Miércoles 12 junio de 2019 | Publicado a las 10:30 · Actualizado a las 11:24
The upsurge of astrotourism in Chile ahead of "solar eclipse season"

On 2 July, at 4:39 pm, a total solar eclipse will completely darken parts of Chile’s north, a phenomenon that has sparked an upsurge of astrotourism in the area as well as great enthusiasm locally and abroad.

Specifically, the towns of La Serena, Coquimbo, Vicu√Īa, La Higuera, Paihuano, Andacollo and R√≠o Hurtado, in the Coquimbo region, are expecting approximately 400 thousand tourists ahead of what president Sebasti√°n Pi√Īera called “official solar eclipse season”.

The head of State himself might possibly travel to witness the event in one of the many observatories located in Coquimbo, but La Moneda is yet to confirm his visit.

The duration will vary depending on where the eclipse is seen, ranging from 20 seconds to 2 minutes and 36 seconds. While the sun is completely blocked, Mercury, Mars and Venus will appear.

From 2pm to 5pm, traffic will be suspended from La Serena’s La Florida airport to the entrance of Tololo Observatory so that those who cannot manage to see the eclipse in official spots can do it from streets and highways.


But around 2.500 kilometers to the south, those living in Punta Arenas will also be able to enjoy the eclipse. According to NASA, 46% of the sun is going to blocked by the moon.

In Santiago, almost 500 kilometers to the south, only 8% of the sun will shine light over the country’s capital.

In the areas close to “ground zero”, the National Emergency Office (Onemi, in Spanish) confirmed that ambulances and firefighters will act jointly. For medical incidents, the Uniformed Armed Police provided helicopters.

Also, both the demand for flights to La Serena and accommodation in the area rose ahead of the eclipse. Currently, 70% of hotel rooms are booked.

This year’s eclipse (also watchable from Argentina and New Zealand) is going to be followed by another one on 14 December 2020, which will take tourists, scientists and academics, local and foreign, to the south of the country, to La Araucan√≠a and Los R√≠os regions.

Nevertheless, the north is usually praised due to its optimum conditions for stargazing and astronomical research.

Tendencias Ahora