Learn about the Valle del Elqui, one of the best places to observe the stars in the world
A place where a river cuts through the desert, the surroundings of La Serena in Chile are home to landscapes where aridity, the clear skies and lush nature live in harmony
When to go
The temperatures are pleasant all year round, but it’s rainy during the winter months, from June to August. It’s recommended to visit in the other seasons.
The options include everything from hostels to charming hotels with reasonable rates. A good tip is to stay in La Serena, the starting point for several tours of the region.
What to bring
Don’t forget to bring shoes for hiking and jackets, as the temperature drops in the late afternoon – even in the summer.
LATAM has direct flights to La Serena from Santiago, Antofagasta and Calama.
Valle del Elqui
The scenery in the Valle del Elqui, in the Chilean region known as Norte Chico, an hour by plane from the capital, Santiago. A few examples of the vegetation in the region: grapes used to produce wine and spirits…
…the copao, a sour fruit, very appreciated by locals…
…and a cactus
Up top, the modern observatory Soar, located at an altitude of 8,860 feet [2,700 m], atop Cerro Pachón
Here, grape plantations add shades of green to the desert scenery
A visitor explores the sky in the region with a telescope at the Cielo Sur Observatory in Alcohuaz. This is one of the best places to observe the stars in the world, as it has few clouds and city lights //