Visiting Astronomers - Practical tips

On top of our general guidelines, here is some practical advice for your trip to the Observatory:

  • Read the ESO travel guidelines for visiting astronomers before submitting your Travel Form and if you still have questions, send an email to VATravel office.

  • For all your flights, proceed with checking in online and retrieve your boarding pass before you go to the airport. Because of overbooking by the airlines, travellers are sometimes not able to embark on the flight planned for them if they do not have their boarding pass already. This is unfortunately outside of ESO's control.

  • Consider registering with your local consulate if you’ll be spending significant time in Chile, especially if your stay in the country includes some private time. It is advisable to send an email to VATravel office providing your emergency contact information and a summary of your holidays, in case you spend some days travelling in the country.

  • Take out an adequate travel insurance for any stay or travel outside of the Observatory.

  • Due to the ever-present risk of late delivery of checked-in baggage upon arrival in Santiago, it is recommended to carry in hand-luggage all essentials, and in particular the documents concerning the observing programme.

  • Ignore offers of transportation in Santiago airport. Asking of ground transportation is illegal and generally these taxi drivers and representatives are unlicensed and uninsured. If ESO booked a taxi for you (TRANSVIP company), please read and follow the instructions in our web pages. For personal transportation, you may head directly for the taxi stand located outside each terminal for safe and legitimate transportation. Ignore non-uniformed people offering to assist with baggage. Seek out uniformed porters or airline employees for baggage assistance.

  • If you have a chronic illness, you should carry medical alert information and a letter from their health provider describing medical conditions, medications, potential complications and other pertinent medical information.  Remember to carry sufficient prescription medication to last the entire trip, including extra medicine in case of delay. Always carry prescriptions in their labeled containers, not in a pill pack.

ESO Safety Videos Vitacura Office and Guesthouse: