On the island of La Palma, at 2,396 meters of altitude, is situated the Roque de Los Muchachos Astronomical Observatory (ORM): a worldwide prestigious scientific research center, housing an advanced set of telescopes, among which Gran Telescopio Canarias (currently the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world) and William Herschel Telescope (one of the most scientifically productive telescopes in the world) are the main highlights.
Daytime guided tours:
Discover the interior of one of the telescopes from the hand of an authorised Starlight Guide.
Tours are carried out only in the morning, exclusively with prior reservation. Night-time tours are not allowed, since the access to the Observatory area is restricted only to its staff.
For stargazing tours with amateur telescopes from astronomical viewpoints on the island, please click on this link.
Dates and times:
Available dates and times are shown on the calendar at the bottom of this page. Tours dates are usually published 1-2 months in advance.
The tour leaves the meeting point 10 minutes after the time indicated on the ticket, and has an approximate duration of 1 hour 50 minutes. Currently, all visits are to the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), MAGIC and Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).
The Observatory reserves the right to modify the dates and times of the tours, as well as the visited telescope, depending on its availability or due to causes outside the sphere of its foreseeable control or events of force majeure.
The entrance to the Visitor Center is not included in the ticket, although it is highly recommended to visit it on your own. The Visitor Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in winter and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in summer. Please, check their website for additional information and opening hours on public holidays.
PRIVATE GROUPS: Please contact us to know available dates and times of guided tours to the telescopes.
The meeting point with the guide is the Visitor Center. Please, click on this link and see the map below in order to know how to reach the place.
⚠︎ IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Please follow our instructions on how to get to the meeting point, since there is still no proper signage to get to the visitor center. You do not have to access the area of the telescopes inside the Observatory or reach the viewpoint either.
Transfer to the Observatory is not included. We do not provide any transfer service. Please, note that you have to travel in your own vehicle or taxi to the meeting point and then to the telescope.
Minimum and maximum capacity per tour:
The minimum to carry out the tour is 10 people and the maximum allowed in the telescope is 22 people.
Visitors age notice:
The minimum age to visit the ORM telescopes is 6 years of age (the Observatory set this rule for security reasons). The guide may request proof of age by ID or passport. In case of not being able to prove the age, the child must stay outside the telescope accompanied by an adult. People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
If the group does not have a common language, the tour can be conducted in one or two languages simultaneously (usually Spanish and English).
- Standard rate (from 12 years of age): 20€
This rate entitles you to a 50% discount at the entrance to the Roque de Los Muchachos Visitor Center, showing your ticket, with a maximum validity of 7 days from the date of the tour. Only valid for standard rate.
- Children (between 6 and 11 years of age): 15€
The guide may request proof of age by ID or passport.
- Residents on La Palma: 15€
To obtain the discount of La Palma resident, it is essential to present a DNI or NIE. The guide may request that the residence be accredited, and in case of not being able to accredit it, you must pay the difference with the standard rate, in cash only. Otherwise, you will not be admitted to the visit. This discount is exclusive for residents on the island of La Palma.
- Private groups: 300€ (from 1 to 22 people). For groups of more than 22 people, please contact us and we will send you a personalised estimate and visit schedule.
* Double bonuses are not contemplated. The visitor center only accepts payments with bank card.
What to bring to the tour:
- It is not necessary to print your ticket (you can save it on your mobile phone).
- There are no shops or restaurants at the Observatory. It is recommended to bring some snacks and plenty of water or juices to prevent dehydration due to the low humidity at that altitude. Vending machines are available at the Visitor Center.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended (avoid sandals and high-heeled shoes). Climatic conditions could be extreme, moreover, inside the dome of the telescopes the temperature is quite low (a thermal conditioning system is used at any time of the year) therefore a coat is required even in summer.
The Astronomical Observatory is situated at 2,400 meters a.s.l.; keep in mind that the level of oxygen decreases with height, so traveling to the Observatory is not recommended for people with anemia, heart disease, respiratory problems, or for people over 70 years of age and babies.
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 a consequence of altitude or non-observance of our recommendations.
- Please check your email and mobile phone on the same day of the tour before going to the Observatory, in case of last minute notice.
- For your own safety, please follow your guide's instructions all the time and never separate from the group.
- For security reasons, it is not allowed to go around the telescopes without the express consent of the staff.
- Punctuality is requested. If you arrive late, you may lose your visit, without the right to any refund. Calculate the time needed for your journey: the LP-4 road is a very tortuous mountain road and you may need to make a few stops along the way in case of dizziness due to altitude and pressure change. In any case, it is recommended to take the necessary precautions and drive carefully.
