Optional Visit to the ALMA site

Optional visit to the ALMA site

We are planning an optional visit to the ALMA site on Saturday 28 March. The schedule is as follows:

Friday 27 March

  • Depart ESO Santiago offices after lunch, around 14:00
  • Arrive in Calama at around 6pm, where the ALMA bus will take us to San Pedro
  • One night stay in San Pedro

Saturday 28 March

  • Depart San Pedro around 08:30. The ALMA bus will pick us up and take us up to ALMA
  • Short break and a quick health check-up (blood-pressure check mainly) at the OSF (Operations Support Facility)
  • Drive up to the ALMA Operations Site (AOS) at 5000m elevation. We will view the array and stay at the site for about an hour
  • Return to the OSF for lunch
  • Around 14:00 take the ALMA bus back to Calama
  • Fly back to Santiago, arriving at around 8pm

There are several important points to note:


If you would like to take part in this visit, email this form to galaxies2015@eso.org

Please make sure you include:

  • Full name of the traveller (as appears on passport)
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Credit card number

Details of the expected cost can be found below. The deadline for receiving the payment information is 13 February.

Min/Max number of participants

The minimum number of participants for this visit to take place is 12. We need to have received at least 12 confirmations with payment details by the 13 February deadline in order to be able to go ahead with the visit. We will not take any payments until we have reached the minimum number of participants.

We can accommodate up to a maximum of about 35 people but will give preference to those who already registered their interest and then will operate on a first come first served basis.In the case that we do have sufficient participation by 13 February we may be able to accept additional participants later but those participants should note that the cost of their visit may then be higher.


Costs for the visit must be borne by the participant. However, ESO will block book hotels (details TBC) and will arrange payment of the airfare Santiago-Calama-Santiago. The cost of the return flight is expected to be around US $150-200. The exact cost will be confirmed prior to payment being taken.

If you require an extra night of accommodation in Santiago for the night of Saturday 28 March this cost must also be borne by the participant. Details of accommodation options including prices and how to book can be found at http://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2015/Galaxies2015/accommodation.html

Health check

Access to the AOS is dependent on a successful health check at the OSF prior to going up to the high site (a quick blood pressure check and simple questionnaire). If you have any known health problems including high blood pressure please let us know. If you are employed by NRAO/AUI you will need to take a high altitude medical before visiting the site. If you are based in the US we strongly recommend you take the medical in the US. Please contact us for information.


Access to the AOS is also dependent on the weather. March will be the end of the Altiplanic winter, and so snow or rain are a possibility. In the unlikely event that we are not be able to access the road to the AOS we would instead visit the ALMA OSF site and some scenic sights close to San Pedro.