Chile Solar Eclipse

The Chilean Patagonia solar eclipse and our astronomical tour 

The eclipse

A total solar eclipse occurs once every 18 months when several cosmic components align. Only when the new moon (i.e. with the dark side facing Earth) is at its closest distance to Earth, and their orbits perfectly align, can the moon block out the sun’s light and cast the eerie shadow that we observe. A hazy white ring, or corona, will be the only source of illumination in the sudden darkness.

The frequency of a solar eclipse occurring in the same location varies incredibly, with the global average being once around every 360 years! So these successive eclipses in South America are a rare wonder and an opportunity not to be missed: it will likely be a while before you can see one here again.


If you were unable to witness the 2019 solar eclipse live in Chile or Argentina, then fear not as 2020 promises another chance to view the phenomenon in this dramatic location. Our Astronomy of Chile: the Solar Eclipse tour will venture across Chile, whose skies will play host to the next total solar eclipse on 14th December. And whilst it may be a dark winter back in the UK, December is the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere - good weather and clear skies are expected for this celestial spectacle.

This tour is overflowing with astronomical activities in both the Atacama Desert and the Elqui Valley (both locations of renowned observatories), before heading south to the picturesque lake district for the grand finale: the solar eclipse. This special tour encompasses Chile's cosmopolitan cities and impressive natural scenery while providing a unique opportunity for eclipse seekers to witness the phenomenon in spectacular surroundings. There is limited availability on the tour, which will operate with a maximum of 12 passengers (although services in the lake district will be shared with other international travellers), so get in touch with our Travel Specialists to book your place.


Chile vs Argentina: Why Chile?

Views of the solar eclipse can also be seen from Chile’s similarly beautiful neighbour, Argentina; so why go on our tour to Chile? Firstly, our tour has been specifically curated by experienced local operators to include an eclipse viewing location in an area that provides 100% coverage for up to two minutes.

Although both destinations provide a backdrop of stunning scenery, Chile offers better value for money without a compromise on the quality of the experience. We felt that this was an excellent opportunity to give our clients with a special interest in astronomy the tour of a lifetime, by incorporating both the Atacama Desert and Elqui Valley.


Boasting the darkest and clearest night skies in the world, the rugged and striking Atacama Desert is a renowned stargazing destination, and even the landscape itself resembles the moon. In the Elqui Valley, our clients will visit the excellent Cerro Mamalluca Observatory, so by the time that the solar eclipse finally arrives, our clients will be fully informed and prepared.

Often referred to as the astronomy capital of the world, Chile will provide an unparalleled experience for this celestial event, and we are certain that you will return from this amazing tour with stars in your eyes.


Astronomy of Chile: the Solar Eclipse tour

Travel to Chile for this once-in-a-lifetime astronomy tour that culminates with the awe-inspiring solar eclipse. Lose yourself in the fascinating history and colonial architecture of Chile’s capital city, Santiago and explore the sweeping coastal vista of Viña del Mar before meandering through the sloping streets and past the jumbled houses of the country’s most colourful UNESCO world heritage site: Valparaíso.

Fly north to study the mysteries of the cosmos with an astronomy tour from San Pedro de Atacama, before heading into the Atacama Desert. Be amazed by the Elqui Valley and visit the renowned Cerro Mamalluca Observatory. Finally, venture south to Temuco in the picturesque Chilean lake district and find yourself surrounded by towering waterfalls, verdant forests and smouldering volcanoes. The climax of the tour is the breath-taking solar eclipse that will occur over the dramatic landscape of Chile's northern Patagonia region. Return to Santiago with memories to last a lifetime.

Tour dates: 02 - 16 December 2020 [LIMITED PLACES]