ESO Virtual Tours

Programme of virtual visits to ESO Observatories


ESO has a complete programme of on-site and virtual visits to its observatories located in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

The virtual visits programme aims to bring ESO's work closer to all people interested in astronomy and who, for different reasons, cannot visit the observatories in person.

At present, we offer Virtual Guided Tours and Virtual School Visits.

Virtual Guided Tours

Based on the ESO photo archive and virtual tours, visitors will explore the most important places of ESO’s Paranal or La Silla observatories with a specialised. During the tour, the audience can ask questions to the team of guides, just as if they were on a face-to-face visit.

ESO offers four of these guided tours monthly, two in Spanish and two in English.

What is included?

  • A tour of the most iconic places in ESO’s Paranal or La Silla observatories, such as the Very Large Telescope (VLT) or the ESO’s 3.6m Telescope, respectively.
  • An overview of the night sky at the observatories. 
  • Views of areas normally restricted to the public, such as the interferometry tunnels or the VLT control room.

The duration of each tour is approximately 45 minutes and tours are broadcast via the official ESO platforms on Facebook and YouTube. They do not require prior registration. Tour schedules will be published on this page and on the ESO social networks.

Educational and cultural organisations interested in scheduling a customised virtual guided tour for their free outreach events can submit a request to

 December 2023

Saturday, 02 December - La Silla in English 15:00 PM CET/11:00 A.M. CLT. Expiration date: 04 Dec.

Saturday, 09 December - La Silla in Spanish. 15:00 P.M CET / 11:00 AM CLT . Expiration date: 11 Dec.

Saturday, 16 December - Paranal in English. 15:00 PM CET/11:00 A.M. CLT. Expiration date: 18 Dec.

Saturday, 23 December - Paranal in Spanish. 15:00 P.M. CET / 11:00 AM CLT. Expiration date: 25 Dec.

Saturday, 30 December - La Silla in English. 15:00 P.M. CET / 11:00 AM CLT. Expiration date: 01 Jan.


Virtual School Visits - An Astronomical Tour of ESO 

Since 2021, ESO has been offering its Virtual School Visits programme under the name "Un viaje astronómico por ESO” (An Astronomical Tour of ESO) in Chile.

This programme is aimed at seventh through twelfth grade students and aims to raise awareness of the telescopes and main discoveries made at the three ESO observation sites (La Silla, Paranal and ALMA).

"An Astronomical Tour of ESO" must be requested exclusively by teachers from the school. The maximum number of students per visit is 100 participants.

The tour has specialised guides and is carried out through the Zoom platform, which allows the student audience to ask questions throughout the activity. In addition, "An Astronomical Tour of ESO" uses trivia, videos, photos and 360-degree tours of ESO observatories.

There’s a limited number of these tours, so each teacher must register using the form that is published monthly by ESO on this page and local social networks. Registration will be available throughout the month until all seats are filled.

Registration for tours in the second semester 2023:


Sofía Otero
Encargada de Extensión
Santiago, Chile