On the island of La Palma, at 2,396 meters of altitude, is situated the Astronomical Observatory of El Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM): a worldwide prestigious scientific research center, housing an advanced set of telescopes, among which the Gran Telescopio Canarias is the main highlight, currently the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world.
Observatory tours are carried out only in the mornings, prior booking is strictly required.
PLEASE, READ CAREFULLY THE INFORMATION BELOW.
How does the tour work?
A Starlight Guide will lead you into one of the telescopes, explaining its functioning. Telescopes are assigned depending on availability. Tours are generally permitted at Gran Telescopio Canarias and William Herschel Telescope.
Every Friday until 30th of March 2018. Consult our calendar below to know possible additional dates.
Only for groups with more than 15 people: contact us to know possible additional dates.
Guided tour starts at 11:30 am and finishes at 1 pm. Night-time tours are not allowed at ORM.
Next to the ORM annexe shown in the map. After the barrier, drive along the main street for approximately 50 meters and turn left. Please, park your car in the authorised parking lot.
Transfer to the Observatory is not included in the ticket. Own car or taxi is required. Please, take into account that no public bus service is provided to the Observatory.
Which is the minimum and maximum group per tour?
The minimum group is 15 people. In case minimum group is not reached 24 hours prior to the beginning of the tour, the same one will be cancelled (see the cancellation policy below). The maximum group is 25 people.
Visitors age warning:
The minimum age for visiting the ORM telescopes is 12 years of age. The guide may request the child’s ID card or Passport.
People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Price per person (older than 12 years): 8,50€ (plus 0,50€ non-refundable charge per reservation)
Resident on La Palma*: 5,50€ (plus 0,50€ non-refundable charge per reservation)
* Visitor must show the spanish ID card or NIE to obtain the discount.
How to reserve:
Please, select a date in the calendar below and fill in the application form. As soon as we receive your booking enquiry, we will send you an email including the link for the payment, that will be made through an on-line service within 24 hours after receiving that email. Otherwise your booking will be cancelled.
The deadline to send the reservation is 24 hours prior the beginning of the tour. For booking enquiries after the deadline, please contact us.
The tour may be cancelled due to force majeure (for example: weather alert, landslide or ice on the road, maintenance service in the telescope, etc.), or if minimum group is not reached 24 hours prior to the beginning of the tour. In these cases your ticket will be refunded (except non-refundable 0,50€ charge) or an alternative date (subject to availability) may be offered to the participants. Moreover, the customer may cancel his booking at no additional charge (except non-refundable 0,50€ charge), or change the date (subject to availability), until 48 hours before the beginning of the tour. Afterwards, ticket will not be refunded.
What to bring on the tour:
- At the ORM there are no shops or vending machines to buy any water or food. We recommend you bring snacks or nuts and plenty of water or juice to avoid dehydration, due to low humidity levels at this altitud.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended (avoid sandals and high-heeled shoes). Climatic conditions could be extreme, moreover inside the telescopes the temperature is usually cold, therefore a coat is required even in summer.
- A cap and sun cream are recommended, especially in summer.
The Astronomical Observatory is situated at 2,400 m a.s.l., consequently oxygen level is lower than the AT sea-level. For this reason, we do not recommend this tour to babies, people with anemia, heart diseases, breathing problems and people over 70.
In case of appearing symptoms of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath or headache, please inform your guide immediately.
Medical assistance is NOT available at the ORM.
We are not responsible for any health damage as consequence of altitude or non-observance of our recommendations.
- For your own safety, please follow your guide’s instructions all the time.
- Punctuality is required. If you are late, you might lose the tour and your ticket will not be refunded. Please, calculate the required transfer time: LP-4 is a tortuous mountain road, so possibly you will need to make some stops along the way, in case of dizziness due to altitud and pressure change. Anyway, maximise precautions and drive carefully.
- It generally takes:
1h 15m from Santo Domingo de Garafía, Puntagorda and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
1h 30m from Los Cancajos, Parador Nacional de Turismo, Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte and Barlovento.
1h 45m from El Paso, San Andrés y Sauces and Villa de Mazo.
2h from Puerto Naos.
2h 15m from Fuencaliente.
- There are no gasoline pumps at the ORM, so it is recommended to fill the tank before the trip. Please, take into account that the fuel consumption is usually bigger at 2,400 m a.s.l. than the sea level.
- Smoking is not permitted inside the buildings and in public areas.
- Be respectful with the environment: do not litter, please use containers provided.
- 11:30 Meeting point
- 11:30 – 11:40 Tickets checking and restrooms access
- 11:40 – 11:50 Introduction about the ORM and security rules
- 11:50 – 12:00 Convoy transfer to the telescope
- 12:00 – 12:50 Guided tour inside the telescope
- 13:00 End of the tour