Travel to ESO Antofagasta

Please note that visitors are received by appointment only.

The ESO Office in Antofagasta is an administrative centre that supports the operation of Paranal Observatory and serves as connection between Paranal and the rest of the ESO sites in Chile. It serves as a contact point for postal mail to the observatory and transportation to/from the site, and deals with enquiries from the general public concerning tourist visits to Paranal.

How to reach ESO Antofagasta

Antofagasta is a major harbour located in the Atacama Desert, about 1130 km north of Santiago. It is one of the most important cities in the northern part of Chile and it is possible to get there by air or overland. ESO's office in Antofagasta is located downtown, in Avenida Balmaceda 2536, office 504, as shown in this map.

Arriving by plane

Please note that airfares to and from Chile can get quite expensive when booking less than three months in advance. Flights to Antofagasta land at the Cerro Moreno Airport, located 25 km north of Antofagasta. The easiest way to reach ESO's office in Antofagasta from there is by taxi. The journey takes 30 minutes and the cost is around CLP 15 000 (EUR 21).

It is also possible to rent a car with one of the official companies at the airport such as EconorentAlamo, Budget and Hertz.

Arriving by car

For driving directions from the Antofagasta Cerro Moreno airport to ESO offices in Antofagasta, please check this map.

If you arrive in Antofagasta by car from the south or the north, you can reach the city from the Pan-American Highway via the La Negra exit. For driving directions, please check the separate map.

Public transport

Public transport in Antofagasta consists of buses, taxis and "colectivos" — taxis for four people that follow a specific route. As this is not an interconnected system and since distances within the city are fairly short, the easiest way to move through the city is by taxi.

Accommodation in Antofagasta

The main hotels in Antofagasta are located downtown, just a few blocks from the ESO office. ESO guests normally stay at the following hotels:

Food at Antofagasta

Antofagasta has several restaurants with different cuisines and prices. ESO staff and guests normally use the restaurants in the hotels listed above and the restaurant Club de Yates Antofagasta.

Further information on restaurants in Antofagasta is available on external pages.

ESO facilities in Antofagasta

The ESO Office in Antofagasta is an administrative point — the last before reaching Paranal — and serves as liaison between Paranal and the rest of the sites in Chile. It is also an important contact point for the authorities and the people of the neighbouring communities such as Taltal, Calama and San Pedro de Atacama.

Health & Safety

Weather and Clothing

There are not any special health and safety considerations in Antofagasta. For climate information, you can check here. You can also find a short-term weather forecast here.

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ESO Antofagasta Office
Avenida Balmaceda 2536, Office 504
Edificio "Don Guillermo"

Antofagasta Harbour, Chile
Antofagasta Harbour, Chile. Credit: ESO