The fantastic Atacama desert offers more than 300 days a year with a clear sky. The high altitude combined with minimal light pollution makes Atacama one of the best places in the world for astronomical observations. To take advantage of the opportunities this place has to offer, you can join Rene and Gastro San Pedro for some unique stargazing.
Rene is working in a company called Gastro San Pedro. This company offers a fusion of Astronomy and Gastronomy where you can enjoy both great skies and a sample of Chilean gastronomy.
Gastro offers two different experiences:
The Moon Experience is offered when the moon is between its first and last quarter. This experience focuses on the moon and other objects visible on the night sky during these relatively bright nights. The participants can also take impressive photos of the moon through a telescope.
The Gastro Experience is the experience offered on darker nights when the moon is waning crescent to waxing crescent. On these nights, it is possible to see more of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and other objects like nebulae through telescopes. Naked-eye observations are also very impressive during these moon phases.
What really makes a difference with this company is the personalized service. There will be maximum five guests per night, which is a small group so that everyone gets to know each other. It is a tour, not an astronomy class where you listen in silence about astronomic units, kelvin degrees, and other complicated terms. Rene explains everything as simple as possible quoting national astronomers, books, videos, authors, and other things that makes it really interesting to participate.
As Rene puts it: we know that as a traveler you are always running to catch a tour where you have to walk somewhere and listen to the whole explanation of some guide, take photos and... repeat. This can be quite stressful. In the Gastro tours we seek to have a more relaxing atmosphere and create an environment where the participants are free to take part in a more active way. Here you are the star!!!
When you arrive, you will get a warm welcome drink in winter and a San Pedro classic Pisco Sour with Rica Rica on warm nights. To round the night off, you will get nice appetizers, like sushi made of quinoa, local goat cheese, guanaco meat skewers, and Chilean red wine. The menu usually changes according to the season, but those items are definitely part of the experience.
You will get a picture of you and the stars in the background as a souvenir that goes to your personal email. It will not be posted in any website unless you do it.
When the moon is up that photo cannot be taken, but then you will get one of the moon to your phone instead.
You will also learn how to use astronomy in a practical way and the concept of COSMOVISION ANDINA: how the natives from the Andes, like Inkas mostly, Atacameños from San Pedro and Tiwanaku from Bolivia, used to perceive the space and the universe and how they used it in a practical way, like in a calendar.
The Tour is only for guests over 18 years old.
You can choose if you want the tours in English or Spanish, never bilingual.
Check the website for more information: http://www.gastrosanpedro.com/
You can also take a look at references and comments on Tripadvisor:
Rene even has his own fan page on FB. Usually he posts some info about what’s going on in San Pedro: