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Observatorio Mamalluca

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Gabriela Mistral 260, Vicuna 1760000, Chile
Phone Number:
+56 51 267 0330
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Mamalluca Observatory ("mother who shelters" according to...

The Mamalluca Observatory ("mother who shelters" according to Quechua) is located 9 kms northwest of Vicuña, at 1,100 m.s.n.m. Is a must see in the region of Coquimbo, is the first tourist observatory in Chile, has a 12-inch telescope donated by AURA that has CCD detectors for electronic photography, as well as a computer for data transfer This observatory offers one of the most important attractions of the area, the cleanest skies in the world, perfect for watching the night sky and be amazed. Within the Mamalluca Observatory, there is a tour with a duration of approximately 2 hours, where guides specialized in the matter explain in details about the universe and answer the concerns giving a sample of quality and truthfulness to the visitors. There it is possible to observe the stars, the Moon, the planets like Saturn and its rings or Jupiter and its 16 moons, and the different constellations.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Up close with the Moon

We did this as an evening excursion from La Serena. We thoroughly enjoyed all that we saw, the guide was informative and friendly. Our one issue was the number of people on the... read more

Reviewed 24 March 2017
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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473 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 96: English reviews
2 reviews
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Booked a tour in the local Vicuna city office. A quick and efficient process, though they should warn you that you have to pay extra to get a ride up to the observatory. It only amounted to an extra $4 or $5, but it's nice to be forewarned of these things. The tour and experience were great though. I was... More 

Thank Josh F
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2017 via mobile

Anyone with even a passing interest in stargazing and/or astronomy should do this tour! It's purpose built to show people round which means the telescopes aren't industrial strength but it means the whole place is set up to show the public why Chile is the best place in the world to look at the stars. Our guide had great English... More 

Thank James B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
161 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2017 via mobile

We did this as an evening excursion from La Serena. We thoroughly enjoyed all that we saw, the guide was informative and friendly. Our one issue was the number of people on the tour, there were too many which made it cramped at times and hard to get in the best spot to hear everything. Seeing planets, satellites, clusters, stars... More 

1 Thank LauraEvans88
Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviewed 18 March 2017

This was a very good trip. The sky was so clear and the guides were very knowledgeable about the subject.

Thank mgysgtusmc1
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2017

You get picked up in Vicuna and driven the fairly short distance to their observatory in the rural area around Vicuna. The naked eye experience here as elsewhere, provided the sky is clear, is truly amazing, as you see the Milky Way, the Southern Cross, numerous zodiacal constellations, Orion upside down compared to the way it normally looks to someone... More 

1 Thank Martin S
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,121 reviews
602 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 282 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2017 via mobile

We came here through an organised tour with EcoTours and the entrance itself was 7,000 pesos per adult. There are several telescopes and a few spots to watch an interesting movie. I'd highly recommend coming here with a guide as without one you will be unable to use most of the telescopes and listen to interesting explanations.

Thank TravelReviewer1983
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2017

The tour guides make a big effort but with so many people it was just impossible. We had to queue up for 30 minutes to look at the first object, and by that time my kids were bored senseless, and so was I, so we left before having to queue up again. It's a pity that they get it wrong... More 

Thank Observatorio
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
338 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2017

We joined the tour that we thought began at Midnight but began at 1am and finished at 3am. It was absolutely marvellous as there were only four of us who spoke English and we had our own guide for the entire visit. He was ironic and entertaining. Going here allowed us to join the dots on previous bits of information... More 

Thank Gabriel11
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017

I totally recommend going to this observatory to see and learn about stars. You can go with an agency, but I was told it's advisable to go by car in order to sty until later in the night and be able to observe some other interesting stars. You should always call in advance to check if you will be able... More 

Thank Cristian G
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2017 via mobile

On our last night in Vicuña we decided to just go for the stars. We had a car so no issues, minimal local driving experience is a plus. The site was closed due to clouds in the afternoon although sky was clear at 22:00 that night. Just for the silence and stargazing with minimal light pollution it was worth the... More 

Thank teve62

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La Serena, Coquimbo Region
Vicuna, Coquimbo Region

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?