Paranal Observatory

At 2635 metres above sea level in the Atacama Desert of Chile, ESO’s Paranal Observatory is one of the very best astronomical observing sites in the world and is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy. It hosts several world-class telescopes; among them are the Very Large Telescope and the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy. Other scientific and support facilities are also located at Paranal, including several smaller telescopes and an innovative accommodation facility known as the Residencia. The future ESO's Extremely Large Telescope will be operated from ESO's Paranal Observatory.

Paranal Observatory Map

Paranal map and safety
Paranal map and safety. Credit: ESO

A Tour at Paranal Observatory

Virtual Tour at ESO Very Large Telescope

Click on the image to take a Virtual Tour in and nearby the VLT.


Visit Paranal Observatory

Paranal Observatory Timelapse

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National and project telescopes in operation

The Next-Generation Transit Survey
SPECULOOS (in construction)
VLT Survey Telescope


The Paranal Observatory on Google map

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Download the 3D models of the telescopes and see them in Google earth (kmz file, 4.8MB)