Visits Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma (Canary Islands).

What does the visit include?

Visitors will be shown the Observatory facilities and the interior of one telescope and an explanation of their working will be given (which telescopes are chosen will depend on their availability). The total visit will last 70-90 minutes. Nocturnal visits are not permitted. Transportation within the Observatory is not included.

How can we access the Observatory?

The Observatory can be accessed from the LP4 road from Santa Cruz or from the Morth from Garafía. At the Observatory, this road merges with the LP -403.

How much are the visits to the Observatory?

Visits are 9 euros per person or 6,75EUR per person only for residents of the island of La Palma ( identification and prove of residency must be shown). There are no additional discounts. School groups or press should apply here.

Are children allowed on visits?

The minimum age for visits to Observatory is 12 years old. In case of doubt the guide may request prove of age (identity card or passport).

What is the schedule for visits?

Visits are scheduled all year around, weather permiting and provided that the operation of the telescopes allow it. In summer, from 15 June to 15 September, there may be visits every day. The rest of the year, visits may be held on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For the availability of dates & times please see website for reservation.

Are visitors allowed to sleep at the residence of the Observatory?

The residence is for the exclusive use of staff and professionals working at the Observatory permanently or temporarily. Visitors are not allowed to enter the residence building.

Where is the meeting point?

Unless otherwise specified on tickets or by a notice by the organization, the meeting point is in the parking lot on the first building on the left once after the first crossroad (entrance of the Observatory). The guide will meet you there. The map for the meeting point will appear on reservation tickets and can also be viewed on the website for reservation.

What are the payment methods for the visit?

Visits can be payed with paypal or by credit card (also through PayPal, but an account is not needed). These payment methods are secured by Thawte.

How can I know what telescope will be visited?

Telescopes allocated for visits are subject to availability. This could change at the last moment due to unforeseen circumstances in the operation of the telescopes. Each of the telescopes including on the visits schedule are professional telescopes.

How long will the visit take?

Visits will take between 70 and 90 minutes approx.

Do I need to bring anything to the visit?

You must bring a valid (confirmed) ticket (correct date and time) and a prove of ID. Failing this, please bring the reference number of the reservation, as well as a valid ID.

Please take precautions to protect yourselve from sunlight. It is advisable to use hats, sunglasses and protective cream. Because of the low levels of humidity existing in the area, please bring water or juice to prevent dehydration. Inside the observatory or nearby there are no shops/restaurants to buy food, water, etc. As the Observatory is at high altitude, it is important to bring warm clothing even in summer in case the weather suddenly changes. This is essential in winter.

Why do I have to provide my personal data on the reservation?

Note that we can contact you at the last minute to communicate you changes occurring to your visit. For this we will use the contact telephone number and / or email you provided us with in your reservation. Travel agencies must provide the telephone number of visitors.

Where can we stay and/or eat near the Observatory?

In the north, in Garafía, you can find rural rental homes at about 30 mins drive from the Observatory. To the East, the nearest touristic areas are in Santa Cruz (about 70 mins drive) and Cancajos (80 mins to ride).

Do visits include transportation?

The visits do not include transportation. Transportation to and from the meeting point and for the duration of the visit are not provided by the observatory or by the managing company. Please arrange your own transportation before the visits.

What would happen if I am late to the visit?

You should be on time at the meeting point. The organization will not wait for late visitors and the guide may deny you access if you are late. Please find out about the journey to the Observatory. Note that the Observatory is located at 2400 meters altitude and the access to it is by a mountain road.

I think there is no availability for visits on the dates that suit me best, what can I do?

The dates available for visits are green on the calendar box. For questions about availability please email visitasorm@iac.es. Your name may be added to a waiting list.

Are there stargazing activities at the Observatory?

The Observatory is not open to the public at night. At sunset and until dawn, the barrier entrance toe the Observatory will be closed. Public is not allowed to stay within the premisses at night.

What language will the visit be?

Visits are in English and/or in Spanish.

What are weather conditions in the vicinity of the Observatory?

The Observatory is located at high altitude. There may be sudden changes in the weather. Winter temperatures can be very low with even frost/snow. In the summer, due to low humidity, it can be hot. In any case, please protect yourself from sunlight and carry water with you.

Could it affect my health?

The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory has a recommendations leaflet available to visitors. It explains its location at an altitude of 2400 meters. At this altitude, the oxygen level decreases and for this reason, they recommend to avoid access to people with anemia, babies, people of advanced age or physical and especially to those suffering from heart disease and respiratory problems consideration problems.

When in doubt about accessing, please first consult your doctor. In any case, if during visits, symptoms like dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, ear popping or headache appear, please notify this your guide.

Smoking is not allowed within the premises.

Please read the recommendations and warnings of the visit here.

What is the cancellation policy of the visits?

Visits may be canceled unexpectedly by the Observatory, due to unforeseen circumstances in the operation of the telescopes or occurring adverse weather conditions that may affect safety in the accesses to the Observatory (snow, ice, landslides or weather warnings issued by local government as read here.

To read the cancellation policy in detail and also about refunds please access here.


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