San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations

The complete solution to observe the Atacama sky

Telescope Rental

For the amateur astronomer visiting San Pedro, we rent both visual and photographic equipment:

Visual telescopes :

45cm F/4.1 azimutal telescope

60cm F/3.3 azimutal telescope

70cm F/4.5 azimutal telescope (not moveable, only rented for half nights)

For those of you still using pre 1799 units, this is 17.5 inches, 24 inches and 28 inches. :)

We do not rent these telescopes frequently enough, so they are normally used during our tours. We can rent them for full nights only for a minimum of 3 nights, otherwise you are welcome to rent them for half nights, i.e. during the first hour of the night (i.e. when the first tour is not using them, while they talk about naked eye sky), and after the tours, meaning 2, 3 or 4 hours later, for the rest of the night. The current price is 1200 pesos per centimeter of aperture, i.e. 72000 pesos a night for the 60cm telescope, and half price for a half night, meaning for example 42000 pesos for the 70cm. They are rented on a first reserved first rented base.

In order to rent a telescope, which you will use alone, you need to have some experience of visual observing with a non goto telescope, i.e. how to aim the telescope, and have an idea of what to aim it at. We rent the telescope with a coma corrector (Paracorr II), 3 Scientific Explore 100° field of view eyepieces (20, 14 and 9mm) and a nebular filter. Of course also a ladder, a table and a chair. So this is mainly for amateur astronomers with a correct experience of visual telescopes. Said otherwise, when you rent a car, it's better if you know how to drive and know where you want to go, if not, it's a lot better to take one of our sky tours. 

We don't rent telescopes and equipment outside of our observatory.

Photographic equipment :

Our experience has led us to change the way we were doing things. We don't rent observatory telescopes anymore. Experience has shown that getting good pictures from an unknown advanced setup (i.e. telescope, goto mount, guiding telescope, CCD camera, filter wheel, automatic focusing) was not a one night adventure. We therefore only rent small mounts adapted to wide field photography, up to 200mm telephoto lenses. We rent :

Star trackers (Polarie Vixen or iOptron)

Small equatorial mounts (Skywatcher HEQ5 and iOptron iEQ45). These are equipped with a small platform able to support your DSLR camera.

Various Canon lenses (8mm Samyang, 14mm F/2.8 Samyang, 24mm F/1.4 Samyang, 85mm F/1.4 Samyang, 135mm F/2 Canon, 200mm F/1.8 Canon)

Do not forget to bring your intervallometer.

Contact us in advance for more informations

n also rent the telescopes used during the tours, but after the tours. The 60cm is really too heavy to move, but it is nice to be able to use it several hours after the tours.

Understand that if you rent any of this equipment, you are supposed to be able to use it. Photographic telescopes are polar aligned and ready to use. We provide a checkin on the telescopes, telling you how they work, mainly for the photographic telescopes. If you have any web site with your photographs for example, please let us know before coming here.
Telescope support is provided only after our nightly tours and during the afternoon.
For beginners, we organize nightly general purpose sky discovery tours.
It is possible to rent telescopes without staying in the lodges (provided you have your own transportation between town and the lodges).
The telescope rent is paid after you observe or just before. Normally the sky is clear here, but there are cases when it is cloudy or partially cloudy. We apply the following guidelines on telescope renting:

  • Sky is clear or clear for more than 80% of the night, renting is paid (even if you decided that after all you don't want to observe).
  • Sky is cloudy, no rent is paid.
  • Sky is on and off, we talk according to how much you could observe to agree on a fair rate.

Only for the clients of our lodge, we can loan a pier, with electricity, on which you can install your own mount. We also provide counterweights, so that you can come to Chile only with the head of your mount. The top part of the pier has a hole through which one can locate a screw holding the mount (there is a small hole through which insert and tighten the screw.

Please contact us for the pricing, depending on what configuration you need, and the number of nights

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Contact Us

  • Address: Caracoles 166, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
  • Email:
  • Phone: +56 (55) 2 566 278
  • Cellphone: +56 (9) 98 17 83 54
  • Website:

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