- 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 meters a.s.l. than the sea level.
⚠︎ NOTICE OF ROAD WORKS:
ROAD WORKS ON THE LP-403 INTERNAL ROAD OF THE OBSERVATORY:
From Monday, July 24th 2023, the partial cuts of the section CRUCE ING - MIRADOR ROQUE DE LOS MUCHACHOS, corresponding to the LP-403, will end. Therefore it will be possible to access the viewpoint without restrictions. Please, respect the signs and be extremely careful in some areas of the road, because the works are not completely finished yet.
ROAD WORKS ON THE LP-1 - TIJARAFE:
From Wednesday, June 21st 2023 to October 11th, the condition in the area between kilometer points 86+740 and 86+990 of the road LP-1 "Barranco El Jorado" - Tijarafe are the following:
Open road with alternative traffic in one lane in specific cuts managed by signalers and/or traffic lights: from 8:00 to 18:00 (Monday to Thursday), and from 8:00 to 14:00 (Fridays).
Open road without interfering with traffic (except for El Jorado traffic light): from 18:00 to 22:30 (Monday to Thursday), and from 14:00 (Fridays), Saturdays, Sundays (until 22:30) and bank holidays.
Total closure of the road at Km 87 (Barranco El Jorado): from 22:30 to 00:30 and from 01:00 to 06:30 (Sunday to Thursday).
Opening times at night for vehicles: from 00:30 to 01:00.
Please, keep in mind that in correspondence with road cuts, stops of up to 40 minutes may occur.
Therefore, if you travel along that section of road to reach the Astrophysical Observatory, you must take into account the above mentioned effects on the circulation. We recommend choosing, if possible, the alternative route: access to the LP-4 via Mirca.
How to reserve:
Before booking, please read carefully our change and cancellation policy further down this page.
The maximum term to make the reservation is up to 24 hours before the start time of the tour. For reservations after the deadline, please contact us.
Available dates are highlighted in blue. The available places are those shown in the drop-down.
If you cannot complete the payment, or in case of other incidents, please consult our frequently asked questions section.
In case the group is complete on the desired date or the dates have not been published yet, please fill out the form by clicking on this link in order to be included in our waiting list.
Tours dates are usually published 1-2 months in advance.
The Company reserves the right to modify the conditions or cancel the tour due to causes outside the sphere of its foreseeable control or events of force majeure.
CANCELLATION OR CHANGES BY THE COMPANY:
The tour may be canceled due to a pre-alert or weather alert issued by the Government of the Canary Islands or a meteorological warning from the AEMET, due to landslides or ice on the road, due to maintenance work on the telescope, or in the event that the minimum quota is not reached at the deadline. In these cases, you will receive prior communication as soon as possible (please check your email and mobile phone the same day of the visit before going to the Observatory). A reschedule (subject to availability) or a full refund will be offered to you.
CANCELLATION OR CHANGES BY THE CUSTOMER (GROUP TOUR):
The customer can cancel his reservation at a charge of 50% of the total amount until 48 hours before the beginning of the tour. Afterwards, cancellations requested by the client will not be refunded.
The client can request changes of date (subject to availability) at no additional charge up to 48 hours before the beginning of the tour. Afterwards, changes will not be accepted.
To modify their reservation the client must send us a written request via email only (email@example.com), indicating the date of the tour, the booking number, name and surname, specifying their request: cancellation, reschedule (subject to availability) or other request.
In case of changes in the reservation (both by the customer and the Company), the above-mentioned cancellation policy will be applied: the client can modify their booking until 48 hours before the new date set for the tour. Afterwards, changes requested by the customer imply the loss of the amount paid.
CANCELLATION OR CHANGES BY THE CUSTOMER (PRIVATE TOUR):
The cancellation of the reservation implies the loss of the deposit paid.
Free rescheduling until 48 hours before the beginning of the tour. Afterwards, changes requested by the client imply the loss of the deposit paid.
To modify their reservation the client must send us a written request via email only (firstname.lastname@example.org), indicating the date of the tour, name and surname, specifying their request: cancellation, reschedule (subject to availability) or other request.
In case of changes in the reservation (both by the customer and the Company), the above-mentioned cancellation policy will be applied: the client can modify their booking until 48 hours before the new date set for the tour. Afterwards, changes requested by the customer imply the loss of the deposit paid.
By reserving the tour and paying the corresponding amount, you confirm that you have read and accepted our cancellation policy.
Refunds will be made exclusively via the same payment method within 7 working days.