The city of Andacollo is located in the north of Chile in the Elqui province at the Coquimbo Region, it is also called “Cerro de las estrellas” for its strategic location this city is perfect to observe the sky. It has more than 10,000 inhabitants and its main land access is Route 5, through which it connects with Santiago de Chile at a distance of approximately 482 km.
Its main economic activity has always been copper and gold mining. Religious and astronomical tourism is also a very influential attraction and thanks to the low light consumption of the population, it has one of the clearest skies for over 300 days throughout the year, which allows you to enjoy the stars and constellations.
In Andacollo you can find the Collowara Observatory, which has a modern structure suitable for all audiences and offers tours that last between 2 to 3 hours, where you can enjoy the celestial space at it best.
Andacollo is also characterized by its religious festivities. At the Museo de las Ofrendas is celebrated one of its biggest festivals, where you can see valuable elements that are given to the virgin as a sign of devotion, a virgin whom they call "Queen of copper" or "Queen of gold." The Basílica Menor is a Byzantine-style construction, designed by the Italian architect Eusebio Chelli and it is an important religious symbol in the town.
Over time, the city has been strengthening its artisanal economic activity with which it has developed manual manufacturing techniques very typical of the region. The raw material that governs their crafts is wool, bronze and an endemic stone called "Andacollita Stone", with which they make very appealing crafts.
The city of Andacollo can be accessed from La Serena in a collective taxi that departs from Domeyko street or in buses that leave from the La Serena Bus Terminal, in a journey of approximately one hour.
In kupos.cl you can access different means of ground transportation so that you can move to Andacollo, either through transfers from the airport, buses or shared trips.
Gold Route in Andacollo
Despite being famous for its religious traditions, the main economic activity of the city of Andacollo is the extraction of gold and other minerals.
There are several tourist guides and travel agencies that offer their services to publicize the gold extraction and milling process, mainly at the El Salitre mill, which can be accessed through the street that bears the same name.
The mining method used dates from the end of the 19th century and has been preserved over time, up to the present day. The tours carried out are promoted by Senatur in order to promote the culture of Andacollo, which are also called participatory mining, since tourists can interact at each step of the visit.
Are you ready for a mining adventure? schedule your visit here
It is located about 8km away from the center of the city of Andacollo and is the perfect place for astronomical observation. Located at 1,300 meters above sea level, the Collowara Observatory has modern facilities and outdoor terraces that allow you to photograph the night sky.
It is an experience suitable for all ages, there are guided tours available in both English and Spanish with an approximate duration of 3 hours. The Collowara Observatory is open throughout the year, however the visits are subject to the climatic conditions of the region, so we recommend checking the weather in advance for the date of your trip to guarantee clear skies.