2024 / 01 / 05
The mining center of Andacollo, near the cities of La Serena and Coquimbo in Chile, is located at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. In addition to its connection with the mining activity for which this country is known worldwide, it is also known for the admirable religiosity and devotion of its inhabitants to the Virgin of Andacollo, whose festivities attract tens of thousands of pilgrims who arrive on foot or in vehicles to its imposing temples, especially in October and December of each year, giving rise to what is known as the Andacollo Pilgrimage Route.
The installation of a tourist astronomical observatory in this area has increased the number of visitors to this community, which, within the already astrotouristic region of Coquimbo, offers suitable skies for the enjoyment and development of star tourism.
All this has been taken into account by the Starlight Foundation to recognize the Andacollo Pilgrim's Route as a Starlight Trail, the first in the Americas and the first to receive Starlight certification in 2024.
According to Cristóbal Vergara, director of Tembeta and in charge of the certification project in Chile, "with this seal, the Andacollo Pilgrim's Trail becomes the first Starlight Trail in the Americas, contributing to the undoubted development, strengthening and positioning of the astronomical and astro-tourist offer of the Coquimbo region, to contribute to the undoubted trajectory and the strengthening and positioning of the astronomical and astro-tourist offer of the Coquimbo region, thus allowing a wide range of opportunities for economic and tourist development in the families and businesses surrounding the Millennium and Centennial Andacollina Route, as well as the commitment to new investment projects related to astronomical tourism, hiking and complementary tourism services such as lodging, accommodation and tourism services. The company is also committed to new investment projects related to astronomical tourism, trekking and complementary tourism services such as lodging, restaurants, agencies and tourist guides".
Starlight Trails are paths, greenways or trails whose route allows for the contemplation of a starry sky of Starlight quality, always linked to the cultural and natural heritage associated with Starlight.
Starlight Trails are prepared for the practice of astro-tourism and the enjoyment of the nocturnal landscape, through facilities that respect the natural habitat, such as star panels or viewpoints that do not produce light pollution.
The mining center of Andacollo is closely linked to the figure of the pirquinero, a character with deep regional roots, who for centuries was the precursor of this activity that today characterizes Chile worldwide.
Among the pilgrimage routes, the Antakari Ancestral Route stands out. It is a good alternative for those who enjoy the rugged landscape and rural life. It starts in Chepiquilla, a place full of myths and legends. The route includes the municipalities of Vicuña, Río Hurtado and Andacollo.
There are 20 towns and more than 270 km that revive the path that the indigenous Diaguitas, Molle and Inca cultures used to travel.
Its name means land of stars in Aymara. This facility has 4 high quality and high resolution telescopes.
It also has a videoconference room equipped with multimedia projection systems and comfortable seats. It also has an elevator, access for the disabled, a souvenir shop and a cafeteria.
The Tourist Observatory is located on El Churqui Hill, 7 km from the city and 1,300 meters above sea level. It is open all year round by appointment.