On 2 July 2019, a total solar eclipse will plunge a small swathe of South America into a temporary twilight. Join us on a trip of a lifetime, viewing the eclipse from a prime spot in the Elqui Valley, a world-famous area for star-gazing, which you’ll reach in comfort on a private charter plane. You’ll be watching the action with astronomer and eclipse expert Colin Stuart, whose fascinating talks will give you all the information you need to fully appreciate the experience.
Partial eclipses, where the sun is only partially obscured, can happen up to 5 or 6 times a year. A total eclipse is a much rarer event, occurring every 1 to 2 years. The shadow the moon casts over the earth is also quite narrow, limited to about 125 miles across, so the full eclipse is only visible from a relatively small area.
An eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. Over a period of a few hours, the moon inches its way across the sun’s face, to the point its fully obscured and then slowly moves off the other side. It’s during totality, when the moon has entirely covered the sun, that you’ll see a ‘solar corona’, that halo of white light that flashes behind the dark disc of the moon and the earth descends into a twilight-like level of darkness, often fooling birds, plants and animals into turning in for the night!
A total solar eclipse is only visible from a narrow area, usually around 125 miles wide, and the Elqui region of northern Chile falls within this area. It is also an area renowned for stargazing due to its altitude and the fact that it has, on average, 360 clear nights a year.
You will transfer from the hotel to Santiago airport and fly one hour north by charter flight to La Serena. From here, board a coach and travel 2.5 hours up into the Elqui region, the best place to witness the solar eclipse! This is a long day, with a wake up call at around 4am, returning to the hotel at around midnight.
We have a dedicated area for just our group, where you can sit comfortably and enjoy the show.
You will be provided with solar glasses to watch the eclipse safely, as well as a picnic lunch with local wine at the viewing point. Our eclipse expert Colin Stuart will also be on hand to talk you through proceedings.
The moon will start to make away across the sun at around 3.30pm, with totality at about 4.30pm which will last from about 2 minutes and 18 seconds. The moon’s journey will be complete just before sunset at about 5.45pm.
What better way to experience it than on a Wendy Wu tour?