equipment. Collowara offers astronomy tours by specialized guides for all audiences, with a variety of high-resolution telescopes on the terraces and in the central dome which allow observing planets and constellations, with audiovisual rooms that show the sky in real time.
Collowara Observatory on Google Map HERE.

How to Get There/ Contact Information

Address: 5 km from the town of Andacollo.
Office: Avenida La Serena 2 (in front of Copec Gas Station), Andacollo
Mobile Phones: +56 9 7645 2970
                          +56 9 8881 0354
                          +56 9 7136 1388

Equipment and Tours 

Observatorio Collowara, Chile.
  Collowara has a sales room where you can find typical products of the region, souvenirs, a cafeteria, toilet facilities, a lift for people with reduced mobility, an auditorium or projection room, terraces and the main cupola.

Once at the Observatory, the Tour lasts around two hours. There are specialized guides who have the support of audiovisual rooms that show the sky in real time, then entering the terraces where there are 3 telescopes with which you can see the planets and constellations, and then finish in the central dome.

It has a steel-aluminum dome that rotates 360 ° in both directions, as well as the 14-inch Smith Cassigrein model main telescope which, within its "menu", includes a moonwalk that allows astronomical photographs to be taken through a CCD camera. 

Located outdoors and away from the structure of the observatory, there are three direct observation decks, arranged in a cross shape facing East, from where the Tololo and Gemini scientific observatories can be seen with the naked eye. On the decks are two automatic 10-inch Newtonian Smith model telescopes and 1 manual 16-inch Dobsonian model telescope.

One of the telescopes of Collowara Astronomical Observatory.
Photo Credit:                                             
Visiting Hours 

  From 09:00 am to 00.00 Hrs., open all year and to the public of all ages, the visit is subject to local weather conditions. The observation of the firmament is in the night, from 21.00 to 02.00. The use of comfortable clothing and low shoes is recommended.

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