Transportation Schedule
Informatíon de Transporte

Transport Schedule

ESO provides transport services for its staff, OPC assigned observers, and official visitors. From October 1st, 2009 La Silla has been re-organized in its functional scheme. These changes include the reduction in transport availability between La Silla and La Serena in both ways.

The offered transport is reduced to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All other days are out of ESO offer and they will be treated as private transports. The timetable below coincides with Lan Chile(*) departures and arrivals. An ESO vehicle picks up, in the above mentioned days, our passengers at the La Florida airport in La Serena, a hired taxi awaits them at the Santiago end.

(*) Please note that eventual changes/cancellations by Lan Chile of their flights Santiago-La Serena-Santiago, compel us to modify this schedule. For this reason, the table below may be subject to modifications.

Time changes occur often due to plane schedule changes. Therefore Visiting Astronomers shall ALWAYS inquire about their departure time 24 hours in advance at the reception.

Last Update: January 07, 2013
La Serena Airport-La Silla
11:00 hrs
Bus/Carry all
La Silla-La Serena Airport
16:45 hrs
La Silla-La Serena Airport
8:00 hrs
Carry all
La Serena Airport-La Silla
11:00 hrs
La Silla - La Serena Airport
16:45 hrs
La Serena Airport-La Silla
11:00 hrs
Carry all
La Silla-La serena airport
13:30 hrs
Carry all
La Silla - La Serena Airport 16:45 hrs
Bus/Carry all

Information for Visiting Astronomers

In case of different flight timetables passengers should consider that the transportation will leave La Silla, at least, 3 hours before their flight departure time. For this reason, passengers are recommended to take the time to double check their flight departure times. The front desk officer may also be consulted on the transportation timetable from Monday to Friday. During weekends the front desk in La Silla is closed.

The ESO bus has a 40-seat capacity, while passenger carriers are designed to accommodate up to 14 adults. The bus or carry all leaves La Serena from La Serena Airport.

A computerized system called TRAM (TRAvel Manager) has been implemented to register travelers to and from la Silla. For this reason, it is crucial that visiting astronomers fill in the Travel Form and submit it to the VA-Section in Garching, since they will inform La Silla about new visitor's arrivals, in order for registration in TRAM to be done.

Trip to La Silla

Departure days and times to/from La Silla are sharp and can only be modified upon specific authorization by La Silla Management.

All passengers (staff, visiting astronomers) using the standard Lan Chile flights in the before mentioned days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), i.e., the ones that matches the transportation to/from La Silla, will always be met at/transferred to the airport by an ESO vehicle. To get updated information on flight timetables, please contact our travel agency, Carlson Wagonlit Travels, via e-mail to or through the phones (+56) 2 2463 3144/5, since flight timetables tend to change with very short notice.

Whenever planes are delayed for more than one hour (usually because of bad weather conditions) an external surface commuter will be arranged to transfer all passengers to La Silla, since the ESO vehicles must come up on a predetermined time, so that, they can leave La Silla later, on the scheduled time

Transfers on different days, or otherwise outside the normal ESO schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), are undesirable and must be considered exceptional. It implies taxi transport by a private company. For safety reasons this requires prior approval

Visiting astronomers who wish to make the trip by bus between Santiago and La Serena (and/or back), should state so when making travel arrangements with our Visiting Astronomers Department, in Garching. For detailed information, visit the pages: "Guidelines for Visiting Astronomers" and "Instruction for Visiting Astronomers on Mission to Chile" or contact the VA section at VA-travel

Transport Route

As part of the overall restructuring of the La Silla operations, the ESO La Serena office has moved to Avenida Panoramica N 4461, which is about 700 m from the airport.

Regular transports to La Silla will leave this office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:30, or after picking up incoming passengers from Santiago at the airport. From the new offices the transport to La Silla will drive along the following route:

- leaving the office it will take Colo Colo street, then Camino al Parque Coll, to reach the Juan Cisternas roundabout and exit onto Amunategui street

- It will briefly stop along La Serena University's Enrique Molina Garmendia campus (right in front of the bus entrance of the bus terminal) to collect any passengers waiting there.

- Then it will turn north on the Panamerican highway, and briefly stop again to take aboard any passengers waiting at the lateral bus stop near the end of the footbridge which crosses the highway next to the old railway station.

On the return leg, when entering La Serena from La Silla the vehicle shall stop along the old railway station, and continue straight to the Airport and office.

You can contact the La Serena office reception desk through mobile phone. (+56 ) 9 9129 7177 or via e-mail,

Back to Santiago

Since flights from La Serena to Santiago may be, occasionally, canceled due to bad weather conditions, a procedure has been established in order to arrange that passengers travel by night bus.

For any additional information you may require, please contact, phones (+56) 2 2464 4215/192.