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Technical Tour to the Atacama Desert

As part of the Solar World Congress Program, we invite you to join this technical tour to the Atacama Desert to visit the three solar sites: Atacama Desert Solar Platform, Cerro Dominador and Minera Centinela.

Tour Dates: 7 November (Departure from Santiago) - 8 November (Return to Santiago)

Tour Description: The tour will take you to the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places in the world and home to some of Chile's most important solar as well as mining projects.

The tour starts on Friday, 8 November at 8am outside the Hotel Enjoy Antofagasta and will be ending at Calama Airport at 7pm. Please see the section for travel arrangements for more information on how to organize your trip.

  • The first stop of the tour will be the Atacama Desert Solar Platform (PSDA), the first outdoor solar testing platform for solar technologies in the Atacama Desert. Here, the project AtaMoSTeC by Solar World Congress host SERC Chile will be of special interest, developing PV systems specifically adapted to high irradiation and desert conditions.
  • Next up will be Cerro Dominador, the first ever hybrid solar tower in South America. Here, a 110MW CSP plant which will start its commercial operation in 2020 is combined with a 100MW PV plant. Together, they will provide electricity for 24hrs a day, including 17.5hrs of thermal storage.

On the way to the last stop of the tour, lunch boxes will be served.

  • The last stop of this technical tour will be Minera Centinela located in the Antofagasta Region, one of Chile's most important mining areas. Here, sulphide and oxide are mined and copper and molybdenum concentrate produced with concentrated solar thermal systems supplying low temperature heat for some of the production processes.

From this last stop of the tour, the bus will take you to Calama Airport for returning flights to Santiago. 

Travel Arrangements:

To join this tour, participants will have to make arrangements for flights and hotel accommodation - this is not provided by the organizers.

We invite you to arrange your flight from Santiago to Antofagasta in the early evening hours of Thursday, 7 November. Flights from Santiago to Antofagasta can be booked with LATAM or SKYAIRLINE and range at about US$ 100.

In Antofagasta, several hotels are available to you such as the Enjoy Antofagasta (tour start here at 8am on 8 November), IBIS Antofagasta and Hotel Diego de Almagro. The hotel rates are around US$ 115 per night. Transport from Antofagasta Airport to the hotels ranges at about US$ 30.

On Friday, 8 November around 5pm, the bus will take you to Calama Airport from where we ask you to book your returning flights. Options for your fligths are: LATAM fight at 8PM or SkyAirline flight at 9.35PM.

Costs: The cost of the tour will be US$ 150 - this includes all site visits, bus transportation between the sites and to Calama Airport as well as lunch. For flights and accommodation, please see the section about travel arrangements.

Registration: The tour is limited to only 25 participants. To register for the tour, please complete the Congress registration here, you will then be sent the link to register for the tour. Due to the limited places available for this tour, only registered congress participants can register for the technical tour. 

Please note: Payment details for the tour fee of US $150 will be clarified by the tour organizer as follow up to your registration.


Safety Notification: Participants should plan to bring appropriate clothing such as long sleeve shirts, sun glasses and hard-toed boots for the tour. Helmets and safety vests will be provided.


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