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CHILE: Dome yurt under the stars in Elqui Valley

On a suggestion from my friend in Santiago we traveled to Chile’s Elqui Valley by bus via Valparaiso and La Serena. The high desert valley situated in the Andes is famous for Pisco grape vineyards, and because it is one of the best places for astronomy viewing.  The steep Andes mountains on either side of the valley create a natural observatory, and the dry air and elevation create consistently clear conditions for star gazing.

We found the perfect place to spend our nights in the Elqui Valley… in the dome yurts at the Elqui Domos outside of the tiny town Pisco Elqui.  Our stay at Elqui Domos was the accommodation highlight of our trip, and a bit of a splurge at around $180 a night.  Splitting the cost with my travel buddy Jenny made a relaxing two night stay affordable and entirely worth it.

The wide angle photos shot on GoPro Hero4!

Our star viewing experience was dimmed by the full moon which lit up the valley and dimmed the stars.

The reception and restaurant was downstairs in this 2 story dome.

Inside our domo!

The pop-top moon roof was my favorite feature of our dome.

The Elqui Domos have their own observatories at the very top of the property.

Crazy looking long exposure shot inside of the observatory where we got a tour of the galaxy through a high powered telescope.

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